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Retirement Announcement

Jennifer Mackall, our Executive Director for fifteen years, has announced that she will be retiring, effective December 1, 2018. This retirement was completely her decision. For many of us, Jennifer is the only Executive Director we have known. We have long associated arriving in the mountains for a Fall seminar or to the beach in the Spring with receiving a packet, and a name tag, and often a hug from Jennifer. For the days that we spend at those seminars, she is also the person who organizes everything for us, from speakers, to the hotel, to the entertainment. Jennifer’s tireless work is behind it. And yet, for fifteen years, she has made it look easy. 

For those of us who work on committees or in the group’s leadership, we know Jennifer as the person who is on top of everything at GACDL. In my work with GACDL, Jennifer has been a person with whom I speak nearly every day. Our group has accomplished so much in fifteen years. We have grown and changed. And many of our accomplishments are her accomplishments. I am going to miss her. I thank her for her years of service. Please thank her over the coming months.

Jennifer has written members a letter, and it is located in the members only section of this website. You may log in as a member to read it under the page, "Jennifer Mackall Retires." 

Now GACDL must look to the future. GACDL’s Executive Committee has elected Past President, Sam Dennis, to chair the search committee for a new Executive Director. His committee will convene in the coming days to set in place the process to find our new Executive Director. For now, we are accepting cover letters and resumes from those interested in applying. Please view the qualifications set forth below, and then send resumes to between now and October 1, 2018. You may check back here for more information as it becomes available. 

Finally, thank you for all that you do to make GACDL the organization that it is. 


J. Scott Key 

Position Summary

The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) is seeking an individual with demonstrated leadership and management skills to serve as the Executive Director of the organization. This is a full-time position.  The executive director reports to the board of governors.  The position is available beginning December 1, 2018.  

Essential Functions/Duties & Responsibilities

Executive Leadership/General: Oversees the effective functioning of the association and provides stable and responsible management of the association’s programs and resources. 

Executive Leadership/Board and Committees:

  • Supports and informs efforts of the board of governors; works with the president to ensure that the decisions of the board are carried out.
  • Brings issues of concern to members to the board and/or president; works with the board/executive committee and president to determine when GACDL will take action, and what form that action might take.
  • Works with the president-elect, executive committee, board and committees to provide support to association members and to implement the GACDL Long Range Plan.
  • Works with the president to set agendas for board and executive committee meetings.  Provides board members with background information for board discussions and decision-making.
  • Works with GACDL committee chairpersons to help facilitate their work and ensure compliance with association policies.  Attends committee meetings as possible and stays informed of committee activities.
  • Works with the president, executive committee, board of governors, committee chairs, and committees to set association priorities, develop programs, and determine strategies.
  • Works with the president-elect to create the annual ballot of officers for approval by the nominating committee and board of governors.  
  • Works with the Long-Range Planning Committee to create, maintain, and implement GACDL’s Long Range Plan.

Personnel: Directs and supervises association staff and contractors including interviewing, selecting, training, assigning tasks, evaluating work performance, and any terminations.

Fiscal & Legal:

  • Prepares the annual budget for consideration by the treasurer and board of governors. 
  • Monitors and manages the budget approved by the board, and keeps the Treasurer and President informed of the association’s financial status.
  • Ensures all required federal, state and local tax and other regulatory filings are made in a timely manner.
  • Represents the association in contract negotiations with hotels, lobbyists, and other service providers generally.
  • Supports the work of the Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers Education Foundation (GCDLEF), a 501 (c)3 non-profit supporting the education of criminal defense lawyers in GACDL.

Member Services:

  • Works with the board, committees, other volunteers, and staff to develop and provide member services, including continuing legal education programs; criminal defense practice resources; list serves; member website; and online databases.
  • Regularly reviews and evaluates member services; brings proposals for changes in member services to the president, executive committee/board for consideration; effectively implements any new member services.

Policy & Legislation:

  • Works as needed with GACDL’s president and lobbyist to set priorities, determine strategy, monitor and respond to legislation, and involve members in legislative efforts.
  • Monitors work of other agencies that implement policies related to criminal defense and brings issues to attention of the president and lobbyist.


