Immigration Law Attorneys, CWJC – CLA

Central West Justice Center (CWJC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Community Legal Aid, seeks attorneys to join a vibrant, talented team that provides legal assistance in a range of humanitarian-based immigration law matters, including but not limited to removal defense, VAWA petitions, U and T visas, SIJS petitions, and asylum cases. The attorneys, who will be based in CWJC’s Worcester and/or Springfield offices, may also participate in a grant-funded legal clinic for immigrants in partnership with a local Methodist Church. The attorneys will engage in critically important community outreach, including community consultation sessions and know-your-rights trainings, and will assist in the preparation of periodic grant reports. These are full-time positions, although part-time hours are negotiable.

QUALIFICATIONS:  Admission to Mass. Bar, or eligible to sit for next Mass. Bar examination, or entitled to practice under a Mass. practice rule. Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese strongly preferred, as is prior experience in immigration law and demonstrated experience working with diverse communities. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work in a collaborative setting are important.

Please submit cover letter and resume to: avaughan@cla-ma.org or mail to Alicia Vaughan, Human Resources Director, Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608. Cover letter should specifically address whether the applicant is interested in working in Worcester, Springfield, or either. CWJC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. CWJC encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

Immigration Staff Attorney – MWLS

MetroWest Legal Services (“MWLS”) provides legal advocacy to protect and advance the rights of low income, elderly, immigrant, disabled and other disenfranchised people in our service area and to assist them in obtaining legal, social and economic justice. MWLS seeks to hire a staff attorney to fill a full time position. MWLS is an exciting workplace with dedicated social justice advocates—join us!

Responsibilities include:       

  • Provide advice and direct representation primarily to Afghan nationals before the Immigration Court and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in their applications for Special Immigrant Visas, Temporary Protected Status, Asylum and other humanitarian forms of relief. 
  • Develop and provide trainings to community partners and client communities about immigration and the rights of Afghan nationals.   
  • Develop and maintain collaborations with community partners to address systemic barriers facing MWLS’ immigrant client communities.
  • Engage in other tasks and projects that further MWLS’ mission and operations.

Qualifications/Competencies include:

  • Admitted to Massachusetts bar or entitled to practice under SJC Rule 3:04.* Applicants who are third year law students, entitled to practice under SJC Rule 3:03 and planning to sit for the September 2022 bar exam will be considered.
  • Experience providing immigration humanitarian legal services to immigrants is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people is strongly preferred.
  • Experience interviewing and providing legal advice to survivors of trauma and abuse is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to work and advocate in a collaborative style with diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic groups, as well as diversity based on ability/disability, sexual orientation and religion.
  • Fluency/near fluency in both spoken and written Pashto and/or Dari is strongly preferred.
  • Strong organizational skills, an ability to multi-task, and to work collaboratively with a dynamic team.
  • Excellent writing, research, and oral advocacy skills.

*An applicant who is admitted to the bar of another state must become a member of the Mass. bar within 2 years.

Salary/Benefits: Salary is based on a union scale with a starting wage of $55,000. Benefits package include generous PTO leave, 100% employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, employer match on retirement contributions, student loan repayment assistance program for eligible attorneys and extensive professional development opportunities.

To Apply: Email a cover letter addressing your interest and experience in poverty/public interest law, resume, and writing sample to MetroWest Legal Services, jobs@mwlegal.org. Please send and attach PDFs only. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

MWLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. MWLS encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

Community Engagement Coordinator and Legislative Advocate – MA Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice has a newly created position open for a Community Engagement Coordinator and Legislative Advocate. We are searching for an individual who is skilled in community organizing to involve community members in the development of our research and policy initiatives, identify key individuals to connect with to promote change, and develop organizing strategies to solve problems raised by the community through advocacy.

Massachusetts Appleseed is committed to fostering the leadership and elevating the voices of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, low-income people, immigrants, young people who were formerly involved in the child welfare system, young people who were formerly involved in the criminal justice system, people with disabilities, and people living in the many intersections of these experiences. We encourage people from these communities and people with experience outside traditional career paths to apply.

