Supreme Judicial Court Job Opportunity - Senior Staff Counsel

This position is posted from February 22, 2018 to March 30, 2018

Supreme Judicial Court Mission Statement

To promote the rule of law and foster public trust by leading an independent judiciary that assures every person equal access to the fair, timely, and impartial resolution of disputes in courts managed with efficiency and professionalism.

 Position Summary

This is one of four full-time Senior Staff Counsel positions in the Office of Chief Staff Counsel. The primary function of the office is to provide legal advice and support to the Justices in all facets of the court’s appellate business, including the selection of the cases to be considered by the court, preparation for oral argument, and disposition of cases. The office also serves as a general legal resource for the Justices and other offices of the court by providing research and advice on substantive and procedural legal issues, drafting orders and opinions for the Justices’ consideration, and reviewing and commenting on orders and opinions drafted by others.

Major Duties

  • Review briefs filed in the Appeals Court, conduct necessary research, and identify cases suitable for transfer to this court on the court’s own initiative.  Write detailed memoranda for cases to be recommended and attend monthly meetings of the hearing list committee to discuss the same.
  • Review applications for direct appellate review, conduct necessary research, make appropriate recommendations, and discuss the same with the hearing list committee.
  • Review selected applications for further appellate review, conduct the necessary legal research, and write memoranda analyzing the relevant legal issues and making the appropriate recommendations.
  • Review all matters eligible for differential case management -- e.g., memoranda filed by the parties pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21; preliminary memoranda filed by the parties in bar discipline cases under S.J.C. Rule 2:23; certain other types of cases; and motions to dismiss in pending cases -- conduct the necessary legal research, and propose appropriate orders and opinions for consideration by the Justices.
  • Prepare recitation assignment grids, recusal lists, and other administrative items for the court’s monthly sittings. Identify major issues in cases to be argued at each sitting for purposes of internal issue-tracking.
  • Write pre-hearing memoranda on selected cases scheduled for the full court’s monthly sittings; draft orders and opinions for consideration by the Justices in single justice and full court cases.
  • Serve as a general legal resource for the Justices and other offices of the court, responding to questions on substantive and procedural issues, in both full court and single justice cases.
  • Mentor the judicial law clerks during their year of service on the court, including but not limited to discussing and providing guidance with legal analysis and research, and promoting a sense of teamwork. Monitor evolving legal research tools and serve as resource on legal research methods.  

Supervision Received

This position reports to the Chief Staff Counsel, and all duties are performed under the supervision of the Chief Staff Counsel and the Justices.

Position Requirements

  • Membership in the Massachusetts bar and at least seven years of experience practicing law (which may include service as a judicial law clerk).  Appellate court experience is desirable but not absolutely required.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Massachusetts substantive and procedural law, both civil and criminal. Excellent analytical, research, and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to: (i) interpret and apply statutes, court rules, and decisional law from an appellate perspective; (ii) identify procedural issues not necessarily raised by the parties and propose appropriate resolutions; (iii) make sound assessments and reliable recommendations on a wide variety of substantive and procedural topics; (iv) prepare high quality memoranda within significant time constraints; (v) work thoroughly and independently; (vi) communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; (vii) develop and maintain excellent working relationships with the Justices and other court employees; (viii) function effectively in a highly confidential environment.

Please Note

  • Court attorneys are not permitted to engage in the practice of law.
  • Court employees must be Massachusetts residents.


The salary range for this position is $86,172 (step 1) to $127,084 (step 8). New employees typically begin at step 1 and thereafter receive annual increases through step 8.

Application Requirements

Each candidate must submit a cover letter, current resume, law school transcript, writing sample not exceeding twenty pages, and completed SJC Employment Application and Addendum.

All materials should be submitted by e-mail to Blanca Tosado at by the close of business on March 30, 2018.

The Supreme Judicial Court is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


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