Staff Attorney, Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids – Health Law Advocates
An exciting opportunity to provide legal representation for at-risk children within a growing program of a leading non-profit, public interest law firm
Health Law Advocates (HLA) provides free legal services to Massachusetts residents with low income who face barriers to accessing health care. Learn more about us at www.healthlawadvocates.org.
HLA’s Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids (MHAP for Kids) improves the health and increases the educational success of children with unmet mental health needs. Experienced staff attorneys provide free legal representation to families with low income, advocating for access to mental health services and diverting children from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Learn more about us at www.mhapforkids.org.
MHAP for Kids attorneys are embedded in Family Resource Centers (FRCs) around the state. We are seeking a highly qualified, motivated lawyer with knowledge of the juvenile court, mental health, and/or education systems to join the talented MHAP for Kids team. The attorney will advocate for up to 30 youth at a time across the school, court, and mental health systems, to ensure that their mental health needs are met and their legal rights are protected.
Duties and Responsibilities
The primary day-to-day responsibility of the position is to provide legal representation for youth with unmet mental health needs.
More specific activities include:
- Meeting with clients
- Conducting legal research and writing
- Analyzing education, medical, court, and other relevant records
- Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with staff of the host Family Resource Center
- Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with state agencies, such as DCF, DMH, DYS, as well as other stakeholders in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems
- Managing case files
- Promoting MHAP for Kids in the community
- Participating in program evaluation
All HLA employees are expected to have the skills to:
- Work both independently and as an effective team member.
- Collaborate with and support staff at all levels of our organization.
- Communicate clearly and professionally.
- Demonstrate empathy and sensitivity while working with clients encountering crises.
- Maintain confidentiality and, for attorneys, strict adherence to all professional responsibility requirements for the practice of law.
- Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, openness, and the desire and ability to listen and learn.
- Understand and believe in the mission of the organization.
- Embody the values of the organization, including a commitment to decreasing inequity in our health care system and society as a whole.
Minimum requirements specific to this position include:
- Juris Doctor Degree
- 4+ years of relevant work experience
- Excellent communication skills, including oral advocacy and writing skills
- A strong understanding of the juvenile court
- A strong understanding of children’s mental health systems
- Strong advocacy skills
Other preferred qualifications:
- Track record of effectively collaborating with government and community-based service agencies
- Demonstrated cultural competence
- Proven ability to handle a substantial caseload
- Knowledge of the communities served by the host Family Resource Center
- Bilingual skills (English and Spanish, Portuguese, and/or Haitian Creole)
The salary range for this position is $74,000 – $80,000 annually. HLA offers a robust benefits package including comprehensive health insurance, 401(k) contributions, and a generous paid leave policy.
Our standard process is for applications to be submitted online at https://hlainc.efficientapply.com/jobs/ where you will upload a resume and cover letter. If this process is not accessible to you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-275-2985.
HLA is committed to diversity in its workforce. A crucial part of HLA’s vision is supporting cultural and linguistic competence, as well as ensuring diversity of staff and volunteers, so we can best serve our clients. People of color, women, people living with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and people who speak English as a second language are strongly encouraged to apply.