Massachusetts Appleseed is a non-profit organization driven by a mission to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. We research and identify the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents, such as through uneven access to the courts and unfair application of school discipline policies. Leveraging pro bono support, we collaborate with community partners to identify solutions and advocate for their implementation with policymakers, lawmakers, and through coalition- and relationship-building. We take our work wherever we believe we can do the most good, whether that’s in the courthouse, at the State House, in schools, or in the community.

We focus on three primary policy areas:

  • Access to Justice: Eliminating the many systemic barriers within Massachusetts’ legal systems and various administrative agencies that deny justice to thousands of residents each year, guaranteeing language access, and reforming the courts and administrative tribunals to make them more “user friendly” to people who cannot afford an attorney. We are particularly interested in how technology can be used to achieve these goals.
  • Educational Justice: Protecting students’ rights, promoting racial equity, and advocating for policy change to keep all students in class where they are safe, supported, and available for learning, with a particular focus on the disparate impact of school discipline policies on students of color, also known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
  • Youth Homelessness: Providing policy recommendations, easing systemic barriers, and developing legal resources to help youth experiencing homelessness build safe, stable futures.

The Community Engagement Coordinatorand Legislative Advocate will be responsible for establishing relationships with community-based organizations and individuals within each of our three policy areas listed above. Outreach will focus on developing relationships via one-on-one communication and group meetings across the state, in addition to conducting presentations for community-based organizations on Massachusetts Appleseed’s research and initiatives. From time to time, the Community Engagement Coordinator and Legislative Advocate may also support the Staff Attorney with research and policy work and legislative advocacy.

The Community Engagement Coordinator and Legislative Advocate must be a problem-solver and big-thinker: motivated, focused, highly organized, and able to make meaningful connections with community members from a diverse population. Knowledge of one or more of the current policy subject areas is a plus, but not required. This positionwill report to the Staff Attorney, and also work closely with the Executive Director.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:   

  • Develop strategic outreach plans and approaches to establish relationships with community-based organizations within each of our three policy areas (access to justice, educational justice, youth homelessness).
  • Work with community members and community partners to identify issues within each of our three policy areas.
  • Involve community members in the development of research projects and the identification of policy solutions.
  • Conduct presentations or trainings for community partners on our research/initiatives.
  • Organize statewide listening sessions for each of our three policy areas.
  • Represent the organization at relevant events, community forums, community meetings, media events, and collaborative community-based projects.
  • Lead ongoing Community Advisory Board Meetings – a 12-member group of students/teachers/advocates engaged in a collaborative school discipline research project.
  • Support the Staff Attorney in legislative advocacy efforts (including leading coalitions and drafting testimony or advocacy materials).
  • Collaborate with colleagues to provide holistic support to the organization.
  • Assist Executive Director with administrative and operations duties.
  • Supervise interns.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate is a creative, self-motivated individual eager to be a part of our fast-paced team who possesses the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or two years’ experience in community organizing, grassroots advocacy, and/or political campaigning.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to clearly discuss projects with external audiences.
  • Proven ability to work independently and collaboratively with partner organizations.
  • Cultural competency to work with residents from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent problem-solving and time management skills; must be experienced at meeting deadlines.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel).
  • Willingness to travel to communities around the state required, having a car/appropriate car insurance/a valid driver’s license is a plus (if you do not have a car, we will work with you to identify transportation options).
  • Flexible schedule with the ability to work some evenings, weekends.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice; experience working in/with non-profits, government or other public interest organizations preferred.
  • Fluency in one or more languages in addition to English preferred.
  • Experience related to the legal system, school-to-prison pipeline, or youth experiencing homelessness is a plus.
  • Social science research and/or legislative advocacy experience a plus.

The salary for this role is in the range of low to mid-40s. Employee benefits include but are not limited to health insurance with employer contribution, generous paid time off (holidays, unlimited sick days, unlimited vacation time, Fridays off in July and August), and flexible scheduling. This position is based out of Massachusetts Appleseed’s office in downtown Boston, but we expect a “hybrid” work environment, combining in-person days and work-at-home days, for the foreseeable future.

