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Law Clerk

Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

TRIAL COURT MISSION 

The Trial Court is committed to: 

  • Fair and impartial administration of justice;
  • Protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties;
  • Equal access to justice for all in a safe and dignified environment with policies and practices that strengthen and support diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Efficient, effective, and accountable resolution of disputes;
  • Prompt and courteous service to the public by committed and dedicated professionals utilizing best practices in a manner that inspires public trust and confidence.

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 reasonableaccommodation@jud.state.ma.us.

Law Clerk

  • 495098
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
  • Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
  • Juvenile Court Department
  • Law Clerk/Clerkship
  • Full-time
  • Grant Funded
  • Closing at: Oct 5 2022 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.

The term of this Juvenile Court Law Clerk Opportunity will start as soon as possible and will finish as of August 31, 2023, with a possibility of renewal for an additional year.

This posting is for a law clerk position supporting judges in Western Massachusetts, including Hampden, Berkshire, and Franklin/Hampshire Divisions of the Juvenile Court.  If the applicant resides in Eastern Massachusetts, they may work remotely with the expectation that they would travel to the Springfield or Hadley courts approximately twice monthly, subject to change. If the applicant resides in Western Massachusetts, they will be allowed to work a hybrid schedule, with three in-person days per week in either Springfield or Hadley, and two remote workdays, also subject to change. 

All law clerks are assigned by the Manager of Legal Research, with the final approval of the Chief Justice, to rotations.  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.  

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: admin-jccallctr@jud.state.ma.us.  The 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 application closes (x).

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.

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 Assistant Deputy Court Administrator, Manager of Legal Research, 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.     

Duties:

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.

 

The Lowell Police arrested 17-year-old Tommy Thomas after receiving a call regarding a disturbance at a party on July 23, 2022.  The Lowell Police filed a delinquency complaint against Tommy, charging him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (G.L. c. 265, § 15A) and unlawful possession of a firearm (G.L. c. 269, § 10(a)) for the incident at the party.  Tommy was arraigned on July 25, 2022, in Lowell Juvenile Court.  Tommy turned 18 on August 10, 2022.  On September 6, 2022, a Middlesex County grand jury returned indictments against Tommy indicting him as a youthful offender for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.  Following his arraignment on the youthful offender matters, Tommy’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the youthful offender case arguing that the Commonwealth could not seek a youthful offender indictment against Tommy after he turned 18 years old.  The Commonwealth argued that it had the authority to seek a youthful offender indictment because Tommy allegedly committed the offenses when he was 17 years old, and he was arraigned prior to his 18th birthday. 

Judge Jones requests that you prepare a legal memorandum addressing the following issues:

  • Should the motion to dismiss the youthful offender matters be allowed or denied?  Why or why not?
  • What sentencing options are available to the court on each charge, assuming that the motion to dismiss is denied, the youthful offender case proceeds to trial and Tommy is adjudicated a youthful offender on both charges?
  •  

    Instructions:  Please format your response as a legal memorandum addressed to Judge Jones.The memo cannot be longer than 5 pages, double spaced. 

     

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