Employment Opportunities

Opening for the Executive Director Position

Position & Organization Summary 

The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is seeking an individual with demonstrated leadership and management skills to serve as Executive Director of the organization.  

WACDL is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to foster the integrity, independence and expertise of criminal defense lawyers; to support the criminal defense community through education and the exchange of information; to promote the fair and just administration of criminal justice; and to ensure due process and defend the rights secured by law for all persons accused of crime. The executive director is the chief executive officer of the association, charged with general management and executive leadership of the Association.  

In addition to the executive director, the association employs one part time program assistant and one part time legal intern.  

This position offers a flexible, remote/hybrid work environment, and the chosen candidate will help the board finalize the structure of the position. The executive director reports to the board of governors. We are committed to working with the chosen candidate to create a desirable and convenient work environment, and welcome applications from across the state.    
As currently envisioned, this position will be approximately 80% FT, or 32 hours per week.  

Compensation range: $70,000-$90,000 DOE. Medical, dental, and vision benefits. Generous paid leave and holidays. Opt-in retirement savings account with organizational match. 

Essential Functions/Duties & Responsibilities 

A. Executive Leadership/General: Oversees the effective functioning of the association and provides stable and responsible management of the association’s programs and resources.  

B. Executive Leadership/Board and Committees 

  1. Supports and informs efforts of the board of governors; works with the president to ensure that the decisions of the board are carried out. 

  1. Brings issues of concern to members to the board and/or president; works with the board and president to determine when WACDL will take action and what form that action might take. 

  1. Works with the president-elect, executive committee, board and committees to develop yearly goals. 

  1. Works with the president to set agendas for board and executive committee meetings. Ensures that board members have background information for board discussions and decision-making.  

  1. Works with WACDL committees to help facilitate their work and ensure compliance with association policies. Attends committee and task force meetings to extent possible and stay informed of committee and task force activities. 

  1. Works with the president, executive committee, board of governors, committee chairs, and committees to set association priorities, develop programs, and determine strategies. 

C. Personnel: Directs and supervises association staff and contractors including interviewing, selecting, training, assigning tasks, evaluating work performance, and any terminations.  

D. Fiscal & Legal 

  1. Prepares the annual budget for consideration by the treasurer, executive committee, and board of governors.  

  1. Monitors and manages the budget approved by the board, and keeping the board informed of the association’s financial status. 

  1. Ensures all required federal, state and local tax and other regulatory filings are made in a timely manner. 

  1. Represents the association in contract negotiations with hotels, lobbyists, and other service providers generally. 

  1. Provide support and leadership for fundraising efforts of the board and committees.  

E. Member Services:  

  1. Works with the board, committees, other volunteers, and staff to develop and provide member services, including continuing legal education programs; criminal defense practice resources; list serves; member website and online databases.  

  1. Regularly reviews and evaluate member services; bring proposals for changes in member services to the board for its consideration; effectively implements any new member services.  

F. Policy & Legislation 

  1. Works closely with WACDL’s Legislative Committee and to set priorities, determine strategy, monitor and respond to legislation, and involve members in our legislative efforts.  

  1. Monitors work of other agencies that implement policies related to criminal defense and brings issues to attention of the association. 

G. Membership: Develops and carries out plans for increasing membership and retaining current members.  

H. Communications 

  1. Serves as editor Washington Criminal Defense, email newsletters, and other association publications. 

  1. Responsible for development and design of WACDL website, and for development and design of continuing website enhancements.  

I. Liaison with Others: Maintains relationships with NACDL, other state defense bars, and state and local law-related organizations.  


  1. A commitment to WACDL’s mission, including knowledge of criminal justice issues, and a commitment to protecting the rights of the accused. 

  1. Bachelor’s degree.  

  1. A valid driver’s license. 

Desired Attributes and Skills 

A. Experience & Skills 

  1. Prior experience in the management or administration of a non-profit organization, or other public or business organization. 

  1. Experience working in a local, state, or national legislative process 

  1. A strong working knowledge of the computer programs required for the implementation of the association’s operations and services, including competency in Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, QuickBooks, and association management systems.  

  1. Leadership or management experience including planning, membership services, financial management, marketing, professional conferences, programs, publications, and public policy.  

  1. Experience mentoring, developing, and empowering employees and volunteers. 

  1. Demonstrated experience of effectively supporting a volunteer Board of Governors; facilitating meetings, and knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order.  

  1. Demonstrated interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, including the ability to work effectively with diverse groups including the governing body of an organization, judges, lawyers, politicians, organization members, volunteers, hotel sales staff, other vendors, and the public. 

  1. Experience in coalition and relationship building, including the ability to initiate and influence positive change and gain support of stakeholders in developing effective partnerships.  

  1. Skills necessary to work effectively with a broad range of constituent groups such as public and private organizations; legislative bodies; other volunteer associations and professional organizations; and the public.  

  1. Marketing skills. 

  1. Experience using social media and other resources to build member engagement and participation.  

  1. Experience in, or a knowledge of, criminal justice and a commitment to protecting the rights of the accused/  

B. Personal Characteristics 

  1. A reputation for honesty, integrity, and fairness. 

  1. Effective decision making. 

  1. Ability to work collaboratively with the president, board and committees to advance the association’s mission and strategy. 

  1. The ability to self-start, take initiative and follow-through on all projects. 

  1. Ability to work comfortably and with diplomacy with varied audiences. 

  1. Flexibility, organizational skills and attention to detail. 

  1. Written and oral communication ability. 

  1. Exceptional organizational abilities. 

C. Education: An advanced degree in public or non-profit administration, or other similar advanced degree, is desirable.  

D. Other 

  1. The position requires occasional travel, some involving overnight stays. 

  1. The work environment is currently remote/hybrid. Current staff are in the office at least one day per week, and work remotely otherwise. The chosen candidate will work with the board to decide the work environment moving forward. We welcome applicants from outside of the greater Seattle area. 

  1. WACDL is an equal opportunity employer with a standing policy of nondiscrimination. This means that all qualified persons are accorded an equal opportunity for employment or promotion without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, age, medical condition, disability, covered veteran status, political ideology, genetic information, marital status, or any other factor that the law protects from discrimination. 

Application Process 

Please submit a cover letter and resume to info@wacdl.org by May 1, 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and you are encouraged to apply early. If you believe you are a good fit for this position, but do not meet all the requirements, please apply. Tell us about your unique experience and qualifications in your cover letter and we’ll take this into consideration when evaluating our applicant pool.