Position Opening

Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project





The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) provides a stronger voice for justice by fighting to overturn unjust trial court outcomes, advancing legal protections for victims and their children through expert appellate advocacy, training lawyers, psychologists and judges on best practices, and spearheading domestic violence litigation in the Supreme Court.  DV LEAP is the nation’s leader in litigating intimate partner and family violence at the appellate level, and is also spearheading national system reform efforts to improve family court practices in cases involving abuse.   

DV LEAP is seeking an Executive Director to join the executive team of this exciting and unique organization.  This position reports to the Board of Directors and will work closely with Joan Meier, DV LEAP’s Founder and Legal Director.  Candidates for this position should have demonstrated success as an effective leader, organizational promoter, fundraiser, and financial manager, and be a mission-driven, strategic and process-oriented leader.   



The Executive Director leads the organization and is responsible for managing its daily affairs, including program development and administration, financial management, fundraising, outreach, communications, and Board development and relations.  The position works closely with the Board and Founder/Legal Director to advance DV LEAP’s strategic and organizational development and to further DV LEAP’s mission of improving legal system responses to battered women and their children through appellate litigation, education and training, media outreach and system reform.

Subject to the policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors, this position will have full responsibility for the following:

  • Financial management - including developing budgets, working with DV LEAP’s accountant on financial statements and communicating with the Board and funders regarding same, and supervising or conducting tax and accounting responsibilities;
  • Fundraising – including conducting and expanding DV LEAP’s fundraising with law firms and individuals, identifying new funding opportunities, developing grant applications and reports, cultivating donors and foundations, and assisting and encouraging board members with outreach and fundraising;
  • Outreach and communications – including outreach to local and national constituencies, attending local and national domestic violence or legal services community meetings, drafting publicity materials for news outlets and other avenues, monitoring and updating program statistics, handling ongoing relations with law firms, and press calls;
  • Board relations -  with the support of the Board of Directors and other executive staff, preparing for and participating in Board meetings, and furthering Board development;
  • Supervising and collaborating with fundraising professionals on contract or on staff; and
  • Managing and supervising DV LEAP personnel and consultants, as appropriate.

The Executive Director will collaborate with the Board and Legal Director on:

  • Organizational and strategic development for DV LEAP; and
  • Programmatic development

The Executive Director will be invited and welcomed to assist in the following:

  • Collaborating with the legal team on legal and policy matters, including legislative advocacy; and
  • Collaborating with the legal team in working with local and national domestic violence communities on cross-cutting issues such as the reform of family courts’ practices regarding protection of children.


Required Qualifications

  • Experience with fundraising and growing the reputation of a non-profit entity
  • Experience with management of an organization, including financial management, public relations and outreach
  • Excellence in written and oral communications
  • Supervisory experience
  • A record of successful program development, vision and creative leadership
  • Commitment to DV LEAP’s mission of furthering the interests of battered women and their children through appellate litigation, training and technical assistance to lawyers, courts and other personnel, and other forms of advocacy
  • A collaborative style that is open to input, responsive to concerns and suggestions, and proactive and clear in making decisions
  • The willingness and ability to learn about areas of DV LEAP’s work with which the candidate may be unfamiliar, and the initiative to obtain needed training and expertise


Additional Qualifications

The following qualifications are a significant plus:

  • Experience working with domestic violence survivors or women’s rights in the legal context
  • Familiarity with national and/or DC domestic violence advocacy organizations and leaders
  • Experience with law reform initiatives concerning domestic violence or women’s rights, such as legislative, policy and/or court reform efforts
  • A record of successfully facilitating change and innovation in the domestic violence or a related field
  • Experience with federal grant programs funding domestic violence work
  • Domestic violence litigation experience
  • Appellate litigation experience


Salary commensurate with experience.  Health and retirement benefits.    


To apply  

Email your resume and cover letter attachments to JMeier@law.gwu.edu and David.Salmons@morganlewis.com

You may also write to DV LEAP, 650 20th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20052.  No phone calls please.