Managing Director

Posted by
Movement Law Lab
New York, NY

Movement Law Lab

Published 25 days ago

January 18, 2021
January 15, 2021
$85,000 - $90,000


Now in our third year, Movement Law Lab runs projects that expand the legal strategies, capacities, and numbers of lawyers working in alignment with racial and economic justice movements. 

We are seeking a full-time Managing Director to help structure, build, and support our growing team and programs. This is primarily an internal-facing role to develop and sustain the people, operations, work plans, and budgets that enable us to manage multiple responsive and experimental projects in partnership with social justice organizations, reaching thousands of lawyers. The Managing Director will report to the Executive Director and supervise the Operations Manager to set up a values-rooted set of systems and processes to support a team of 8-10 staff members and contractors who are running research, training, networking, strategy development, volunteer mobilization, and others at the local, national, and international levels. 

About Movement Law Lab

Movement Law Lab is committed to building power in marginalized communities of color by growing the field of movement lawyering. Movement lawyering strategically combines law and community organizing to protect, defend, and embolden social movements. Movement Law Lab is building the field of movement lawyering by:

  • Directly partnering with movements to design, incubate and launch legal infrastructure for burgeoning campaigns, fights and movement moments. 
  • Training lawyers and legal organizations seeking to transition their approach towards movement lawyering.
  • Organizing networks of movement lawyers to share skills, exchange lessons, and jointly tackle pressing challenges.
  • Hosting fellowships and innovation residencies for movement lawyers to launch, scale, replicate or expand brilliant movement lawyering projects that democratize law and build the power of marginalized people. 
  • Supporting the leadership of a new generation of movement lawyers--especially people of color, women, queer, transgender and people coming from low-income backgrounds.

Our goal is to launch, build, and steward a new generation of dynamic, collaborative and versatile legal organizations with the expertise to use the law to transform our world. 

Position Overview

Do you have experience building and supporting staff teams in a culture committed to liberation and learning? Are you a detail-oriented, process and systems geek and tactical planner willing to grapple with the challenges of white-supremacist and patriarchal organizational models and the nonprofit industrial complex? 

This is an opportunity for a Program Manager, Operations Director, Deputy Director, Chief of Staff, or Organizational Development consultant interested to help shape, grow, and run an early-stage social justice organization with a team of experienced and skilled lawyers and organizers.  

This position is a senior operational management job that requires creative, strategic thinking to ensure the organization can run with time and budget efficiency while also rapidly responding and adapting to changing conditions based on ongoing lessons learned and the needs of staff and partners in the face of tough external conditions.

As one of the first of a series of new hires joining our organization in its third year, the Managing Director will work closely with all staff and consultants. In the near term, the Managing Director will be focused on:

  • organizing internal systems and plans, and providing 1:1 time to support the strategies and staff; 
  • clarifying and documenting the work plans for all known projects, including developing systems for tracking metrics and measuring impact;
  • developing organizational growth plans that incorporate responsiveness to movement partner needs and opportunities, experimentation/learning approach, viable budgets, long term goals;
  • hiring and onboarding new staff and contractors to fill needed capacities such as communications/tech/events production/project management/research & learning;
  • choosing/adapting and/or creating templates, meeting agendas, databases, or other tools to track and manage projects to goals, time/budget.

As the staff grows and systems are crystallized, the role will become more specialized. The Managing Director is the internal-facing partner to the Executive Director and the staff, responsible for team care, systems, and supporting organization-wide planning, tool/process use, and program design. 

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Project, Program, and Organizational Planning: Work with project leads to develop detailed work-plans that are clear on tasks, roles, deadlines, decision points and evaluation metrics. Develop systems to allocate work across the team and determine where to bring in external resources/technical support. Help turn strategic ideas and partnership opportunities into time-bound and clearly-scoped projects that make explicit the goals, activities, time and capacities required, what we are testing, what we aim to learn, and how we will evaluate. Coordinate, advise, and document the organizational development strategy and plans led by ED, with input from staff, advisors, and external consultants. Build timelines and oversee internal and organizational development projects alongside program activities. Facilitate the quarterly budget review process, working with the ED to analyze and make projections

Hiring, Onboarding and Supporting Staff:  Build solid relationships and regular feedback/reflective communications with ED and all staff. Select organizational consultants. Ensure progress toward our strategy and vision by ensuring that team members understand our organization’s overall direction and have the supports they need to contribute to our vision, goals, and culture. Design organizational charts, write job descriptions and vet potential hires with input from senior team members. Create information packets, meetings, and other steps to onboard new team members. Work with the HR department at our fiscal sponsor and other advisors to ensure high-quality practices for hiring, supervising, and developing staff. 

Organizational Culture: Develop practices and processes that embed our core values within the work and the working environment. Set up and provide the personal support, systems, and processes that foster creativity, performance, high-quality work, motivation and morale, healing, and growth. Develop the rhythm, tone, and format for small group and full staff meetings. 

