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Senior Director of Operations - Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System

at University of Denver

Posted: 7/17/2018
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 3423
Keywords: operations

Job Description

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, was established in 2006 at the University of Denver, a nonprofit, private university founded more than 150 years ago. IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to promoting continuous improvement and excellence in the American legal system. It is a “think tank” that goes one step further – we are solution oriented. We strive to achieve this by creating innovative and practical solutions to problems in our legal system using the partnership of experts and groups around the country. We believe that a trustworthy legal system is essential to our democracy, economy, and freedom.


IAALS is an Institute within the University of Denver, distinct from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and is located in John Moye Hall on the University’s campus. Currently IAALS has 18 fulltime and 5 part-time employees. IAALS does not have tuition based funding, nor does it teach students.


IAALS works on solving problems within the legal system: both in the courts and in the delivery of legal services more broadly.  We conduct comprehensive analysis and work with stakeholders to design models, empower decision-makers, and measure outcomes and impacts to advance a trusted American legal system. IAALS has ongoing projects in the areas of judicial selection, civil justice reform, family justice reform, legal education, and reregulation of the legal profession. We encourage applicants to learn more about our work at


Position Summary

This position reports to the Executive Director, is a member of IAALS’ Senior Leadership Team, and will be responsible for leading the administrative functions at IAALS so as to achieve IAALS’ mission.  Responsibilities include contributing to strategic planning for and day-to-day leadership of IAALS and its operations, collaborating with other Senior Leadership Team members to support the agenda for IAALS’ programmatic work, including, cultivating and participating in development opportunities, marketing and communications, and managing and developing operations staff to support IAALS' objectives.


Essential Functions

  • Provides strategic and day-to-day leadership of IAALS and its administrative functions.
  • Develops, with the assistance of IAALS’ Budget Officer, the IAALS’ budget. Implements that budget once approved by the Executive Director and the Executive Committee.
  • Individually responsible for general administrative matters, liaison with university relations and monitoring of compliance with all University requirements, HR planning, and financial management.
  • Supervises Budget Officer, Events Manager, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Director of Communications and/or Marketing; exercises oversight of budget and finance, operations, events, strategic partnerships (development), and communications.
  • Collaborates with Senior Leadership Team members in IAALS-wide planning and strategic thinking.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strategic planning at an organizational level.
  • Excellent writing and critical thinking skills, organizational management skills, collaboration and leadership skills and communication skills.
  • Attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines and project goals. 
  • Exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communications skills.
  • Understanding of complex legal, HR, budgeting, and other administrative issues, including those common to nonprofit organizations and unique to IAALS given its relationship with the University of Denver.
  • Must be able to build strong relationships and serve as a liaison between multiple parties, particularly within the University of Denver.
  • Capacity to plan, strategize, and prioritize work. Must be flexible, use good judgment, problem solve, make independent decisions, and work on multiple tasks without direct supervision. Ability to solve practical problems in situations where limited standardization exists and to anticipate what is needed in the future.
  • Adept at managing multiple processes simultaneously while enabling team members to perform at their highest levels.
  • Flexible thinking and clear, concise decision-making skills.


Required Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in law, business, or management.
  • At least 10 years of experience with hands-on management of teams and systems, with increasing leadership responsibilities.
  • Experience as a CFO, CAO or COO, or equivalent, preferably in legal context, higher education and/or nonprofit.
  • Familiarity with finance, budgetary development and oversight, and HR.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Juris Doctorate, MBA or MPA.
  • At least 12 or more years of experience in the legal system, a nonprofit, or a startup organization.
  • Experience with communications, events, and fund development.


Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm.


Application Deadline 

For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00pm (MST) August 16, 2018. Applications may be accepted and reviewed until position is filled.


Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. If you have questions about the application process, please reach out to


The following documents are required to be fully considered:

  1. Resume
  2. A Cover Letter 


The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. 


All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Required Skills

Required Experience