To center the safety and well-being of our communities, Massachusetts Appleseed requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees. Reasonable accommodation based on a qualifying medical exemption or sincerely held religious beliefs are being considered in accordance with applicable law.

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to Melanie Rush, Director of Research and Policy at melanie@massappleseed.orgWhile applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, we strongly encourage you to submit your application by June 3, 2022.  If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please contact us at inquiry@massappleseed.org or at 617-482-8686.

Massachusetts Appleseed is an Equal Opportunity Employer, is committed to diversity in its workforce, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status or any other status protected by applicable law.  

Staff Attorney (Entry Level) – MA Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice has a newly created position open for an entry-level staff attorney.

Massachusetts Appleseed is committed to fostering the leadership and elevating the voices of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, low-income people, immigrants, young people who were formerly involved in the child welfare system, young people who were formerly involved in the criminal justice system, people with disabilities, and people living in the many intersections of these experiences. We encourage people from these communities and people with experience outside traditional career paths to apply.

Massachusetts Appleseed is a non-profit organization driven by a mission to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. We research and identify the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents, such as through uneven access to the courts and unfair application of school discipline policies. Leveraging pro bono support, we collaborate with community partners to identify solutions and advocate for their implementation with policymakers, lawmakers, and through coalition- and relationship-building. We take our work wherever we believe we can do the most good, whether that’s in the courthouse, at the State House, in schools, or in the community.

We focus on three primary policy areas:

  • Access to Justice: Eliminating the many systemic barriers within Massachusetts’ legal systems and various administrative agencies that deny justice to thousands of residents each year, guaranteeing language access, and reforming the courts and administrative tribunals to make them more “user friendly” to people who cannot afford an attorney. We are particularly interested in how technology can be used to achieve these goals.
  • Educational Justice: Protecting students’ rights, promoting racial equity, and advocating for policy change to keep all students in class where they are safe, supported, and available for learning, with a particular focus on the disparate impact of school discipline policies on students of color, also known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
  • Youth Homelessness: Providing policy recommendations, easing systemic barriers, and developing legal resources to help youth experiencing homelessness build safe, stable futures.

The Staff Attorney will be responsible for researching, analyzing, and developing and implementing legal and policy solutions together with Massachusetts Appleseed’s core constituencies and will participate in community outreach, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, and community meetings that are strategically aligned with the development of policy reform in each of the policy areas we focus on. The Staff Attorney may engage in advocacy at the municipal, state, and federal level as well as litigation in state, federal, and administrative tribunals.

The position works closely with the Executive Director, the Community Engagement Coordinator, as well as local community partners and leaders.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:   

  • Ensure work is aligned to the goals and the strategic objectives of the organization.
  • Conduct legal research, writing, and analysis.
  • Draft legislation and legislative testimony.
  • Participate in and lead legislative coalitions.
  • Organize know-your-rights trainings and legal clinics.
  • Identify, analyze, and help implement best-practice policy solutions.
  • Work with community members and community and legal aid partners to identify issues, and potential systemic litigation and policy solutions to issues raised by the community.
  • Work with the Executive Director and supervise Community Engagement Coordinator to research and develop solutions to systemic problems.
  • Work with the Director of Development and Communications to create educational and advocacy materials (e.g., fact sheets, presentations, policy briefs, reports, know-your-rights guides) for key stakeholders.
  • Supervise law students and other interns.
  • Recruit and engage with pro bono partners.
  • Collaborate with other Massachusetts Appleseed staff to support fundraising efforts, including preparing grant proposals/reports and developing and tracking project budgets/metrics.
  • Participate, as needed, in administrative tasks and other activities to support the work of other Massachusetts Appleseed staff.

Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate is a creative, self-motivated individual eager to be a part of our fast-paced team who possesses many of the following qualifications:

  • J.D. required. Licensed to practice law in Massachusetts or taking necessary steps to be licensed.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills.
  • Experience with legislative and administrative advocacy.
  • Legal experience in litigation in the areas of administrative law and/or civil rights.
  • Knowledge and awareness of issues relating to any of our three policy areas.
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented, community-focused, and collaborative environment.
  • A demonstrated commitment to social justice and ability to work across lines of difference, especially with racially and economically diverse communities.
  • Spanish language fluency (speaking, reading, and writing) highly desired.
  • An excellent sense of humor.

The salary range for this role is $55,000 – $65,000. Employee benefits include but are not limited to health insurance with employer contribution, generous paid time off (holidays, unlimited sick days, unlimited vacation time, Fridays off in July and August), and flexible scheduling. This is a full-time exempt position based out of Massachusetts Appleseed’s office in downtown Boston, but we expect a “hybrid” work environment, combining in-person days and work-at-home days, for the foreseeable future.

To center the safety and well-being of our communities, Massachusetts Appleseed requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees. Reasonable accommodation based on a qualifying medical exemption or sincerely held religious beliefs are being considered in accordance with applicable law.

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to Deborah Silva, Executive Director, at deb@massappleseed.org. While applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, we strongly encourage you to submit your application by June 3, 2022. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please contact us at inquiry@massappleseed.org or at 617-482-8686.

Massachusetts Appleseed is an Equal Opportunity Employer, is committed to diversity in its workforce, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status or any other status protected by applicable law.

Housing Staff Attorney – GBLS

May 4, 2022

Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Accessible Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  

Greater Boston Legal Services has an opening for a staff attorney with 3 years of experience preferred to work in the Housing Unit, focusing on enforcing and expanding the rights of homeless families to shelter.

Homelessness threatens the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable families in our community, many of whom include parents or children with disabilities. This position will involve representing clients in individual cases regarding accessing shelter benefits, termination of shelter benefits, and with seeking accommodation of disability-related needs or other rights.  Familiarity with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and its application is helpful.  The attorney, working as part of the GBLS Shelter team, will use individual cases to promote systemic change. While shelter work will be the primary focus, the attorney also may represent tenants in eviction cases where the family would not be eligible for shelter if evicted, homeless families seeking permanent affordable housing, and families denied or facing loss of housing subsidies.

The position involves responsibility for client cases including interviews, factual investigation, research and analysis of law, development of written and oral legal arguments, negotiation with agency officials and staff, preparation for and handling of administrative, and court hearings. The position may also include legislative advocacy, policy advocacy, and supervising law students and volunteer interns.   

Qualifications

Qualifications include 3 years of experience preferred. Experience in representing homeless families, housing law and/or negotiation experience preferred.  Written and oral fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole or another language spoken by GBLS’s clients is helpful, but not required.  Admission to the Massachusetts Bar is required.

Salary is based on a union scale, with a starting annual salary of $60,000 depending on experience. Potential salary increase in the future will be determined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. GBLS offers a generous benefits package and paid time off policy. A hybrid work schedule is possible.

Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to the GBLS Human Resources Team by email to jobs@gbls.org. Please refer to Job Code: HU- SHELTER-ATTY when applying for this position. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but applicants are encouraged to submit applications by May 31, 2022

GBLS values diversity and encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

Senior Supervising Attorney, Immigration Law, CWJC – CLA

Central West Justice Center (CWJC), a subsidiary of Community Legal Aid, seeks an experienced immigration attorney for a Senior Supervising Attorney (SSA) position. CWJC’s immigration team currently includes one supervisor, two intake paralegals, one case manager, and 10 attorneys working in multiple offices throughout Central and Western Massachusetts. CWJC seeks to add another supervisor to help oversee the work of its talented and dedicated immigration team.

The SSA will work out of CWJC’s Springfield office, will handle a caseload commensurate with their other duties, and will supervise the legal work of immigration advocates focused on asylum, SIJ petitions, U and T visas, and VAWA relief. This supervision will include co-counseling cases; editing pleadings and briefs; preparing attorneys for and observing them in agency proceedings and court; and engaging in regular case reviews. The SSA will also assist with coordinating the training of staff and be responsible for relationship-building with local partners. In addition, the attorney will work with CWJC’s Director in conducting annual performance reviews of staff and will assist in writing grant applications and reports.

