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Staff Attorney – TSS

Background: The Second Step (TSS) is a nonprofit organization that fosters the safety, stability, and well-being of those who have experienced domestic violence. We provide comprehensive services, including legal advocacy, safety planning, counseling, peer support, transitional housing, and other essential services to adults, youth, and children in Greater Boston and MetroWest.

Job Title: Staff Attorney

Essential Employee: The person in this role is considered an essential employee and may be required to work on-site during a government declared state of emergency or weather emergency.

Hours: Full-time, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Occasional evening and weekend work when necessary. This position is in-person and some flexibility is required to attend to urgencies and emergencies occasionally.

Reports to: Director of Steps to Justice

Primary Objectives: The Staff Attorney is responsible for providing direct legal services to survivors of domestic violence. The Staff Attorney is also responsible for assisting the Director of Steps to Justice, the legal services program housed within TSS, with legislative, administrative, and systemic efforts to address issues that impact survivors of domestic violence, in outreach to and relationship building with the legal community and in facilitating legal trainings.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Accept client referrals from both community and internal sources.
  • Provide limited assistance representation and full representation to clients as appropriate, including but not limited to family law cases and abuse prevention order hearings.
  • Provide legal advice, brief consultation, and/or targeted referrals to outside legal providers as appropriate.
  • Engage in regular courtroom litigation and advocacy.
  • Provide court accompaniment to survivors of domestic violence in criminal courts.
  • Ensure compliance with all Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) ethics standards, including confidentiality and ethical conflicts of interest.
  • Collect all relevant program data.
  • Organize and/or give periodic legal trainings for TSS staff or volunteers on various relevant legal topics.
  • Give specialized community-wide trainings for both legal and non-legal professionals on domestic violence issues.
  • Attend legal trainings to maintain up to date knowledge on domestic violence legal issues.
  • Advance STJ’s profile in the greater legal community by establishing and maintaining relationships with other legal practitioners, community agencies and governmental agencies.
  • Participate in legal community collaborations such as policy groups, steering committees, focus groups and/or bar associations geared towards domestic violence law.
  • Participating in legislative, administrative and other systemic advocacy designed to promote the interests of domestic violence survivors.
  • Flexibility for very occasional evening work when necessary.
  • Assist at and attend special events.


  • JD and admission in good standing to the Massachusetts Bar.
  • Demonstrated experience providing legal services to low-income or otherwise vulnerable clients.
  • Experience with clients affected by domestic violence, trauma, and/or mental health issues.
  • Candidates with 3 to 10 years of litigation experience are preferred, including experience with Abuse Prevention Order/Harassment Prevention Order proceedings and Family/Probate Law Matters, and as a 3:03 certified attorney.
  • Candidates must have an enthusiasm for and desire to engage in regular courtroom litigation and negotiations with opposing parties.
  • Candidates must possess strong oral and written communication skills, with the capability of handling complex matters that coincide with assisting survivors of domestic violence.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and cases simultaneously and with flexibility, and to prioritize competing deadlines.
  • Strong crisis management, problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills, including strong client interviewing skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively & effectively with non-legal Second Step staff.
  • Experience working with racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse teams and client communities and demonstrated skill and self-awareness in how to effectively connect with clients and communities across cultural differences.
  • Candidates with a proficiency in Spanish or another foreign language are highly encouraged.
  • Reliable car/transportation as attorneys must regularly travel to courthouses and meetings throughout the Greater Boston and MetroWest areas, in the following counties: Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk. Mileage and parking costs are reimbursed.

Salary and benefits: TSS offers a competitive salary and benefits package to full-time employees. The salary range is $65,000 – $80,000, commensurate with experience/competitive with area legal services providers. Additional compensation for language skills. Sign-on bonus paid out 50% at hiring, 50% after successful completion of 6 months of employment. Benefits include 3 weeks paid vacation, 13 paid holidays, 5 personal days, ample sick time, agency contribution to health and dental insurance, agency hosted 403(b) plan.

Equal opportunity: The Second Step actively seeks cultural and linguistic diversity in all of its programs. People of color, bilingual/bicultural candidates, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and LGBQT+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Second Step, Inc. is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

To apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter to Amy Hamill, Director of Steps to Justice, at