Litigating Staff Attorney – MHLAC

The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) seeks to hire a staff attorney with substantial litigation experience to work on advocacy projects and collaborate with staff to advance the work of the office in defending the rights of persons with mental health concerns.


MHLAC is a state agency of the Supreme Judicial Court. Created by the legislature in 1973, it offers free legal assistance to indigent people with mental health challenges throughout the Commonwealth. MHLAC’s experienced and talented staff focuses on identifying and addressing issues faced by significant numbers of clients in common, often in cooperation with other advocacy organizations or community groups. Approaches to solving client problems depend on the issue itself and the best strategy for accomplishing results. Tactics include class-based and targeted individual litigation, as well as legislative, administrative, and public advocacy.


MHLAC also serves as a statewide resource on mental health law and policy. It generates legal and policy materials, testifies on proposed laws and regulations, and has a long history of providing educational and training programs for public counsel, legal services attorneys, social workers, judges, and the general public. See http://mhlac.org/what-we-do/ for a description of MHLAC’s approach and work.


In making strategic work choice decisions, priority is given to issues affecting persons with multiple characteristics that expose them to bias (e.g. older women of color who have or are perceived to have mental health concerns). This is consistent with workplace values. MHLAC is committed to creating an inclusive environment that promotes and values racial equity and diversity. We strongly encourage and welcome people of color, people with disabilities, people with lived experience of mental health treatment and challenges, members of the LGBTQIA community, and people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to apply.

Position Type: Non-Civil Service / Permanent Staff
Full/Part Time: Full Time
Confidential: Yes
Salary Range: $103,648 to $120,569, commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Benefits: Strong package includes access to Massachusetts’ excellent retirement plan for State employees.
Office Location: 100 Hancock Street, Suite 1002, Quincy, MA 02171
Website: www.mhlac.org
Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Qualifications:

  • Ability to produce high quality legal work;
  • Experience in litigation that affects substantial numbers of clients required;
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to public interest law practice;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Strong communication and time-management skills;
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with clients and co-workers in a team environment;
  • Commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment;
  • Admission, or ability to “waive in,” to the Massachusetts Bar required;
  • Experience and strong interest in working with persons with mental health issues and/or institutionalized persons and/or familiarity with peer objectives and peer-run advocacy groups preferred;
  • Ability to communicate in a language used by significant numbers of potential clients preferred.

Duties:

  • In cooperation with advocacy teams, take on a substantial and supporting roles in litigation and other advocacy, independently or in partnership with other organizations or community groups, to address problems that significant numbers of MHLAC clients share in common;
  • Handle legal representation in prioritized individual cases as needed to advance systemic advocacy projects and the pursuit of MHLAC’s mission;
  • Travel to meet with clients and client groups throughout the Commonwealth to provide representation, information, or strategic assistance that is connected to the pursuit of systemic reforms;
  • Field requests from legal advocates and attorneys in Massachusetts seeking technical assistance in cases they are handling for MHLAC eligible clients;
  • Participate in the production of training events for attorneys, social service providers, and persons with lived experience on emerging issues in mental health law and policy;
  • Attend trainings conferences and events relevant to MHLAC priorities in order to stay up to date on, and gain insight into, mental health law and policy issues;
  • Represent MHLAC client interests in public forums, including legislative and rulemaking hearings and on statewide task forces.

Due to the pandemic, initial and perhaps subsequent interviews may be conducted remotely.
References and writing samples will be requested of finalists. In accordance with Massachusetts Agency requirements, a criminal background check will be completed for the selected candidate.

How to Apply:
Please submit resume and cover letter via email to hiring@mhlac.org.

Email submissions are strongly encouraged. We will accept submissions mailed or faxed to our office and Ms. Vlaimy Mejia can be contacted at vmejia@mhlac.org if further accommodations are necessary:


Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
100 Hancock St.
10th Floor, Suite 1002
Quincy, MA 02171
ATTN: Hiring


617-338-2347 FAX


The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As the representative of the Commonwealth and its residents, the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee strives to ensure that those working in our office reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. The Committee encourages applicants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to apply for positions. We will gladly assist applicants who need reasonable accommodation.