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The executive search begins

Now in his 45th year at KEJC, director Rich Seckel has shared his plan to retire by next summer. "It's been an honor to do the work and help grow the organization," said Rich, as he encouraged a vigorous search for a successor. See our Request for Proposals to conduct the search below. Find a pdf version here.

Kentucky Equal justice Center (KEJC) seeks a recruitment firm/consultant to lead the search for our next Executive Director. The firm chosen will work closely with the Board of Directors and staff.

The ideal firm will demonstrate past success in conducting an executive search and expertise recruiting for legal aid organizations and/or nonprofit organizations. The ideal firm will also demonstrate a focus on diversity and inclusion.

About Kentucky Equal Justice Center

The mission of Kentucky Equal Justice Center is to promote equal justice for all residents of the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Equal Justice Center was formed in 1976 to work with all the civil legal services programs in Kentucky on things best done cooperatively, from training to advocacy in Frankfort. We serve as a watchdog and advocate for and with a wide range of low-income Kentuckians — from children to elders in long-term care — and keep in touch with a network of poverty law offices where people bring real-life problems.

Today, we are a growing, flexible, and responsive public interest advocacy organization, sticking up for low-income people and working with a multitude of community partners. Our track record is strong: from the lawsuit that successfully challenged Medicaid work requirements in 2017, to legislative successes on human trafficking and mortgage lending, to innovative litigation to collect wages due workers, to ever-growing partnerships with public interest allies.

KEJC has a staff of 25, including attorneys, paralegals, advocates, and community organizers. The areas of focus for our work include housing, health, food, and immigration. KEJC houses Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, a well-respected community resource which responds to the legal needs of Kentucky’s immigrant populations.

Kentucky Equal Justice Center is governed by a board of directors made up of attorneys, community members, legal aid partners, and people directly affected by our services.

For more information about KEJC, please visit our website at


KEJC aims to start our search for the next Director before the new year and to complete the transition no later than May 31. The provisional timeline for selecting a recruitment firm is as follows:

October 30 RFP Released

November 13 Applications due

November 24 First review complete

December 4-8 Interviews

December 10 Recommendation to board

January 1 Proposed start date

Scope of Work

  • Solicit input from KEJC’s Board of Directors, staff, and community to determine the key priorities for the next Director

  • Provide input on the development of job description and salary range

  • Develop recruitment strategy, including an advertising plan, process, and timeline for hiring of new Director

  • Perform an extensive, nationwide search with a focus on reaching a diverse applicant pool

  • Review applications, identifying qualified candidates to invite to interview

  • Coordinate the interview process, including preparing interview questions and other assessments as needed, identifying board and staff to sit on interview panels, and completing any necessary background checks

  • Lead the process of evaluating and selecting a qualified candidate, including negotiating with selected candidate upon job offer

  • Complete the search by March 31, 2024

RFP Submission Requirements

In your proposal, please include the following components:

Qualifications: A thorough description of the firm, the team who will be working on the project, and experience in the nonprofit sector/legal aid. Please include information about the firm’s values, priorities, and practice regarding anti-oppression and diversity.

Approach: Your plans for the process to find a successful candidate. Provide a scope of services and an outline of tasks, schedules, client communication checkpoints and project duration. Also include expectations and standards for communication with KEJC, as well as a projected timeline for project completion.

Budget: A detailed budget for scope of services, including fixed and variable costs, fees, etc., and a proposed schedule for payment

References: Contact information for at least two references, ideally from legal aid/nonprofit organizations.

Contact information: The name and contact information for a person at the firm who can answer follow-up questions regarding RFP submission.

Evaluating Submissions

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Qualifications of firm and key personnel: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates the firm’s ability to provide the depth and breadth of experience, skills, knowledge, and creativity generally required by this project

Values: Demonstrated dedication to values and practices around equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression

Approach/methodology and timeline: Completeness and quality of response, including clear deliverables and reasonable approach

Reference check: Satisfaction of former clients and duration of new hires

Cost: Cost in relation to proposed activity

Note: Preference will be given to firms who have experience with nonprofits, legal aid, and anti-oppression work

To Apply

Please email proposals to Heather Darby, Operations Manager,, no later than November 13, 2023. Candidates who are selected to move forward will be invited to interview with the KEJC Executive Committee and members of our management team. Click here for a pdf version of this RFP.


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