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Research Attorney - Land Court

Boston, Massachusetts, United States


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

Research Attorney - Land Court

  • 494661
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Land Court
  • Administrative
  • Legal/Attorney
  • Full-time
  • Closing at: Jul 13 2022 at 23:55 EDT

Title: Research Attorney

Pay Grade: 18

Starting Pay:  $ 78,501.47 (as of July 3, 2022 COLA increase $80,071.49)

Departmental Mission Statement: The Land Court’s mission is to provide an accessible forum where specialized expertise is applied to resolve disputes involving the ownership, development, and use of real property throughout the Commonwealth. The judges and staff are committed to serving the public and the real estate and trial bars in a respectful, efficient manner by issuing decisions that are equitable and legally well-reasoned, and by providing readily available, reliable guidance to property owners and registries of deeds regarding registered land transactions.


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

To apply, applicants must complete the Trial Court online application and upload to their Profile, (1) a cover letter or statement of interest, and (2) a resume.

If selected for an interview, applicants should be prepared to submit, (1) an official law school transcript, (2) a writing sample, and (3) a list of references.

Position Summary: The Research Attorney is a professional position within the Land Court. This position involves analyzing and researching legal issues and questions for the justices of the Land Court and the Administrative Office, including preparing legal memoranda, and 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.


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 or his or her designee, and the Deputy Court Administrator, 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 orders and decisions and legal memoranda on the matters within the Land Court’s jurisdiction;
  • Functions as liaison to law schools regarding internships and clerkships, and participates on educational panels as the Land Court representative;
  • Assists in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, and interns;
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of court rules and policies;
  • Performs special projects as assigned;
  • Performs related duties as required.

Research Attorney II Duties:

  • Regularly researches complex or novel issues or arguments of law and prepares legal memoranda;
  • Oversees the training of law clerks, law fellows, and interns, and regularly assists in the hiring of interns;
  • Performs special projects as assigned; and
  • Performs all of the duties of the lower level title as required.

Job Competencies: 

Ethics and Values: Communicates and demonstrates the ethics and values of the Land Court Department and the Trial Court.
Mission: Understands, upholds, and communicates the Trial Court and  Land Court missions.
Applied Knowledge: Understands legal research methodology and sources, prepares legal memoranda and other documents. Familiarity with court rules, policies and procedures.
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;
  • Membership in the Massachusetts Bar; membership in another state Bar with an active application to the Massachusetts Bar will also be considered;
  • 2 years of post-law school, professional legal work experience as of end of current calendar year;
  • Prior judicial clerkship experience is strongly preferred, particularly as a Land Court Law Clerk;
  • Excellent writing, communication, and legal research skills;
  • Knowledge of and ability to use computer software such as MS Word, MS Office, including word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, and PowerPoint;
  • Knowledge of and ability to use MassCourts and the courtroom recording systems is preferred;
  • Ability to assist in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks, 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 throughout the Commonwealth for court events.

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 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; and
  • Performs all of the duties of the lower level title as required.

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