Director of Business Administration - St. Paul, Minnesota

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking a Director of Business Administration located at its St. Paul, Minnesota office. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, this position is responsible for overall management and direction of the administration areas of the organization.

SMRLS is a non-profit law firm which receives federal, state, local, public and private funding to provide free legal help to low income and elderly people who reside in 33 counties of southern Minnesota, as well as, the areas served by its farm worker unit. As Minnesota’s oldest legal aid program (founded in 1909), SMRLS has established a tradition of partnership with the private bar, a bipartisan legislature, the Supreme Court and other Minnesota Legal Services Coalition programs in providing access to justice. SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of approximately 60 attorneys and 45 additional staff. Hundreds of volunteer attorneys help staff provide legal assistance to over 10,000 eligible persons each year.

SMRLS is a client-centered organization which is committed to its mission of providing a full range of high quality legal services, in a respectful manner which enables clients to enforce their legal rights; to maintain freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness and abuse; and to empower persons and ensure equal opportunity, thus, helping persons to help themselves and to become economically self-reliant, to the extent their individual abilities and circumstances permit. SMRLS values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work.  SMRLS has adopted practice standards and guiding principles to accomplish its mission.


Internal Administration

Works with the CEO and Executive Team to identify, develop and implement operation business plans and monitor key metrics.   Coordinate the implementation of SMRLS’ strategic plan ensuring that the organization’s goals are being achieved.   Oversee compliance issues related to major Federal, State and local funding sources. In coordination with the Controller, oversee the LSC compliance portion of the annual financial audit. Provide direct supervision (in all non-legal duties) of the 3 regional leadership attorneys including ongoing assessment of leadership capabilities and adherence to firm wide strategic direction and board policies.  Support these leaders in development and execution of best practices in firm wide administrative matters. Take responsibility to ensure region meetings of program-wide specialists and special projects.    Establish and maintain effective internal controls to improve SMRLS’s operational performance.  Ensures that SMRLS’ leadership stays abreast of current trends related to its business operations in a legal setting.  Collect and analyze evaluation information that measures the success of the organization’s program efforts; assist regional leaders and others in refining or changing programs in response to that information.  Coordinate with Director of Litigation and Advocacy as needed on annual training plans and staff training conferences. Participate in meetings of SMRLS Executive Team. Attend SMRLS Board of Trustee meetings and provide reports and recommendations to the Board as needed. As appropriate, fill in for the CEO in his/her absence.

Service Delivery and Quality Improvement

Position will promote a culture throughout SMRLS of providing client-focused access to justice.  Working with the Executive Team, the Director will set a tone of accountable, flexible leadership that results in high-quality legal services with positive outcomes based on solid data.

Benefits Administration

As requested by the HR Manager, assist with the administration of the program’s employee benefits plans and develop specific recommendations for review by program’s Executive Team.    


In partnership with the technology vendor, oversee the vendor contract to ensure they are, managing and maintaining various active network and server systems to help support SMRLS business objectives, including overseeing a variety of application-related projects, testing and modifying existing programs, and working on application modifications. Supervise, direct and develop frontline IT staff to help support SMRLS strategic technology plan. Working with the external vendor, provide analysis and recommendations on hardware and software necessary to obtain strategic technology objectives.


Ensure effective operation of the program’s hotline.  Develop strategies and business models to maximize the incoming case potential while delivering high-quality service to SMRLS clients.  Utilize industry best practices to create an efficient and smooth-running operation to support the SMRLS mission.


Juris Doctor or advanced degree in Business, Nonprofit Management or a related field required, with minimum of five (5) years in senior management in a non-profit business. Preferred experience in high-level leadership of legal services program. Experience in strategic planning design and implementation preferred. Demonstrated ability to work with persons from different cultural backgrounds is essential. Excellent communication skills are necessary along with the ability to learn quickly and to work hard, independently, efficiently and under pressure.  Strong computer competency required.  Travel throughout Southern Minnesota will be expected.

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