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Paralegal – Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee

The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) is hiring a paralegal to collaborate with existing staff to propel 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 poor people with mental health challenges throughout the Commonwealth, handling 2500 requests for legal assistance annually. In order to maximize the impact derived from limited resources, MHLAC’s employs its experienced and talented staff to identify and pursue 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, targeted individual litigation, and community lawyering, as well as legislative, administrative, and public advocacy. MHLAC 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.

Position Type: Staff/Full-time, state benefits eligible
Salary Range: $47,795 to $72,477, commensurate with experience and qualifications
Office Location: 24 School Street, Suite 804, Boston, MA 02108
Agency Website: www.mhlac.org
Applications received after July 17, 2019 may or may not be considered.

Qualifications and Experience:
We seek persons with a demonstrated commitment, and the necessary skills, to do high quality advocacy in the pursuit of justice for people with mental health disabilities. More specifically:
– A Bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required;
– Experience in the delivery of legal services to indigent persons is strongly preferred;
– Knowledge of and/or experience in the mental health care delivery system is helpful;
– Prior experience of working in law offices is helpful.

Skills and Abilities:
– Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with clients and co-workers in a team environment;
– A self-starter who desires to show ownership and commitment to the job;
– Able to work under pressure, managing multiple projects with competing deadlines and priorities;
– Proficient writing, communication and time-management skills;
– Strong technology skills;
– Strong attention to detail;
– Strong interpersonal communication skills;
– Strong analytical and problem solving skills;
– Good judgment and able to preserve confidentiality and exercise discretion;
– Ability to communicate in Spanish or another language common among potential MHLAC clients strongly preferred.

Duties:
– Work with attorneys in the pursuit of litigation efforts, including conducting formal discovery, processing and maintaining factual information obtained in discovery in formats allowing for ready access as needed, and communicating with class representatives and class members in the course of class litigation;
– Travel to meet with clients and client groups throughout the Commonwealth as necessary to provide representation, collect information, strategize and assist in resolving client community concerns, and to provide information to clients;
– Provide informal legal advocacy to leverage services that enable clients to remain autonomous in community settings and out of hospitals, jails and prisons;
– Field requests from legal advocates and attorneys in Massachusetts seeking technical assistance in cases they are handling for MHLAC eligible clients and provide assistance in cooperation with MHLAC attorneys;
– Attend trainings and other conferences and events relevant to MHLAC priorities in order to stay up to date on mental health law;
– Provide backup assistance in responding to requests for assistance (“intake”) from potential clients;
– Assist in advocacy as needed to address the evolving needs of MHLAC’s client population.

References and writing samples will be requested of finalists.
A criminal background check will be completed for selected candidate.

How to Apply:
By July 17, 2019, please submit resume and cover letter indicating the position you are applying for via email at hiring@mhlac.org or by mail to:

Hiring Committee
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
24 School Street, Suite 804
Boston, MA 02108

The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds to apply, including those who may require reasonable accommodations on account of disabilities. Please contact Director of Operations Abigail Selter at (617)338-2345, ext.143, with any questions regarding the position and requirements.