• Research Attorney Series - Probate & Family Court Administrative Office

    Location US-MA-Canton
    Norfolk Probate & Family Court
    Posting Date
    Closing Date
    10/23/2018 11:59 PM EST
    USD $70,747.42/Yr.

    Letters of recommendation are not requested or required.  Applicants selected for interviews may be asked to submit additional materials, including a statement of interest, an official law school transcript or a writing sample.


    This posting is for one Research Attorney position primarily assigned to the following location: Norfolk Probate and Family Court.



    The Trial Court is committed to:


    -the 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;
    -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 Probate and Family Court Department's mission is to deliver timely justice to the public by providing equal access to a fair, equitable and efficient forum to resolve family and probate legal matters and to assist and protect all individuals, families and children in an impartial and respectful manner.


    Organizational Profile:



    The Research Attorney is a professional position within the Probate and Family Court. This position involves analyzing and researching legal issues and questions for the justices of the Probate and Family 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 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 duties which require more knowledge of case law, statutes, rules, and court policies and procedures.




    Research attorneys work directly with the judges and Administrative Office staff, and under the supervision of the Manager of Legal Research Services, Deputy Court Administrator and the Chief Justice.



    Research Attorney I Duties:


    Research legal issues and questions, and assist in preparing well-written and error-free legal research memoranda and drafting findings of fact, conclusions of law, rationales, judgments and memoranda of decision, particularly in complex cases, for the Fiduciary Litigation Session(s);


    May assist in the training, administration, and oversight of law clerks and interns;


    Confer with and advise judges and Administrative Office staff on legal issues, particularly those related to probate, estate and trust matters;


    On selected cases, attendance within the court session may be required;


    Assist in preparing materials for committees, meetings, and judicial conferences.


    Accurately and timely perform all required administrative tasks;


    Travel to courthouses as needed; and


    Perform related duties as required.


    Research Attorney II Duties:


    Regularly research complex or novel issues or arguments of law and prepare memoranda;


    Assist in the training, administration and oversight of law clerks and interns;


    Perform special projects as assigned; and


    Perform all of the duties of the lower level title as required.


    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 Probate and Family Court Department and the Trial Court.


    Understands, upholds, and communicates the Trial Court and Probate and Family 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.


    Works with others cooperatively, and promotes teamwork, contributing to a work environment that focuses on shared departmental goals.


    These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for the position of Research Attorney:


    Research Attorney I Requirements:


    Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school;

    Membership in the Massachusetts Bar;

    2 years of post-law school, professional legal work experience as of September 1, 2018;

    A prior, post-law school judicial clerkship, is preferred;

    Experience with Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) and/or Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code (MUTC) is also preferred;

    Familiarity with court rules, including the Supplemental Rules of the Probate and Family Court and Uniform Practices as they relate to probate, estate and trust administration;

    Excellent legal writing and communication skills;

    Excellent legal research and analytical skills, using both online and book resources;

    Ability to assist in the training, administration and oversight of law clerks and interns;

    Experience and knowledge in the use of personal computers, including word processing programs such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word and legal research services such as Loislaw, Lexis, or Westlaw;

    Demonstrated ability to follow written and oral instructions;

    Demonstrated ability to manage, prioritize, and complete simultaneous assignments;

    Demonstrated ability to work well independently while maintaining productivity and demonstrating good judgment;

    Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and otherwise complete assignments in a timely manner;

    Demonstrated ability to work well with others in a professional setting, including judges, managers, court staff, and law clerks; and

    Willingness and ability to travel to courthouses as needed.


    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, procedures and practices;

    Demonstrated ability to analyze and research complex legal issues;

    Demonstrated ability to assist in the training, administration and oversight of law clerks and interns; and

    Demonstrated ability to analyze administrative concerns and to develop feasible solutions.

    Willingness and ability to travel to courthouses as needed.






    Employment is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check.


    If you are not currently viewing this posting online, please visit the Judicial Court Jobs website at https://careers-trialcourtsofmass.icims.com/jobs for this position or any other Trial Court employment opportunity.


    No applications or resumes will be accepted by hand, mail, fax, or email delivery.




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