Position Information

Position Information Message
Attorney in Charge - PDD Northampton

The Public Defender Division (PDD) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking to fill the Attorney-in-Charge position in its Northampton Office, covering Hampshire and Franklin Counties.

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



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 of each member of the CPCS community.




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 Northampton PDD Office provides public defense services for Hampshire and Franklin Counties.  The city of Northampton provides a sophisticated rural lifestyle combined with the cultural, artistic, academic, and culinary amenities of a big city.  It offers more restaurants, eclectic shops, galleries, theaters, and performance venues than most urban centers ten times its size.   You will also find two rivers, mountain views, landscaped parks, and meadow walks.  It provides a unique and charming combination of natural and cultural activities that should not be missed. 



The Attorney-in-Charge supervises and assists staff Trial Attorneys to ensure the zealous and effective advocacy of every assigned client entrusted to our legal care. The Attorney-in-Charge is also responsible for managing the Supervising Staff Attorney, