Committee for Public Counsel Services

Director of Youth Advocacy Division

Job Locations US-MA-Boston
# of Openings
Posted Date
Regular Full-Time
$133,750.00 - $153,750.00, commensurate with years of experience


The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a dynamic experienced leader to serve as Director of the Youth Advocacy Division.




The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is the Massachusetts state agency that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal and civil matters in which there is a right to counsel under the state or federal Constitution, state statutes, or case law. The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, mental health, sexually dangerous person, parole and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and collateral proceedings related to these matters.




CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation.  We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs.  It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility each member of the CPCS community.




The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) is responsible for assuring that all children accused of crimes in Massachusetts receive a high quality of developmentally appropriate zealous advocacy throughout representation - from investigation through parole.  YAD also plays a leadership role inside and outside the agency in matters pertaining to juvenile justice policy and juvenile representation. 


The Division consists of an Administrative Office, which is responsible for leadership, training, support and oversight of staff and private panel attorneys practicing in the Juvenile, District, Superior and appellate courts, as well as nine trial offices that represent indigent clients facing delinquency, criminal and/or youthful offender charges, as well as other related issues throughout the Commonwealth.  YAD also hosts the Youth Advocacy Foundation, which, in large part, supports the work of the EdLaw Project.  The EdLaw Project provides training and support to all CPCS attorneys, staff and private, so that they are well equipped to engage in education advocacy for all appropriate clients, regardless of Division.


From its inception, YAD has had three fundamental goals.  First, to provide zealous, client directed, representation. At CPCS, all representation is client directed, whether the client is an adult or a child.  Second, to apply a Youth Development Approach in representation of YAD clients; within the context of their age and community YAD offers a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary spectrum of engagement, assessment, referral, and advocacy services.  This Youth Development Approach emphasizes a partnership between social workers and lawyers, a mastery of the evidence based Positive Youth Development framework, and a profound engagement with the children, youth, families, and communities for which we share responsibility. Third, to lead the Agency’s efforts to support continuous improvement in the overall ability of the juvenile and criminal legal systems to provide a fair, effective, culturally humble, trauma responsive, racially and ethnically equitable, and developmentally appropriate response to the life circumstances of individual clients and client communities.  


Over twenty years, YAD staff and private assigned counsel have received local and national recognition for their innovative and excellent advocacy in courthouses, schools and communities. 


The Director of the Youth Advocacy Division reports to the Chief Counsel and is a member of the CPCS Senior Management Team, which develops and implements agency fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.



  • Be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts bar, or be licensed in another jurisdiction and eligible to practice in Massachusetts under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
  • Have at least ten (10) years of litigation experience, five (5) years of which must be in the practice of Juvenile Defense;
  • Have at least five (5) years of management experience, including supervision of legal and support staff; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.




The successful candidate will have experience in some or all of the following areas:

  • A demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of children and youth in the juvenile and criminal legal systems;
  • A demonstrated commitment to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile and criminal legal systems and all related systems;
  • A strong understanding of the application of the science of adolescent development to the juvenile and criminal legal systems;
  • Significant experience in incorporating Positive Youth Development into juvenile defense;
  • A commitment to providing clients with an interdisciplinary legal advocacy team that partners social workers and lawyers;
  • Expertise in education advocacy;
  • A demonstrated commitment to building cultural humility in the juvenile defense bar;
  • A demonstrated commitment to building a single juvenile defense bar of skilled and well-resourced staff and private assigned counsel;  
  • A demonstrated commitment to engaging with client communities to benefit individual clients and to promote fair and equitable public policy;
  • Significant experience working with clients with complex trauma histories and/or learning challenges;
  • A working knowledge of the Department of Youth Services and the Department of Children and Families, as well as experience advocating on behalf of dual status youth;
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills; and,
  • Strong leadership qualities and superior analytical, interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and decision-making skills.

Application process: Candidates should submit a résumé, writing sample, and statement of interest.


The position will be posted until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to June 14, 2021.




The Director’s duties include, but are not limited to:


  • Defining YAD vision, priorities, and goals in collaboration with the Chief Counsel;
  • Managing and supervising the YAD leadership team to promote a culture of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence;
  • Responsibility for YAD staff and all aspects of the Division's operations through managerial supervision, development, and implementation of policies, and allocation of financial and other resources;
  • Supervising the Assistant Director, and, in collaboration with the Assistant Director, supervising the Directors of Social Work, Trial Panel, Appeals, Education Advocacy, and the trial offices. Working closely with the Training Department, who supervises the YAD Training Director, in training for staff and private assigned counsel;
  • Overseeing the certification and recertification of private attorneys in juvenile proceedings in all courts of the Commonwealth;
  • Setting performance standards to support the achievement of the Division’s goals, and overseeing the performance of YAD staff and panel members to ensure compliance with the performance standards and the Assigned Counsel Manual;
  • Serving as senior leader of the non-profit Youth Advocacy Foundation, which raises and manages funds used to supports the EdLaw Project and other YAD initiatives;
  • Collaborating with other CPCS divisions and departments, working with court leadership, Department of Youth Services, Probation Department, Department of Children and Families, the legislature, and other stakeholders to improve the justice system for indigent youth and families;
  • Providing leadership and support to CPCS efforts to become an anti-racism organization;
  • Working with the General Counsel on legislative and policy advocacy reviewing pending legislation, drafting bills, and testifying on proposed legislation before state legislative committees;
  • Working with the CPCS Communications Director on strategies for communicating information about YAD issues, clients, and client communities;
  • Connecting with national community of juvenile defenders and other experts in juvenile justice, human rights, adolescent development, etc., to exchange ideas and resources; 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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