Staff Attorney – APPEALS COURT

September 12, 2023
Boston, MA
Job Type


Staff Attorney - Appeals Court


Starting:USD $98,784.15/Yr.

Current Maximum: USD $ 138,449.82


This is a union position and is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with O.P.E.I.U. Local 6 This job posting is for a position located at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, MA.

**After 4 years, an employee is eligible to reclassify to become a senior staff attorney.


The Massachusetts Appeals Court is committed to doing justice under the law by rendering thoughtful, well-reasoned appellate decisions in a timely and efficient manner, treating all those who come before the court fairly and impartially.



Staff attorneys work on a variety of legal assignments for the Justices of the Appeals Court. For this position, principal assignments will primarily focus on the editing of outgoing decisions, but also include the writing and screening of cases. A staff attorney's role in editing decisions is to conduct a thorough review of the document to ensure substantive accuracy and compliance with the court's editorial and formatting requirements, and attention to detail is needed. While the focus of this position is editing, all staff attorneys are expected to edit, write, and screen cases as needed.


Work is performed under the general direction of the Chief Staff Attorney and/or the Chief Justice or his/her/their designee.


  • Assists in drafting opinions and dispositive orders
  • Edits outgoing opinions and dispositive orders
  • Screens incoming briefs and records in civil and/or criminal cases
  • Prepares legal memoranda on selected civil and/or criminal cases
  • Performs specific legal and consultative work assigned by the Justices
  • Performs other related work as required

Certain cases may require an expertise in a variety of specialized areas. These areas include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Criminal law
  • domestic relations
  • child welfare
  • wills & trusts
  • insurance
  • torts
  • commercial and banking
  • business litigation
  • financial services
  • real estate
  • 209A and 258E
  • appellate procedure
  • civil procedure


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 Appeals Court.

Mission Understands, upholds, and communicates the Appeals Court Missions.

Applied Knowledge Understanding of legal research, preparing legal memorandum 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 Appeals Court employees and the public.

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


  • Thorough knowledge of Massachusetts state civil and/or criminal procedure
  • Working knowledge of trial court procedure is preferred
  • Ability to assist in drafting and editing legal documents pursuant to technical and substantive guidelines
  • Working knowledge of appellate court jurisdiction and procedure
  • Ability to analyze, appraise, and organize facts and precedent
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to communicate clearly and precisely, verbally and in writing
  • Ability to work well with others, including judges, law clerks, and staff
  • Computer and technical skills
  • Previous writing and editing experience preferred
  • Graduation from an accredited law school
  • Membership in the Massachusetts Bar
  • Minimum of five years of legal experience


Work is performed in an office or similar indoor environment. The Appeals Court's physical offices and courtrooms are in Boston at the John Adams Courthouse. The court regularly conducts hearing in diverse locations across the Commonwealth. Personnel may be required to attend off-site hearings. The Appeals Court has a remote work policy under which employees may be allowed to work remotely for part of their weekly schedule.

Special Notes:

  • Staff attorneys are not permitted to engage in the practice of law.
  • By statute, employees of the Massachusetts courts must be Massachusetts residents.
  • This is a union position and is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with O.P.E.I.U. Local 6.
  • This job posting is for a position located at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, MA.

Applications are submitted electronically. Paper applications will not be accepted. Employment is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check.


Closing Date/Time: 2023-12-07

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