  • Invoices members for dues annually.
  • Works with membership director, membership committee, and/or board officers to develop strategies for increasing membership and retaining current members.


  • Serves as oversight editor for The Georgia Defender and What’s the Decision, and as author and editor for all email correspondence with membership.
  • Responsible for development and design of GACDL website, and for development and design of continuing website enhancements.
  • Responsible for all GACDL social media and marketing.
  • Works with education committee and seminar directors/speakers to create all CLE brochures.
  • Creates and implements all marketing for CLE events.

Liaison with Others: Maintains relationships with other state defense bars, and state and local law-related organizations.


  • A commitment to GACDL’s mission, including knowledge of criminal justice issues, and a commitment to supporting those who protect the rights of the accused.
  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • A valid driver’s license

Desired Attributes and Skills

Experience & Skills:

  • Prior experience in the management or administration of a non-profit organization, or other public or business organization.
  • Experience working in a local, state, or national legislative process.
  • Meeting planning skills and experience.
  • A strong working knowledge of the computer programs required for the implementation of the association’s operations and services, including competency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook), QuickBooks, Dropbox, Wild Apricot, Adobe, and Apple software (Pages, Keynote, iPhone apps, etc.)
  • Leadership or management experience including planning, membership services, financial management, marketing, professional conferences, programs, publications, and public policy.
  • Experience mentoring, developing, and empowering employees and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated experience of effectively supporting a volunteer board and facilitating meetings; knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, including the ability to work effectively with diverse groups including the governing body of an organization, judges, lawyers, politicians, organization members, volunteers, hotel sales staff, other vendors, and the public.
  • Experience in coalition and relationship building, including the ability to initiate and influence positive change and gain support of stakeholders in developing effective partnerships. 
  • Skills necessary to work effectively with a broad range of constituent groups such as public and private organizations; legislative bodies; other volunteer associations and professional organizations; and the public.
  • Marketing skills.
  • Experience using social media and other resources to build member engagement and participation, including but not limited to competency with the following online platforms: Facebook groups, Yahoogroups, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, iTunes, and LinkedIn.
  • Experience in, or a knowledge of, criminal justice and a commitment to protecting the rights of the accused.

Personal Characteristics:

  • A reputation for honesty, integrity, and fairness
  • Effective decision making
  • Strategic thinking
  • Persuasive leadership
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to multitask
  • Exceptional organizational abilities
  • Ability to self-start, take initiative, and follow-through on all projects.
  • Ability to work comfortably and with diplomacy among varied audiences.
  • Political savvy and mediation skills
  • Ability to understand culture and motivation of groups and individuals
  • Long term planning
  • Attention to detail
  • Written and oral communication abilities including copywriting and editing
  • Flexibility, adaptability, embracing constant change
  • Technological savvy
  • Sense of humor
  • Design eye

Education: A degree in public or non-profit administration, management, education, business, or other similar degree is desirable.  


  • The position requires occasional travel, some involving overnight stays.

GACDL is an equal opportunity employer with a standing policy of nondiscrimination.  This means that all qualified persons are accorded an equal opportunity for employment or promotion without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, age, medical condition, disability, covered veteran status, political ideology, genetic information, marital status, or any other factor that the law protects from discrimination.


GACDL is a 501(c)(6) organization with a mission to promote fairness and justice through membership education, services and support, public outreach, and a commitment to quality representation for all. 

In addition to the executive director, the association employs a full time membership director.  We sometimes have part time law school interns. 

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter, resume, your responses to our supplemental questions, and four references (at least three professional).  Send application materials to, no later than 5 pm on October 1, 2018. Applications received after that date may not be considered.

If you believe you are a good fit for this position, but do not meet all of our requirements, please apply.  Tell us about your unique experience and qualifications in your cover letter and we’ll take this into consideration when evaluating our applicant pool.

Supplemental Questions

Please briefly tell us about your experience in the following areas:

  • Membership databases/association management systems
  • Leading and managing staff
  • Leading and managing volunteers
  • Working with a board of governors
  • Marketing
  • Budgeting and finances
  • Use of social media and other resources to build member/constituent engagement
  • Criminal justice
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising

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GACDL P.O. Box 68 Decatur, Georgia 30031 


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