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Law Clerk - Juvenile Court

Boston, Massachusetts, United States


The Trial Court is committed to: 

  • Fair, impartial, and timely administration of justice;
  • Protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties;
  • Equal access to justice for all in a safe and dignified environment strengthened by diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Excellence in the adjudication of cases and resolution of disputes;
  • Courteous service to the public by dedicated professionals who inspire public trust and confidence.

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The Massachusetts Trial Court is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and provides equal opportunity in state employment to all persons. No person shall be denied equal access because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, pregnancy, military or veteran status, physical/mental disability; or genetic information. If you need a reasonable accommodation, or have any questions or concerns about being afforded fair and equal treatment, please contact the HR Benefits Team at

Law Clerk - Juvenile Court

  • 497021
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Juvenile Court Department
  • Law Clerk/Clerkship
  • Full-time
  • Closing at: Jun 9 2023 at 23:55 EDT

Title: Law Clerk – Juvenile Court

Starting Pay: $68,160.35

Departmental Mission Statement: It is the mission of the Juvenile Court to protect children from abuse and neglect and promote opportunities for children to reside in safe, stable, permanent family environments whenever possible, to strengthen families when their children are in need of services, to rehabilitate juveniles, to protect the public from delinquent and criminal activity while holding offenders accountable and addressing the harm suffered by the community and the victim, and to decide all cases fairly and impartially with dedication, integrity and professionalism.


This position will begin on September 5, 2023 and will finish on August 31, 2024, with a possibility of renewal for an additional year.

This posting is for law clerk positions in Eastern Massachusetts.  All law clerks are assigned by the Manager of Legal Research, with the final approval of the Chief Justice, to rotations.  In Eastern Massachusetts, the law clerks may be assigned to any of the following eight divisions:  Bristol, Barnstable, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester.  The rotation system gives law clerks the opportunity to work with numerous judges and to gain a broader understanding of the work of the Juvenile court.

New law clerks will be required to report to their assigned courthouses in-person for the first three months.  After that period, they may begin a hybrid work schedule at the discretion of the department head and pursuant to Trial Court Policy. 

Please read the following instructions carefully before starting the Trial Court online application process. Applications that do not comply with the following, may be screened out.

1. Resumes: Resumes must be converted to PDFs (Microsoft Word and text documents will not be accepted) and uploaded with the online application. Resumes should not include a list of references.

2. GPA: Unless your school does not provide a GPA, you must include your cumulative law school GPA on your resume.

3. Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation are optional. Applicants who choose to submit a letter of recommendation must do so via the online application process. Therefore, before starting the online applications, applicants must have PDFs of any letters of recommendation ready to upload. Please do not submit letters of recommendation by other means, such as mail, email, fax, or hand-delivery.

4. Writing Sample: Applicants shall submit a writing sample in response to the question listed at the end of the job posting. Applicants must submit the writing sample via email to the following address: sample must be submitted by email only (regular mail, fax or walk-ins will not be accepted) and needs to be sent by 11:55p.m. on the date that the applications start being reviewed (Tuesday, June 6, 2023).

5. Other Materials: Applicants selected for interviews should be prepared to submit additional materials if requested, including a statement of interest, an official law school transcript and an additional writing sample.

These positions will remain open until filled, but interested candidates are encouraged to submit their application and writing sample by Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Position Summary: The law clerk is responsible for performing legal research and writing assignments to assist the judges of the Juvenile Court.  Law clerks work directly with the judges, and under the supervision of the Manager of Legal Research Services, Assistant Deputy Court Administrator, and the Chief Justice.  

A reliable car and the willingness to travel to courthouses throughout the Commonwealth are requirements of the position.  

A judicial clerkship in the Massachusetts Juvenile Court offers a unique, exciting and rewarding environment in which to begin a legal career.  The Juvenile Court has general jurisdiction over delinquency, youthful offender, children requiring assistance, care and protection, guardianship, and adoption proceedings.     


Assists judges in matters before the court by:  

Discussing legal issues with judges;  

Performing careful and accurate legal research and analysis, using both online and book resources;  

Clearly and concisely conveying results of research and analysis to judges, orally and in writing;  

Preparing well-written and error-free legal research memoranda, and drafting findings of fact, conclusions of law, rationales, judgments and memoranda of decision;  

Completing assignments in a timely manner and within deadlines established by judges;  

Performing additional legal research and analysis and further review and revision of written work products as appropriate;

and Attending hearings, portions of trials, and other courtroom proceedings, as needed.  

Minimum Requirements:

These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for a position of Law Clerk:  

Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school or eligibility to sit for the Massachusetts bar exam, as of the start of the clerkship.

Excellent legal writing and communication skills.  

Excellent legal research and analytical skills, using both online and book resources.  

High professional and ethical standards.  

Access to a reliable car and the willingness and ability to travel to courthouses as assigned.  

