City of Boston

Library Policy Advisor & Legal Affairs Liaison

Req ID
Boston Public Library
Regular Full-Time
BPL Directors Office - 2
Salary Min
Salary Max
Posting End Date
Contact Email


The Policy Advisor & Legal Affairs Liaison is a key role on the BPL Leadership team with two key primary areas of responsibility. First, working in close cooperation with the City of Boston’s Corporation Counsel (CC)’s office and the designated City of Boston legal counsel for the library, the liaison role acts as a bidirectional conduit for legal questions and matters, may take lead on matters when delegated by CC or at the direction of the President; this role acts primarily as a resource for staff and for Trustees of the library (in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities as Trustees. No action may be taken and no advice given on matters that are within the formal purview of CC unless directed to do so. Second, the role acts as the primary reviewer and policy researcher for internal matters of policy and policy matters of interest and public interest specific to the work of the library in serving the public generally, across its local, national and international contexts.


The Boston Public Library is both a department of the City of Boston and a separately incorporated entity for certain purposes, i.e. as a library. In its legal role, this position is oriented to supporting Corporation Counsel in the development of guidance for the library staff in the exercise of their duties.


Reports To: 


President of the Boston Public Library or designee, with determinative and general oversight provided as appropriate by the City of Boston Corporation Counsel or designee.


  • Guide the Library on a variety of matters involving civil rights matters, constitutional law, employment law, contracts and other legal matters, with oversight by Corporation Counsel where needed and appropriate.  
  • Advise on policy matters with respect to the operating and oversight of the library and emergent and evolving directions in the field of librarianship, statewide, nationally and internationally.
  • Work with and support all areas of the Library. The Policy Advisor/Legal Liaison will provide input on a myriad of areas impacting government and non-profit entities, including policy matters, procurement, open meeting laws, public records law, state and federal laws and state conflict of interest laws, in concert with City of Boston policy.
  • Review and draft legislation and ordnances pertaining to the Library in consultation with the City of Boston’s Law Department and Office of Intergovernmental Relations.
  • Coordinate litigation and other legal disputes with the City’s Law Department.
  • Perform legal research and prepare input in opinions for City Officials, Library Officials and the Trustees of the Boston Public Library.  
  • Responsible for managing advice on municipal law matters and other assignments.
  • Provide institutional guidance on best practices and relationships with external partners.
  • Reviews all contracts for compliance with the procurement laws and city policies and when delegated, prepare for final review by Corporation Counsel.
  • Acts as a resource to Library Employees and special Municipal Employees on matters of ethics and potential conflicts of interest.
  • Reviews Public records requests and the management of responsive records in coordination with the City of Boston’s Office of Public Records.
  • Develops and maintains a portfolio of policy matters pertinent to the work of the public library, in areas such as copyright, collection development, privacy, intellectual freedom, digital equity, accessibility.
  • Performs related work as required.


Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

  • J.D. Degree.
  • At least 5 – 13 years experience as a lawyer in a law firm or within a government agency.
  • Licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with no disciplinary record.
  • Familiarity with Massachusetts Public Charity Laws and other relevant laws.
  • Effective writing, legal-analytical, negotiation, and oral advocacy skills required.
  • Litigation and other relevant legal experience, preferably 5 years or more.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, transparency and integrity.
  • Discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Strong planning and strategic thinking ability.
  • Be knowledgeable on the work of libraries and pertaining rights and regulations, particularly as pertaining to rights of access.
  • Be knowledgeable with regard to matters of privacy policy within the library field.
  • Be knowledgeable on matters of copyright and lending models.
  • Advise explicitly on Public Records & conflict of interest regulations and issues.
  • Residency - Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
  • CORI - Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.



Union/Salary Plan/Grade: Nonunion/PM-6

Hours per week: 35



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