McCormack+Kristel Seeks Executive Director for East Bay Community Law Center

March 29, 2019 – Executive search firm McCormack+Kristel has been selected by the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, CA to find its next executive director.

“This is an opportunity for an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader to join a growing mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to education and social justice,” said McCormack+Kristel. “The successful candidate will become a part of a distinguished team, serving an organization that is nationally known and respected for its work.”

The East Bay Community Law Center is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley.

Responsibilities of the executive director, who reports to the board of directors, involve leadership; business planning and operations; and policies, procedures and reporting, said the search firm.

Job Responsibilities

The non-profit’s next leader will be expected to inspire, motivate and manage a team of highly intelligent, accomplished and committed professionals, said the search firm. The executive director must work with staff and peers to develop more effective means of delivering legal services and clinical education and addressing policy issues that improve the lives of the communities the law center serves. It is also critical that the individual listen with respect to all opinions, including dissent, and strive to achieve consensus when possible, yet making the difficult decisions when needed.

In terms of business planning and operations, the executive director will be expected to develop and implement strategic and tactical plans to promote the continued development of the organization and ensure positive financial results and client outcomes, said the search firm. Identifying opportunities for all operational functions to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and to address organizational challenges is also imperative. The job further calls for participation in the development and preparation of short-term and long-range plans and budgets that advance broad organizational goals and objectives.

The executive director must also direct the development and implementation of procedures that promote effective communication and adequate information flow throughout the organization, said McCormack+Kristel. Creating effective processes for increasing efficiencies and eliminating redundancies is a key part of the role, as is developing strategic priorities with measurable outcomes to ensure ongoing process improvement and data driven decision making.

Direct Reports

The executive director supervises the following direct reports who comprise the five-person executive team: deputy director and chief counsel; clinical director; finance and administration director; and development and communications director. Additionally, the executive director oversees the work of the organization’s data scientist.

The successful candidate for the role will have significant experience that includes leadership and demonstrated success in managing organizational development and change, said McCormack+Kristel. An undergraduate degree is required. A graduate degree in law or other relevant area of study is strongly preferred, and an appropriately credentialed individual may be eligible for a faculty appointment at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The law center is looking for an exceptional program manager, talented team builder and effective communicator.

Other criteria on which candidates will be evaluated include: experience overseeing legal services and/or legal educational programs in an organization of similar size and complexity; an understanding and respect for clinical teaching; a commitment to the mission of providing supportive services for low income communities, including communities of color; awareness of the legal issues facing the communities that law center serves; and familiarity and comfort with financial planning and management as well as organizational budget development, and more.


Why Recruiters Fixate On Fundraising Skills
With companies being pressured to find leaders who can play a major role in fundraising, recruiters are scurrying to find talented candidates to satisfy the demand. Pure fundraising will need to pick up more of the burden for sustaining organizations and their missions.


“The successful candidate will be energized working in a challenging, fast-moving environment and accomplished at driving toward clarity and solutions, and will be a visionary and empathetic leader with the ability to inspire employees to live up to their potential,” said McCormack+Kristel.

Helping Low-Income Communities

The East Bay Community Law Center, founded in 1988 by law students from UC Berkeley School of Law, offers legal services, social work support and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities. It also provides law training that prepares future attorneys and social workers who are committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty. It is the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and Berkeley Law’s largest clinical program with a budget of over $8 million annually.

McCormack+Kristel was started in 1993 as McCormack & Associates with the mission of recruiting senior leadership for the many research, advocacy and human services organizations growing exponentially in response to AIDS pandemic. Diversity recruiting has long been on the firm’s agenda. With the advent of effective treatments for HIV/AIDS, and the diminishing needs of many of these organizations, the firm broadened its client base into areas like social justice; healthcare; women’s issues; higher education; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender; civil rights and more.

Three years ago, founding partner Joe McCormack formed a new business partnership with Michelle Kristel, a former non-profit executive and an associate with the firm since 2013. The firm has offices in New York City and Palm Springs, CA.

McCormack+Kristel clients have included the ACLU, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Planned Parenthood, SAGE and the Tides Foundation, among others.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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