Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Managing Director - Children and Family Law 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, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a child welfare attorney with management experience to serve as one of two Managing Directors in its Children and Family Law Division (CAFL). The Managing Director will support and oversee four to six county-based trial offices. The Managing Director may also be responsible for supporting and overseeing CAFL’s appellate office. In addition, the Managing Director will be part of CAFL’s leadership team.




    CPCS is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one.  The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters.




    The Children and Family Law Division of CPCS represents parents, children and custodians in state intervention cases in which the Department of Children and Families is seeking custody of a child(ren).  Lawyers appointed to these cases represent clients in Care and Protection Petitions (C & P), Termination of Parental Rights cases (TPR), Guardianship Petitions, and Child Requiring Assistance cases (CRA).  The majority of these cases are heard in the Juvenile Court.


    CAFL’s legal advocacy plays a critical role in cases that affect families.  For a parent involved in a C&P case, having a skilled CAFL lawyer may mean the difference between the family’s reunification and the termination of parental rights – the “death penalty of family law.”  For a teenager who is the subject of a truancy case, CAFL’s advocacy may secure the special education services that enable the client to succeed in school and avoid being placed in a foster home.  For siblings looking for stability after the court has freed them for adoption, CAFL will fight to ensure that they are provided a permanent home – one that allows them to stay together.




    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 differences and experiences; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCSs leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.




    The Managing Director’s primary responsibility is ensuring that CAFL staff provides high-quality, client-centered, culturally humble representation to parent and child clients in child welfare matters. The Managing Director achieves this by overseeing CAFL staff offices and providing supervision and support to the Attorneys in Charge (AIC’s) for each of those offices. In addition, as a member of the CAFL Leadership Team, the Managing Director also works collaboratively with other CAFL Directors as well as CPCS’s other legal practice divisions and CPCSs legal support and operational units (Training, Human Resources, IT, Facilities, and General Counsel). The Managing Director reports directly to CAFL’s Deputy Chief Counsel.




    Applicants for this position must have a demonstrated commitment to the representation of indigent persons, a minimum of eight years’ experience as a practicing child welfare attorney (including experience representing indigent CAFL clients in termination of parental right cases, appellate, or equivalent relevant experience), and four years of managerial  experience

    Applicants must have access to reliable transportation in order to travel to courts, clients, and office locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation.




    The position requires strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills, the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and the capacity for close attention to detail.


    The position will be posted until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to Friday, July 26, 2019.




    • Lead, support, mentor, and supervise AIC’s; support AIC’s effective leadership and management of CAFL offices and their office’s delivery of high-quality legal services to agency clients;
    • Facilitate effective communication among CAFL staff, between CAFL staff and other CPCS offices, and between agency and division leadership and CAFL offices; promote agency mission and vision in CAFL offices;
    • Ensure that staff are provided ongoing performance feedback, including regular performance reviews; in collaboration with AIC’s and Training Department, create and promote professional development opportunities for CAFL staff;
    • Work with CAFL’s Director of Social Work to ensure effective collaboration between attorneys and social workers;
    • Work with AIC’s, Training Department, and Equity and Inclusion Director to ensure that CAFL staff are culturally competent and sensitive to issues of diversity;
    • Collect and use case-related data to promote high-quality representation and to ensure that office and individual attorney caseloads are appropriate;
    • Identify and address issues that arise in connection with the operation of CAFL offices; in collaboration with CAFL’s other Managing Director, recommend and implement changes in caseload, supervision, performance, and other relevant guidelines and standards to promote high-quality representation;
    • Collaborate with the Human Resources Unit in candidate recruitment and oversee the hiring of qualified attorneys and other staff;
    • Assist AIC’s in creating and maintaining a positive workplace environment; ensure that AIC’s work collaboratively with the Human Resources Unit to address employee relations and performance issues and to ensure compliance with CPCS personnel policies;
    • Investigate and respond to legal conflicts and other legal ethics questions, performance issues, and complaints regarding attorney and non-attorney staff;
    • Work with AIC’s, the Director of CAFL’s Trial Panel, and local CAFL bar leadership to develop and maintain a collaborative relationship between CAFL offices and local CAFL private attorneys; maintain a professional relationship and leadership role with the local judiciary and the Department of Children and Families;
    • Supervise Senior Trial Counsel and work collaboratively with AICs to ensure that the Senior Trial Counsel provides effective support for staff attorneys and high-quality advocacy for clients;
    • Work with CAFL's Deputy Chief Counsel and other CAFL Directors to develop and advance division goals and objectives, including identifying and eliminating barriers within the child welfare and court systems that impede CAFL clients’ achievement of their objectives;
    • Work collaboratively with other CPCS leaders on cross-divisional and other issues as needed to promote agency goals and objectives.
    • 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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