Chief Human Resources Officer

The Legal Aid Society

Posted: 8/19/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Human Resources/Recruiting

Primary domain: Advocacy/Social Action

City: New York

Postal code: 10016

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:


The Legal Aid Society (LAS) is built on one simple but powerful belief: that no one should be denied their right to equal justice. Our Civil, Criminal Defense, Juvenile Rights, and Pro Bono practices work tirelessly in and out of the courtroom to defend our clients and dismantle the hidden, systemic barriers that can prevent them from thriving in New York City. We seek to be a beacon of hope for New Yorkers who feel neglected — regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they identify. Our experienced teams provide comprehensive services, support, and advocacy that protect rights, keep families and communities together, and in many cases, saves lives. 

From our start over 140 years ago, our growth has mirrored that of the city we serve. Today, we’re proud to be the largest, most influential social justice law firm in New York City.  LAS is more than a law firm for low-income New Yorkers. It is an indispensable component of the legal, social, and economic fabric of New York City — passionately advocating for individuals and families across a variety of civil, criminal defense, and juvenile rights matters, while also fighting for legal reform. Just like the city we represent, LAS is also one of the most diverse law firms in the nation.  Our staff are members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and the 1199 Service Employees International Union.

For more information about LAS, please visit

Position Details:

Job Description:


The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) will work collaboratively with the Executive Team and unions in maintaining and affirming the LAS commitment as a progressive, anti-racist, and inclusive workplace of choice and the premier home for those engaged in the pursuit of equal justice in New York City.  Specifically, they will be responsible for reimagining LAS’s people function, culture, structure, and policies that support and guide the work of 2,200 LAS employees across 29 locations. The CHRO will also directly oversee a team of 25 Human Resources professionals, and be responsible for structuring, leading, mentoring, and supporting this team to ensure LAS’s daily HR operations are executed with high integrity and quality.

The CHRO reports to the COO and as a member of the Executive Team, the CHRO will design a strategy for human resource operations, and partner closely with the union, unit, and office leaders to implement the strategy throughout the entire organization. They will drive best practices and initiatives and provide strategic direction and expertise for all talent and human resources matters. This includes employee relations, union engagement, talent acquisition, culture, compensation and benefits, organizational design and change, performance management, learning and development, human resource information systems, and policy development and administration.  

The CHRO is tasked with aligning LAS’s people, processes, and policies with organizational values and cultural aspirations to create a culture where diversity, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion permeate every aspect of the organization and its work. 

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and creative human resource professional to develop new team building initiatives that impact every level of worker within the organization. 

ResponsibilitiesStrategy and Organizational Design

·       Working closely with the CEO, COO, Executive Team, and union leaders, the CHRO brings human resource expertise, guidance, support, and decision-making to all strategic deliberations, and provides insightful, innovative thinking, and problem solving to all key issues at LAS

·       Assess all aspects of human resource functions including structure, culture, policies and procedures and develop recommendations for implementation and use of metrics and analytics to assess status, progress, and areas for improvement across all human resource functions

·       Create a strategic organization-wide human resource plan that considers LAS’s culture and current and projected needs and challenges and develop corresponding programs to maintain a diverse, equitable, anti-racist and inclusive workplace

·       Reshape the organizational design and rewards structure to reflect the dynamics of the nonprofit and public interest law environment and an evolving multi-generational, mobile, and remote workforce

·       Keep abreast of changes in workforce development and scan the internal and external environment to anticipate and address evolving organization and talent needs, risks, and opportunities

·       Prepare and administer the HR budget and its annual work plan, ensuring the proper use of fiscal resources and timely execution of HR projects and initiatives


·       Build a high-performing culture of accountability, transparency, trust, and collaboration that embraces change and where all employees feel welcome, appreciated and have equal access to opportunity including people from intersectional and marginalized experiences and groups

·       Unfailingly model the desirable attributes of the culture, passionately advocate for them, and exhibit an understanding, sensitivity, and responsiveness to cultural differences present in the employee and client population 

·       Develop strong relationships with LAS employees across the organization and all stakeholder groups including union and caucus members to seek input, problem solve, inform, and ensure all voices are heard and employee needs are met

