Director of Legal Services

HopeWorks of Howard County


Columbia, Maryland




October 15, 2020




Supervisor: Executive Director
FLSA Status: Exempt
Employment Status: Full Time (40 hours per week)
Department: Legal

The Director of Legal Services is a member of the agency’s management team, responsible for the administration of legal services and supervision of legal staff, legal interns/externs, and legal volunteers. HopeWorks’ staff are invested and engaged in altering the systems and imbalances of power that maintain the status quo and are root causes of sexual and intimate partner violence – including racism, transphobia, poverty, xenophobia, ableism, and other forms of oppression. The successful candidate will have a commitment to social justice.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Represent Clients in Peace and Protective Order hearings
• Represent Clients in Divorce and Custody hearings on a limited basis
• Provide Clients with Consultations/Advice as to their rights and options regarding divorce, custody, child support, modifications, peace and protective orders, and criminal cases
• Assists Clients with pro se preparation and assistance in filling out court forms/pleadings
• Assist with legal advocate and staff attorney responsibilities as needed
• Offer civil and criminal accompaniment and civil legal advocacy to clients

• Recruits, hires, and trains legal staff, legal interns/externs, and volunteers
• Evaluates performance of legal staff, legal interns/externs, and volunteers
• Provides individual and group supervision for legal staff, legal interns/externs, and volunteers
• Assists staff, legal interns/externs and volunteers in developing the use of a social justice lens in their work
• Assists staff in developing professional development goals and objectives
• Trains and supports staff to provide legal resources, referrals, representation, accompaniment and consultation services to clients

• Develops policies and procedures to ensure quality services for clients and accountability for staff, legal interns/externs, and volunteers
• Provides ongoing assessment and evaluation of legal programs to ensure that client needs, agency standards and funding requirements are met
• Collaborates with administrative staff in grant writing and reporting
• Reviews client files to ensure that agency and funding standards are met
• Identifies client resources through the development of community partnerships
• Prioritizes the use of best and evidence-based practices, including researching programming trends and current practices being used in other jurisdictions
• Actively participates and advocates on behalf of clients in multi-disciplinary teams in the county and state
• Identifies and reports trends in client needs, system responses and other factors relating to client outcomes
• Maintain/complete paperwork for attorney’s malpractice insurance
• Maintain accurate and up-to-date contact logs and statistical information for electronic files, grants and departmental reports.

• Participates on the agency’s management team
• Conducts regular legal team meetings
• Works closely with the clinical, residential, antitrafficking, and advocacy department to coordinate services
• Maintains a working relationship with outside agencies, including the Howard County Police Department, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, and the State’s Attorney’s Office.
• Attend and participate on the Howard County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team
• Attend Howard County Bar Association functions and network
• Provide technical assistance to attorneys, Judges, and community partners
• Meets with the Executive Director for regular supervision
• Works with the Community Engagement Department to coordinate volunteer recruitment and assists with community presentations, as needed.

Recruitment Link:


Minimum Qualifications:
• Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school
• Admitted to practice in the State of Maryland
• Passionate and commitment about the mission, vision and values of HopeWorks
• Two (2) years supervisory or program management experience
• Five (5) years of experience involving protective order and peace order law, intimate partner violence and sexual assault law (civil and criminal), and family law
• Awareness and understanding of the dynamics of sexual and intimate partner violence
• Understanding of the impact of intersectional oppressions on survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence
• Ability to advocate for survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence in the community, with state leaders and decision makers
• Excellent oral and written communication skills; outstanding interpersonal and supervisory skills
• Provide survivor-centered and trauma-informed services
• Experience with outcomes and evaluation, grant compliance, and program development
• Proficiency in data collection and reporting
• Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)
• Oral and written fluency in one or more languages in addition to English (strongly preferred but not required)
• Current, valid driver’s license and insurance and reliable transportation to travel between office and court

Competencies: An individual should demonstrate the following competencies to perform the essential functions of this position successfully:
Strategic Thinking
Incumbent offers advice and creates plans based on analysis of issues and trends, and how these link to the responsibilities, capabilities, and potential of the organization. Scans an ever-changing, complex environment in anticipation of emerging crises and opportunities. Develops well-informed advice and strategies that are sensitive to the various needs of multiple stakeholders and partners, reflects the strategic direction of the department and position the organization for success.
Makes sound decisions; bases decisions on fact rather than emotion; analyzes problems skillfully; uses logic to reach solutions; makes timely decisions; displays strong ability to prioritize.
Problem Solving
Anticipates problems; sees how a problem and its solution will affect other units; gathers information before making decisions; weighs alternatives against objectives and arrives at reasonable decisions; adapts well to changing priorities, deadlines and directions; works to eliminate all processes which do not add value; is willing to take action, even under pressure, criticism or tight deadlines; takes informed risks; recognizes and accurately evaluates the signs of a problem; analyzes current procedures for possible improvements; notifies supervisor of problems in a timely manner.
Able to manage multiple projects; able to determine project urgency in a practical way; uses goals to guide actions; creates detailed action plans; organizes and schedules people and tasks effectively.
Cooperation and Teamwork
Works harmoniously with others to get a job done; responds positively to instructions and procedures; able to work well with staff, co-workers, peers and managers; timely shares critical information with everyone involved in a project; works effectively on projects that cross functional lines; helps to set a tone of cooperation within the work group and across groups; coordinates own work with others; seeks opinions; values working relationships; when appropriate facilitates discussion before decision-making process is complete.
Quality of Work
Maintains high standards despite pressing deadlines; does work right the first time; corrects own errors; regularly produces accurate, thorough, professional work.
Personally responsible; completes work in a timely, consistent manner; works hours necessary to complete assigned work; is regularly present and punctual; arrives prepared for work; is committed to doing the best job possible; keeps commitments.
Support of Diversity
Treats all people with respect; values diverse perspectives; participates in diversity training opportunities; provides a supportive work environment for a multicultural staff; applies the HopeWorks commitment to social justice & racial equity; shows sensitivity to individual differences; treats others fairly without regard to race, sex, color, religion, mental or physical ability, health status, nation of origin, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation; recognizes differences opportunities to learn and gain by working together; values and encourages unique skills and talents; seeks and considers diverse perspectives and ideas.
Commitment to Social Change and Social Justice
Willing and able to approach their work with an understanding and appreciation of social change and social justice issues
Delegates work assignments, gives authority to work independently, sets expectations, and monitors delegated activities.
Inspires and motivates others to perform well, and accepts feedback from others. Management Skills
Delivers results by maximizing organizational effectiveness and sustainability. Ensures that people have the support and tools they need and that the department as a whole has the capacity and diversity to meet current and longer-term organizational objectives. Align people, work, and systems with the business strategy to harmonize how they work and what they do. Conscientiously assign performance goals, offer year-round performance feedback, and conduct timely performance discussions and reviews.
Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, communicate and hear. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee may frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision and ability to adjust focus.

Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.
To perform this job successfully, the incumbents will possess the skills aptitudes and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. The requirements listed in this document are the minimum levels of knowledge, skills or abilities.
This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” relationship.

Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply.




Compensation: $ 60,000

How To Apply

Applicants must submit a resume and letter of interest. Email your resume and letter of interest to or send by mail to:
Vanita Leatherwood
Executive Director
HopeWorks of Howard County
9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 300
Columbia, MD 21046

Recruitment Link:

NO phone calls will be accepted.
Resumes submitted without a cover letter will not be reviewed. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we will only respond to applicants whose candidacy is being considered.
HopeWorks is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.