QUALIFICATIONS: Admission to Mass. Bar or entitlement to practice under a Mass. practice rule required. Must have at least five years of experience as an immigration attorney, with significant experience in humanitarian relief. Experience with low-income populations, ability to work collaboratively, and strong supervision and communication skills required. Salary DOE.  Liberal fringe benefits package. Candidate must be in compliance with CLA/CWJC’s non-bargaining unit vaccination policy prior to the start of employment.

Please submit cover letter and resume to: avaughan@cla-ma.org, or mail to Alicia Vaughan, Human Resources Director, Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01608. CWJC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. CWJC encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

Supervising Housing Attorney – GBLS

Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Accessible Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  

Staff Attorney Position | Housing Unit
Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) seeks an attorney with 4-7 years of experience preferred for a permanent position as an attorney in the Housing Unit. The attorney will work in the Housing Unit in litigation representing tenants who are facing eviction.  This position is for a more senior attorney to provide mentorship, support and supervision to newer attorneys.  The position may also include some of the full range of activities of the Housing Unit, including support for tenants who live in public and subsidized housing, helping tenant organizations preserve affordable housing, shelter advocacy, and any other work of the Housing Unit. In addition to a substantial trial caseload (including jury trials), the work may include participation in legislative and administrative advocacy projects and impact litigation. Evening meetings at community organizations (currently done online) are required.

The position involves responsibility for client cases including interviews, factual investigation, research and analysis of law, development of written and oral legal arguments, negotiation with agency officials and staff, preparation for and handling of administrative, and court hearings. The position may also include legislative advocacy, policy advocacy, and supervising law students and volunteer interns.   

Qualifications

Qualifications include 4-7 years of experience preferred and applicant must be admitted attorneys and able to appear in court immediately. Experience in representing homeless families, housing law and/or negotiation experience preferred.  Written and oral fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole or another language spoken by GBLS’s clients is helpful, but not required.  Admission to the Massachusetts Bar is required.

Salary is based on a union scale, with a starting annual salary of $63,000 to $69,000 depending on experience. Potential salary increase in the future will be determined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. GBLS offers a generous benefits package and paid time off policy. A hybrid work schedule is possible.

Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to the GBLS Human Resources Team by email to jobs@gbls.org. Please refer to Job Code: HU- ATTY when applying for this position. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but applicants are encouraged to submit applications by May 31, 2022

GBLS values diversity and encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.  

Staff Attorney, Housing Unit (Long Term Temporary) – GBLS

Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Accessible Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  

Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) seeks an attorney with 0-5 years of experience for a long-term temporary position for 1 year, possibly renewable, depending on the receipt of continued funding. The attorney will work in the Housing Unit in litigation representing tenants who are facing eviction. The position may also include some of the full range of activities of the Housing Unit, including support for tenants who live in public and subsidized housing, helping tenant organizations preserve affordable housing, shelter advocacy, and any other work of the Housing Unit. In addition to a substantial trial caseload (including jury trials), the work may include participation in legislative and administrative advocacy projects and impact litigation. Evening meetings at community organizations (currently done online) are required.

Should funding for this position change, the attorney may be required to assume work in a different area of law within GBLS.  The position involves responsibility for client cases including interviews, factual investigation, research and analysis of law, development of written and oral legal arguments, negotiation with agency officials and staff, preparation for and handling of administrative, and court hearings. The position may also include legislative advocacy, policy advocacy, and supervising law students and volunteer interns.   

Qualifications

Qualifications include 0-5 years of experience preferred and applicant must be admitted attorneys and able to appear in court immediately. Experience in representing homeless families, housing law and/or negotiation experience preferred.  Written and oral fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole or another language spoken by GBLS’s clients is helpful, but not required.  Admission to the Massachusetts Bar is required

Salary is based on a union scale, with a starting annual salary of $60,000 depending on experience. Potential salary increase in the future will be determined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. GBLS offers a generous benefits package and paid time off policy. A hybrid work schedule is possible.

Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to the GBLS Human Resources Team by email to jobs@gbls.org. Please refer to Job Code: HU-LTT-ATT when applying for this position. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but applicants are encouraged to submit applications by May 31, 2022

GBLS values diversity and encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.  

Supervising Attorney, Housing and Disability Units – De Novo

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: De Novo is a community-based agency that provides free legal services and affordable mental health counseling for low-income people throughout the Greater Boston/Cambridge area. De Novo strives to create a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and safe work environment that welcomes, encourages, and values everyone’s contributions and fosters an exchange of ideas and mutual learning.

THE POSITION: De Novo seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated professional who has a strong belief in the mission and principles of the organization and committed to assisting the most vulnerable, particularly during these uncertain and challenging times. Reporting to the Legal Director and the Assistant Legal Director, the Supervising Attorney will supervise and coordinate the operations of the housing unit. De Novo has been growing over the past several years and is looking for a leader who will help foster this growth.

Responsibilities include:

  • Represent clients in judicial and administrative proceedings involving evictions, access to public and subsidized housing, and termination of housing subsidies, and in Social Security/SSI disability cases, from reconsideration through judicial review.
  • Supervise and evaluate housing and disability unit staff
  • Recruit, train, supervise, and support volunteer lawyers
  • Collaborate with community-based social services and other legal services programs.
  • Participating in coalitions and task forces; working with community-based and legal service organizations; conducting outreach and community legal education.
  • Oversee De Novo’s Lawyer for the Day Clinic at the Eastern Division of the Massachusetts Housing Court.
  • Collect required data and assist with the preparation of grant reports as needed
  • Coordinate with Counseling Program on ongoing and new ways to augment interdisciplinary collaboration, including case management services
  • Provide guidance on policies and procedures within the housing and disability units as needed/appropriate.

Qualifications/Competencies include:

  • J.D. or LLM degree with 5 or more years of experience in housing law.
  • Experience in Social Security/SSI disability law is preferred.
  • Admitted to practice in Massachusetts.
  • Experience representing low-income individuals and people from diverse cultural and
  • ethnic backgrounds.
  • Excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Team player with an ability to multitask in a fast pace environment.
  • Bi-lingual highly desirable.

HOURS, SALARY, AND BENEFITS: The position is 35 hours/week. Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent fringe benefit package, including health, life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance, vacation, personal, and sick time, 403(b) plan, Flexible Spending Plan, training and professional development opportunities.


To Apply: Applicants should submit 1) a cover letter addressing experience and interests relevant to the position, and 2) a resume, by e-mail to John Froio, Deputy Director at jfroio@denovo.org. No phone calls please. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For more information about De Novo refer to our website. CLSACC is a Fair Employment Practices/Equal Employment Opportunity/disability accessible employer committed to maintaining a diverse workplace. Qualified candidates from diverse personal, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Brutality Project Paralegal – PLS

General Position Description

Prisoners’ Legal Services (PLS) is seeking an outstanding full-time Brutality Paralegal to combat staff-on-prisoner assaults in Massachusetts prisons and jails. PLS has two intersecting projects that focus on this problem, the Prison Brutality Project and Rapid Response to Brutality Project. Both projects are currently undergoing restructuring/reframing and we are focused on developing new strategies and procedures to achieve the project’s goals. This paralegal will work through those projects to deter staff-on-prisoner assaults, to advocate for and provide legal assistance to impacted prisoners, and to increase community awareness of this problem.  The paralegal will meet with some injured prisoners within 72 hours of report, to interview and photograph them, collect documents, and give legal advice about the client’s rights.  After the visit, the paralegal will conduct follow-up advocacy, primarily regarding preservation of evidence and any unmet medical needs from the assault. In those cases that meet the criteria to be considered for litigation, the paralegal will also investigate the prisoners’ claims by gathering records generated by the prison or jail in relation to the incident, as well as conduct witness interviews. The paralegal, Brutality Project Director, and other PLS staff will evaluate completed investigations to determine whether there is sufficient proof to merit litigation.    Meritorious cases are litigated, when resources allow, by PLS attorneys or, if possible, the cases are referred to private attorneys.