Internal Coordination: Enable the clarity of delegation of work, workflow, and a balance of independence/autonomy with collaboration among staff members. Establish a vision for how different functional roles can support each other and the systems to make that work. Ensure there is good communication between team members within and across projects and that people can effectively and efficiently access information. Implement systems that make it easier/better for staff members to get the input, feedback, collaboration, or other support they need for their projects.

High-level Project Management: Oversee and track relevant programmatic deadlines, grant deliverables, and reporting. Assist teams to make sure deliverables on all projects are on track and on budget to ensure we meet and exceed partner expectations.

Operations and Program Systems and Codification. Create internal processes that improve time, learning loops, communications, clarity, and progress towards goals. Clarify and enable adoption of standard organizing and document/information systems. Develop and run planning, tracking, and reporting processes. Customize and systematize menus that are clearer on the range of services/roles we offer to partners; an assessment process for potential partnerships and projects. Set up regular use of planning tools that help team members go from ideas to quickly scoping what’s possible and strategic and mapping the people/skills/budget/time needed. Select/adapt, produce, and organize templates that can be used across projects to make work easier/faster and map goals, learning, impact, and other key information. 

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 8 years of work experience, with at least five years management and/or organizational development experience, preferably in an operations or program director role. Experience with managing teams, planning and budgeting, hiring, and other aspects of organizational development. Experience establishing organizational policies, procedures and guidelines, including overseeing, assessing, and adjusting as needed.
  • At least 5 years of active experience within social justice organizing groups (if not as a job, then as an activist, volunteer, organizer, leader, etc).
  • Demonstrated experience managing the inner workings of successful organizations. This includes being comfortable managing up, down, sideways, in peer mentorship with individuals; managing small teams, and facilitating groups to quickly strategize and make decisions together, build alignment, establish buy-in, distribute tasks, help people stay on task, etc.  Successful experience facilitating groups and leading within a remote/virtual environment
  • A people-person who knows how to tend to and care for groups and individuals. Excellent professional judgment, strong communication skills, and the ability to build trust within a values-driven organization. Demonstrated ability to collaborate well with others and foster an open environment for creativity and ideation. Capacity to approach conflict with compassion; desire to be reflective, grow, receive/give constructive feedback and be a constructive force in group settings.
  • Extremely strong organizational skills, with sharp attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to prioritize and delegate, to understand, track, and support multiple projects at once. Adaptability to shifting short-term priorities, needs, and deadlines.
  • A strategic thinker and planner, able to collaborate with others on translating visions into action and results—and proactively anticipating and preparing for challenges and changing conditions. A passion for distilling ideas into concrete projects, mapping projects into plans, and systematizing tools and processes to make things efficient and manageable. 
  • Sense of humor, commitment to clear and direct communication. Comfort with a start-up environment, movement-aligned priorities, and face-paced work with a rapid-response and experimental approach.
  • Strong belief in group-centered leadership and the idea that directly-impacted communities should be at the fore of leading organizing for change. Demonstrated commitment to intersectionality, with a deep sensitivity to equity, racial justice, and gender justice, including ability to work across identities, age race, gender, gender identity, national origins/migrant status, ability, etc.
  • High level of facility and comfort with choosing, quickly learning, and using tech tools for collaboration and communication. Familiarity with common computer applications including: MS Office, Monday, AirTable, Google docs, Dropbox, Mac environment, and Zoom video tele-conferencing system and digital filing & communication systems.

Additional Qualifications that would be a plus

  • Experience in start-ups with an experimental/lab approach, rapid-response campaign/political work, and/or consultancy firms working with social movement groups.
  • Experience with organizational design and specifically distributed/shared leadership and collaborative leadership models.
  • Proficiency with project management tools, planning/design methods, budgeting and financial management templates. 
  • Experience with choosing and customizing digital/software platforms and tools; experience or training in digital and operational security protocols for social justice organizations. 

Fine Print: Preference for candidates based in Baltimore, Washington DC or New York City, but work can be done remotely from anywhere in the U.S. The role is an exempt, salaried position with a salary range that begins at $85,000. Movement Law Lab is a project of and fiscally sponsored by NEO Philanthropy. Through NEO Philanthropy, this position is offered a full benefits package, including 100% medical coverage for the employee and 90% medical coverage for dependents; 100% coverage for vision, dental, life/AD&D, long-term disability.  NEO also offers a 401K retirement savings plan, Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Medical FSA, Dependent Care FSA, commuter benefits, Employee Assistance Program, paid time off, and other supplemental benefits.  Benefits are available from our fiscal sponsor including health care and a generous paid time off package. MLL and NEO Philanthropy are an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and individuals with past involvement in the justice system are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, at least two references and writing sample to Combine all documents into one continuous PDF and name the document in the following format: FirstName_LastName - Managing Director; e.g. “Jane_Doe - Managing Director”; please make the subject line of your email the same title. This position will remain open until filled. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until it is filled, but preference will be given to those who apply by midnight ET on Jan 15. 


Now in our third year, Movement Law Lab runs projects that expand the legal strategies, capacities, and numbers of lawyers working in alignment with racial and economic justice movements. 

We are seeking a full-time Managing…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Managerial


New York, NY

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