Many smaller women’s bar associations operate for at least some period of time without the benefit of an executive director. Unless the group is fortunate enough to have a volunteer who devotes significant time over many years to administrative tasks on behalf of the organization, most groups find it is difficult to sustain the organization or to take on more than very limited tasks without the services of at least a part-time staff person, typically with the title of Executive Director. Here’s a discussion of the difference between the job title of Executive Director and an Administrator.
A wonderful resource for staff is the National Association of Bar Executives. Although the majority of the members are staff of state and local bar associations, many of the ideas shared via their in-person conferences and electronic communications are invaluable for staff supporting any bar association, section or committee. Through a generous scholarship program, assistance may be available for first-time attendees from cash-strapped associations to attend in-person conferences.
A healthy relationship between the executive director and the board is crucial to the success of the organization.
Before you write a job description, read this blog post.
Here is a brief job description from a member organization:
We seek someone committed to improving the status of women and eliminating bias in the legal profession, in addition to a commitment to our mission, the successful candidate must have the following:
Required: strong interpersonal and organizational skills; the ability to work independently as well as cooperatively, under the supervision of the President and Board of Directors; professionalism; attention to detail; positive attitude; and proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word and Excel and an ability to develop community and public relations.
Additional preferred qualifications include: office-management experience, particularly in the non-profit arena; experience working with QuickBooks and motivating and working with volunteers; and community and public relations experience. Responsibilities include financial/budget management; event planning and implementation; maintenance of membership database; coordinating the activities of the Board and committees; supporting the Board and members; and building strong community and vendor relationships.
What are the most important attributes of a successful executive director? Read this.
How much should you pay an executive director? Here are some considerations.
What is the optimal strategy for onboarding for a new executive director? Read this article.
Here are some thoughts regarding the board’s HR role when an association has more than one staff member.