Call for Applications to Serve as Executive Officer
for the Law and Society Association
The Search Committee for the Law and Society Association (LSA) invites applications to serve as Executive Officer for a five-year, renewable term commencing in fall 2018. LSA is also seeking a long-term institutional home for its executive office and staff beginning in fall, 2018. We welcome applications for the job of Executive Officer from persons who apply jointly with a prospective institutional host. We also encourage applications from interested individuals who are not part of a joint application but (1) would be willing to relocate to the institutional host, or (2) would be willing to work with the Executive Office staff from a remote location. We especially encourage applications from persons having scholarly experience in the area of Law and Society, academic administration, or in the management of academic associations or similar organizations.
The Executive Office is responsible for all day-to-day business of the Association and coordination of all LSA activities, including the annual meeting, the Association web site, the publishing contract for the Law & Society Review, and governance activities of its Board of Trustees. In addition to the Executive Officer, staffing for the Executive Office is expected to include approximately three staff members, one of whom works half-time.
LSA will consider only those able to commit for a period of five years. Inquiries and initial expressions of interest should be directed to Charles Epp, chair of the search committee, at email@example.com. The search committee expects to begin reviewing and responding to applications by March 31, 2017. Interested individuals who need more time should communicate this to the committee chair. The selected candidate may become the Executive Officer-Designate as early as the June 2017 meeting of the LSA Board of Trustees and have approximately fifteen months to work with the current members of the Executive Office on transition planning.
The call for applications is organized in three sections:
I. Brief overview of the Law and Society Association;
II. Executive Officer Job Description; and
III. Content of Expression of Interest.
I. The Law and Society Association
LSA is the premier international scholarly association for the multidisciplinary study of law, with over 1500 members, one third of whom come from outside of the United States. As the central hub of this interdisciplinary field, LSA connects a rich web of academic networks, scholarly exchanges, and funding opportunities on socio-legal research.
Founded in 1964, LSA is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation. LSA is an energetic, exciting association whose annual national conference has grown considerably in recent years, reflecting an explosion of scholarly interest around the globe in studying law in action. On average, two thousand scholars attend our annual meeting. Approximately thirty percent of participants are international, coming from six continents and fifty countries. At these meetings, participants exchange ideas in many ways: in panels with discussants commenting upon the papers presented, in “authors meet readers” sessions where path-breaking books are discussed, in roundtables where scholars freely debate ideas, and in the Association’s annual awards for scholarship and mentoring in the field of law and society. At five-year intervals since 1991, the Association's annual meeting has been part of an international meeting. The international meetings are particularly exciting events and have resulted in several cross-country, interdisciplinary research projects. Activities between annual meetings continue through our forty-five Collaborative Research Networks, originally developed with the assistance of a grant from the National Science Foundation to facilitate international research collaboration.
LSA sponsors two workshops: a Graduate Student Workshop designed for students in mid-to-late stages of their graduate education and an Early Career Workshop designed for faculty in their first three years of employment in academic careers. Both are held in the two days prior to, and in the same location as, the Annual Meeting. Both workshops have competitive applications and provide some financial support for those selected to participate. Every year LSA also grants a two-year fellowship to two third and fourth year graduate students who specialize in the field of law and social science and whose research interests include law and inequality. The Law and Social Science Dissertation and Mentoring Fellowship is a collaborative effort of the Law and Society Association and the American Bar Foundation, with funding from the Law and Social Science Program of the National Science Foundation.
The Association, through Wiley, publishes a journal, the Law & Society Review, in four issues per volume per year. Founded in 1966, the Review is regarded by socio-legal scholars in the United States and other countries as the leading journal in the field.
Since 2014, LSA has been a sponsor of Life of the Law, a website that explores the relationship of law to American society and culture, reaching into the parallel worlds of scholars and journalists, engaging the listener’s imagination through sound-rich narrative storytelling, and presenting investigative reporting and thoughtful analysis over multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, podcasts, blogs, an interactive website and live law events. Many of these productions feature LSA members as advisory scholars.
