JOIN THE TEAM
MLPB is currently looking to fill the following position:
Legal Advisor (Full-Time)
MLPB seeks a Legal Advisor with training in law and social work.
MLPB believes in the power of justice to advance health. We equip health and human services teams with problem-solving strategies that can disrupt the evolution of a person's social, economic or environmental need into a legal – and health – crisis. Through robust training and technical assistance support, we help workforce partners understand their unique capacities to unlock access to a range of health-promoting benefits, services, and legal protections – for which many individuals, families, and populations are eligible. Our operating model is evidence-based and prioritizes capacity-building strategies for our organizational partners – based in healthcare, human services, and early childhood systems – and their workforces.
MLPB partners with 20+ organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and nationally. In 2018, we were certified by MassHealth as a DSRIP technical assistance vendor in several domains, including Community-based Care and Social Determinants of Health. MLPB is a fiscally sponsored project of TSNE MissionWorks, a 501(c)(3).
NOTE: MLPB and its staff do not provide direct legal representation to individuals, families, or classes of consumers. Applicants seeking to practice law in this important way should not apply for this position. In contrast to traditional legal specialization and practice, MLPB Legal Advisors engage in a range of “team-facing” workforce capacity-building strategies and do so as legal generalists (“primary care lawyers”) – with responsibility for developing and delivering comprehensible practical insight across many domains of public interest law. MLPB’s upstream, preventive law model is complementary to, but distinct from, more familiar (and essential) access to justice approaches such as direct legal representation. MLPB’s orientation is reflected in our call for candidates with social work training given its Person-in-Environment framework.
 TSNE MissionWorks envisions a society grounded in the principles of social and economic justice. As such, we strive to achieve excellence through a diverse and inclusive workplace that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each person. Our vision and values are reflected in all our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, TSNE MissionWorks actively seeks people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE MissionWorks/MLPB will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status or any other factor prohibited by law.
The Legal Advisor will join a passionate, talented team and advance MLPB’s mission and successful growth by – primarily – leading an established and innovative partnership with Healthy Families Massachusetts (HFM) in ways that tap both legal advising and project management skills:
Workforce Training & Interprofessional Education (IPE):
- Develop, refine and update MLPB’s branded training/IPE content based on learner feedback and changes in laws/policies that impact people’s legal risks, rights and remedies in a range of domains
- Deliver in-person and web-based trainings for a range of cross-sector stakeholders that cover:
- How law, public policy, and history impact people’s social, economic and environmental health (a/k/a social determinants of health, which operate at population and community levels)
- Common barriers that people confront when trying to access services, benefits and other supports for which they are legally eligible
- Strengths-based, role-appropriate (scope of practice-aligned) problem-solving steps that can be undertaken by team members in partnership with people who have screened positive for HRSN (health-related social needs, a recent concept that operates at the individual / household level)
- Best practices for expectation management (and other supportive planning) that can be deployed when no remedies for HRSN exist under current law or public policy; and
- System- and policy-level strategies in which partner organizations/workforce teams can engage productively to help advance health equity with and for the populations they serve – including but not limited to expanding the availability of lay advocates authorized to represent people
Legal Technical Assistance:
- Embed within interdisciplinary team meetings to inform HRSN need detection, assessment, and care plan development in ways that account for families’ legal risks, rights and remedies
- This Legal Advisor will embed in-person within 6 HFM site team meetings per month (minimally), largely concentrated in Central and Western MA
- Respond thoughtfully, efficiently, and creatively to a high volume of consults from workforce colleagues (“HRSN first responders”) on behalf of individuals, families and communities
- Develop/regularly update content/tools that respond to people’ needs and workforce consult demand
- Facilitate safe hand-offs of a subset of individuals/families with particularly acute or complex legal needs – that exceed the limits of responsible lay advocacy - to appropriate legal community resources
- Because demand for free direct legal representation vastly outstrips supply of free legal services, the Legal Advisor will evaluate options and help facilitate supportive, feasible responses
- Co-design organizational systems and protocols that promote strengths-based, person-centered approaches both to HRSN and SDOH
- Identify opportunities to influence systems and policy in collaboration with teams/organizations to promote the health of populations impacted by inequities; and
- Represent MLPB in a range of settings dedicated to collective impact on health equity goals.
