Director of Student Legal Services Office

Amherst, Massachusetts
Jan 10, 2019
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With 6,397 faculty and staff members and more than 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England and is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation.

The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 90 undergraduate and 72 graduate areas of study. UMass Amherst is ranked 29th among the nation’s top public universities, moving up 11 spots in the past two years in the U.S. News & World Report annual college guide.

Under the general programmatic direction of the undergraduate and graduate student governance bodies and the vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, and reporting to the dean of students, the director leads the legal and administrative operation of the Student Legal Services Office (SLSO). The director is legal counsel to and provides policy advocacy for the student governance bodies and student leaders on issues of concern to the student body; provides legal services to students and student groups; and develops and directs a community legal education program.

The director provides legal assistance to students, including legal advice and counseling, referral to outside legal counsel, legal document preparation, representation, mediation, litigation, policy advocacy, and lobbying. Additionally, the director and staff educate students on legal rights and obligations and the legal process. The director develops and implements the community legal education program, including an internship program, newsletter, brochures, trainings, lectures, and workshops – each with a focus on a preventive measure approach to promote students’ legal rights. Understanding responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest, the director behaves in ways consistent with both law and university policy. The director oversees the daily operations of the department, including budget development and presentation and expenditure approval; the director also hires, supervises, trains, and evaluates the job performance of attorneys and staff.

A Juris Doctor degree from an accredited institution, membership in the Massachusetts Bar (or the ability to acquire admission), as well as five years of experience in the practice of law, including 2-3 years of experience supervising attorneys and/or law students are required. Significant experience providing legal education and advice to student and community client constituencies is preferred. Experience in and current knowledge of the following areas of law: housing; consumer; labor/employment; civil rights; criminal; college-based student conduct proceedings; and Title IX. Preferred experience in family and/or immigration law.

Review of applications will begin February 6, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at [email protected] Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Massachusetts Amherst website at T

The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.

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