Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Director, Criminal Trial Support Unit - Private Counsel Division

    Job Locations US-MA-Boston
    # of Openings
    Posted Date
    Regular Full-Time
    $113,685 - $124,050, commensurate with years of experience
  • Overview

    The Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking an experience attorney to be the Director of the Criminal Trial Support Unit in the Private Counsel Division. The Director provides leadership, oversight, and support to the state-wide criminal private counsel trial panel (approximately 1,700 attorneys, taking about 120,000 trial court assignments/year).



    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 Director of the Criminal Trial Support Unit (Director) provides leadership, oversight, and support to the state-wide criminal private counsel trial panel (approximately 1,700 attorneys, taking about 120,000 trial court assignments/year).  The Director ensures panel attorney compliance with the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct and the CPCS Performance Standards of Practice (Performance Guidelines) pursuant to the Assigned Counsel Manual (ACM) policies and procedures.  The Director works closely with the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division (Deputy Chief Counsel) to ensure Division goals are accomplished. The Director also directly supervises a unit of approximately 8 staff members.




    Candidates 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; and
    • Have a demonstrated commitment to the representation of indigent persons accused of crime, a minimum of eight years’ experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney (including both experience representing indigent criminal clients and significant jury trial, appellate, or equivalent relevant experience), and four years of managerial experience, or a comparable mix of relevant legal, managerial, and oversight/supervisory experience and skills.


    • Experience in district and superior court trial practice preferred;
    • Familiarity with budget oversight and drafting contracts;
    • A demonstrated commitment to providing high quality legal representation to poor people; experience working with culturally diverse, poor, and marginalized clients; and a nuanced understanding of how implicit biases impact members of racial, ethnic, and other minority groups;
    • An ability to create, support, and nurture a diverse, inclusive, and culturally competent workplace;
    • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, oral and written communication and organizational skills. A creative and pragmatic thinker;
    • Ability to multi-task and strong attention to detail a must; and,
    • Computer skills: Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook.

    Candidates must submit a letter of interest and resume.  The letter of interest should include a description of the candidate’s trial, supervisory, administrative and/or management experience, as well as a discussion of their priorities and vision for leading the office. 


    This position will remain open until filled, preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to July 29, 2019.



    • Provide leadership, supervision, and support to the Criminal Trial Support Unit staff attorneys and administrative professionals, including completing annual staff performance evaluations, in-house trainings, and the promotion of staff professional development;
    • Oversee the certification and any subsequent recertification processes for the criminal private counsel panels (District Court, Superior Court, and the Murder List);
    • Oversee the assignment of counsel policies and procedures for criminal District Court, Superior Court, and murder matters;
    • Responsible for coordinating the oversight of 13 state-wide Bar Advocate Programs (BAPs), including the review and approval of budget, expense, and contract modification requests, as well as substantive oversight of approximately 38 private counsel supervising attorneys;
    • Monitor the private counsel trial panel’s compliance and investigate complaints of attorneys’ failure to comply with the CPCS Performance Guidelines pursuant to the ACM. Following investigations, make disciplinary recommendations to the Deputy Chief Counsel;
    • Oversee the pre-payment review of bills submitted by private counsel which reach or surpass the established threshold;
    • Hire, train, and supervise the staff responsible for the 24-hour murder hotline. Oversee the assignment of pre-arraignment counsel in murder cases;
    • Collaborate with and support the Deputy Chief Counsel to further the goals and objectives of the Private Counsel Division;
    • Collaborate with other CPCS Trial Panel Directors to ensure agency wide consistency in working with private assigned counsel;
    • Collaborate with other CPCS Divisions and Units such as the Public Defender Division, the training Department, Finance, Information Technology, Audit and Oversight and Human Resources as appropriate to fulfill responsibilities;
    • Respond to questions and concerns from clients, courts, judges, clerks, probation officers, Department of Correction and Sheriff Officials and others; and,
    • Other duties as assigned.

    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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