South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS) a non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to low-income and older residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands seeks a Managing Attorney to oversee the legal work and operations of our New Bedford office. Reporting to the Executive Director of SCCLS, the Managing Attorney will work with the SCCLS leadership team, a talented advocacy staff, an engaged statewide advocacy community, and local community groups 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.
The Managing Attorney will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of SCCLS’ New Bedford office, including supervising, training and motivating advocacy staff to provide high-quality legal services to clients served by SCCLS. These efforts shall include:
1. Effectively engaging 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.
2. Implementing and helping to develop program policies and procedures, needs assessments and priorities to elevate the organization’s ability to effectively meet client needs.
3. Co-counseling, conducting regular case reviews, annual evaluations and ongoing mentoring and supervision of staff. The Managing Attorney may maintain a small and strategic caseload which serves to shape the impact advocacy of the office.
4. Encourage advocacy staff to actively engage with other program advocates, local community organizations, and the statewide advocacy community to creatively address legal issues confronting low-income residents and the underlying systemic barriers
5. Act as a liaison with client and other community groups, courts and administrative forums, and bar associations; work with SCCLS’ PAI Coordinator to promote use of volunteers to further SCCLS’ advocacy goals and strengthen its capacity to serve clients.
6. Ensure adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements and the highest professional standards.
7. Work with SCCLS’ Executive Director and leadership team on development efforts, grant compliance and other initiatives to serve clients.
8. Implement personnel policies relating to hiring, leave, discipline and discharge; oversee other administrative operations of the office.
Qualifications and Experience:
1. Management or supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor staff; commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity in supervising staff of varying experience levels and/or at the intersection of multiple identities; ability to give and receive constructive feedback; proven skills in leadership, relationship development, collaboration and team building.
2. At least 7 years of legal practice in a variety of forums including federal, state, and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and/or legislative bodies. Admitted to practice law in Massachusetts or able to seek admission; experience in a civil legal aid environment desirable.
3. Commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in the provision of legal services
4. Demonstrated experience working with vulnerable populations and understanding of effects of poverty, trauma, and systemic discrimination. Demonstrated creativity and vision in pursuing legal issues on behalf of low-income residents; possess vision and sense of urgency in addressing client needs including identifying and responding to emerging issues.
5. Fluency in a second language which reflects our client communities (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer) strongly preferred.
6. Effectively model and communicate a commitment to organizational mission and support for the organization with ability to effectively communicate same; strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities and meet critical deadlines.
7. 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;
8. 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.
9. Capacity to facilitate groups and meetings equitably with a framework that embraces race equity principles; experience engaging with community groups, organizations, and advocacy groups to resolve issues affecting low-income residents and communities.
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; PFMLA benefits; 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 January 21, 2022. 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 Lissl Thelin at email@example.com with Subject Line: NBLO 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 subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts
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 staff of 75 that provide legal assistance in more than 4500 matters each year. Administrative offices are in Fall River. Law offices are located in Fall River, New Bedford, Hyannis, and Brockton.
SCCLS is expanding. Its 2022 revenues are expected to exceed $10 million. Its largest funder, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), provides approximately 60% of funding for the organization. Other funders 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.
SCCLS is the go-to organization for civil legal aid in the southeast region because of its work with low-income residents and community organizations over the past 50 years. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy.
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.