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Supervising Attorney, Education Unit – SCCLS

South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a growing non-profit legal aid program providing free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income residents of Southeastern MA, Cape Cod, and the Islands, seeks to hire a Supervising Attorney to develop and lead its expanding Education team. The Education practice represents vulnerable students in the region to ensure they are not excluded from educational opportunities or directed away from those opportunities due to disability, a language barrier, race, national origin, or poverty. In doing so, the Education team will challenge systemic, underlying education policies and practices that contribute to the denial of access to a quality education, resulting in low expectations, ineffective instruction, and inadequate interventions. The Supervising Attorney will have an excellent opportunity to advance a race equity practice that identifies and challenges policies and practices that produce or perpetuate disparities having an adverse impact on protected groups of students.

SCCLS and its subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSM), with a staff of 75 and 4 offices in Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford and Hyannis, is the principal provider of free, civil legal aid to low-income residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. SCCLS’ core mission is to achieve justice for eligible clients through community-based advocacy. The organization seeks attorneys committed to providing high quality legal representation through a lens of economic and racial justice.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Develop and implement an articulated vision for education advocacy that includes addressing underlying systemic issues; maintain a small and strategic caseload
  2. Effectively engage with the organization’s leadership team, advocacy staff, community groups and organizations, and the statewide youth serving/education law community to develop and manage strategic initiatives, community needs assessments, and to respond to emerging trends and changing policies affecting education rights
  3. Develop, support, and oversee the litigation, systemic and policy advocacy of the education team
  4. Assist in developing/revising standards of practice for the education unit and ensure adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements and the highest professional standards using regular case review and other supervision standards and practices
  5. Collaborate with the statewide education advocacy community to advance special projects that systemically challenge the denial of equitable educational opportunities to students within protected population groups
  6. Ensure advocacy staff is actively engaged with other program advocates, local community groups and organizations, and the statewide advocacy community to identify and address legal issues confronting our diverse and low income communities; develop education team expertise
  7. Work with appropriate staff to pursue new funding opportunities, prepare grant applications and reports, and monitor compliance; other responsibilities as assigned by the Program Manager or Executive Director

Qualifications:

  1. Admitted in MA or eligible for admission; 5-7 years of legal practice with substantive expertise in education law and civil rights issues; understanding or experience with intersecting systems affecting children and youth
  2. Significant experience with advocacy in a variety of forums including federal, state, and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and/or legislative bodies; ability and will to lead and advance the education law practice
  3. Strong leadership and mentoring skills and a leadership style that inspires and encourages professional growth in others; demonstrated ability to supervise across differences
  4. Demonstrated ability to identify and respond to emerging issues and policies affecting low-income students;
  5. Ability to foster inclusivity, equity and humility when working with clients, colleagues and in supervising staff at the intersection of multiple identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, immigration status, religion, physical and mental disability, and/or limited English proficiency
  6. Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  7. Capacity to facilitate groups and meetings equitably with a framework that embraces race equity principles
  8. Commitment to race equity, anti-racism and economic justice in the workplace and in providing legal services; prior racial justice and/or systemic focused experience required;
  9. Ability to engage effectively in person and remotely with people from diverse cultures, with diverse opinions and values, including with staff, volunteers, students, community members and funders;
  10. Fluency in a second language which reflects our client communities (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Khmer) desirable.

Compensation and Benefits:

SCCLS offers competitive compensation based on comparable public interest salaries and commensurate with experience. Multi-lingual annual increment to base salary may be added for demonstrated language skills. Generous benefits and leave offered.

Apply:

Submit letter of interest, resume and legal writing sample by email to: LThelin@sccls.org with Subject Line: Supervising Attorney Education. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

South Coastal Counties Legal Services and its subsidiary are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate based on age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We strive to foster a healthy, inclusive environment where all staff, clients, and community members are valued, empowered and recognized.