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Staff Attorney Criminal Specialist-Appeals Court

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

In compliance with the Trial Court’s Mandatory Vaccine Reporting and Weekly Testing Policy, hired candidates must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to the Trial Court’s Human Resources Department prior to their start date or agree to submit to weekly testing as a condition of employment.



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

Staff Attorney Criminal Specialist-Appeals Court

  • 493082
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Legal/Attorney
  • Full-time

Title: Staff Attorney Criminal Specialist

Pay Grade:

Starting Pay: $89,069.72

Departmental Mission Statement: APPEALS COURT MISSION STATEMENT:

The Massachusetts Appeals Court is committed to doing justice under the law by rendering thoughtful, well-reasoned appellate decisions in a timely and efficient manner, treating all those who come before the court fairly and impartially.

Notes: Staff attorneys are not permitted to engage in the practice of law.
By statute, employees of the Massachusetts courts must be Massachusetts residents.
This is a union position covered by a collective bargaining agreement with O.P.E.I.U., Local 6

Position Summary: POSITION SUMMARY:

Staff attorneys work on a variety of legal assignments for the Justices of the Appeals Court. Principal assignments include assisting in the writing and editing of outgoing decisions, screening incoming civil and criminal cases, and preparing legal memoranda on selected criminal and civil cases. A minimum of 3 years of criminal law experience is required, as this staff attorney will be expected to concentrate on writing and research for the court in this area. All staff attorneys, however, may be asked to work in additional areas depending on the court's needs.

Supervision Received: Work is performed under the general direction of the Chief Justice or his or her designee.


• Assists in drafting opinions and dispositive orders
• Edits outgoing opinions and dispositive orders
• Screens incoming briefs and records in criminal cases
• Prepares legal memoranda on selected criminal cases
• Performs specific legal and consultative work assigned by the Justices
• Performs other related work as required

Job Competencies: 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 Appeals Court.
Mission Understands, upholds, and communicates the Appeals Court mission.
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 Appeals 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: POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

• Thorough knowledge of criminal law, including statutes, guidelines, case law, terminology, and rules of procedure
• Ability to assist in drafting and editing legal documents pursuant to technical and substantive guidelines
• Working knowledge of Trial Court and Appellate Court jurisdiction and procedure
• Ability to analyze, appraise, and organize facts and precedents
• Ability to organize research material and to work independently without direct supervision
• Ability to meet deadlines
• Ability to communicate clearly and precisely, verbally and in writing
• Ability to work well with others, including judges, law clerks, and staff
• Graduation from an accredited law school
• Membership in the Massachusetts bar
• Minimum of 3 years of legal experience in the field of criminal law after law school graduation
• Superior research and writing skills
• Previous writing and editing experience preferred



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