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8 Feb 2023

Full-Time Counsel I

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs – Posted by dei@eea Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

Duty Statement

This Counsel I position is a full-time entry level professional position assigned initially to MassDEP’s Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution (“OADR”) for a two-year period, reporting to the Presiding Officer and Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution.  The OADR Counsel I position will primarily involve legal research and writing similar to the duties of a judicial law clerk.  After two years and subject to satisfactory work performance of the OADR Counsel I attorney in performing OADR duties, the OADR Counsel I attorney will transition to MassDEP’s Office of General Counsel (“OGC”) where the attorney will perform agency counsel duties as assigned by the General Counsel and/or his/her designee, supporting the work of MassDEP’s bureaus and four regional offices.

OADR is a quasi-judicial office within the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) that is responsible for advising MassDEP’s Commissioner in resolving all administrative appeals of Department Permit decisions and enforcement orders. OADR’s Presiding Officers are senior environmental attorneys appointed by MassDEP’s Commissioner to serve as neutral hearing officers and are responsible for fostering settlement discussions between the parties in administrative appeals, and for resolving appeals by conducting evidentiary Adjudicatory Hearings and making Recommended Final Decisions to the Commissioner.

The Office of General Counsel (“OGC”) provides legal advice to MassDEP’s five bureaus and four regional offices on the development and interpretation of legislation, regulations and policies, and on the administration and enforcement of regulatory programs. The litigation team within OGC defends the agency in administrative appeals of MassDEP permits and enforcement, and coordinates with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on court litigation. The General Counsel also oversees the Environmental Strike Force, an interagency environmental law enforcement unit, and the Office of Enforcement Policy and Assistance, which coordinates MassDEP’s overall enforcement program to ensure consistent application of environmental laws throughout the Commonwealth.

OADR and OGC actively seek to increase the diversity of their workforce and are interested in candidates whose experiences, skills and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality. We strongly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply. OADR and OGC are interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their work and service, to the diversity and excellence of the office.

Major duties of the position within OADR include:

  1. conducting legal research and drafting legal memoranda on issues arising in administrative appeals, including interpretation of legislation, rules, regulations, administrative and judicial decisions and opinions, and evidentiary issues, including but not limited to state and federal law related to permitting and enforcement matters on appeal to OADR;
  2. drafting orders and decisions for review by Presiding Officers;
  3. attending and assisting with administrative adjudicatory hearings;
  1. attending and assisting with alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including mediations;
  2. working closely with the Presiding Officers, Case Administrator and Assistant Case Administrator on all aspects of OADR’s operations.

Major duties of the position within OGC include:

  1. assisting the General Counsel and/or his/her designee with legal issues arising in MassDEP’s programs, bureaus, and regional offices;
  1. providing legal support to staff for permitting, enforcement, policy development, and statutory and regulatory issues related to MassDEP’s programs and bureaus, by interpreting legislation, rules, regulations, administrative and judicial decisions and opinions, including but not limited to state and federal law, and drafting legal memoranda;
  1. assisting with training of program staff on the laws, rules, and policies governing their work;

(3) providing legal advice on administrative law matters;

(4) advocating at administrative hearings or in negotiations/dispute resolution on behalf of the agency to ensure the consistent application of laws and to represent the interests of the agency; developing legal strategy and effectively, efficiently managing the flow of cases and issue recommendations for final decision or resolution of cases;

(5)  providing information to the public by answering inquiries regarding agency functions, services, rules, and procedures to accurately represent the agency; and

(6)  assisting with production of documents in response to Public Records Act requests.

Major duties of the position within OADR and OGC include:

(1) when drafting legal documents (e.g. memos, decisions, contracts, deeds, pleadings, regulations, opinions, comments) ensuring clear communication of information and that such documents are complete, accurate, available for future review and in compliance with law;

(2) prioritizing and managing assigned workloads and caseloads as well as the workloads and caseloads of direct reports, if applicable.

Applicants are required to have the following at the time of hire:

1.        Knowledge of theory, principles and practices of law.

2.         Knowledge of the methods and ability to conduct legal research.

3.         Ability to read and interpret legal documents and apply the law, rules and regulations    governing agency operations.

4.         Ability to exercise discretion and sound judgment.

5.         Knowledge of procedures followed in courtroom and administrative proceedings.

6.         Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups of people.

7.         Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, to clearly and concisely express thoughts and develop ideas in a logical manner.

8.         Ability to use a computer to conduct research, manage databases, and produce written documents.

9.        Basic understanding of computer operations and ability to use common software programs including Microsoft Office and the Zoom platform is expected, but additional training can be provided.

Preferred Work Experience:
In addition to the Minimum Entrance Requirements, an ideal candidate would have a demonstrated interest environmental or administrative law practice, but this is not required.

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, admission to the Massachusetts Bar and some experience in legal research, legal writing, and legal procedures and processes.  Applicants should be recent law school graduates with no more than one (1) year of legal experience.




First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.


MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, admission to the Massachusetts Bar and some experience in legal research, legal writing, and legal procedures and processes.


How to Apply

Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 2 days.

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