Staff Counsel I - Special Projects
The Private Counsel Division of CPCS is seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney for a newly created Staff Counsel I – Special Projects position with the Post-Conviction Unit. The Staff Counsel I – Special Projects attorney will assist the Staff Counsel II – Special Projects Manager with overseeing special legal projects.
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 & UNIT 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 Post-Conviction Unit, Private Counsel Division, makes approximately 1,500 assignments annually to private counsel to represent indigent clients in direct appeals, new trial motions, screenings for possible new trial motions and motions to withdraw guilty pleas, and various other post-conviction matters. The Post-Conviction Unit provides support to, and oversight of, Post-Conviction Panel members. The Unit consists of a Director, two Staff Counsel IIs, an Assignment Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant.
The Staff Counsel I - Special Projects position will be a newly added member of this unit who will report to the Staff Counsel II - Special Projects Manager position.
The Private Counsel Division of CPCS is seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney for a newly created Staff Counsel I – Special Projects position with the Post-Conviction Unit. The position will assist the Staff Counsel II – Special Projects Manager with coordinating special legal projects from conception through to completion, starting with the assignment, oversight, and advocacy of cases involving the Hinton Drug Lab. The position requires a mix of administrative, legal, and direct advocacy skills employed to ensure that CPCS clients benefit from developments in criminal or constitutional law.
The Staff Counsel I – Special Projects attorney will assist the Staff Counsel II – Special Projects Manager with: a) developing legal and policy responses; b) conducting direct advocacy as necessary; c) coordinating the timely assignment of attorneys to work involving the Hinton Drug Lab cases, and in other assigned projects; d) supporting the work of private counsel panel members who are litigating these cases by acting as a resource and assisting in the creation and maintenance of training materials; and, e) conducting and managing the necessary processes to support the project’s operation.
The Staff Counsel I – Special Projects will work closely with Post-Conviction Unit staff and panel members, as well as with other CPCS divisions and departments.
Staff Counsel I – Special Projects responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting the Staff Counsel II - Special Project Manager in conducting, coordinating and implementing the agency’s response to developments in criminal or constitutional law that require widespread CPCS client education and/or notification; assignment of counsel; and/or collaborations with other criminal justice stakeholders;
- Assisting with recruiting panel attorneys and training opportunities;
- Direct advocacy as necessary;
- Responding to questions and concerns from clients, attorneys, court personnel, and other criminal justice stakeholders;
- Updating and maintaining the special project databases, webpage, email account, and phone message line;
- Maintaining special project training and informational resources on MyGideon and on the Project webpage;
- Legal research and writing as necessary, including the drafting of Amicus briefs or letters, trial court and case research; and,
- Other duties as assigned.