The Disability Law Center (DLC) has an immediate opening for a full-time, one-year temporary staff attorney. DLC is the federally authorized Protection and Advocacy agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. DLC’s core mission is to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts. DLC fulfills its mission through a combination of the following: monitoring and investigating places where persons with disabilities live or receive services; individual representation and advocacy; legislative and administrative advocacy; and individual and class action impact litigation.
Staff Attorney, PAIDD Program – Job Description
Position: Temporary Staff Attorney
Reports To: Director of Advocacy
Wage Class: One-Year Temporary Employee
Union Classification: Not Eligible
Summary: This is a one-year temporary attorney position focusing on work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in facilities or in the community. Areas of practice may include but are not limited to: investigation of allegations of abuse and neglect; virtual and onsite monitoring of community residences and other facilities; assistance with human rights issues, DDS eligibility and appropriate services, ISP appeals, discharge planning, community integration, supported employment, Medicaid services, and Chapter 688 transition services; and/or representation in civil rights cases. 3 to 5 years legal practice experience preferred.
- Represent individual clients consistent with the DLC’s priorities and case selection criteria; develop and implement case strategies; engage in negotiation, mediation, and representation in administrative and judicial proceedings in consultation with the Director of Litigation and/or the Director of Advocacy.
- Conduct outreach and monitoring visits to facilities and community settings*; interview witnesses and conduct factual investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities; assist in probable cause determinations; develop and execute workplans to assess, report upon and address incidents of abuse and neglect; draft investigation reports and corrective action plans;
- Provide information and short-term 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;
- Prepare written materials and conduct activities for the education and training of individuals with disabilities, family members, other members of the public, professionals, and others consistent with DLC’s focus areas;
- Participate in outreach activities to un-served and underserved populations;
- 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;
- Assist in the planning and development of the agency’s focus areas; and
- Other duties as assigned.
*NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, for community & staff safety reasons, community-based and on-site/facility/institutional activity may be modified or suspended, and may instead be conducted remotely/verbally.
- 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, including but not limited to representation in court and administrative proceedings, legislative advocacy, administrative advocacy, and other forms of systemic advocacy;
- Experience advocating on behalf of individuals with disabilities and/or demonstrated commitment to the civil rights of all people;
- Ability to analyze facts and pertinent legal authority and develop creative solutions;
- Ability to produce high quality legal writing;
- Ability to travel throughout the Commonwealth;
- Ability to work efficiently, independently, and collaboratively; and
- Ability to multi-task and effectively manage time;
- Experience working with people with developmental disabilities, including people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, and their families and advocates preferred.
- Experience working with people with disabilities in hospitals, ICF-IDDs, community residences, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, prisons and/or jails preferred.
- Ability to communicate effectively in ASL, Spanish, or another non-English language preferred.
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.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Interested applicants for this position must submit a cover letter, resume (with three references), and a short writing sample through the form below:
Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement:
DLC is committed to protecting the fundamental human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy and excellent representation. In fulfilling our mission, DLC is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the agency. We are dedicated to understanding our clients’ diverse circumstances and meeting their needs. We are also committed to maintaining an inclusive environment that supports success and the well-being of all of our staff. DLC’s leadership is responsible for ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information (including family medical history), military service, veteran status, age, citizenship, disability, marital status, or status as a parent/guardian. 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 or employees who need accommodations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. It is not intended to represent the entirety of the job nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. Management reserves the right to modify, or rescind, this position description at any time, with or without prior notice.