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Nashville Bar Association

Executive Director

Nashville Bar Association


Job Summary


The Nashville Bar Association (NBA) is seeking a dynamic, strategic, and visionary Executive Director to provide leadership and direction to the organization. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of the NBA and is responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of the association, including supervision and management of the staff; development of the annual budget for the NBA; and planning, budgeting, and monitoring of all NBA programs and activities. The Executive Director also participates in long- and short-range planning and provides guidance regarding policy analysis and decision-making by the NBA Board of Directors. The position also serves as the Executive Director of the Nashville Bar Foundation (NBF) and works with its Board of Trustees. The Executive Director is a full-time exempt salaried employee of the NBA and reports to the NBA Board of Directors.

About the NBA

Established in 1831, the NBA is a voluntary membership organization serving Nashville’s legal community. With over 2,500 members, including attorneys, law students, and judicial members, the NBA is the largest metropolitan bar association in Tennessee. The NBA’s core mission is to improve the practice of law through education, service, and fellowship.

Job Responsibilities

Essential Functions & Responsibilities

Leadership and Administration

  • Leads or supports the achievement of annual goals as established by the Board.
  • Works closely with the Board of Directors and President of the NBA.
  • Oversees the overall administration and day-to-day operations of the NBA.
  • Exercises decisional authority over management and administrative matters consistent with the NBA Bylaws, Policy Manual, and directives of the Board.
  • Recruits, hires, determines compensation for, trains, and motivates NBA staff.
  • Reviews and analyzes staffing needs, organizational structure, and job duties.
  • Negotiates and executes contracts and commitments on behalf of the NBA, as authorized by the Board or established policies.
  • Keeps the Board advised of all significant employment or personnel-related issues, including all appointments/hiring and terminations.
  • Develops and administers performance reviews and maintains a competitive salary structure.
  • Supervises all staff functions.

Policy and Planning

  • Assists the Board in amending and developing policies of the NBA by keeping up with developments in the legal profession and activities of the American Bar Association (ABA) and other bar associations and by providing necessary information and analysis for decision-making by the Board.
  • Reviews the activities and organizational structure of the NBA and makes recommendations to the Board consistent with present and future needs. Analyzes the need for new programs and makes specific recommendations as to their purposes, goals, budgetary requirements, and staff support.
  • Participates in short- and long-range planning for the NBA and designs improved services and techniques to better serve the goals of the association.
  • Works with the Board to plan and budget for programs and activities designed to meet specific goals and objectives.

Financial Management

  • Assists in developing the annual operating budget for both the NBA and NBF for approval by the respective Boards.
  • Assists committees and sections in developing a budget and allocating staff, as needed, to carry out their programs.
  • Oversees and works with the Board to devise non-dues revenue sources of income and cost-saving methods to maintain financial soundness and operate within the budget.
  • Oversees preparation of monthly financial statements for submission to the Board and advises the Board on fiscal projections and possible problem areas.
  • Oversees analyses of costs of operation and sources and amounts of income and recommends changes as necessary.

Engagement and Outreach

  • Secures business partners and sponsors.
  • Builds and maintains meaningful relationships, communications, and connections with local and state bar associations, the ABA, and other professional organizations and utilizes those relationships to enhance the organization’s objectives.
  • Serves as the primary representative of NBA to other organizations and maintains a good working relationship with the judiciary, court administration, and local government.
  • Establishes and maintains positive relationships and communication with the Board, the NBA committees, the NBA Young Lawyers Division, the membership, other professional or bar associations, and the general public.

Membership and Volunteer

  • Oversees annual membership renewal process.
  • Oversees NBA staff and volunteers to recruit new members, retain existing members, expand membership base, and manage member relations.
  • Analyzes and interprets the needs of members and recommends revisions in programs to improve service and increase the value of membership.
  • Works with the Board to provide support to NBA practice sections and service committees.

Board Support

  • Advises the Boards of both the NBA and NBF regarding bylaws, policies, and programs.
  • Assists the NBA and NBF Presidents in drafting agendas for Board meetings and setting priorities.
  • Oversees the election of Officers and Directors of the NBA.
  • Assists the NBA President in developing a committee structure and making committee appointments.

Events and Programs

  • Attends events of the NBA and NBF, including during and after business hours.
  • Oversees the management of all NBA and NBF programs, events, and initiatives to ensure that items are financially sound and consistent with strategic goals and the mission of the organization.
  • Administers the NBF grant process.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; a history of executive-level leadership in a professional or business organization preferred.
  • Established record of administrative, management, and financial supervisory experience.
  • Experience with a professional or nonprofit organization or comparable experience preferred

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  • Business acumen.
  • Change management.
  • Process innovation and management.
  • Building and developing effective teams.
  • Excellent communication skills, including written, oral, and presentation skills.
  • Board management.
  • Collaborating with people of all backgrounds at all levels.
  • Fiscal management.
  • Entrepreneurial.

Additional Information


Salary and Benefits

  • Salary range: $120,000 – $125,000
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid holidays
  • PTO

How to Apply

How to Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to Erin Palmer Polly at erin.polly@klgates.com by January 15, 2024.


  • Date Posted: December 20, 2023
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Executive Leadership
  • Service Area: Other
  • Salary Range: $120,000 - $125,000