State of Massachusetts Counsel II in Malden, Massachusetts

The Legal Office of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) advises the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Commissioner, and ESE staff on issues of education law, policy and administration; coordinates arbitrations under the Education Reform Act; works with the Attorney General’s Office on litigation; oversees the Office of Professional Practice Investigations; and provides information to school officials, parents and students, and other constituents on the state and federal laws affecting public elementary and secondary schools, vocational-technical education, and adult basic education programs..

The work of the Counsel II in the Legal Office involves administrative law practice including legal research and writing; negotiation; public speaking and training; drafting regulations, legislation, and advisory opinions; preparing for and conducting administrative adjudicatory hearings; drafting and reviewing contracts and interagency agreements; and collaborating with the Attorney General's Office on litigation – with a particular focus on special education and other programs and services for students with disabilities.

The Counsel II reports to the Deputy General Counsel and works closely with other colleagues in the Legal Office.

The selected candidate will perform the following duties:

provide legal advice to the Commissioner and ESE administrators and staff in connection with implementation and enforcement of state and federal laws governing elementary, secondary, vocational-technical, and adult basic education programs, with particular focus on special education and other programs and services for students with disabilities;

analyze legal requirements relating to special education and other regulated programs and provide legal counsel to ESE’s offices of Special Education Planning and Policy, Problem Resolution Services, Special Education in Institutional Settings, Approved Special Education Schools, and Public School Monitoring;

analyze and interpret laws and policies fundamental to education in the Commonwealth, including the Education Reform Act, Every Student Succeeds Act, and state and federal laws concerning homeless students, students in foster care, career and vocational-technical education, and data-sharing and privacy;

draft, review, analyze and interpret documents including legislation, regulations, contracts, inter-agency agreements, and advisory opinions;

prepare written and oral information, legal memoranda, and advisory opinions for ESE administrators and staff and local school officials concerning their duties under state and federal laws with a focus on state and federal laws affecting the education of students with disabilities;

communicate and coordinate as needed with officials of other state and federal agencies, school and district leaders, parents, advocacy organizations, and other constituents regarding education laws and policies affecting students with disabilities;

represent ESE in interagency meetings and negotiations;

prepare materials and provide training to ESE staff and school officials on new legal developments;

participate in formulating recommendations for the Commissioner regarding policies, legislative changes, and regulatory changes;

represent ESE in administrative adjudicatory proceedings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals; and

perform other duties as assigned by the General Counsel or Deputy General Counsel, or the Commissioner.

Based on assignment, travel is required.

** Questions regarding this posting or the application process should be referred to

Maureen O’Brien at mtobrien@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-6107.

Preferred Qualifications

The qualified candidate will possess:

• three (3) or more years of experience practicing law or in a position requiring

membership in the Bar

• excellent analytical, legal research, and writing skills;

• successful experience in the practice of law, including experience with some

or all of the following: state and federal special education law; other laws

affecting educational programs and services for students with disabilities;

administrative adjudicatory hearings or litigation; negotiation;

• strong interpersonal skills, including ability to establish rapport, motivate, and

maintain positive and productive relationships with colleagues and clients

from diverse backgrounds;

• ability to understand, apply, and explain the provisions of the laws, rules,

regulations, policies, procedures, specifications, standards and guidelines

governing education programs;

• ability to process and assimilate detailed factual information presented orally

or in writing;

• ability to exercise sound judgment;

• excellent communication skills, orally and in writing, including ability to write

and present clear, appropriately detailed memoranda and documentation as

required;

• ability to strategize and work with others to solve problems;

• ability to handle matters with mature judgment and discretion;

• strong organizational skills, including ability to manage complex tasks and

meet deadlines;

• ability to work with confidential information and maintain the highest level of

confidentiality;

• ability to effectively manage varied caseload while balancing multiple and

competing priorities;

• knowledge of state and federal education laws and the culture, organization

and structures of public schools and districts; and

• strong computer skills and fluency with Microsoft Word and Excel.

This requisition will remain open until filled; however, first consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

Applicants must have a Juris Doctor degree, admission to the Massachusetts Bar and at least three years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in the practice of law.

Incumbents may be required to have a current and valid Motor Vehicle Drivers License.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job: *Legal Services

Organization: *Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Title: Counsel II

Location: Massachusetts-Malden - 75 Pleasant Street

Requisition ID: 1700032I