The Division of Administrative Law Appeals (“DALA”) is an independent agency responsible for providing individuals and state agencies with fair and impartial administrative hearings as efficiently as possible.  It has two independent units, its General Jurisdiction Unit and the Bureau of Special Education Appeals.

DALA’s mission is to provide the due process hearings that are the pre-condition of other agencies’ final agency actions and, when provided for by statute, to hear de novo appeals of other agencies’ decisions.  General Jurisdiction cases come to DALA in two ways: (1) by legislation mandating that certain types of cases be heard at DALA; and (2) upon request of an agency, subject to the approval of the DALA Chief Administrative Magistrate and the Secretary of Administration and Finance (A&F).  Currently, DALA conducts hearings for approximately 20 state agencies, including the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, the Board of Registration in Medicine, the Department of Public Health, and the Fair Labor Division of the Office of the Attorney General. 

The General Jurisdiction Unit offers unpaid internships, some for academic credit.  Internship opportunities are available to law students throughout the calendar year and to some undergraduates during the summer. 

Interns assist the magistrates by conducting legal research, drafting memoranda of law, and assisting in the production of written findings of fact.  Appeals heard by DALA often involve novel and complex issues of law, procedure, and evidence.  Interns at DALA have the opportunity to prepare numerous writing samples and to observe litigation in progress, including evidentiary hearings and a wide variety of motion arguments.

If you are interested in more information about internship opportunities at DALA, please contact Chief Administrative Magistrate Edward B. McGrath by email at: edward.mcgrath@state.ma.us