Municipal Services Counsel (Attorney)
Expected Start Date: November/December 2021
The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization, is looking for a dynamic, highly motivated attorney with an interest in local government to fill the position of Municipal Services Counsel.
The Municipal Services Counsel’s primary role is providing legal advice and training to local officials in New Hampshire’s cities and towns as part of NHMA’s Legal Services team, but the position also serves an ancillary role to the Government Affairs team. Legal services include (1) providing legal advice and guidance to local government officials and employees through presentations, telephone and in-person consultations, and written legal opinions and (2) preparing, coordinating, and participating in training programs, seminars, and workshops on a variety of topics. Government affairs services include monitoring and reviewing legislation, answering member questions and encouraging advocacy, and occasional attendance at legislative hearings. Intrastate travel for workshops and seminars is required at times.
This position presents a unique opportunity to engage with and support local officials, while following the state legislative process and its impact on local government. Prior experience with municipal law is a plus, but is not required.
NHMA offers an excellent benefits package, including health and dental insurance, defined benefits plan, and optional 457(b). The position reports directly to the Executive Director. This is a salaried, exempt position.
Visit our website to learn more about the services the New Hampshire Municipal Association provides.
Juris Doctorate degree.
- Member of the New Hampshire bar in good standing. (Must be licensed in the State of New Hampshire prior to date of hire.)
- 1 – 5 years of experience as an attorney required.
- Strong public speaking ability required.
- Ability to represent NHMA to members and legislators and other stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal/communication skills and an ability to work both independently and in teams. NHMA is a small, 9-person organization, and staff collaborate continuously.
- Strong motivation and an inquisitive mind.
- Strong organizational skills.
- Prior work with local government, either in a professional or volunteer capacity, is a plus.
SELECTION PROCESS: Please submit the following by September 24, 2021 to email@example.com:
- Cover letter
- Professional Writing Sample
Initial interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, but candidates selected for an interview will be notified no later than September 30. Finalists will be invited back for a second interview.
Successful candidate will be required to pass professional background investigation.
Essential Duties of the Municipal Services Counsel position
Legal Services. At the direction of the Legal Services Counsel, the Municipal Services Counsel:
- Provides legal services and advice to local government officials on a wide range of issues. Assists local government officials in the understanding of municipal legal matters through presentations, articles, meetings, telephone and in-person consultations, and written opinions. Advises various officers of municipalities on legal inquiries by telephone, email, and in person, and may issue written opinions as requested by such officers after such advice and consultation with NHMA’s senior attorneys as may be required. Responds as appropriate to inquiries from the media regarding municipal law.
- Studies constitutions, statutes, ordinances, by-laws, decisions, rules, and regulations of New Hampshire and other jurisdictions, and carries on related research activity with the objective of clarifying points of law and fact. Interprets case law, statutory language, legislative intent, and general trends in municipal law.
- Prepares, coordinates, and participates in training programs, seminars, workshops, and conferences by organizing agendas, developing topics and themes, preparing presentations and associated materials, selecting and soliciting speakers, and coordinating logistical details with other staff as appropriate. Determines need for and develops, writes, and oversees preparation of printed materials pertaining to the training programs, seminars, workshops, and conferences. Speaks at training programs, seminars, workshops, and conferences. These include programs sponsored by NHMA, as well as programs sponsored by NH state agencies or affiliated organizations, which may be provided as an NHMA On Demand service.
- Determines need for and develops information on topics of relevance to municipalities and determines and creates appropriate format for oral presentations, publications, magazine articles, etc. Researches, writes, and prepares legal instructional materials. Regularly writes articles, court opinion summaries, and other material for publication in Town and City Annually participates in the drafting, review, and editing of guides, handbooks, and pamphlets for an audience of municipal and local government officials of a variety of backgrounds, the general public, and other attorneys.
- In response to a legal inquiry, reviews, and comments on general legal issues raised by proposed ordinances and regulations, proposed warrant articles, and other municipal-level legislation. Represents municipal government interests in a variety of forms and forums, including briefs and oral arguments, and may present testimony before judicial committees or other entities. Researches and drafts amicus curiae briefs on municipal cases in the New Hampshire Supreme Court on issues of general significance to member municipalities.
- Remains abreast of local, state, and national developments and administrative regulations and policies relating to and impacting municipal law and NH communities; attends state-sponsored programs and national municipal legal conferences and seminars; reads internet research and professional publications, new legal opinions, analysis of federal and state court decisions, actions of administrative agencies, etc. Regularly monitors internet communities of municipal land use, administrative and managerial officials. To maintain professional license, fulfills professional continuing education requirements on an annual basis.
- Establishes and maintains a cooperative professional relationship with, and provides legal advice and support to, other NHMA staff to enhance and complement the presentations and services provided to members. Collaborates on workshops, seminars and other presentations with others to bring a more complete educational experience to members. Establishes and maintains a cooperative professional relationship with the legal community, particularly municipal counsel, and with other NHMA affiliate groups, assisting such groups with legal research, issue resolution, and advocacy benefiting municipal government.
- Creates, reviews, presents and participates in NHMA webinars as determined to provide online educational opportunities for members.
Government Affairs. At the direction of the Government Affairs Counsel, the Municipal Services Counsel:
- Reviews all legislation filed each session to determine potential municipal impact; may assist in drafting legislation to accomplish NHMA policy positions; assists government affairs staff in monitoring legislation.
- May attend or occasionally speak at legislative committee hearings and undertake other forms of advocacy before state legislators and other officials, including agency department heads and staff, the Governor and staff, and members of the congressional delegation and their staffs.
- Responds to specific inquiries as needed, provides information, and encourages active participation of local officials to influence the direction of pending state and federal deliberations on issues affecting local government.
- As needed, assists with preparation of the Legislative Bulletin, published weekly during the legislative session, and other communications for distribution to NHMA members informing them of key state and federal developments.
- Works cooperatively and courteously as a team player with NHMA staff. Provides legal information and support about local government issues to other NHMA staff and partners to enhance and complement the quality of the services being provided to local governments.
- Establishes and maintains a cooperative professional relationship with the legal community, generally, and municipal counsel, specifically, through attendance at NH Bar Association meetings, service on appropriate committees, and active membership in specific sections of the Bar Association, as well as membership and participation in the New Hampshire Municipal Lawyers Association.
- Performs other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
Employee must be a member in good standing of the New Hampshire Bar Association and have a valid driver’s license.
NHMA expressly recognizes that in providing legal advice to members, the Legal Services Counsel exercises professional judgment independent of his/her relationship to NHMA, with an explicit recognition that the attorney-client relationship runs directly to the benefit of member municipalities.
Physical Demands: The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there will be walking, especially at the legislature; standing; bending; carrying of light items such as papers, books, small parts; driving an automobile, etc. The employee must be able to speak clearly and professionally with members and others in a manner that can be easily understood. No special physical demands are required to perform the work. The position requires regular in-state travel and occasional out-of-state, overnight travel.