Executive Director Martha Jane Patton to Retire


Martha Jane was an elected member of the Board of Trustees at Legal Aid in October 1996 when her predecessor retired as Executive Director, and, without knowing what lay ahead, she helped write the job description for the position to which she was to accede in May 1998. Now, 18 years later, she has helped write the new job description for her successor.

The new job description is a longer list of functions and responsibilities than in 1998, thanks to the doubling of the number of staff, the intervention of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance issues in the non-profit world, and the welcomed full participation of the Birmingham Bar Association, the founding organization for Legal Aid, in its ongoing growth. Martha Jane brought her significant talents to the table over these years, winning the respect and admiration of her employees and colleagues in the bar. Her passion for providing legal services for Birmingham's children and low income adults has helped to sustain Legal Aid and has attracted compassionate, highly qualified lawyers to its staff. The administrative office, for years more like a traveling circus than a professional workplace, has returned to the fold of the Birmingham Bar Center on 2nd Avenue North. Legal Aid has taken its place among nonprofits and holds the coveted Gold category of Guidestar, a nationally known web hub that ranks nonprofits for stability and efficacy in mission and goals.

Martha Jane plans to spend some time on personal projects and travel before her next venture but does not see herself far away from her energetic fervor for helping the poor.

(For those interested in applying for this position, go to the "Who We Are" tab and click on the "Careers" section. The deadline for submission of applications is February 12, 2016.