Responsibilities

The Brutality Paralegal serves as the PLS expert on what is happening with staff-on-prisoner brutality in the MA prison system and is the go-to person for answers about brutality trends and policies. This position is full-time and supervised by the Brutality Project Director. Responsibilities for this position will include: 

  • Taking telephone calls and reading mail reporting staff assaults on prisoners,
  • Reviewing and evaluating reported incidents to determine if they warrant investigation;
  • Traveling to state prisons and county jails in Massachusetts to meet with clients;
  • Interviewing clients who have been assaulted by staff at state prisons and county jails in Massachusetts, including photographing their injuries and any other necessary documentation of available evidence;
  • Investigating new and ongoing staff assault intakes, tracking all investigations and ensuring they are completed in as timely a manner as possible;
  • Advocating for clients in new and ongoing staff assault cases;
  • Meeting with and interviewing prisoner witnesses to assaults at Massachusetts state prisons or jails;
  • Counseling clients about their legal rights relating to the assault and keeping them apprised about developments in their case;
  • Creating and maintaining client files and keeping databases updated for all staff assault cases;
  • Tracking all brutality litigation within the PLS office and referred out to private counsel;
  • Assisting in planning regularly scheduled brutality project meetings;
  • Preparing and presenting summaries of investigated cases at brutality project meetings for litigation consideration, and completing all necessary follow up;
  • Conducting legal research, working on brutality focused projects, assisting in brutality litigation/casework, and assisting in brutality case referrals;
  • Assisting in improving systems and standard operating procedures;
  • Heavy involvement in developing new strategies to achieve the project’s goals, including potential media outreach, coalition building/community organizing, and legislative/policy support;
  • Assisting in supervising student interns and volunteers on brutality work;
  • Participating in monthly PLS staff meetings and regular supervision meetings with the Brutality Project Director;
  • Working cooperatively with clients, PLS brutality team members, and private counsel;
  • Compiling statistics for brutality grant writing and reporting;
  • All other tasks as assigned by the Brutality Project Director or Executive Director.

Additional Qualifications

  • Must be comfortable having frequent contact with prisoner clients through in-person visits, telephone, and letter communication. (Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply).
  • Organizational and administrative skills are required.
  • Frequent travel to Massachusetts prisons and jails is required. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Regular access to a reliable vehicle is preferred.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively with a team is required.
  • Ability to speak and write in Spanish is strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with and advocating for marginalized populations is preferred.
  • Sensitivity to issues and concerns of communities of color and other diverse groups is required.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills are required.
  • Attention to detail is required.
  • Applicants will be asked to demonstrate professional writing skills by drafting a letter at the time of the interview.

What To Expect When You Join Our Team

You can expect to work with a team of amazing people who have tenacity and are committed to getting the work done. Why? Because our work is urgent, impactful, and more important than ever. You can count on doing solutions-oriented and policy-driven work. You will have excellent benefits you can’t turn down and a great work-life balance. Driving meaningful change is hard work. We value the importance of self-care and also know that you have a life, places to go, and people to see.

Benefits and Salary

This is a full-time position, requiring 35 hours per week. PLS offers a very competitive salary within the legal services field and commensurate with experience. We offer a comprehensive compensation package with 12 paid holidays, a minimum of 16 paid vacation days, 12 sick days, and 4 personal days each year, as well as paid parental and family medical leave benefits and a partially-paid sabbatical every 7 years. We pay 100% of employee premiums for excellent health, vision, and  dental benefits plus 100% of the out-of-pocket deductible. We also offer a 401(k)  retirement benefit with employer contribution, disability and life insurance, and a student loan repayment assistance program. Flex time or other alternative arrangements considered. PLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and two references in a single email to lrydzewski@plsma.orgwith the subject line “Brutality Project Paralegal” as soon as possible. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls or mail inquiries please.

Candidates of color, Bicultural candidates, Bilingual candidates, LGBTQ candidates, and candidates with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.