Director of Operations – Detroit Justice Center

The Detroit Justice Center (DJC) seeks a full-time Director of Operations to join our senior leadership team. The Director of Operations will design and implement strong organizational infrastructure and ensure that DJC’s attorneys and staff have the support they need to be successful.

 DJC is an innovative non-profit organization that works alongside communities to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system, and promote equitable and just cities. DJC is founded on the belief that we cannot build cities that work for everyone without remedying the impacts of mass incarceration. This mission requires innovative ways of community lawyering—rooted in defensive and offensive fights for racial justice and economic equity—that build up our poorest residents through direct services and novel approaches to land use, housing, and employment.

 In less than a year since opening our doors, DJC has grown to a team of 16 full-time and part-time staff. We have provided life-changing legal services to hundreds of clients and earned a reputation as a promising source of innovation in the criminal justice field. The Director of Operations will be instrumental in supporting and developing our team as we continue to grow and carry out our mission.

Position Overview:

Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Director of Operations will become an integral part of our senior leadership. As DJC continues to expand, the person hired to fill this role will help ensure that we grow from a start-up to a mature organization in alignment with our values. We are looking for an experienced leader who shares our vision and values, and who passionately obsesses over the day-to-day details of creating a work environment where people can be most effective and thrive.

The Director of Operations will design systems and processes to coordinate the everyday operations of the organization (logistics, technology, data management, space and facilities) and people operations (training and onboarding, internal and external evaluations, organizational policy development, and culture setting). The ideal candidate will be an energetic team builder, resourceful problem-solver, and experienced manager with demonstrated expertise in designing effective systems from the ground up. This position will have one direct report, and will serve as the main point-of-contact with DJC’s external CFO/accounting firm and the professional employer organization (PEO) that handles our payroll and certain HR functions.

Key Responsibilities include:

·      Build organization-wide and program-level systems and processes to ensure successful and consistent outcomes

·      Manage work-streams across the organization, ensuring strategic priorities and key deliverables are met on time

·      Provide leadership and guidance around all aspects of DJC’s systems, internal HR processes and procedures, technology, and facilities

·      Improve or design new systems for: training staff, interns, and volunteers; managing legal case assignments and work flow; tracking data on case and program outcomes; managing short- and long-term projects and making sure longer term goals come to fruition

·      Lead effort to develop ongoing and rigorous performance evaluation systems, examining both internal staff performance as well as client and partner experiences and outcomes

·      Assist Executive Director with strategic and organizational planning. Identify how various departments can interact to support each other and the organization, ensuring the full integration of all aspects of DJC’s operations. Provide strategic recommendations to the Executive Director related to organization build-out

·      Refine internal policies and procedures to continue fostering a healthy organizational culture

·      Over time, lead effort to update organizational handbook, document all protocols and procedures, and ensure we have robust, written institutional memory

·      Liaise with external CFO and HR teams, landlord, external evaluators, vendors, and contractors


·      Deep alignment with the Detroit Justice Center’s mission and values

·      A minimum of 5-8 years of relevant work experience in an operations role, ideally at a mission-driven organization or start-up, with a minimum of 3 years leading a team

·      Outstanding project management and analytical skills with exceptional attention to detail

·      A sophisticated understanding of technology, operations, HR, and systems development and experience creating structure around organization processes, designing effective systems, and supporting teams in adopting them

·      Experience in leading essential HR processes, including onboarding and training—any specific examples of leading the implementation of a robust performance review and management system is a plus

·      Entrepreneurial mindset with the ability to creatively problem solve, prioritize, create actionable plans, manage and deliver tangible outcomes in a growing organization

·      Demonstrated achievement in building organizational culture and leading diverse work teams. Trustworthy, thoughtful, positive, and confident leader who acts with integrity

·      Ability to effectively coach individuals and teams to meet goals with speed and focus

·      Excellent leadership skills and ability to serve as a proactive partner to the Executive Director

·      Superb communication skills for a wide range of audiences including staff, Board, clients, community members, funders, and organizational partners

The Director of Operations is a full-time position. DJC offers salary commensurate with experience and full medical, dental and vision benefits, optional retirement savings plan, and paid leave. DJC is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people with incarcerated loved ones are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and at least three references in one Word or PDF file by May 5, 2019 to with the subject: “DJC Director of Operations.” Please mention in your cover letter where you saw this advertisement. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please refrain from contacting the office to check on the status of your application.