LSA is a member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Executive Officer regularly participates in their meetings. For more information on the Law and Society Association, visit its website at www.lawandsociety.org.
II. Executive Officer Job Description
The Executive Officer position entails a range of administrative and substantive duties related to effective management, conceptual leadership and implementation of goals and policies, work with officers and members, and representation of the Association to external groups. The Executive Officer carries out professional activities designed to promote the interests of the Association and its programmatic activities, member relations, administrative and financial management of the Association, coordination of activities involved in site selection and conduct of the Annual Meeting, and related programmatic and management responsibilities consonant with the scholarly objectives of the Association.
The Law and Society Association is open to various models for staffing this position. The EO may be a member of the host institution’s current faculty or administrative personnel or may become a new or temporary hire at the host institution. The EO may have experience as a scholar with interests in the area of Law and Society, an academic administrator, or an administrative professional with experience managing academic associations or similar organizations.
Administration and Management
- Carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Office as specified in the By-laws of the organization
- Provide administrative and fiscal planning and leadership for the Association, including developing the budget and reporting on the budget and finances
- Manage staff and resources, including supervision, coordination, follow through and evaluation of staff
- Make decisions about staff and budget commitments to achieve policy goals
- Implement the decisions, strategic planning goals, and policies of the Trustees
Creative Leadership and Implementation of Goals
- Advise, recommend, and participate with the Trustees in charting the course of the Association in response to continuous developments and emerging issues in the field meriting the Association’s attention
- Within delegated authority, develop long range strategic operational plans to meet the mission and goals of the Association
- Identify and develop new initiatives or opportunities to meet the Association’s goals
- Lead in raising funds from individuals and outside agencies, where appropriate
Work with Officers and Members
- Assist the Trustees and various committees in the development of sound organizational policies, providing such information as they may require and bringing attention to matters requiring policy clarification or revision
- Ensure that the Trustees and the Officers of the Association are kept informed of major issues/events and operations of the Association as appropriate
- Ensure proper communications to the membership and the field regarding the programs and activities of the Association
- Maintain and enhance member services
Represent the Association and the Field to Outside Groups
- Establish and maintain effective relationships with other organizations including professional associations and government, as deemed appropriate by the Board, including participating in groups with which the Association has formal relationships or memberships
- Ensure high visibility for the Association within other professional associations and establish leadership roles for the Association (e.g., COSSA, ACLS)
- Monitor and identify issues and opportunities related to the field where the Association’s weighing in as a scholarly field would be important
- Promote scholarship in the media and to policy audiences
- Ability to represent and provide continuity of leadership for the field of law and society with varied audiences.
- Knowledge and experience in budget and financial management
- Experience in obtaining grant funds from government or nonprofit organizations to support identifiable programs or projects
- Sensitivity to and understanding of people; excellent ability to interact on a professional level with all levels of staff, membership, and outside organizations
- Skill and experience required to maximize use of the Association's resources by working to develop the consensus required for effective administration
- Professionalism and integrity
- Excellent oral and written skills; ability to conduct presentations, guide meetings
- Experience leading units or groups or working with boards and/or committees
- Commitment to exploring innovative uses of technology and new modes of communication
- Doctorate, JD, or equivalent advanced degree desirable but not required
- Experience in leadership roles or activities that indicates the capacity to manage, organize, communicate, and innovate
Position Term and Time Commitment
- The term of appointment is expected to be five years, renewable.
- The level of commitment is expected to be .75 to 1.0 FTE (negotiable).
III. Content of Expression of Interest
- A statement of interest in assuming the responsibilities of the Executive Officer, including the aspirations or interests that lead you to seek this post
- An assurance of availability for employment with LSA starting in fall 2018 and extending at least through fall 2023
- A resume highlighting both administrative and academic experience
- Clarification of whether one’s application is linked to that of a prospective institutional host
- Description of one’s ability and willingness to move to another US location and/or to work with the Executive Office remotely (i.e., tele-commute)
Questions may be addressed to any member of the Search Committee: