Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Oakland, CA

Categories: Jobs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Guided by a mission to provide meaningful access to the civil justice system through quality legal assistance regardless of a client’s location, language, or disability, Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) serves the more than 1.2 million people living in poverty throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. And since its founding during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, BayLegal has grown to become the largest regional law firm serving the poor and very poor across seven counties in the Bay Area. Now, at a pivotal time in our country’s history, BayLegal seeks a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to join a senior leadership team with more than 250 years of combined law experience to work for justice in the Bay Area.

Following in the footsteps of a highly successful and beloved leader, the incoming CFO will inherit a highperforming team of five and join a passionate and professional senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will bring to this role a deep and demonstrated passion for social justice as well as a track record of managing complex accounting. They will leverage their expertise managing complex government and Legal Services Corporation (LSC) grants to ensure continued funding for this urgent work, and as a strategic organizational leader, the new CFO will be instrumental in furthering a culture founded on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

This search is being conducted by NPAG. Application instructions can be found at the end of this document.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW


Rooted in the Civil Rights Movement and led by a mission to provide meaningful access to the civil justice system through quality legal assistance regardless of a client’s location, language, or disability, Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is the largest regional non-profit law firm serving the poor and very poor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through representation, legal advice and information, referrals, community education, and advocacy, BayLegal removes legal barriers to health, safety, and stability for low-income individuals and families throughout seven Bay Area counties.

As part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, neighborhood legal services organizations were formed in 1966 to revolutionize civil legal services and give a voice to communities of color, the poor, and folks with disabilities by establishing law offices within neighborhoods and advocating for the needs of each community. During this period of growing awareness and energy for social justice, six county-level legal service organizations were formed in the Bay Area to direct the work and channel resources to where they were needed most. In 1974, the passage of The Legal Services Corporation Act resulted in the creation of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC): a publicly funded 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation responsible for administering federal legal services funding. LSC remains the single largest source of funding for legal services for the poor in the United States, including BayLegal, and has grown to include 132 legal services
organizations across the country.

Through a series of mergers of the six county-level legal services entities, BayLegal was formed in 2000 and practices in multiple legal substantive areas to help their clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. This work is led by a staff of over 150 people. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices (including two sites that BayLegal owns), our mobile advocacy clinics, and nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal services low-income residents in seven San Francisco Bay Area counties, including, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. BayLegal’s central support (central administration) is in Oakland.

 

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE NEW CFO


Contribute to Organizational Leadership
  • Work closely with the CEO, Board, and senior leadership team to ensure that organizational initiatives and activities are aligned with the financial growth and stability strategies of BayLegal.
  • Serve as the liaison to the board and the finance and audit committees; effectively communicate and present critical financial matters at board of director and committee meetings and offer your
    advice and counsel on governance and strategic issues.
  • Exhibit leadership in support of an organizational culture founded on diversity, equity, and inclusion, applying inclusive leadership practices and internal equity standards to support positive team
    dynamics and sound strategy across the organization. Ensure Strong Financial Systems and Controls

 

Ensure Strong Financial Systems and Controls
  • Oversee BayLegal’s budgeting process, including the allocation of federal, state, county, and local grants, LSC funding, fees for service, and other funding sources.
  • Ensure that BayLegal adheres to all applicable funding regulations and policies, including the detailed and accurate reporting against grant and LSC funding.
  • Working closely with members of the senior leadership team, evaluate systems and software to increase efficiency, transparency, and collaboration across departments while ensuring that data
    solutions are scalable and long-lasting.
  • Oversee the annual audit and ensure a clean opinion.

 

Develop and Nurture a Strong, Collaborative Finance Team
  • Embody BayLegal’s mission and commitment to social justice and advance a culture of respect and inclusion that empowers staff across the organization to contribute as individual advocates.
  • Ensure that staff members receive timely and appropriate training. Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities,
    conduct annual performance appraisals, and administer all aspects of employee relations for a current team of five.
  • In the interim virtual setting, ensure that all staff have the support, resources, and connection they need to fulfill their roles and responsibilities while remaining involved with the overarching mission and impact of BayLegal’s work.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS


BayLegal offers a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. The salary range for the CFO position is $140,000 – $165,000 and BayLegal’s benefits package includes 100% employer-covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 40-50% for dependents; long-term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program, and 401k retirement plan following first year. Paid leave policy includes sick leave; parental leave; 14 holidays each year and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).

 

QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE


While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will be deeply committed to BayLegal’s mission and possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • At least ten years’ experience in strategic financial management and people leadership for an organization of similar complexity.
  • Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious
    identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency.
  • Experience managing a variety of funding sources, including grants and contracts, and gathering accurate financial data for proposals and reports is required; comprehensive and expert knowledge of federal, state, and county grants, as well as LSC funding is desirable.
  • Experience presenting financial risks to senior leadership and developing, collaborating on, and executing mitigation strategies.
  • Strong knowledge and skills related to financial accounting and reporting standards such as defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or equivalent entities.
  • Familiarity with fund accounting systems required; experience with Sage MIP preferred. Experience managing the integration of systems with Salesforce is ideal.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to research, synthesize, and analyze information, compose documents, and present data in a clear and concise
    manner to appropriate personnel, including senior leadership, program staff, and/or Board of Directors.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for being part of a diverse and inclusive team while supporting a culture which emphasizes the value in having staff who reflect the families and communities
    impacted by the organization.
  • An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, and patience necessary to work within a transformative, social justice environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field from an accredited institution and a CPA is required, an advanced degree is preferred.’

 

TO APPLY


More information about Bay Area Legal Aid may be found at: BayLegal.org.

BayLegal thrives on diversity and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. BayLegal is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual), and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

This search is being led by Tamar Datan and Chris Cannon of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, including a response to question below (no page limit), along with their resume via NPAG’s candidate portal.

As part of your cover letter, please address the following:

BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure BayLegal is best serving these populations, they strive to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst staff, as well as policies that enable them to work effectively in all cross-cultural situations, with clients, with coworkers, and with the community. This is a commitment to enhance the provision of BayLegal’s services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.

How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to serve BayLegal’s client base effectively and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.


Download this notice as a PDF.