South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS) and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income and elder residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands seeks a Managing Attorney to oversee its legal office in Fall River, MA. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Managing Attorney will work with the SCCLS leadership team, a talented advocacy staff, an engaged statewide advocacy community, and volunteers to provide critical legal services to the most vulnerable residents of the region. The Managing Attorney will have an excellent opportunity to contribute to the strategic growth of the organization and to creatively advocate for and serve the region’s low income communities. MA boasts a thriving and supportive legal community and the region is a desirable place to live and work.
1. The overall role of the Managing Attorney is to oversee and ensure the provision of high quality legal services to clients of the Fall River legal office of SCCLS. The Managing Attorney shall maintain a small and strategic caseload which serves to shape the impact advocacy of the office.
2. Effectively engage with the organization’s leadership team, advocacy staff, and community organizations to develop and manage strategic initiatives and coordinate the impact work of the organization, including incorporating a race equity lens.
3. Establish and implement program policies relating to legal work.
4. Directly supervise the advocacy work of the Fall River office which will include co-counseling, conducting regular case reviews, annual evaluations and ongoing mentoring and supervision of staff, AmeriCorps members, and volunteers.
5. Ensure advocacy staff is actively engaged with other program advocates, local community organizations, and the statewide advocacy community to address legal issues confronting low-income residents.
6. Encourage advocacy staff to identify systemic barriers faced by clients and client communities of SCCLS and to seek innovative ways to address; Ensure that legal services provided are consistent with SCCLS’s priorities, policies and procedures, and that resources to provide the highest quality client services are maximized.
7. Maintain liaison with the client community, client and other community groups, courts and administrative forums, and bar associations.
8. Ensure adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements and the highest professional standards.
9. Work with SCCLS’ PAI Coordinator to promote use of volunteers to further SCCLS’ advocacy goals and
strengthen its capacity to serve clients.
10. Work with SCCLS’ Executive Director on funding initiatives and grant compliance.
11. Implement personnel policies relating to hiring, leave, discipline and discharge; implement and oversee other administrative operations of the office.
12. Other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.
Qualifications and Experience:
1. Admitted to practice law in Massachusetts or able to seek admission with at least 7 years of experience as a practicing attorney in a civil legal aid environment preferred;
2. Experience with advocacy in a variety of forums including federal, state, and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and/or legislative bodies;
3. Management or supervisory experience; demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor staff with varying experience levels; ability to give and receive constructive feedback; proven skills in leadership, relationship development, collaboration and team building;
4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work and communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures, with diverse opinions and values;
5. Demonstrated experience working with vulnerable populations; demonstrated understanding of effects of poverty, trauma and systemic discrimination;
6. Demonstrated creativity in identifying and pursuing legal issues on behalf of low income residents; possess vision and sense of urgency in addressing client needs;
7. Experience working with community groups, organizations, and advocacy groups to resolve issues affecting lowincome residents and communities;
8. Commitment to organizational mission and ability to effectively communicate same; strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities and meet critical deadlines;
9. Ability to identify and respond to emerging issues and changing policies affecting the poor;
10. Familiarity with educating, motivating and supporting volunteers;
11. Fluency in a second language which reflects our client communities (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer) strongly preferred;
12. A commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity, as well as humility when working with clients, colleagues and in supervising staff at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency;
13. Commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in the provision of legal services; Capacity to facilitate groups and meetings equitably with a framework that embraces race equity principles.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: SCCLS offers competitive compensation based on comparable public interest salaries and will be commensurate with experience. Multi-lingual annual increment to base salary may be added for demonstrated language skills. SCCLS offers a benefits package which includes medical and dental for employees and dependents; life insurance; long/short term disability; 403(b) retirement plan; and generous leave.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, applicants are encouraged to apply by November 6, 2020. Please submit a letter expressing your qualifications, vision for, and interest in the position. Include a resume, writing sample and contact information for three references. Materials and any questions should be submitted to Jeanne Marcotte at firstname.lastname@example.org with Subject Line: Managing Attorney.
SCCLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized, especially individuals who come from marginalized communities that are often under resourced, underserved, and underrepresented.
Overview of SCCLS and its Justice Center
SCCLS is a private, non-profit law firm which provides free legal help in a wide array of civil matters to low income residents of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket and Plymouth counties and parts of Norfolk County.
The organization has a growing staff of 60 that provide legal assistance in more than 4500 matters each year. Administrative offices are located in Fall River. Law offices are located in Fall River, New Bedford, Hyannis, and Brockton.
SCCLS’ 2020 revenues are expected to exceed $8 million. Its largest funder, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), provides approximately 60% of the funding for the organization. Other sources of revenue include federal Legal Services Corporation, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, MA Department of Public Health, four Area Agencies on Aging, United Way, CDBG funds, private foundations, and individual and corporate donations.
SCCLS is the go-to organization for legal aid in the southeast region because of its work with economically disadvantaged people and communities during the past 50 years. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. SCCLS sponsors numerous community legal education and outreach events, and nurtures strong relationships with community groups and human service organizations from which to serve eligible clients and address emerging needs.
SCCLS and the Justice Center also operate a statewide AmeriCorps program which places 36 college or law graduates in legal aid programs throughout the Commonwealth to support the services provided to low income families and elders, and participates in the state wide justice community through service on numerous task forces organized around substantive issues, as well as service delivery issues.