Senior Supervising Attorney
The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) seeks a senior manager 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. The person hired into this position will also take on substantial responsibility for coordinating advocacy and providing supervision to Program advocates.
MHLAC is a state agency of the Supreme Judicial Court. Created by the legislature in 1973, it 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, 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 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
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 LBGQT community and people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to apply.
Position Type: Staff / Full-time
Salary Range: Starting at $112,265, commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Benefits: Strong package includes access to Massachusetts’ excellent retirement
plan for State employees.
Office Location: 24 School Street, Suite 804, Boston, MA 02108
Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
• The Senior Supervising Attorney will report to and share oversight and supervision duties with
the program’s Executive Director (ED). This includes:
- Teaming with the ED in the coordination of advocacy and in the supervision and evaluation of other advocates;
- Meeting with ED regularly to discuss the progress of projects and the needs of advocates;
- Serving on a three-person management team that includes the Director of Operations
- (DO) to discuss issues that overlap between substantive and administrative matters:
- Providing direct structured supervision, as needed, to less experienced advocates and ongoing supervision to advocates seeking assistance in advocacy projects;
- Reviewing and editing documents drafted to further litigation efforts and otheradvocacy;
- In cooperation with the ED and Program advocacy staff, responding to requests from advocates in other organizations for mutual participation in advocacy campaigns andprojects;
- In cooperation with the ED and Program advocacy staff, responding to requests for participation in or support for drafting of amicus briefs, as well as regulatory or legislative provisions and amendments;
- In cooperation with the ED and DO, participate in the planning and facilitation of Program events intended to focus and prioritize MHLAC advocacy and to select among potential projects and targeted educational events sponsored by MHLAC for the larger communities of advocates, persons with lived experience, and the public at large.
• In cooperation with advocacy teams, take on a substantial role 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 and social service providers 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.
• Admission, or ability to “waive in,” to the Massachusetts Bar required;
• Demonstrated strong commitment to public interest law practice;
• Significant experience in the delivery of legal services;
• Substantial experience in leading litigation and other advocacy that affects substantial numbers of clients;
• Ability to produce high quality legal work;
• Strong communication and time-management skills;
• Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with clients and co-workers in a team environment;
• Experience in the provision of supervision;
• Experience and strong interest in working with persons with mental health issues and/or institutionalized persons;
• Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
• Ability to communicate in a language used by significant numbers of potential clients preferred.
Please submit resume and cover letter via email to email@example.com.
Email submissions are strongly encouraged. We will accept submissions mailed or faxed to our office and Ms. Laís Teixeira can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if further accommodations are necessary:
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
24 School Street, Suite 804
Boston, MA 02108
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.