Hiscock Legal Aid Society Seeks a President/CEO

Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLAS) in Syracuse, NY seeks a President/CEO to lead this non-profit organization which provides high-quality, high-volume, cost-effective legal assistance to low-income residents of the central New York region, primarily Onondaga County.  For more than 65 years, HLAS has been dedicated to ensuring that no one in its community is denied justice because of a lack of means.  HLAS provides representation in civil, mandated Family Court, criminal and Family Court appeals, parole revocation and extradition cases.  Its long-time President/CEO Susan R. Horn is retiring.

About the Position

The next President/CEO will lead a strong client-centered organization with a dedicated staff and Board, an ongoing commitment to the innovative use of technology and collaborative relationships with other legal and human services providers.  HLAS engages in vigorous and effective advocacy for clients and enjoys a strong financial position with excellent internal controls. HLAS’s challenges include managing significant growth in staffing, improving staff retention and diversity, and growing and diversifying funding.

High Priority Roles and Responsibilities for the Next President/CEO:

  • To serve as the public face of HLAS and to provide leadership in local and state civil legal aid and criminal defense networks; in legislative, administrative and private forums; in the community and with the private bar.
  • To grow and diversify private and governmental funding, with responsibility for writing all major grant applications, grant reporting and financial oversight.
  • To lead HLAS advocacy and to promote teamwork among all HLAS’s programs, staff and Board.
  • To enhance mid-level supervision systems and promote staff professional development and retention.
  • To think creatively about gaps in civil and indigent defense services, and to work to close those gaps, in partnership with others at the local, regional and state levels.
  • To lead and promote collaboration with other civil and criminal legal providers and human services organizations in the region and throughout the state.
  • To continue technological innovations that allow staff to work efficiently and effectively.

Qualifications of the Next President/CEO:

  • New York State law license required, or ability to obtain New York license. A minimum of 3 years of experience in the practice of law and additional demonstrated management experience involving staff supervision, financial oversight, grants management, reporting, and budget development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to both civil legal services and indigent defense; legal aid, public defense or other public interest work experience preferred.
  • Enthusiasm for developing relationships and for resource development and fundraising.
  • Commitment to supporting diversity in the workplace and the capacity to foster relationships with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills, a positive leadership style, a collaborative approach and big picture vision.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  To receive full consideration, please submit application materials by November 18, 2016.  Please include a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references.

Materials should be emailed to: sgalbato@bsk.com

Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact:

Suzanne Galbato, Board Chair

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

One Lincoln Center, 18th Floor

Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 218-8370

Compensation of the President/CEO will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate. HLAS expects to make a hiring decision and to have the successful candidate join the organization prior to January 31, 2017.

HLAS is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, persons of color, candidates with disabilities, and others who represent distinct linguistic or cultural communities to apply.

Syracuse is one of the major metropolitan areas of New York State, located in the heart of central New York. It offers a diverse community; an affordable lifestyle; thriving and innovative theater, arts and culture; as well as exciting college and professional sports. Outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, boating and skiing in the hills and lakes of the surrounding countryside are only minutes away from downtown.

About Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLAS)

Mission:  The Hiscock Legal Aid Society promotes the fundamental right of every person to equal justice under the law by providing high quality legal assistance to individuals and families in need in Onondaga County and the surrounding region.

Vision:  The Hiscock Legal Aid Society, recognized as the most trusted source for legal assistance to those in need, will ensure that no one in our community is denied justice because of a lack of means.

HLAS has a 25-member Board of Directors that meets bi-monthly.

Programs and Services


The major areas of representation in the general Civil Program are domestic relations, housing (primarily eviction proceedings) and unemployment.

HLAS represents low income persons and families who reside in privately-owned property in the City of Syracuse and are facing eviction, illegal lock-out, or other housing emergency situations. It also provides advice, brief services and referral in other housing matters to address landlord-tenant problems and avoid eviction and homelessness.

HLAS assists people who have lost their jobs in obtaining Unemployment Insurance Benefits that were improperly denied.

Specialized Projects

Domestic Violence Project – Provides complete legal representation in civil cases for domestic violence victims in Onondaga County, including immigrant, migrant and refugee victims of domestic violence with immigration issues.

Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project – Provides legal and supportive services to individuals and their families who are living with cancer in a 16-county region of upstate New York in collaboration with Legal Services of Central New York.

Upstate NY Immigration Law Project – Representation for work permit applicants, travel documents and petitions for asylum or temporary protected status in a 17-county region of upstate New York, in collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Rochester and the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.

ONA (Office for New Americans) Legal Counsel – HLAS was recently named the ONA Legal Counsel for an 18-county upstate NY region to provide comprehensive, holistic immigration legal services to underserved immigrants, migrants and refugees in collaboration with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County.

Foreclosure Prevention Project – Counseling and representation to homeowners facing foreclosure and tenants facing eviction from property foreclosure in  Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland and Oswego counties in collaboration with Legal Services of Central New York.

Family Court
Representation is provided to adults in mandated cases in Onondaga County Family Court including abuse/neglect, custody/visitation, termination of parental rights, paternity, family offense and support violation cases. Cases are assigned to HLAS by the Court.


HLAS provides representation to persons on appeal from criminal convictions and from judgments of Family Court. Cases are assigned by the Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department and the New York State Court of Appeals.


HLAS represents parolees in parole revocation proceedings brought by the New York State Division of Parole. Cases are assigned by Onondaga County Court.


Representation is provided in Onondaga County Court to persons facing extradition to another state to answer criminal charges. Cases are assigned by Onondaga County Court.

Last year HLAS closed 4,023 cases.

HLAS has a total staff of 62, including 33 attorneys.  Its budget is $4.85 million.  Its funders include Onondaga County, New York State Unified Court System, the State of New York, the IOLA Fund of the State of New York, the City of Syracuse, United Way of Central New York, foundations and private donors. HLAS works in collaboration with other legal and human services providers.