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Job Details

General Counsel

Company name
Metropolitan Area Planning Council

5 yrs required

Boston, MA, United States

Employment Type


Posted on
Sep 16,2019

Apply for this job


We are seeks candidates for the position of General Counsel. The agency’s General Counsel is responsible for leading MAPC’s strategic legal initiatives, often working closely with the operations, human resources, finance, and procurement divisions. The person in this position provides executive management with advice on a variety of legal matters, manages the legal division, and oversees the work of outside counsel. The General Counsel is directly involved in complex transactions by drafting and negotiating a wide variety and high volume of contracts and advising staff on their day-to-day work and projects.

This position is a full-time role reporting to the Director of Operations, often in consultation with the Executive Director and Deputy Director.

This is an excellent opportunity for a seasoned attorney who wants to make a significant impact on a mission-driven, fast-paced agency. 

About MAPC

MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently working on a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which we expect to complete by 2020. MAPC's staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.

MAPC encourages all of our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC's planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times.  We strongly support the professional development of each and every staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region.  For more information about MAPC, please visit our website


  • Function as MAPC’s in-house counsel, researching and solving legal issues both independently and collaboratively with staff and senior management.
  • Ensure the agency is compliant with relevant federal and state law and regulations in the areas such as employment, ethics, open meeting law, public records, copyright, data privacy, immigration, and procurement law.
  • Provide legal guidance to the Officers, Executive Director, Deputy Director, and, as needed, other MAPC staff or the staff at CTPS (Central Transportation Planning Staff) with which MAPC has a fiduciary relationship.
  • Build and manage a legal division within the agency.
  • Draft, negotiate, and review contracts, including letters of agreement, memoranda of understanding, consulting agreements, data agreements, software and licensing agreements, office/vendor contracts, foundation grants, and state and federal contracts.
  • Work closely with the agency’s Human Resources Manager and Procurement Services Manager to resolve issues related to personnel matters and the agency’s procurement processes, respectively.
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Finance to ensure complex agency projects are executed according to agency policies.
  • Advise management and staff on the legal risks of various agency strategies and projects; develop solutions to complex legal questions; review agency materials to ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Keep up-to-date of legislative changes and court cases that may affect MAPC.
  • Perform pre-litigation work to minimize risks and maximize legal rights.
  • Provide training to agency staff on substantive legal topics.

Required Qualifications

Applicants must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with staff members from various MAPC departments, municipal and state officials, and members of the public.

A Juris Doctor (JD) degree, admission to the Massachusetts Bar, at least 5 years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in the practice of law, and extensive experience in legal research, legal writing, and legal procedures and processes is required. Prior experience providing legal guidance and assisting in contract negotiations with clients and vendors.

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • A “can-do, yes” approach to agency strategic priorities and individual projects
  • Ability to provide executive management and staff with thoughtful, strategic advice on a variety of legal issues
  • Outstanding judgment, strong interpersonal skills, and attention to detail
  • Success in strategic thinking and problem solving
  • Ability to maintain discretion at all times and a high level of political acumen
  • Flexible and adaptive work style with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, mission-driven environment

Preferred Qualifications

An ideal candidate will possess one or more of the following:

  • Knowledge of relevant local, state, and federal laws, including MGL Chapter 30B, MGL Chapter 268A, MGL Chapter 30A, Sections 18-25, and MGL Chapter 40, Section 4A;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the core values of the agency;
  • Prior experience working for a Massachusetts state agency or municipality, or an entity that interacted significantly with state or local government; and,
  • Knowledge of and interest in land use planning, transportation, housing and economic development, environmental and energy issues, municipal management and/or other MAPC issue areas. 

Supplemental Information

Compensation and Benefits

The starting salary ranges from $90,000 - $110,000. annually, depending on qualifications and experience.

This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family friendly work environment and a commitment to ongoing professional development.

How to apply

The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. If you are interviewed, you will be asked to submit 3 references plus a writing sample.

Apply online at our website. A review of applications will begin immediately.  The position is open until filled.  Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver's license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region.

MAPC is an EOE/AA employer. 
MAPC takes pride in the diversity of its workforce and encourages all qualified persons to apply.

Company info

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

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