Director of Youth Advocacy Division
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 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.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
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.