Committee for Public Counsel Services

2023 PDD Trial Attorney - Statewide Positions

Job Locations US-MA
ID
2022-2257
# of Openings
1
Posted Date
10/6/2022
Type
Regular Full-Time
Salary
$68,000 - $115,378, commensurate with years of experience

Overview

The Public Defender Division of CPCS is seeking Trial Attorneys to provide criminal defense representation in various offices throughout the Commonwealth.  The Public Defender Division provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts.  Public Defenders begin their work by representing clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, including misdemeanors and felonies, see G.L. c.218, § 26, and some serious sexual offenses, and occasionally handle initial commitment proceedings under G.L. c.123, §§ 12(e), 35.

 

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals.

We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

 

Our Values

 

Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •   Excellence

 

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.

 

The clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS staff to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, genders and/or sexual orientation identities, abilities, and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics.

 

POSITION OVERVIEW

 

The Public Defender Division provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts.   Public Defenders begin their work by representing clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, including misdemeanors and felonies, see G.L. c.218, § 26, and some serious sexual offenses, and occasionally handle initial commitment proceedings under G.L. c.123, §§ 12(e), 35. After gaining experience on cases within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, it is expected that Public Defenders will represent clients in the Superior Courts and occasionally represent clients on interlocutory appeals, civil commitments, and certain collateral matters as permitted by a supervisor.  It is also expected that Public Defenders, as they gain experience, will act as informal mentors and advisors to other staff attorneys in the office.

 

New Trial Attorneys in the Public Defender Division begin their CPCS career with a nationally recognized, comprehensive, skills-based training course to ensure they are ready to represent their clients to their full capabilities.  Continuing legal education programs for new and experienced Trial Attorneys are held periodically to guarantee our Trial Attorneys are up to date on the law and have the skills necessary to provide zealous representation to their clients.

 

Positions will be filled as our FY23 & FY24 budgets allow.  This posting does not guarantee that we will be filling Trial Attorney positions.

 

The expected staffing needs for Public Defender Division offices are greatest in central, western, and southeastern Massachusetts and we will be concentrating our recruitment and hiring for those regions.

Qualifications

MIMINUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

 

  • A Trial Attorney must be committed to serving a culturally diverse, low-income population and must be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts, either as a member of the Massachusetts bar, as a law school graduate under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03, or as an attorney licensed in another jurisdiction who is covered by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04. A recent law school graduate who is ineligible to practice under SJC Rule 3:03 will be hired as a paralegal with the understanding that they will be promoted to trial attorney once admitted to practice in Massachusetts;
  • Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts, clients, and investigation locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

 

QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS

 

Candidates should possess the following attributes for the position of Trial Attorney:

 

  • A demonstrated commitment to the principle of zealous advocacy in the representation of indigent persons in criminal cases;
  • Strong interpersonal and analytical skills; and,
  • Ability to work in a community and defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively.

 

To apply:  please supply a resume and a personal mission statement of no more than two pages detailing your interest in the position, your personal qualities, background, and skills, and what you hope to achieve in this work.

Responsibilities

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Interviewing clients;
  • Arraignment and bail advocacy;
  • Legal research and writing;
  • Pretrial investigation including visiting crime scenes, locating and interviewing witnesses, collecting and reviewing documentary evidence;
  • Preparing and arguing pretrial motions, affidavits and legal memoranda; 
  • Dispositional investigations and advocacy;
  • Jury and bench trials of criminal cases;
  • Representation of clients in interlocutory proceedings;
  • Where appropriate, working collaboratively with private attorneys on cases assigned through the Private Counsel Division of CPCS; 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 Chief Human Resources Officer, Ted Waterman, at ewaterman@publiccounsel.net

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