Pine Tree Legal Assistance of Maine Seeks an Executive Director

Pine Tree Legal Assistance (“PTLA”) seeks an Executive Director to lead our nationally-recognized, statewide non-profit organization committed to providing high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income people in Maine. Nan Heald, who has served as Executive Director for more than 30 years, will step down in the Spring of 2022 following the completion of the hiring process.

The next Executive Director will join PTLA at a time of stability and success. PTLA is a civil legal aid organization with a stellar reputation both at the local level and nationwide. PTLA has six offices throughout Maine and maintains a diverse practice focused on addressing inequities in housing, domestic and sexual violence, consumer, public benefits, education, and tax. In addition, it has units designed to serve Indigenous People, farmworkers, veterans, and vulnerable populations such as children. PTLA is Maine’s only Qualified Fair Housing Organization, and has an exemplary record enforcing fair housing laws. PTLA provides full representation in a substantial percentage of the cases it handles, and achieves a successful result in a very high percentage of such cases. PTLA also is a nationally-recognized leader in providing self-help resources online.

The Executive Director will be responsible for:

  • Embracing the mission of PTLA and engaging and inspiring Staff, Board members and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of that mission;
  • Ensuring the continued provision of high-quality legal assistance, with an emphasis on excellence and creativity;
  • Upholding a vision for PTLA’s future including expanding services as well as optimizing staffing, structure and technology;
  • Hiring, supervising, evaluating, and meeting regularly with the senior management team to provide direction, advice and oversight as appropriate;
  • Leading and maintaining a first-rate staff recruitment, development, mentoring and retention program with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion and a focus on an evolving post-pandemic workplace;
  • Protecting and promoting PTLA’s culture of transparency, integrity, inclusiveness, and equity; including endorsing an atmosphere of openness and encouragement for clients, Staff, Board members and supporters;
  • Ensuring the organization’s financial health and stability by facilitating sound financial planning and management systems, including preparation of budgets and oversight of financial systems and controls;
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of PTLA through active leadership of a diversified resource development program focused on government grants and contracts, individual and corporate gifts, and foundation grants;
  • Maintaining and overseeing compliance with the guidelines provided by Legal Service Corporation and other funders;
  • Serving as an effective ambassador for PTLA and nurturing collaborative relationships with the Legal Services Corporation and other funders, legislators, bar and judicial leaders, private donors, and business and civic organizations throughout the state;
  • Coordinating and cooperating with other legal services providers and agencies serving Maine’s low-income population; and
  • Maintaining and growing an effective communications program designed to continually enhance PTLA’s profile in philanthropic and legal communities.

The ideal candidate should:

  • Demonstrate a passion for the mission of PTLA and a commitment to serving its clients and communities;
  • Possess leadership experience managing and supervising a successful legal services or other non-profit entity;
  • Be willing and able to travel throughout the PTLA service area, and have experience serving a mix of urban and rural populations;
  • Have experience working productively with an engaged Board of Directors;
  • Possess a Juris Doctorate;
  • Have knowledge of financial matters including development of budgets, compliance with grant and contract requirements, and financial oversight, with an ability to appropriately manage and allocate scarce resources;
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the Staff, Board members, client communities, and other stakeholders and allies;
  • Champion diversity and be culturally competent;
  • Have experience working collegially and effectively with unionized workforces;
  • Have experience in building a team environment, encouraging professional development of Staff, and supporting Staff in the program’s work;
  • Possess personal attributes of professionalism, positivity, respect, good listening skills, problem-solving talents, and the ability to motivate others;
  • Convey vision, integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy and humor equal to the challenges of this demanding and rewarding position;
  • Possess a proven ability to build new relationships while maintaining existing financial supporters; and
  • Have a track record of success in fundraising and resource development and possess a desire to develop and expand the resources of PTLA.

Application Process

PTLA is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111. Materials should be submitted electronically to ppap@mielegalaid.org in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her at the email address above or at 508-737-4010.

Screening of applicants begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. To receive full consideration, you are encouraged to submit your application materials by January 21, 2022, or sooner if possible. Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications for the job, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future. Please include a résumé and the names and contact information for three professional references.

We aim to make a final decision in March of 2022, and to have the successful candidate join the organization in April in order to facilitate a smooth transition.

Salary depends on experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale. PTLA offers generous benefits, including medical, dental and vision plans; life, AD&D and disability insurance; a retirement plan; paid leave; and an employee assistance program.

About Pine Tree Legal Assistance

PTLA believes that there should be fairness, justice and equality for all; and that if we can instill more fairness in our society, there will be less poverty. Ever since PTLA opened its doors in 1967, we have used legal advocacy to help Maine’s most vulnerable residents overcome pressing problems of everyday life, including domestic and sexual violence, homelessness, economic insecurity, financial exploitation, and employment issues. In 2020, PTLA worked on 6,313 cases impacting 15,643 people and its self-help resource websites recorded more than three million page views. PTLA’s annual budget is $7 million, with more than 60% of revenue coming from federal and state government sources. PTLA’s largest single funder is Legal Services Corporation. PTLA has a Platinum rating from GuideStar for its operations.

The Board of Directors
The Board’s membership includes both practicing attorneys and people who are financially eligible to receive services. The Board effectively governs the organization while allowing Staff to manage the day-to-day operations. The Board takes seriously its governance obligations and fundraising duties.

The Leadership Team
Supporting the Executive Director, the Leadership Team includes a Deputy Director, Director of Intake, Finance Director, and Development Director.

The Staff
The Staff consists of a dedicated team of approximately 75 employees, including 47 attorney positions, 15 paralegal positions, and a central administrative team that includes finance, IT, HR, fundraising, and program administration. PTLA is a unionized program with a paralegals’ union affiliated with AFSCME and an attorneys’ union affiliated with the UAW. PTLA is committed to recruiting and retaining high-quality employees and embraces its duty to cultivate a new generation of public interest advocates.

The Offices
PTLA’s administrative headquarters is in Portland, Maine, with regional offices around the State in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston-Auburn, Machias, and Presque Isle.