Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Staff Counsel - Private Counsel Division

    Job Locations US-MA-Boston
    # of Openings
    Posted Date
    Regular Full-Time
    Post End Date
    $58,975 - $91,291.25, commensurate with experience
  • Overview

    The Private Counsel Division is seeking an attorney for the Private Counsel Division’s Criminal Trial Support Unit.  The Criminal Trial Support Unit of the CPCS Private Counsel Division is responsible for the oversight of attorneys who provide representation to indigent adults in criminal cases. 



    CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation.  In fulfilling its mission, CPCS is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the agency.  We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs.  In striving always to achieve those goals, CPCS embraces diversity and inclusion as core values and is steadfast in our commitment to:  (1) ensuring that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human difference and experience; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS's leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.


    The Private Counsel Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an attorney for the Private Counsel Division’s Criminal Trial Support Unit.  The Criminal Trial Support Unit of the CPCS Private Counsel Division is responsible for the oversight of attorneys who provide representation to indigent adults in criminal cases. 


    Minimum Entrance Requirements


    Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to the provision of high quality representation for indigent persons and meet the following requirements:

    • Must be eligible to practice law in this jurisdiction as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing, or as an attorney in another jurisdiction who is eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04

    • A minimum of five years’ experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney in the district and superior court



    Applications will be strengthened by:

    • Excellent writing skills and the ability to summarize and discuss complex legal issues clearly and concisely

    • Proficiency in MS Word and Excel

    • Experience interacting with persons of various social, racial, cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds

    • Ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team

    • Ability to effectively interact with members of the criminal trial support unit administrative and legal staff, criminal defendants, and panel attorneys


    To apply, please provide a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample.


    The Staff Counsel is responsible for providing support to the unit’s Director and other Staff Counsel to aid in their oversight of criminal trial private assigned counsel and county bar advocate programs as well as their direct supervision of county criminal trial supervising attorneys.  This includes:


    • Review of appellate briefs which allege ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”) and related concerns; consult with appellate counsel about trial counsel’s performance; create summaries of IAC allegations which identify key issues; assess the seriousness of any problems, and recommend how to proceed; and consult with Staff Counsel as to any additional action needed


    • Take telephone calls and letters from criminal defendants; assess the best way to proceed; consult with other Staff Counsel; and refer any complaints to the appropriate county supervising attorney for investigation


    • Review and make recommendations on applications for certification to CPCS panels of private attorneys seeking assignments of criminal cases in the district court and superior court, including murder cases.


    • Review and make recommendations on attorney responses to routine billing inquiries.


    • Take the initiative in developing expertise in various areas of law and practice, and educating panel members about these topics


    • Identify modifications to office protocols to improve efficiency


    • Take the lead role in attending various events and keeping the unit informed.  For example, being the unit point person for Annual Training Conference.


    EEO Statement

    The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies.  Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact the Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at


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