Who We Are: The Disability Law Center (DLC) is a statewide, nonprofit legal organization and Massachusetts’ designated Protection and Advocacy agency for people with disabilities. DLC is committed to protecting the civil and human rights of all persons with disabilities through zealous advocacy and representation. Our work is firmly rooted in the belief that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The guiding principles for DLC’s advocacy are to promote and protect inclusion, independence, integration, and equal opportunity.
Staff Attorney – Job Description
Position: Staff Attorney
Reports To: Supervising Attorney
Wage Class: Exempt
Union Classification: Eligible
Location: Hybrid – combination of remote and in-office in Boston or Northampton DLC offices.
Summary: The staff attorney will advocate for the rights and interests of individuals with disabilities, including people who have behavioral health conditions. The attorney will investigate allegations of abuse and neglect; conduct virtual and onsite monitoring of community residences and other facilities; engage in advocacy to address human rights, discharge planning, community integration issues; and/or provide representation in civil rights cases. Bilingual applicants and applicants with 3 to 5 years of legal practice experience preferred.
DLC Staff Attorneys perform a wide range of duties, including the following:
- Represent clients consistent with the DLC’s priorities and case selection criteria; develop and implement case strategies; engage in litigation, negotiation, mediation in consultation with the Director of Litigation and/or the Director of Advocacy.
- Conduct in-person monitoring, and investigative activities in facilities and community settings, including psychiatric hospitals, nursing facilities, and group living environments; interview witnesses and conduct factual investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities; develop and execute workplans to assess, report upon, and address incidents of abuse and neglect.
- Attend in-person meetings with colleagues, clients, opposing parties, government officials and others.
- Provide information and self-advocacy assistance to DLC clients.
- Analyze statutes, regulations, agency policies/procedures and proposed legislation.
- Gather information from individuals with disabilities, family members and stakeholder groups to assist with policy analysis.
- Develop training and education materials and conduct training and outreach activities in the community.
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with subject area professionals and advocates, including state officials and agency staff, providers, advocacy organizations, pro bono attorneys, and community advocates.
- Collaborate with Senior Attorneys, Supervising Attorneys, the Director of Advocacy, and the Director of Litigation in the development of systemic activities as appropriate, including impact litigation.
- In accordance with DLC policies and procedures, maintain: the security of confidential information and records; complete and accurate records documenting advocacy, monitoring, and investigation activities and time spent.
- Be available to travel throughout Massachusetts to perform assigned job tasks.
- Perform related tasks consistent skills, abilities, and general responsibilities as required to support DLC’s mission, as assigned.
- Juris Doctorate and ability to practice law in Massachusetts (current MA bar admission or immediate ability to be admitted to MA bar required)
- Practical legal experience, such as client counseling, appearances in court and administrative proceedings, legislative advocacy, and administrative advocacy;
- Experience advocating on behalf of individuals with disabilities and/or demonstrated commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities, people of color, and/or low-income clients.
- Professionalism and sound ethical judgment.
- Ability to work with diverse groups of individuals.
- Ability to analyze facts and pertinent legal authority and develop creative solutions.
- Ability to produce high quality legal writing.
- Ability to work efficiently, independently, and collaboratively.
- Ability to multi-task and effectively manage time.
- Ability to travel throughout the Commonwealth.
- Ability to communicate effectively in ASL, Spanish, or another non-English language.
- 3 to 5 years of legal practice experience.
Salary is determined by a collectively bargained salary scale based upon years of experience. DLC provides a generous benefits package, including retirement benefits and dental insurance.
Interested applicants for this position must submit a cover letter and a resume (with three references) through the form below. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
If you require a reasonable accommodation for completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in our employee selection process, please contact Amanda Gasparonis via email at email@example.com.
Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement
DLC is committed to protecting the fundamental human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy and representation. To do so effectively, DLC must foster diversity at all levels of the agency and approach our work through an intersectional lens. We are dedicated to understanding our clients’ diverse circumstances and meeting their needs as well as maintaining an inclusive environment that supports success and the well-being of staff.
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer
The Disability Law Center values diversity of culture, disability, and other life experiences, and is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer by choice. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to disability, race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military service, veteran status, age, citizenship, marital status, status as a parent/guardian, or any other characteristic protected by law. We endorse and support the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants and employees to enable them to perform the essential functions of their positions.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this position description is to serve as a general summary and overview of the major duties and responsibilities of the job. The description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all functions or inclusive of all job responsibilities that may arise. The Employer retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.