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Research Attorney

Boston, 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.

Research Attorney

  • 494893
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Superior Court Dept
  • Legal/Attorney
  • Full-time

Title: Research Attorney

Pay Grade: Grade 18

Starting Pay: $80,071.49

Departmental Mission Statement:
The Superior Court, the trial court of general jurisdiction for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is committed to delivering high quality justice in a timely and fair manner in accordance with the rule of law.

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE: 

Notes:

This posting is to fill one Superior Court Research Attorney position within the Administrative Office of the Superior Court to serve all the Justices of the Superior Court. This Research Attorney position is expected to be based primarily in Boston.

The Superior Court seeks to fill this position as soon as possible. Please read all instructions carefully before starting the Trial Court online application process. Applications that do not comply with the instructions may be screened out. In particular:
* Employment Application. Applicants must complete the online Employment Application. Answer each question fully and accurately. Please do not use "see resume" or similar response.
* Resumes. Applicants must upload a Word file or PDF of their resume. The uploaded resume should *not* include references.
* Cover Letters. Formal cover letters are required during the application process in order to submit a completed application. Similar to the resume, this may be uploaded in Word or PDF format. The cover letter should be addressed to The Justices of the Superior Court, Suffolk Superior Courthouse, 3 Pemberton Square, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.
* References/Letters of Recommendation. Please do not provide references or letters of recommendation at this time through the applicant tracking system or by contacting any employees of the Superior Court. Reference information may be requested, and letters of recommendation (optional) accepted, later in the hiring process.

* Additional Materials. Selected applicants may be asked to provide a writing sample and official law school transcript soon after the close of the application period. Applicants should begin gathering these materials and be prepared to submit them when requested (but not before).
* Legal Writing Assessment. Applicants who reach the interview stage may be asked to complete legal research and writing assessment exercise. 
* Clerkship Experience. Please note that judicial clerkship experience (as opposed to judicial internships) is defined as paid full-time post-graduate employment as a law clerk for a court or judge.

The Superior Court recognizes the importance of a work-life balance and is developing a hybrid office/remote work policy.


Inquiries may be emailed to Romeo Camba, Manager of Legal Research Services, at romeo.camba@jud.state.ma.us (no phone inquiries please). 

This position is designated as a union position and is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement with O.P.E.I.U., Local 6.

This position will remain open until filled; however, preference will be given to candidates that applied during the initial 21 day posting period.

Position Summary: 
The Research Attorney is a professional position within the Superior Court. This position involves analyzing and researching legal issues and questions for the Justices of the Superior Court and the Administrative Office, and preparing legal memoranda, drafting judicial decisions and other documents. An employee is hired at the Research Attorney I level and is eligible for reclassification to the Research Attorney II level upon meeting the requirements of that level. The position title reverts to the entry level Research Attorney I position title when there is a vacancy.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS:
• Research Attorney I: This is the entry level position title within this series. An employee is expected to perform the full range of legal duties of this position and to train for the next higher level.
• Research Attorney II: This is the second level position title within this series. An employee is expected to perform more complex and varied legal duties which require more knowledge of case law and court policies and procedures.

Supervision Received: 
Work is performed under the general direction of the Departmental Chief Justice, the Associate Justices, and the Manager of Legal Research Services and is evaluated for professional competence and conformity to policy.

Duties:
Research Attorney I Duties:
• Researches legal issues and questions and assists in the writing of draft decisions and legal memoranda on civil, criminal, and administrative matters;
• Delivers all legal documents and related work product in a timely and high quality fashion, meeting deadlines and demonstrating continuous improvement;
• May assist in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, law fellows, and interns;
• Confers with and advises judges and court officials on legal issues;.
• Performs specialized legal and administrative functions;
• Performs special projects as assigned; and
• Performs related duties as required.

Research Attorney II Duties:
• Regularly researches complex or novel issues or arguments of law and prepares legal memoranda;
• Produces substantially more complex high quality work products specifically assigned to experienced research attorneys;
• Regularly assists in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, law fellows, and interns;
• Assists Superior Court Committee members in preparing materials for meetings, judicial conferences, and reports;
• Develops specialization skills in specific legal and administrative functions;
• Leads special projects as assigned; and
• Performs all of the duties of the lower level title as required.

Job Competencies: 
All applicants must be able, through the interview process, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following areas:

Ethics and Values: Communicates and demonstrates the ethics and values of the Superior Court Department and the Trial Court.
Mission: Understands, upholds, and communicates the Trial Court and Superior Court missions.
Applied Knowledge: Understanding of legal research, preparing legal memoranda and other documents, contributing to the development and implementation of court rules and policies.
Problem Solving: Accurately identifies and addresses legal issues within the department and initiates corrective action.
Continuous Learning: Demonstrates a commitment to continuously improve himself or herself through professional development.
Commitment to Diversity: Promotes an environment of diversity through understanding, respect, and positive communication with persons of varied racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds.
Customer Service: Fosters a departmental environment emphasizing conduct that is courteous and professional toward both Trial Court employees and the public.
Collaboration: Works with others cooperatively, and promotes teamwork, contributing to a work environment that focuses on shared departmental goals.

Minimum Requirements:
Research Attorney I Requirements:
• Graduation from an accredited law school and membership (or currently applying for membership) in the Massachusetts Bar;
• Two years of post-law school, professional legal work experience; 
• Prior post-graduate judicial clerkship is preferred. Judicial clerkship experience is defined as paid full-time post-graduate employment as a law clerk for a court or judge.
• Excellent writing, communication, and legal research skills;
• Ability to produce high quality work product while meeting deadlines;
• Abilities that demonstrate a history of continuous improvement; and
• Knowledge of and ability to use computer software such as MS Office, including word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, and PowerPoint.

Other knowledge, skills, and abilities:
• Ability to assist in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, law fellows, and interns;
• Knowledge of the Massachusetts judicial system and state law;
• Knowledge of applicable court jurisdiction and court procedures;
• Knowledge of trial, hearing and administrative procedures;
• Ability to analyze legal issues and identify relevant case opinions and court policies;
• Ability to prepare legal memoranda and other documents;
• Ability to work independently and to establish work priorities;
• Ability to deal effectively with attorneys, court officials, justices and the general public;
• Ability to handle sensitive matters on a confidential basis;
• Ability to maintain complex and accurate court records; and
• Ability to travel to Superior Court Courthouses throughout the Commonwealth.

Preferred Qualifications: Judicial clerkship experience and/or extensive experience involving a high volume of legal research and writing in a litigation context, particularly before the Superior Court, is preferred. Judicial clerkship experience is defined as paid full-time post-graduate employment as a law clerk for a court or judge.

Research Attorney II Requirements:
• A minimum of four years of experience as a Research Attorney I;
• Considerable knowledge of the Massachusetts judicial system and court policies and practices;
• Demonstrated ability to analyze and research complex legal issues;
• Demonstrated ability to produce substantially more complex high quality work products specifically assigned to experienced research attorneys;
• Ability to demonstrate specialization in specific legal and administrative functions;
• Exhibits initiative and the effective leadership on special projects;
• Demonstrated ability to assist in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, law fellows, and interns;
• Demonstrated ability to analyze administrative concerns and to develop feasible solutions;
• Demonstrated ability to perform responsibilities with minimal supervision;
• Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain professional working relationships with judges and court officials;
• Ability to travel to Superior Court Courthouses throughout the Commonwealth;
• Performs related work as required.

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