The Legal Director Role: Scope and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Legal Director will be responsible for day-to-day oversight of HLA’s Legal Department and play a hands-on leadership role in representing low-income residents in both individual and class-action cases. Today, much of its legal activities focus on representing individuals in administrative agencies; expanding the department’s litigation capacity will be a major priority, to expand the array of services offered to consumers and deepen HLA’s impact. The Legal Director will mentor and develop the skills of HLA’s team of talented in-house and volunteer attorneys, to enable them and the organization to thrive, and will help set the tone for HLA’s culture and standard of excellence.

HLA’s ability to build and maintain relationships with like-minded organizations and individuals, and with government agencies, will be key to its effectiveness and ability to adapt. HLA’s Legal Director will collaborate with the senior leadership in cultivating those relationships. They will also coordinate and seek new opportunities for staff attorney ventures outside of client representation. This role will build on HLA’s history as a leader in public policy engagement, community outreach and authorship across communication platforms to promote health care access.

Specific Responsibilities:

Oversee and participate in HLA’s representation of vulnerable, low-income consumers denied access to health care

  • Reinforce the positive, committed, collaborative, entrepreneurial and high-expectation culture of HLA
  • Supervise, mentor and coach HLA staff attorneys, particularly around litigation, to expand HLA’s capacities and capabilities
  • Refine internal processes, practices and tools and ensure that HLA is collecting and analyzing client data as necessary to identify health care access trends

Work in close partnership with the Executive Director, Board and senior leadership to assess the current landscape, identifying trends and issues to aid in strategic planning, policy and litigation development

  • Identify and pursue opportunities for high-impact legal action
  • Contribute to writing grant applications and grant reports
  • Leverage the expertise, advice and collaboration of the Legal Strategy Committee of HLA’s Board of Directors to develop legal action
  • Stay current on health law and other relevant legal topics as necessary to protect health care consumers’ rights
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Staff Attorneys to determine the optimal deployment of HLA’s legal advocacy capacity between client representation and other ventures
  • Partner with HLA’s administrative and development staff to promote HLA’s legal services in communities statewide
  • Participate in community outreach activities, including educational programs for consumers, lawyers and other audiences
  • Contribute to the authorship of consumer guidance and other materials to promote health care access

Contribute to building and cultivating relationships with HLA’s clients, partners, providers, government agencies and others

  • Represent HLA on coalitions of advocacy organizations as needed
  • Maintain and establish strong relationships with staff members at allied legal and health advocacy organizations and expand partnerships with other legal firms
  • Cultivate and maintain connections with key officials within state and federal government and private/non-profit health care institutions

Initial Priorities and Expectations

In the first 6–12 months, the Legal Director will be expected to:

  • Provide hands-on leadership to the legal department, overseeing and participating in representation of low-income residents in both individual and class-action cases
  • Manage the transition and cultivate teamwork, while maintaining HLA’s standards of excellence in representing their constituents
  • Train and coach staff attorneys to build capacity and capability, particularly in litigation
  • Refine internal processes to ensure effective data collection to enable strategic selection of cases and, more broadly, to ensure the smooth running of the department
  • Develop productive external relationships with like-minded people and organizations
  • Cultivate strong internal communications within HLA and the 5th floor ecosystem, including HCFA and Community Catalyst
  • Work with staff, Board and external partners to develop and bring a high-impact suit


The new Legal Director will bring a successful track record as lead counsel in state and/or federal litigation and a proven commitment to social justice. While experience in health care and/or consumer protection law is valuable, deep expertise is not a requirement. Demonstrated leadership ability and strong management skills will be key, along with the ability and drive to build collaborative teams and a positive culture.


  • Broad, diverse knowledge and experience in state and/or federal health, disability and/or consumer protection law
  • Highly desirable areas of expertise include: Medicaid, ERISA, ADA, UDAP (MGL Ch. 93A) and/or Mental Health/Substance Use Law
  • Understands health policy and the challenges Massachusetts residents face in accessing and affording health care
  • Solid knowledge of legislative and administrative policymaking
  • Experienced and dedicated mentor, with the ability to supervise and foster growth in other attorneys
  • Experience setting up and refining systems and processes in a legal department

Skills and Attributes

  • Invigorated by the challenges of the times; optimistic and visionary, while realistic, with a sense of humor
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Strategic thinker and creative problem solver who can also execute; finds interest and excitement in both strategic development and hands-on legal work
  • Intellectually curious; open, with the desire and ability to listen and learn
  • Highly organized, decisive and diplomatic
  • Intellectual rigor and superior legal research and analysis skills
  • Relationship builder; committed to creating and cultivating networks and partnerships with like-minded people and organizations
  • Teacher and advocate who can increase visibility and understanding of HLA in the outside world
  • Approachable and empathetic
  • Bilingual/bicultural background a plus


  • Competitive salary
  • Robust benefits package, including generous paid time off policy
  • Convenient downtown Boston location, with pleasant offices co-located with two organizations with complementary missions 

To nominate a candidate, or to apply, forward resume and one-page cover letter in confidence to E. Catlin Donnelly & Associates at