Disability Rights MD
Managing Attorney – Mental Health Team
Posted OnJanuary 29, 2024
Experience Level5-10 Years
Education LevelNot Specified
Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) seeks a civil rights attorney to promote and advance the human and legal rights of people with disabilities as the leader of our Mental Health team.
This position is part of DRM’s management team and directly supervises the legal work of staff attorneys, paralegals and advocates. Responsibilities include mentoring, supervising and supporting the professional development of staff attorneys, paralegals and advocates. Managing Attorneys also support reporting and compliance requirements for DRM’s programs, including preparation and submission of grant reports with other members of the leadership team.
This managing attorney will supervise our team of two attorneys and one advocate, engaging in a variety of mental health advocacy activities. The team monitors and investigates allegations of abuse and neglect in Maryland’s mental health facilities, seeking redress for violations of people’s legal rights. Additionally, the team represents selected clients in individual cases and addresses systemic issues through administrative and legislative policy activities and litigation.
The managing attorney will maintain a caseload, and will conduct weekly team meetings, conduct case review and supervision meetings with team members, and coordinate the team’s legislative policy work in coordination with team members, and DRM’s Policy Counsel and Legal Director. Additionally, the managing attorney will represent DRM, or delegate to team members, participation on mental health task forces, committees and coalitions, and manage the overall program functioning, including budgeting and reporting. Possibility of some remote work if desired. Some evening and weekend hours are required.
· Work closely with team members, stakeholders, and DRM directors to identify priorities for systemic change, and develop and implement advocacy strategies, systemic legal cases, and public policy initiatives;
· Direct the work of one of DRM’s legal teams;
· Represent DRM on coalitions and commissions working to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Programmatic Management & Administration
· Participate as part of the DRM management team in the planning and execution of DRM goals and objectives, including long-range planning, legislative and administrative education and technical assistance, public and media relations, budgetary planning, and staffing;
· Collaborate with external coalitions, organizations, associations, etc., to advance DRM’s advocacy initiatives;
· Maintain program information necessary for grant reports, audits, applications, etc., and have first and primary responsibility for writing and submitting all required grant applications and program performance reports within the team, and as may be designated by the Executive Director;
· Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director or her designee.
Supervision of Legal Work:
· Provide direct day-to-day supervision for attorneys, advocates and paralegals;
· Monitor and review the team’s work on a regular basis to ensure it is conducted pursuant to DRM program priorities and in conformity with DRM policies, client wishes, applicable professional standards, best practices, legal and other requirements;
· Provide substantive guidance, consultation, and technical assistance to staff as needed;
· Evaluate performance of staff pursuant to DRM personnel policies to ensure an adequate and professional standard of work within the team. Recommend action as may be required to the Executive Director; and;
· In collaboration with the DRM management team and team members, ensure the development and implementation of individual workplans.
· Managing Attorneys are expected to handle individual cases and perform advocacy work.
· J. D. Degree from an accredited law school;
· Licensed to practice law in Maryland or admission to practice in Maryland after sitting for the next available Bar Exam;
· Minimum of 5 years’ legal experience in positions of increasing responsibility. At least one year of experience providing direct supervision of staff and legal work preferred;
· Strong commitment to DRM’s core mission of ensuring the civil rights of people with disabilities to self-determination, freedom from harm, due process protections, to develop physically, emotionally and intellectually, and to participate in community life, with meaningful choices and opportunities;
· Ability to motivate and direct team staff;
· Experience working on advocacy and policy initiatives, and/or litigation;
· Strong interest in social justice and equity issues impacting the disability community;
· Excellent organizational and project management skills;
· Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, ability to communicate ideas with enthusiasm to diverse audiences;
· Ability to research and analyze complex legal issues, develop and execute a variety of advocacy strategies, and conduct legal research;
· Ability to work independently and to establish and maintain effective working relationships and collaborate with colleagues in a team environment;
· Excellent analytical and writing skills;
· Ability to successfully manage multiple work priorities and work under deadlines.
· Ability to travel within the State of Maryland.
· Experience with one or more of the following: adult or children’s mental health rights, Olmstead issues, and P&A access authority for investigations and monitoring;
· Firm understanding of the mental health system of care in Maryland, including the public behavioral health system, the state hospital system, and laws and processes around commitment for treatment.
· Experience handling administrative appeals, representing clients in Maryland District and Circuit Courts, and working on systemic public policy issues such as commenting on proposed regulations, advocating for changes with state agencies, and working on coalitions with other legal and non-legal partners;
· Experience with public policy advocacy and the legislative process;
· Desire to empower clients to grow as advocates;
· Experience working directly with persons with disabilities;
· A demonstrated interest or background in public interest work, particularly related to disability rights issues;
· Life experience with a disability; and
· Fluency in American Sign Language or Spanish.
Salary and Benefits:
Competitive, depending on experience. The annual salary range for a Managing Attorney with 5-7 years’ experience is between $78,265 and $80,604 and depends on experience.
DRM offers a generous benefits package which includes excellent medical insurance, employer-paid dental, prescription, vision, life, and disability insurance, as well as pre-tax savings plans, a retirement savings opportunity with generous employer contributions, and opportunities for telecommuting policy. DRM offers employee reimbursement for some or all of the cost of spouse or partner-paid health insurance premiums up to an established maximum amount. DRM also offers generous paid time off, including vacation, holidays, sick time, and more.
While DRM can offer some flexibility in hours, days and location of work, generally work hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Occasional evenings and weekend work may be required. This announcement can also be found at https://disabilityrightsmd.org/careers/ .
Disability Rights Maryland (DRM), a private, non-profit law firm, is a leader in disability rights and the Congressionally mandated Protection and Advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities in Maryland. We provide free legal services and advocacy to persons with disabilities in Maryland. DRM envisions a world where people with disabilities are fully included in all aspects of community life.
Our staff are collaborative, collegial and committed to the well-being of the communities we serve and one another. Our workplace is flexible and we place a high value on diversity and inclusion, both as an organization and individually.
E-mail resume, cover letter, a writing sample to Jobs@DisabilityRightsMD.org with “Managing Attorney: Mental Health” in the subject line.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Positions remain open until filled with priority given to applications received before February 15, 2024.
We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate the applicant’s qualifications, work style and interest in being part of a team working to advance the civil rights of persons with disabilities in Maryland.
DRM is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. People of color, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are especially encouraged to apply.
When applying, mention you saw this opening listed on Disability Scoop.