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Managing Attorney, Welfare Law Unit – 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.

Job Description
Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) seeks a Managing Attorney to lead the work of the Welfare Law Unit (WLU).

The WLU prioritizes representing clients living in deep poverty and advocating for the critical role of consistent cash income and childcare in preventing or ending the devastating and discriminatory injustice impact of deep poverty. The WLU works primarily in the contexts of the state welfare and childcare agencies and the Mass. Legislature, and also works with other state and local government agencies and programs. The WLU does substantial direct client representation and initiates, leads, and collaborates on statewide systemic advocacy through litigation, access to top agency officials for administrative legal and policy advocacy, sophisticated legislative advocacy (drafting, lobbying, work with and within coalitions), and work with allies and other stakeholders. The WLU is the sole provider of systemic legal advocacy on childcare issues in all these forms in Massachusetts. In addition, the WLU undertook innovative work on behalf of clients effectively excluded from the federal tax system and thereby not receiving the federal COVID tax benefits (stimulus payments and radically expanded Child Tax Credit) during 2020 and 2021. Under a Congressionally Directed Spending grant received in 2022 and at least until client case work is completed, the WLU’s Tax Benefits Project continues to surface such clients and undertake whatever representation is needed to secure these and other available federal and state tax benefits for these clients. Flowing out of this work, the WLU has engaged since early 2021 in national systemic advocacy with a large coalition, playing a key role in initiating and participating in work on IRS access issues.

The WLU sees its work as part of the larger effort to combat income and wealth inequality for the people of color and those marginalized by deep poverty and the systems that relegated them to harsh lives in our wealthy nation.

The WLU Managing Attorney must have demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effectively lead, oversee, and support a dynamic and innovative unit with extremely experienced advocates, and to ensure training, mentoring, and professional development for new team advocates.

The Managing Attorney also will be responsible for oversight of the day-to-day operation of the unit, implementation of GBLS administrative procedures, and staff supervision and evaluation; handling personnel issues; developing, managing, and reporting on grants; collaborating with other units and practice groups; fostering cross-unit work program-wide; and contributing, directly and through recruitment within the unit, to work to improve and support GBLS overall.

Qualifications

  • Admission to or comity with the Massachusetts bar.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in a legal aid organization or other advocacy organization.
  • Demonstrated commitment to poverty law and to providing culturally sensitive and accessible services to diverse client groups.
  • A minimum of 3 to 5 years of prior supervisory or administrative experience and familiarity with a unionized workforce is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to mentor, supervise and co-counsel effectively and in a collaborative manner that provides opportunities for growth and professional development.
  • Expertise in welfare law and practice, administrative law under the state Administrative Procedures Act and related case law; access to courts law; and statutory construction law.
  • Substantial experience developing and implementing systemic advocacy.
  • Experience working effectively with administrative agencies, including top agency officials.
  • Experience relevant to working and collaborating with community-based organizations outside GBLS to reach clients, engage in joint advocacy, and otherwise serve the Unit’s direct client representation and systemic advocacy.

Salary is based on years of legal experience, with a starting annual salary from $97,000. GBLS offers a generous benefits package and student loan repayment assistance plan for eligible attorneys.

Application Instructions
Interested candidates should submit a resume with a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the job to the Human Resources Team via email at jobs@gbls.org. Please refer to Job Code: WLU-MANAGER when applying for this position. Deadline for application is January 15, 2024, or until the position is filled.

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