The Executive Director is responsible for all business and non-legal aspects of the firm, focusing on short and long term operational issues as well as providing support for strategic planning, freeing firm management to focus on high-level managerial decisions, and developing new business. The successful Executive Director will understand the overall vision of the firm, while not losing sight of numerous operational issues that impact the firm's performance. The ideal candidate will operate comfortably across a spectrum of people and responsibilities, including financial, administrative, technology, facilities, human resources, marketing, and business development.
The Executive Director is based in Grand Rapids and reports to the Managing Partner(s) and Policy and Executive Committees.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Ensure policies/procedures, determined by the Policy and Executive Committees, are implemented, followed and monitored in all firm offices, making recommendations when need for innovation or improvement is observed.
- Overall responsibility for general administration, compliance, growth and special projects. Foster effective teamwork to address issues related to finance/accounting, human resources, technology, purchasing, systems/procedure changes and long-range planning.
- Attend Partnership, Policy and Executive Committee meetings; prepare minutes and supporting materials. Attend Practice Team and other committee meetings as requested. Under direction of Policy and Executive Committees, coordinate implementation of policies, procedures, and other initiatives to achieve strategic results.
- Serve as a business counselor by assisting the Policy Committee with overall strategic input, financial analysis and planning, including law firm mergers or acquisitions. Plan and assist in the successful onboarding and integration of new practices or firms.
- Oversee facilities: including involvement in management and negotiation of office leases, space planning, renovation or new construction build-out, maintenance of existing space, prepare analysis and feasibility studies of potential locations.
- Ensure all lawyers have appropriate level of staff, information technology and other support to develop and enhance the efficient and effective practices of the firm. Regularly travel to regional offices to develop relationships and better understand unique qualities of each office location.
- Foster the effective teamwork of direct reports (Directors of HR, Marketing, IT, Finance, Recruiting and Professional Development, among others); encourage best practices and process improvement. Oversee outsourced functions, if any.
- Ensure firm management is equipped with resources necessary to support all strategic and operating functions.
- Collaborate with Finance Director to develop and present comprehensive, timely financial analysis/reports for firm leadership. Create metrics that reflect achievement of firm goals.
- Monitor national and regional legal trends; advising firm leadership of their significance and impact on the firm.
- Represent the firm in the legal administration community, as appropriate.
- Establish/maintain good working relationships and decision making practices, collaborating with different levels of firm personnel and diverse groups of people; understanding and building on the firm's history and culture.
Required Skills and Abilities
- Strong administrative, management and leadership skills. Capable of working with limited direction, providing leadership and strategic guidance to others.
- Demonstrated ability to rapidly analyze issues, anticipate consequences, make decisions and initiate action.
- Excellent oral and written skills to communicate complex information and ideas tactfully and effectively to personnel at all levels of the firm, sometimes under pressure in the presence of strongly-held opposing viewpoints.
- Strong interpersonal skills to create a firm-minded atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, openness, and encourage resourcefulness.
- Solid understanding of the importance of client relationships and the need for consistent and excellent client service, ensuring operational and technological support.
- Highly organized, with keen attention to detail, and self-directed in work approach.
- Knowledgeable and conversant in current technology and applications.
Qualifications and Requirements
Bachelor's degree in a related field; Master's or MBA degree preferred.
Minimum seven to 10 years of progressive management experience in a professional service organization; law firm experience preferred. Background in accounting, operations management, human resources and IT strongly desired.