Legal Aid Staff Attorney: Family Preservation Project

Community Legal Aid
Posted Jan 25
Full Time
Worcester, Massachusetts
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Community Legal Aid (CLA) is the non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to low-income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts. CLA has over 150 dedicated, talented staff working across multiple offices. Our core work includes effective client-centered advocacy and partnerships with our client communities.

CLA seeks an attorney who will be part of a team launching a new project in central Massachusetts to help parents who are involved with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). The goal of the Family Preservation Project (FPP) is to ensure that families get the help they need addressing issues of concern to DCF so that DCF does not remove the children from their home. This project aims to keep children safe with their families, minimize the emotional trauma caused by removal, and allow the foster care system to focus its resources on children who truly need its protection.

The attorney will be a member of CLA's interdisciplinary advocacy team and will work with a case manager and parent advocate to assist parents in the community. The attorney will be based in CLA's Worcester office and will provide legal assistance in a variety of core poverty-law areas, which may include eviction defense, access to benefits programs, education law, and family law. The attorney's work, along with that of the rest of the team, will focus on addressing the issues that are leading DCF to maintain an open case on the family with the threat of removal of the children from the home. The goal of the attorney's work is to provide legal interventions that will stabilize the family so that DCF closes its case without removing the children.

QUALIFICATIONS: Recent law school graduates and more experienced attorneys are eligible to apply. Prior experience in one or more core poverty-law practice areas preferred, as is prior experience with child welfare law. Excellent organizational, communication, writing, and decision-making skills. Committed to serving the needs of a diverse client base.

COMPENSATION: The starting salary for this position is $71,500, which is based on a union scale and adjusted upward depending on experience. CLA offers a very generous benefits package that includes 401(k) with employer-paid contribution; low-cost health insurance (medical, dental, and vision) for employees and their dependents; malpractice insurance; paid leave (4 weeks vacation, 3 personal days, 12 sick days, and 13 holidays); law school loan repayment assistance; and relocation stipend.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please apply online. Alternatively, you can submit your cover letter and resume to avaughan@cla-ma.org or mail to Alicia Vaughan, Human Resources Director, Community Legal Aid, 370 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608.

CLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to ensure that our staff members reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. CLA encourages applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.