Director of Legal Services


Hybrid, San Francisco, CA

About Us:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” - Nelson Mandela

We believe that even the biggest problems can be broken down into small, achievable steps. Poverty and access to justice are part of the same problem. And to solve this, we just need to discover what the steps are. At Open Door Legal (ODL), we’re pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation to dramatically reduce poverty and prove that the law really can belong to all of us. We’ve grown 150x in 10 years and in the next 2 years, we hope to finish scaling across San Francisco and eventually become a model for national replication. To achieve this ambitious goal, we’ve created an award-winning and best-in-class legal aid organization full of passionate, motivated, gritty, thoughtful, and team-oriented people. We believe that injustice is the heart of poverty and we're looking for someone to join us in having a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for all.

Overview of Position:

Since 2013 we have been relentlessly building an organization and a model of legal aid that is not satisfied with the status quo. While any legal system in the United States is imperfect, there are still many ways individuals and families experience the freedom and relief of justice when represented by competent and caring advocates. Families living together without the threat of deportation or eviction. Employees joyfully contributing to their work without the insecurity of their wages or public benefits being taken from them. Children and elders experiencing the best of their caregivers and enjoying a rare, sunny San Francisco day together. This is why universal access to civil legal representation is crucial–because to us, everyone deserves this. If you believe in this wholeheartedly, as we do, we hope you apply!

We’re looking for a Director of Legal Services who will lead us and ensure our model of direct legal services scales citywide. You always have an ear for our clients and the communities we serve. You ensure that we represent as many clients as possible using service areas to define our case capacity and which cases we take rather than limiting our advocacy based on financial requirements. You will also ensure our clients experience world-class service and advocacy in the legal areas needed by those coming to us rather than what we are experts in. You are enthusiastic about building effective relationships with other legal service organizations and systems that make the work we do sustainable for our extremely dedicated legal programs team. As a manager, you see yourself as a person of influence and actively celebrate growth as it’s demonstrated in your team–which may not be linear! As a member of the Executive Team, you are an agile and flexible leader who centers culture, glides through ambiguity, and has the highest sense of integrity.

This position reports to our Executive Director.


  • Commit to our values of passion, grit, teamwork, caring, and dynamism.
  • Ensure that our services conform to our definition of universal access.
  • Ensure the quality of all program services, including full-scope representation, brief advice/services, and support services.
  • Direct outreach work and relationships with community-based organizations (CBOs), legal service organizations (LSOs), and pro bono/law firms.
  • Leads program operations, including the selection and management of program vendors, the mail system, the paper system, and leading program grant implementations.
  • Provide strategic direction and overall leadership to the organization and program team, especially as regards informing the Executive Team and respective board committees on current and future program needs, ways we can serve clients and guests better, and the needs of the community at large.
  • Develop policies and standardized management practices around risk analysis, which in turn reduces the likelihood of attorney malpractice (by attorneys) or the unauthorized practice of law (by non-attorneys).
  • Personally handle any in-house legal ethics or malpractice needs of the organization. Ensure client & guest grievances are handled in a way that upholds our mission.
  • Support a culture that constantly pursues excellence, and emphasizes strong documentation, innovation, and improved efficiency.


  • Passion for the mission of Open Door Legal that universal access to legal representation is attainable within the model we’ve created and embodiment of Open Door Legal’s core values: passion, dynamism, grit, caring, and teamwork.
  • J.D. degree, CA Licensed Attorney in good standing.
  • Excellent communication skills–easily able to demonstrate concern for various stakeholders, create an environment of mutual trust and a sense of shared purpose, and collaborate within and across departments.
  • Enthusiasm for fostering a culture of optimism, perseverance, and care in the face of challenge and opposition.
  • Emotionally intelligent and able to lead through conflict, facilitating resolutions that protect the organization’s interests and prioritize client needs.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills and a history of utilizing evidence-based best practices, key metrics, and ongoing analysis of client outcomes to inform decisions and strategies best.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience working in the legal field or as an attorney.
  • Strong understanding of direct legal services and at least one area of practice (housing law, family law, employment law, elder law, immigration law, civil litigation).
  • Ability to take direction and work independently on assigned tasks.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of people, providers, and agencies.
  • Must work out of any one of our office locations at least 3-4 days per week.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.

Bonus Points:

  • Experience working with low-income and vulnerable populations.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper.
  • Direct legal services experience.
  • Familiarity with Salesforce.

Starting compensation is $120,000 - $140,000 annually based on experience


  • Medical/Dental/Vision Plan offerings at 100% coverage.
  • 4 weeks of paid time off per year.
  • We care deeply about the mental and emotional fitness of our staff and financially invest in staff who pursue ways to address this through a stipend.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Generous paid parental leave.
  • 401K/Retirement Account.
  • We believe everyone is always learning. We financially invest in professional development for each staff member and provide many internal and external mentorships, coaching, and learning opportunities (conferences, workshops, etc.).
  • We are a fun and hard-working office with best-in-class technology solutions for anyone who’s passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference

Applications submitted prior to June 14, 2023 will receive priority consideration.

Ideal start date: July 2023

Open Door Legal is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal records, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you need any assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please let us know at whitney [at] opendoorlegal [dot] org.

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