Quality Assurance & Improvement:
- Maintain timely documentation of all activities on central case management database to assure rigorous tracking of process and outcome measures linked to MLPB’s capacity-building work
- Support preparation of regular reports on services and outcomes, identifying trends in consumer- and population-level needs and highlighting health equity implications
- Inform and co-design (with organizational partners) professionally responsible protocols for information-sharing/feedback loops and legal/fiduciary obligations in ways that account for consumer protection laws, individual and family autonomy, informed consent, and potential conflicts of interest
- Bring a health disparities reduction, race equity, and health equity lens to the role, including collaboration with appropriate coalitions locally, regionally and nationally; and
- Cultivate and nurture relationships with professional networks that enhance our capacity to provide quality consultation as legal generalists
- Support research and evaluation activities, including efforts to demonstrate how MLPB’s work promotes that Strengthening FamiliesTM protective factors and advances the Quadruple Aim
- Identify stories that illustrate gaps in the ‘safety net’ through which people fall despite best efforts to leverage existing resources
- Support best practice dissemination via content development, publications, and conference panels
- Support fundraising through grant proposal and report drafting, participation in funder site visits, etc.
- Supervise interns
- Miscellaneous / general non-profit “pitching in”
- JD required and MSW required
- Training and experience in public health preferred
- Licensed and in good standing to practice law in Massachusetts required
- Licensed and in good standing to practice law in multiple states – especially RI – preferred
- At least 4 years of legal practice experience required
- Additional experience with training, education and content development preferred
- Appreciation of a non-traditional lawyering opportunity that places a premium on (a) interdisciplinary collaboration, (b) train-the-trainer approaches to legal information dissemination and problem-solving, and (c) centering allied workforce members as the primary consumers of MLPB’s services, and the people and populations they support as the intended beneficiaries:
- Excellent oral and written communication skills; specifically: versatility in translating and communicating legal concepts for a range of stakeholders
- Demonstrated commitment to meeting the needs of people and communities that experience health inequities, and better aligning the systems/sectors that are intended to serve those populations (e.g., health, public health, legal, housing, education, urban planning, etc.)
- Enthusiasm for a generalist legal practice that accounts for the complex social, economic, and environmental contexts in which many people live
- Dedication to diversity- and trauma-informed practice, as well as consciousness of vicarious trauma and the challenges of managing the stress inherent in this work
- Commitment to building and maintaining proficiency in the operational jargon and culture of the health, human service, and early childhood sector(s)
- Strong planning and project management skills; ability to work independently; creative solution-finder
- Commitment to contributing to a positive, collegial, and inclusive team culture
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills with a focus on teamwork, collaboration, continuous learning, structural competence, and engagement
- Comfort level with unpredictability, consistently fast pace, frequent periods of acceleration in response to deadlines, responsibility for developing knowledge about unfamiliar topics, cultural humility regarding the diversity of our multidisciplinary colleagues and the people for whom we and our colleagues aim to provide empowering support
- Willingness and ability to travel regularly to locations in MA, and periodically to RI, New England, and across the country in the course of the work
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office products and cloud-based document management systems like Box
- Familiarity with and enthusiasm for educational technologies preferred
Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience, qualifications and high expectations for performance and impact in the role.
Student interns are welcome to participate in experiential learning at MLPB (a fiscally sponsored program of TSNE MissonWorks). Please note that MLPB only partners with certain established internship programs at some regional colleges and universities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. If you are interested in interning at MLPB, please contact your on-campus career services or internship office to find out about internship opportunities.
Depending on the needs of the organization and evolving project portfolio, intern opportunities may include:
- Supporting development of training content and tools re: social determinants of health
- Conducting legal research (as appropriate to one’s educational level)
- Supporting policy analysis and related publication drafting
- Supporting research and evaluation through data entry and analysis
- Shadowing opportunities
- Supporting MLPB engagement with community-based coalitions addressing health disparities and related inequities
- Shadowing MLPB trainings, meetings, and events throughout the internship
- Otherwise supporting MLPB infrastructure needs.
If you are a student and interested in interning at MLPB, please contact your on-campus career services or internship office to find out about specific intern/externship opportunities with MLPB. While an MLPB internship is not directly compensated, we can accommodate most opportunities for academic credit, grants and scholarships identified by qualified candidates.