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Executive Director

Executive Director

Executive Director

Full-time In Office

Base office in Asheville

Position Status: Full-Time

FLSA Status:  Exempt


Job Posting

Pisgah Legal Services Seeks Executive Director

Pisgah Legal Services seeks an Executive Director to lead this civil legal aid organization as it begins its next chapter. The organization has a staff of 120 (including 30 attorneys), 19 offices in 12 Western North Carolina communities, and an annual budget of approximately $11.1 million. The next Executive Director will build on Pisgah Legal Services’ 46-year history to expand and strengthen access to justice, empower communities, and effect systemic change. This is an exciting opportunity for an attorney leader with vision and creativity to build on the solid foundation that exists within Pisgah Legal Services.



The mission of Pisgah Legal Services is to pursue justice by providing legal assistance and advocacy to help low-income people in Western North Carolina (WNC) meet their basic needs and improve their lives. Established in 1978, Pisgah Legal Services is a community-based nonprofit governed by a local Board of Directors that provides free civil legal aid, anti-poverty advocacy, and access to health care. Pisgah Legal Services annually helps more than 23,000 people meet their most basic needs for housing, safety from abuse, income, and health care.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of WNC, Pisgah Legal Services provides a broad array of services in 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary. The organization currently has its 19 offices in 12 communities: Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Cashiers, Franklin, Hendersonville, Highlands, Marshall, Newland, Morganton, Rutherfordton, and Waynesville. Pisgah Legal Services has a diverse funding base with the majority of funding coming from foundations, as well as private donations, federal and state grants, and IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts). It enjoys a good rapport with, and strong support from, the bar and the local judiciary.


Why Pisgah Legal Services?

The organization has an excellent reputation and strong network of partnerships and connections throughout the region with a track record of innovation and responsiveness to community needs.

The Director will work with a committed Board of Directors and staff, as well as supportive community advocates, private lawyers, government agencies and donors.

Pisgah Legal Services has a diverse funding base.

Pisgah Legal Services does not receive funding from the Legal Services Corporation and provides a full range of services to clients including legislative and administrative policy advocacy, representation in class action litigation and serves a full range of clients.   

Of the approximately one million people in Western North Carolina, an estimated 165,000 are eligible for legal services. The client population reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities served. Outreach is conducted and services are provided to reach individuals and families that have been hurt by systemic racism, including Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities.


Why Western North Carolina and Asheville?

Pisgah Legal Services’ main office is located in Asheville, the largest city in the beautiful Appalachian Mountain region of WNC. Asheville and WNC offer a vibrant arts, culture and restaurant scene, abundant outdoors activities, and a collaborative and extensive nonprofit community.

Asheville has a robust progressive network that supports Pisgah Legal Services’ mission and staff. Asheville’s amenities include an array of health and wellness resources, access to traditional medical care, a variety of medical specialties and other wellness resources.

The community also offers a variety of educational options, including strong public, private and charter K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and the nationally recognized Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC-Asheville.

In 2023 Southern Living Magazine rated Asheville #3 on its list of the South’s Best Cities.


High Priority Roles and Responsibilities for the next Executive Director:

  • Maintain and expand the financial support necessary to carry out the organization’s activities in a high-quality manner;
  • Create and maintain an environment in which staff are valued, supported and committed to the mission and work;
  • Foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the program’s delivery of services to clients, with staff and board, and create a culture that promotes mutual respect and teamwork;
  • Serve as an effective ambassador for the organization, nurturing collaborative relationships with funders and grantors, elected officials, private bar and judicial leaders, private donors, and business and civic organizations throughout the service area;
  • Maintain a collaborative relationship with other legal aid organizations and other antipoverty organizations in North Carolina, including the North Carolina Equal Justice Alliance;
  • Provide regular communications to staff and board, manage board operations and provide fiscal oversight to the organization; and
  • Provide leadership and nurture the values of Pisgah Legal Services, including a holistic view of client services, ease of access for new clients, and prioritization of strategies that address the causes of legal problems.

Desired Qualifications and Experience of the Successful Executive Director Candidate:

  • Be a licensed attorney, as required by the North Carolina Bar, in good standing, with the expectation that the successful candidate will be able to be admitted to the North Carolina Bar in a reasonable period of time;
  • Have at least ten years of legal experience as a lawyer or as a manager in the non-profit sector, preferably in the public interest sector, and/or with previous legal aid experience;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the laws and issues affecting low-income people and a passion for social, economic, and racial justice;
  • Possess demonstrated and exceptional leadership and administrative skills in managing and supervising in a successful legal services organization, law firm, corporate law department, branch of a court system, relevant government agency or not-for-profit organization;
  • Demonstrate strong knowledge of and passion about working in an organization that values and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility;
  • Have grant writing and fundraising experience;
  • Understand financial matters, including development of budgets, compliance with grant and contract requirements, and financial oversight;
  • Be skilled at managing limited resources and allocating resources appropriately;
  • Have the ability to think strategically and creatively;
  • Support the role of technology in client services and organizational efficiency;
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the staff, board members, client communities, and other stakeholders and allies, including the will and ability to engage in difficult conversations as circumstances may dictate;
  • Have experience in building a team environment, encouraging professional development of staff, and supporting staff in the program’s work;
  • Have experience working with organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives, including clients, staff, board members, the public, and elected and appointed officials;
  • Possess personal attributes including professionalism, integrity, the ability to engender confidence and trust, honesty, a strong work ethic, a sense of humor, empathy, courage, a collaborative spirit, and an openness to diverse voices; and
  • Be willing to relocate to the Asheville metro area.

Location: This is primarily an on-site position at the Asheville office.  Periodic travel throughout the service area is required. 


Salary:  $150,000 to $200,000 D.O.E.  Excellent Fringe Benefits.


Application Process

Pisgah Legal Services is assisted in its search for a new Executive Director by: Dennis Groenenboom, Consultant – Management Information Exchange

Materials should be submitted electronically to in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact Dennis at the email address above or at 515-537-4242. 

Screening of applicants begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. To receive full consideration, you are encouraged to submit your application materials by May 7, 2024.  Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications for the job, bar status, and what you believe you will be able to contribute to enhance the ability of Pisgah Legal Services to provide high-quality, client focused services into the future. Please include a resume/CV and the names and contact information for three professional references.

Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities. Prospective and current employees are encouraged to discuss ADA accommodations with our Human Resources department.


For further information about Pisgah Legal Services visit:

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Bachelors Degree, Masters

Experience Level : Executive

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