Committee for Public Counsel Services

Attorney in Charge - CAFL Salem Trial Office

Job Locations US-MA-Salem
ID
2022-2109
# of Openings
1
Posted Date
1/4/2022
Type
Regular Full-Time
Salary
$98,540 - $124,852, commensurate with years of experience

Overview

The Children and Family Law Division is seeking an experienced attorney to be the Attorney in Charge of the Salem Trial Office. The Attorney in Charge will manage CAFL’s Salem Office and represent a small caseload of individual clients.  They will also play a leadership role in CPCS’s efforts to provide high-quality representation to children and indigent parents in all CAFL cases.

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT

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.

 

AGENCY OVERVIEW

 

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.

 

OFFICE OVERVIEW

 

The CAFL Salem Trial Office is a close-knit group who strongly believe in community engagement and partnership to assist clients as they navigate the child welfare legal system.  The office is committed to seeking racial justice for our clients. 

Salem is a historic coastal city in the picturesque North Sore region of Massachusetts.  Salem is a busy tourist destination.  Much of the city's cultural identity reflects its role as the location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. Salem is home to the newly renovated Peabody Essex Museum which is a leading museum of Asian art and culture and early American maritime trade and whaling.  The Salem CAFL Trial Office is located on the scenic waterfront in downtown Salem.

 

POSITION OVERVIEW

 

CPCS is seeking an experienced attorney to lead the Children and Family Law Division (CAFL) office in Salem.  CAFL provides legal representation and advocacy throughout Massachusetts to children and indigent parents in care and protection, child requiring assistance, and termination of parental rights cases and to children in guardianship-of-a-minor cases.  The Attorney in Charge will manage CAFL’s Salem Office and represent a small caseload of individual clients. They will also play a leadership role in CPCS’s efforts to provide high-quality representation to children and indigent parents in all CAFL cases.

 

What CAFL does:

 

Through a robust team of public defenders which include attorneys, paralegals, social workers, and administrative support staff, CAFL works to defend the rights of families to be free from governmental interference.  Our teams of dedicated advocates come to work every day with a purposeful desire to defend the rights of the families in Massachusetts.

 

Who are we looking for:

 

The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate a deep connection to CPCS’s mission of client centric, inclusive public defense in an atmosphere of courage, accountability, respect, and excellence.

 

They will be an experienced manager who excels at supporting, mentoring, and motivating legal and other office staff; developing processes that facilitate the efficient and effective delivery of legal services by staff; and leading teams that work closely with children, parents and caretakers who are experiencing governmental interference.

 

Opportunities and Challenges facing the Salem Attorney in Charge

 

The CAFL Salem Trial Office presents a number of exciting opportunities and challenges for the next Attorney in Charge (“AIC”).  They will directly supervise the office’s Administrative Assistant as well as the Trial Attorneys to ensure a smooth running and high functioning law office.  The AIC will carry a half caseload of clients, including both parent and child clients.

 

The duties of the AIC encompass leading and nurturing a skilled, effective, and dedicated legal team that values diversity, collaboration, and creativity.  The AIC will succeed in this role by providing consistent, clear communication that builds trust and promotes team morale and transparency among a diverse group of attorneys, social workers, paralegals, and administrative staff.  It is critical that the AIC is able to foster a work environment that is supportive, equitable, and inclusive for both clients and staff, and provides leadership on internal and external anti-racism initiatives. Conducting investigations into client complaints on staff performance or professionalism is also required.

 

The key to being able to thrive in this role is being able to balance collaboration and seeking input with strong decision making and execution skills.  The ability to identify systemic barriers prohibiting clients from obtaining their goals and developing strategies for addressing these barriers will allow the AIC to live and breathe CPCS’s mission to help clients achieve their legal and life goals and to build a culture of inclusion, continuous learning, and trust.

 

The AIC will need to routinely evaluate and refine existing processes and tools to deliver high quality representation and regularly review, understand, and thoughtfully implement new agency initiatives by gathering, analyzing, and reporting data.  The AIC will provide training, supervision, and evaluation of the attorneys, paralegals, social workers, and administrative support staff.  They will support and assist the CPCS Training Department, attend and actively participate in CAFL Administration meetings and agency-wide management meetings. The AIC will also work closely with the CAFL Director of Social Work, CAFL Private Panel Director, CAFL Director of Appeals, the CPCS Human Resources Unit, and other external stakeholders in the family regulation system.

Qualifications

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts, either as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing or as a member of the bar in another jurisdiction eligible to engage in the practice of law under SJC rule 3:04;
  • A minimum of seven years’ experience as an attorney, including at least 5 years in child welfare law;
  • Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts, clients, and other locations not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

This position will remain open until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to January 25, 2022.

 

QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS

 

The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

 

  • Relevant legal experience representing families facing Care and Protection cases, Child Requiring Assistance Petitions, Termination of Parental Rights and Guardianship-of-a–Minor cases;
  • Commitment to serve racially, ethnically and culturally diverse low-income populations;
  • Experience and demonstrable ability with successfully employing an anti-racism lens to foster a diverse, equitable working environment. Working with others in the agency to create diverse teams that reflect the communities served;
  • Proven success at leading, managing, developing, and directing high-energy legal teams;
  • Modeling best practices for the representation of children and caretakers in accordance with CPCS Performance Standards;
  • Demonstrable record of successful management experience;
  • Desire and proven ability promoting client empowerment and working with clients of all ages, races and backgrounds, including among others, LGBTQIA clients, survivors of trauma, people with disabilities, indigent and other vulnerable populations. Possessing superb organization and flexibility skills, along with strong time management abilities to multi-task and manage a variety of priorities;
  • Having strong interpersonal and communication skills, along with the ability to understand and handle sensitive and confidential information;
  • Demonstrating high level writing, analytical and oral communication skills; and,
  • Consistently maintaining an optimistic outlook along with the humor, integrity, patience and perseverance necessary to advance office efforts to ensure that clients are provided high quality legal services.

Responsibilities

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Management and Leadership Responsibilities:

  • Training, supervising, and evaluating trial attorneys;
  • Supervising support staff and assisting with the supervision of a staff social worker;
  • Assigning cases and other work within the office;
  • Managing work flow for paralegals;
  • Generating management reports;
  • Attending meetings with CAFL administrative staff and staff in other CAFL offices to discuss management issues and child welfare policy and practice issues;
  • Assisting attorneys in other CAFL offices;
  • Helping private attorneys through trainings and providing technical assistance;
  • Developing and maintaining working relationships with local courts, bar associations, CAFL Resource Attorneys, the Department of Children and Families, along with other organizations and individuals working in child welfare law;
  • Identifying systemic problems and developing strategies for addressing those problems; and,
  • Identifying and creating professional development opportunities for trial office attorneys and support staff.

  Client Representation Responsibilities:

  • Interviewing adult clients;
  • Visiting and interviewing child clients;
  • Pre-trial investigation and discovery, including locating and interviewing witnesses, reviewing documentary evidence, and consulting with experts and other service providers;
  • Legal research and writing;
  • Representing clients in pretrial proceedings, hearings, trials, and interlocutory appeals;
  • Advocating with DCF and other providers for appropriate services for clients and other family members; and,
  • Coordinating advocacy with CAFL social work staff.

 

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 interim Director of Human Resources Management, Mark Conlon, at mconlon@publiccounsel.net

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