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Executive Director


Philadelphia VIP (VIP) is seeking an Executive Director to lead Philadelphia’s “hub of pro bono” into its next chapter. The Executive Director will implement an ambitious, sustainable vision for VIP’s continued success, empower VIP’s staff team, engage its Board of Directors, cultivate and steward donors, and provide overall organizational leadership.


Too often, a person’s ability to achieve a fair and just outcome in a legal matter depends not on the merits of the case, but on her or his ability to pay for a lawyer. Philadelphia VIP (VIP) was founded in in 1981 as a joint venture between the Philadelphia Bar Association, public interest legal community, and private bar to help address this “civil justice gap” by unleashing volunteerism among attorneys. Then, as now, VIP fills an essential agency-of-last-resort role for low-income Philadelphians facing critical legal problems who are unable to receive legal assistance elsewhere.

VIP’s core activity is recruiting, training, and providing on-going support to its large, diverse community of volunteer attorneys who advise and represent VIP’s low-income clients pro bono (i.e., at no charge). Since 1981, VIP has connected tens of thousands of Philadelphians with volunteer attorneys whose legal representation has prevented homelessness, stabilized families, preserved income, and promoted community economic development.

This past year was a banner one for VIP. For the first time in the organization’s history, VIP placed over 1,000 cases with volunteer attorneys in 2019 – an increase of close to 20% over 2018. More information about VIP, including our annual reports, audited financial statements, and Form 990s, is available on our website.


VIP’s next Executive Director will lead a dynamic, thriving organization that is on a growth trajectory. VIP has a committed and engaged staff of 20, a 37-member Board of Directors, and an active volunteer corps of over 1,500 local attorneys. VIP is in the final year of its most recent strategic plan, after setting service and fundraising milestones in 2019. The next Executive Director will be charged with continuing to focus on VIP’s overarching strategic goal of saying “yes!” to all eligible clients, matching each with a volunteer attorney. To do so, VIP needs to continue to expand its volunteer pool, staff capacity, and revenues. VIP receives funding from diverse sources, including foundations, local government, law firms, corporations, and individuals.

The Executive Director position is full-time and exempt, with generous employee benefits and an exceptional team atmosphere.


  • Passion for access to justice for underserved communities and commitment to VIP’s volunteer-based service model. Prior professional or volunteer experience related to VIP’s client community strongly preferred.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field of study (e.g., law, business, public policy, public administration).
  • At least 10 years professional work experience, with progressively increasing responsibility, and at least 3 years of demonstrated leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated fundraising/development experience strongly preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Exceptionally close attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and demonstrated ability to manage multiple, simultaneous projects and deadlines.
  • Significant supervisory experience, with track record of supporting the development of supervisees.
  • Demonstrated capacity to deliver and to receive/act on constructive feedback.
  • Collaborative; able to build effective working relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Strong analytical and technological skills. Demonstrated ability to design, implement, and refine processes and systems based on data.


Mission and Strategy:

  • In partnership with the Board of Directors, establish and implement a clear vision for the organization;
  • Articulate the goals and objectives and implement the strategy needed to realize the vision;
  • Ensure that all programs hew closely to the vision and mission of the organization and achieve strategic goals; and
  • Lead and motivate VIP’s talented staff to achieve program goals.


  • Serve as the primary fundraiser for the organization;
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of and ability to secure the resources needed to ensure financial sustainability;
  • Develop and implement a rigorous and continuous fundraising plan – inclusive of funding from entities (e.g., foundations, government, law firms, and corporations) and individual donors – to meet resource objectives; continually seek new sources of funding; and steward all funder/donor relationships with the utmost care; and
  • Enlist the Board of Directors, and staff, when appropriate, in pursuing fundraising activities.

Board Partnership:

  • Work with the Board to achieve the mission of the organization. Serve as the primary liaison for the staff to the Board;
  • Work with the Board President to set Board meeting agendas to ensure timely communication of program, development, financial and strategic matters;
  • Handle all administrative matters relating to Board meetings; and
  • Create opportunities for Board and staff interaction on a regular basis to build knowledge of the organization’s programs and key staff.

Communications and External Relations:

  • Cultivate relationships with key stakeholders: Philadelphia Bar Association, law firms, community and business leaders, funders, and legal services agencies;
  • Build the organization’s profile and brand recognition;
  • Manage the planning and execution of major events;
  • Oversee organizational communications; and
  • Direct the social media presence of the organization.

Program Management:

  • In partnership with the Managing Attorney, oversee legal team to ensure programs align with mission and achieve strategic goals;
  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of issues and best practices related to legal volunteerism;
  • Serve as a strategic recruiter for all volunteers; and
  • Be personally engaged in the delivery of programs and services, including recruitment and retention of volunteers.

Financial Management:

  • Manage the budget and ensure the stewardship of organizational financial resources;
  • Ensure appropriate controls and financial systems are in place; and
  • Ensure the timely preparation and filing of all financial and tax-related documents.

Operations Management:

  • Oversee and guide the organization’s strategy for recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented, committed, and diverse team members;
  • In partnership with the Director of Operations, manage the organization’s physical space, infrastructure and assets, including lease negotiations and lease compliance, technology needs and security;
  • Provide guidance on all human resource issues, including developing and administering personnel policies, benefits management, employment practices and handling individual personnel issues; and
  • Ensure sound risk management policies and practices including compliance with applicable laws and securing appropriate types and levels of insurance coverage.

Evaluation and Measurement:

  • Ensure transparency in all programs and activities;
  • Foster a culture of accountability, evaluation and measurement; and
  • Establish policies and practices for evaluating program performance against stated goals.


Email cover letter and resume to Joe B. Durkin, Program Manager, No calls, please. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a priority deadline of September 11, 2020.

What to include in your cover letter: All applicants should include their salary requirement and potential start date. We invite you to include a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of VIP’s staff team and legal practice.