CAFL Appellate Panel Staff Counsel

Committee for Public Counsel Services Boston, MA

The Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division is seeking an attorney with experience in child welfare law and appeals to work as Staff Counsel with the CAFL Director of Appellate Panel in the CAFL Appellate Panel Support Unit (Administrative Office) in Boston.


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 Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an attorney with experience in child welfare law and appeals to work with the CAFL Director of Appellate Panel in the CAFL Appellate Panel Support Unit (Administrative Office) in Boston. CAFL clients include children and indigent parents who are parties to care and protection, termination of parental rights, child requiring assistance, and guardianship-of-a-minor cases in the Juvenile Courts and the Probate and Family Courts of the Commonwealth. In recognition of the extent of private bar oversight provided to ensure performance standards are met, this position qualifies for compensation equivalent to that of a Staff Supervising Attorney.

The person filling this Staff Counsel position reports to the CAFL Director of Appellate Panel.


Candidates must:

* have a law degree and at least seven years of legal experience, of which at least three years must be child welfare experience. Ten or more years of experience is preferred.

* have a commitment to zealous advocacy on behalf of a culturally diverse, low-income population.

* have substantial appellate experience.

* be able to maintain a professional and supportive relationship with the private bar and serve as a leader in working with the courts, the Department of Children and Families, and professional and community organizations.

* be able to demonstrate an ability to work with others in a fast-paced area of the law.

Administrative and managerial experience is desirable, as is experience as a private panel attorney.

This Staff Counsel position will be based in CPCS's Bromfield Street, Boston office with the possibility of working in another CPCS location outside of Boston for some portion of the work week. Location flexibility depends, in part, on available space.


Applicants should submit (1) a resume, (2) a thoughtful written statement of interest, and (3) a writing sample of not more than 50 pages.

The position will be posted until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to May 31, 2018.


The Staff Counsel will assist the CAFL Director of Appellate Panel in all aspects of panel management, including:

* Overseeing and assessing the performance of appellate panel members.

* Monitoring panel members' compliance with performance standards.

* Advising trial and appellate mentors and panel members about case strategy.

* Supervising the appellate panel mentor program and evaluating panel members to determine graduation from the program.

* Reviewing and critiquing briefs, moot-courting panel members, and evaluating oral arguments.

* Reviewing applications for admission to the panel certification training.

* Delivering training programs on child welfare trial and appellate issues for panel members and staff attorneys.

* Drafting appellate bulletins and providing other resources for trial and appellate panel members, including a legal research/motion resource bank and a single justice pleadings resource bank.

* Serving as liaison with the clerks' offices at the trial courts, the Appeals Court, and the Supreme Judicial Court.

* Administering appellate panel operational activities, including recruitment, certification, appellate assignments, billing, and the assignment of appellate mentors.

* Supervising student workers (intern/coop/other).

* Drafting Division/agency amicus curiae briefs.

* Performing a variety of related duties as assigned.

The Staff Counsel may also maintain a small child welfare trial and/or appellate caseload.

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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