Experience and knowledge in the use of personal computers, including word processing programs such as Microsoft Word and legal research services such as Lexis or Westlaw.  

Demonstrated ability to follow written and oral instructions.  

Demonstrated ability to manage, prioritize, and complete simultaneous assignments from various judges.  

Demonstrated ability to work well independently while maintaining productivity and demonstrating good judgment.  

Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and otherwise complete assignments in a timely manner.  

Demonstrated ability to work well with others in a professional setting, including judges, managers, court staff, and other law clerks.  

Genuine commitment to serving the full term of the clerkship.                          


Additional preferred qualifications include:            

Current legal practice or intent to practice law in Massachusetts.  

Substantial legal research and writing experience, including prior experience as a judicial intern for a Juvenile Court judge.  

Courses in juvenile law, research assistant positions, prior work experience in the areas of juvenile law and clinical placements.  

Familiarity with legal research resources beyond Westlaw and Lexis.  

Demonstrated commitment to government or public service.  

The Juvenile Court invites well-rounded and distinguished recent law school graduates and practicing attorneys to apply for the clerkship positions.

Solid academic credentials are important, however, there are no rigid requirements regarding class rank or standing.  

All law clerks must reside in Massachusetts for the duration of the law clerk term.

Writing Sample:

INSTRUCTIONS:  Please format your response as a legal memorandum addressed to Judge Gordon.  The memo cannot be longer than 5 pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman size 12 font.  Please email your response to by 11:55 p.m. on the date that the applications start being reviewed (Tuesday, June 6, 2023).

John Jones is fifteen years old and will turn sixteen on June 1, 2023.  He changed public school districts mid-year due to his parents’ divorce.  While his attendance was spotty at his old school, he maintained adequate grades and the school had no substantial concerns.  Upon his parents’ divorce, John began living with his mother in a new town and started attending his current school in December 2022.  Since then, he has missed twenty five days of school, of which only two were excused absences for illness.  When John does attend school, he often complains of panic attacks and asks his teachers if he can go to the nurse’s office.  When the school nurse has phoned John’s mother or father, they often don’t return his calls or they tell him to have John “tough it out” for the rest of the day.

              Ms. Miller, who is the school’s vice principal and the supervisor of attendance, has repeatedly tried to work with the Jones family with only limited success.  Ms. Miller has noticed at times that John’s mother smells of alcohol and appeared to be under the influence.  John’s father has been belligerent and uncooperative with Ms. Miller.  Ms. Miller tried to engage the family in the school’s truancy prevention program, but neither of John’s parents participated.  John met with the school’s guidance counselor and said that his parents don’t speak to one another so that he will sometimes tell his mother that he’s going to spend the night at his father’s house, when he actually goes to stay with various friends.  He said when he is with a couple of these friends, they will often go to parking lots and try to open car doors to take things.  John said that he has not taken anything big, just loose change and sometimes jewelry or whatever is in the car.  He told the guidance counselor that he uses marijuana to calm his anxiety but he feels worse at school and he’ll have panic attacks.  He said that he feels better when he’s not in school so he’ll often leave his mother’s house in the morning but not get on the bus.  He’ll wait for his mother to leave the house and he’ll let himself back in and go back to bed or play videogames.  John said that it’s easy for him to sneak out of the house because his mother is usually drunk or hungover and doesn’t notice.  John reports hating to visit his father on the weekends because he “blows up” at the smallest things but that most of the time his father isn’t there so it’s not always that bad. 

On March 9, 2023, Ms. Miller filed a petition in the Juvenile Court alleging John to be a child requiring assistance for the reasons of being habitually truant.  Judge Lamont found probable cause at the preliminary hearing that John required assistance, accepted the petition, and scheduled a fact finding hearing.  While John's parents appeared for the preliminary hearing, they did not appear for the fact finding hearing.  John's court appointed attorney moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that the assistant principal was not an attorney and by filing and pursuing the petition she was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.  Judge Gordon denied the motion and held the fact finding hearing.

At the fact finding hearing, Ms. Miller and the school guidance counselor testified regarding what John had told them about sneaking out of the house and staying with friends, using marijuana, and stealing.  John was visibly nervous during his testimony.  He said he was behind in his schoolwork which made him even more anxious and that his parents were mad at him.  John said he has never seen a doctor for these symptoms, which have worsened since his parents’ divorce.  He feels like his parents never listen to him and that his mother drinks a lot and his father tells him to “grow up.” 

              Judge Gordon who conducted the fact finding hearing has asked you to write a memorandum addressing the following issues:

  1. May Ms. Miller, on behalf of the school district, pursue this CRA case where she is not an attorney?  Why or why not?
  2. Provided it was appropriate for Ms. Miller to pursue the case, is John a child requiring assistance?  Why or why not?
  3. If the court finds that John is a child requiring assistance, what may the court order to address John’s issues?
  4. If the court finds that John is not a child requiring assistance, are there any other actions that could be taken to address the family’s issues?

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