The University of Washington School of Law is seeking a Director for the W.H. Gates Public Service Law Program.
The mission of William H. Gates Public Service Law Program (Gates PSL) is to create a culture at the University of Washington School of Law (UW Law) where students, faculty and staff are inspired and empowered to make public service, equity, and inclusion an integral feature of their professional lives.
The Gates PSL was founded in November 2005 to honor William H. Gates Sr., a prominent Washington state attorney and public servant. The program began with development the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program and expanded to become the law school’s flagship and nationally recognized public service law program. It is the central hub for public service law events and programming, career coaching and academic advising, pro bono service, and leadership development at UW Law.
The Director leads, guides, manages, and ensures compliance with the mission, vision, values, and governing bylaws, and stewards the program’s endowment and operating funds. The Director develops and implements program policies and procedures, promotes the program at the law school, locally and nationally, and cultivates key partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. The position is responsible for finance management, budgeting, and reporting to the Gates PSL Advisory Board and supervising program staff. This position leads quarterly Gates PSL Advisory Board meetings and guides the Board’s annual budget-setting, Together with the Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services, the Director leads and executes strategic planning for Gates PSL. As part of the Student and Career Services office, the Gates PSL Director has an important leadership role in integrating public service and pro bono work into student life and professional development and engaging in strategic planning for the department.
The position provides specialized public service career coaching and academic advising to UW Law students and alumni who wish to pursue public service law careers and incorporate pro bono service in their professional lives. Although the Director’s primary focus is on public service, public interest, and pro bono work, student interest cannot always be neatly categorized as “public interest” or not. As a result, the Director must also be comfortable speaking to students about a variety of career paths as they explore and consider all their options, both during law school and beyond. This work includes providing individualized and group coaching/advising sessions; engaging in strategic outreach and relationship-building with public service legal employers locally and nationally; fostering leadership opportunities for students and student organizations with regard to various public service activities; and developing, organizing, and leading presentations, workshops, panels, and trainings related to public service law pathways as well as other topics, including professionalism, researching employers, drafting application materials, interviewing skills and techniques, and leadership development.
The position is expected to provide supervision, support, and professional development opportunities for Gates PSL staff. The Director is a leader within the office of Student and Career Services, and directly manages the Assistant Director and an Administrative Assistant.
This position reports to the Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services.
This position must be able to work collaboratively as part of a holistic team that is student-centered. The position requires a compassionate, encouraging, supportive and mentoring-focused disposition towards students. The position must have cultural and cross-difference competency to work with students from diverse backgrounds including but not limited to people of color, LGBTQI, low-income, first generation, and other underrepresented groups in legal education and the legal profession. The person in this position must make decisions in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. The individual must remain aware of the rapidly changing challenges and opportunities for students, legal education, legal profession, and community needs.
The position is expected to anticipate issues as they arise, and independently trouble-shoot administrative, programmatic, and student concerns.
Position Dimensions and Impact to the University
Gates PSL is home to the law school’s flagship and nationally recognized public service law scholarship program, the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program. The Director ensures successful management of the Scholars program.
Gates PSL also administers the law school’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The Director oversees successful management of the program.
Student Advising & Coaching (55%)
• Provide individual and group career coaching sessions on topics such as: self-assessments, goal-setting, strategic career planning, resumes, cover letters, networking, mock interviews, decision-making, professional communication and etiquette, and hiring trends.
• Provide specialized public service law coaching, academic advising, and support for UW Law student-led pro bono projects and the Public Interest Law Association.
• Lead and organize presentations, trainings, panels, and workshops related to public service careers, pro bono and other public interest, social justice and related equity and inclusion topics, as well as general career development topics.
• Oversee, plan, and execute Social Justice Tuesdays and the Gates PSL Speaker Series.
Gates PSL Program Leadership, Management & Administration (25%)
• Develop an overall strategic vision for the Gates PSL that aligns with the mission of UW Law and Student and Career Services; develop and implement programming to meet the established goals and improve outcomes and outreach for the Gates PSL and Student and Career Services.
• Oversee policies and procedures outlined in the Gates PSL manual and ensure continued compliance with UW policies and other internal policies.
• Convene annual meetings with Treasury and the Law School’s Assistant Dean for Finance and Operations to review financials, assess and confirm reinvestment strategy and budget.
• Recruit, retain, and report to Gates PSL Advisory Board members; convene quarterly meetings, prepare agenda and related materials.
• Administer summer grant funding for students engaged in public service work and support the Public Interest Law Association board with strategic planning and fundraising strategies.
• Lead outreach and strategic partnerships. Develop and nurture relationships with employers, practitioners, bar associations, career development organizations, and other external partners in order to create professional opportunities for students interested in a public service career.
• Oversee public relations for Gates PSL, including website content management, blog, and social media communications.
• Facilitate student participation in career fairs and other outside career development programs.
Pro Bono Program & Honors Society (10%)
• Lead and organize annual Pro Bono Core Competencies trainings.
• Assist student organizations with developing and organizing service projects and ensure that student-led pro bono projects comply with established best practices including professionalism and ethics.
• Collaborate with Director of Externships to organize annual Pro Bono Fair.
• Oversee pro bono hours reporting and tracking process for student, faculty and staff and recognize awardees at annual event.
Staff Supervision and Training (10%)
• Supervise Assistant Director and Administrative Assistant; provide performance management, professional development, and training of these staff members.
• Juris Doctor degree.
• Washington State Bar Association member in good standing.
• Six to eight years of experience working in public service law, including non-profit agencies and/or government. (An equivalent combination of education and experience may substitute for the stated experience requirements.)
• Career trajectory demonstrating progressive levels of responsibility, including organizational leadership, management, supervision, and hiring of other attorneys.
• Superior communication and team leadership, building, and collaboration skills including professionalism, diplomacy, and discretion.
• Strong organizational financial management and budgeting skills.
• Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively while also working professionally under the pressure of frequent deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
• Demonstrated ability to problem solve, take initiative, set priorities and handle multiple projects efficiently and effectively.
• Sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work with diverse communities.
• Knowledge of public service law careers and experience in public service law or pro bono legal experience.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills and attention to detail. Demonstrated competency in preparation of correspondence and reports, as well as skill in conducting presentations and/or trainings.
• Strong computer skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google drive, LinkedIn.
• Ability to work a flexible schedule including occasional evening and weekends; must be willing to travel periodically for conferences and other responsibilities.
• Interest, knowledge and/or experience with event planning.
• Display flexibility and a willingness to assume or collaborate on new tasks or special projects.
• Community outreach, public speaking, or public relations experience.
• Student coaching, mentoring, or leadership development experience.
• Experience in recruiting or law school career services.
• Experience with or knowledge of post-graduate legal fellowships.
• Experience in strategic planning.
• Evidence of leadership in forging strategic partnerships with organizations and programs.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.