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Staff Attorney – Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee

The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) seeks two staff attorneys to work on advocacy projects and collaborate with staff to advance 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. MHLAC offers free legal assistance to indigent people with mental health challenges throughout the Commonwealth. MHLAC’s experienced and talented staff focuses on identifying and addressing issues faced by significant numbers of clients in common. Approaches to solving client problems depend on the issue itself and the best strategy for accomplishing results. Tactics include class-based and targeted individual litigation, as well as legislative, administrative, and public advocacy.
MHLAC also 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. See http://mhlac.org/what-we-do/ for a description of MHLAC’s approach and work.
MHLAC is committed to addressing racial equity concerns. In making strategic work choice decisions, priority is given to issues affecting persons with multiple characteristics that expose them to bias (e.g. persons of color who have or are perceived to have mental health concerns). This is consistent with workplace values. MHLAC is committed to creating an inclusive environment that promotes and values racial equity and diversity. We strongly encourage and welcome people of color, people with disabilities, those with personal experience related to mental health concerns, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to apply.
Title: Staff Attorney
Full/Part Time: Full Time
Position Type: Non-Civil Service / Staff
Confidential: Yes
Salary Range: $78,160 – 115,322, commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Benefits: Strong package includes access to Massachusetts’ excellent retirement plan for State employees.
Main office location: 24 School St., Suite 804, Boston, MA 02108 (December 2021, MHLAC’s main office is relocating to Quincy, MA)
Work location: Western Massachusetts and Boston/Quincy
Website: www.mhlac.org
Deadline: Applications received after September 3rd, 2021, may not be considered.
Qualifications
 Ability to produce high quality legal work;
 Demonstrated strong commitment to public interest law practice;
 Strong writing skill;
 Strong communication and time-management skills;
 Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with clients and co-workers in a team environment;
 Commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment;
 Admission, or ability to “waive in,” to the Massachusetts Bar preferred;
 Experience in litigation and other advocacy that affects substantial numbers of clients preferred;
 Experience and strong interest in working with persons with mental health issues and/or institutionalized persons preferred;
 Ability to communicate in a language used by significant numbers of potential clients preferred.
Duties
 In cooperation with advocacy teams, take on a substantial and supporting roles in litigation or other advocacy, independently or in partnership with other organizations or community groups, to address problems that significant numbers of MHLAC clients share in common;
 Handle legal representation in prioritized individual cases as needed to advance systemic advocacy projects and the pursuit of MHLAC’s mission;
 Travel to meet with clients and client groups throughout the Commonwealth to provide representation, information, or strategic assistance that is connected to the pursuit of systemic reforms;
 Field requests from legal advocates and attorneys in Massachusetts seeking technical assistance in cases they are handling for MHLAC eligible clients;
 Participate in the production of training events for attorneys, social service providers, and persons with lived experience on emerging issues in mental health law and policy;
 Attend trainings conferences and events relevant to MHLAC priorities in order to stay up to date on, and gain insight into, mental health law and policy issues;
 Represent MHLAC client interests in public forums, including legislative and rulemaking hearings and on statewide task forces.
Due to the pandemic, initial and perhaps subsequent interviews will be conducted remotely. It is anticipated that office staff will largely work from remote locations at least into the fall. References and writing samples will be requested of finalists. A criminal background check will be completed for the selected candidate.

How to Apply
Please submit resume and cover letter via email to hiring@mhlac.org. with the subject line – “Staff Attorney position.”
Email submissions are strongly encouraged. We will accept submissions mailed or faxed to our office and Ms. Morgan Nowatkowski can be contacted at mnowatkowski@mhlac.org if further accommodations are necessary.
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
24 School Street, Suite 804
Boston, MA 02108
ATTN: Hiring
617-338-2347 FAX
The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As the representative of the Commonwealth and its residents, the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee strives to ensure that those working in our office reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. The Committee encourages applicants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to apply for positions. We will gladly assist applicants who need reasonable accommodation.