·       Play a major role in crisis intervention, mediate employee relations, and performance challenges, and coach and counsel the Executive Team in developing themselves and their teams to achieve improved performance and engagement

·       Innovate in talent management, engagement, and retention strategy, driving opportunity for all, while attending to the impact and toll of the emotional aspects of LAS’s work on the team

·       Implement ongoing assessment of LAS’s climate and culture and create action plans related to results to lead LAS to be an Employer of Choice 

Infrastructure and Operations

·       Transform HR structures and processes by leveraging technology and data analytics to drive better decision making, to better anticipate workforce needs, to manage performance, to support real learning, and to achieve strategic objectives 

·       Lead, coach, and mentor the Human Resources team to deliver high quality and responsive services and develop a leadership bench strength capable of addressing the challenges of a highly dynamic organization

·       Oversee an effective recruitment and onboarding process with a focus on diversity and inclusion that consistently identifies and secures talented individuals committed to the organization's mission and core values and successfully integrates new employees

·       Oversee the design, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive staff learning and development curriculum for every level within the organization

·       Review and enhance LAS’s performance evaluation process, ensuring the fair and timely evaluation of all staff as well as the integration of the staff evaluation process with unit work plans, the LAS strategic plan, and its compensation structure

·       Oversee employee benefits administration, track benefits trends and new developments, conduct and/or facilitate cost analysis and ensure compliance with government regulations

·       Oversee compensation and promotion practices and philosophy to ensure salary benchmarking, transparency, and equity 

·       Develop and annually review the Policies and Procedures Manual and Employee Handbook and modify as appropriate and develop a deep understanding of and compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreements and, in collaboration with the CEO and COO, support re-negotiation efforts

·       Identify new and current legal requirements and government reporting regulations affecting the human resources function (e.g., OSHA, EEO, ERISA, Wage & Hour) and direct the preparation and maintenance of information required for compliance and effective reporting 

Leadership and Communication

·       In conjunction with the CEO and COO, lay out a clear communication plan of the vision for the human resources centered changes at LAS

·       In collaboration with the COO, develop and maintain an internal communication vehicle whereby all staff are made aware of and given guidance on how to access employee benefits, training programs, and advancement opportunities; and disseminate individual, team, and organizational successes to strengthen morale and unity of purpose

·       Develop a clear internal policy and procedure guide for managers to use throughout the organization that promotes fair, equal and unbiased treatment of all staff and ensure that the Human Resources team is trained with expertise in the policies and procedures and is available to coach and advise managers to ensure consistent practices

·       Maintain ongoing communication with administrators, managers, staff and union representatives to seek their input and keep them informed of human resources policies, regulations, and practices and their interpretation



·       At least 15-20 years of progressive experience in human resources; and with expertise in employee relations, professional development, recruitment, and benefits administration preferred

·       10 years of experience working with unions in a positive, transparent, and inclusive manner preferred

·       Senior HR leadership experience with an organization of 1,000+ employees, 15+ locations and one or more unions

·       Demonstrated commitment to fighting for racial and social equality and against institutionalized racism within organizations

·       Demonstrated experience with building and working with a diverse, equitable, inclusive, multi-cultural, and anti-racist community

·       Track record of success with organizational change and systemic culture shifts accompanied with union partnerships

·       Evidence of exceptional team management and fiduciary responsibility for pensions, benefits, contracts, and vendor management

·       Demonstrated commitment to the populations served by LAS and recruitment, retention, and promotion processes that attract and retain a diverse workforce

·       A politically astute, systems-oriented leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people and systems; keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision making

·       Excellent coalition building skills with an ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders; a persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions

·       Outstanding listening and communication skills, especially in writing, and the experience and proclivity to be an outgoing spokesperson and relationship builder

·       Hands on manager with a strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team

·       BA/BS from an accredited college university required; MBA, MA/MS in human resources or a related field and/or law degree preferred but not required

·       SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) or Certified Professional (SCHRM-CP) certification preferred


This position description is based upon material provided by The Legal Aid Society, an equal opportunity employer.

Lori Clement, Senior Talent Consultant

Ami Abramson, Chief Strategy Officer

To apply to this position, please visit


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

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