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Title: Law Clerk
Pay Grade: Grade 16
Starting Pay: $$68,160.35 (The stated salary is effective July 3, 2022).
Departmental Mission Statement: To deliver timely justice to the public by providing equal access to a fair, equitable and efficient forum to resolve family and probate legal matters and to assist and protect all individuals, families and children in an impartial and respectful manner.
Notes: This clerkship term is from September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023.
This is a posting to serve as a Probate & Family Court Law Clerk in either Eastern or Western Massachusetts.
Eastern Massachusetts may be assigned to Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester.
Western Massachusetts may be assigned to Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin.
All applicants must upload a resume with the online application. The resume must be in PDF format and its filename must start with the applicant’s last name. Applicants must indicate whether they would like to be considered for a law clerk position in either eastern Massachusetts or western Massachusetts.
In addition to the submission of their resume and application online at the Trial Court website, applicants are required to submit, by mail, a current transcript (official or unofficial) and two copies of a writing sample in response to the fact pattern as listed in this posting. The two copies of the writing sample and the transcript must be mailed together and postmarked by July 10th, 2022. The mailing address for the Administrative Office of the Probate and Family Court is:
Administrative Office of the Probate and Family Court
Three Center Plaza
Boston, MA 02108
ATTN: Law Clerk Program
Transcripts and writing samples that are faxed, emailed, or late will not be considered.
Letters of recommendation are not requested or required. Applicants selected for interviews may be asked to submit additional materials, including a statement of interest, an official law school transcript, or an additional writing sample.
Position Summary: The law clerk position is responsible for performing legal research and writing assignments to assist the judges of the Probate and Family Court. The term runs until August 31, 2023. There may be the opportunity to apply for an additional one-year clerkship term. Law clerks work directly with the judges, and under the supervision of the Manager of Legal Research Services, the Managing Attorney, 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 Probate and Family Court offers a unique, exciting and rewarding environment in which to begin a legal career. The Probate and Family Court hears cases on subjects relating to all aspects of a person’s life, from birth to death. Law clerks in the Probate and Family Court are exposed to a wide variety of family, probate and equity issues; including adoption, paternity, custody, divorce, guardianships, legal bioethics, petitions to partition real estate, trust reformations and will contests. The law in these areas is constantly evolving and cases of first impression often confront the court, making a clerkship experience in the Probate and Family Court interesting and challenging. Cutting edge issues such as the changing definition of family are not uncommon.
Law clerks apply to serve in either eastern or western Massachusetts. The majority of opportunities to serve are in eastern Massachusetts. All law clerks are assigned to rotations by the Manager of Legal Research Services, with the final approval of the Chief Justice.
Law clerks based in eastern Massachusetts may be assigned to any of the Probate and Family Court divisions within or east of Worcester County. These are Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. Law clerks based in western Massachusetts may be assigned to any of the Probate and Family Court divisions west of Worcester County. These are Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. The rotation system gives law clerks the opportunity to work with numerous judges and to gain a broader understanding of the work of the Probate and Family Court.
Minimum Requirements: These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for a position of Law Clerk:
Writing Sample Instructions:
Please draft a response to the fact pattern listed below in the format of a memorandum of law. The writing sample must be typed, double-spaced, and cannot exceed six pages. Apply Massachusetts statutory and case law to each fact pattern and follow the Blue Book system of citation. The two copies of the writing sample and the transcript must be mailed together and postmarked by July 10th, 2022. Writing samples and transcripts that are faxed, emailed, or late will not be considered.
For 2022 – 2023 Application Q1
Carrie Parker and Miranda Hobbes met while attending business school in early 2008. They dated intermittently, but cohabitated starting in January 2010. Upon graduation in 2010, Carrie received a job offer in Stockholm, Sweden. She asked Miranda to come with her and promised to take care of her. Carrie and Miranda moved to Stockholm in October 2010 and rented an apartment together in Södermalm, a trendy Stockholm neighborhood. Miranda accompanied Carrie to her business dinners, hosted dinner parties for Carrie’s bosses, and acted as tour guide on numerous occasions. Carrie proudly introduced Miranda as her “wife” to personal and professional contacts. During this time, Miranda acted as a homemaker and depended on Carrie financially while Carrie happily ensured that Miranda had everything she needed. Carrie listed Miranda as her “domestic partner” on Carrie’s employer-provided health insurance. In early January 2019, Miranda proposed to Carrie, who said “yes.” Miranda, who was now fluent in Swedish, missed her family in Western Massachusetts. The two agreed to return to the United States, but could not agree where to settle so they remained in Stockholm until shortly before their wedding. They married in Lee, Massachusetts on March 23, 2019 and spent the year following their marriage “resort-hopping” across the country. Carrie worked remotely for the same Swedish company and Miranda worked for herself as a Swedish travel expert. In March 2020, the two moved to Boston, excited to share the news that Carrie was expecting a baby boy in July. Carrie stayed in Boston, while Miranda traveled for work. On July 28, 2020, Aidan Hobbes was born. Carrie did not return to work after Aidan’s birth. In November 2020, while on vacation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Miranda and Carrie had an argument. Later that night, Miranda confessed that she had been unfaithful to Carrie. The next day, Carrie returned to Boston and filed a complaint for divorce in the Probate and Family Court alleging an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage in November 2020. She also filed a name change petition seeking to hyphenate Aidan’s surname to include her own. The name change petition was consolidated with the divorce complaint, which came before the court for trial on February 11, 2021. Carrie argued the parties maintained an economic marital partnership from January 2010 to March 2019. She further argued that Miranda has not shown that it would be against Aidan’s best interests to hyphenate his surname. Carrie submitted proposed findings for the name change petition. At the end of trial, Miranda filed a motion to dismiss Carrie’s divorce complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The judge took the matters under advisement.
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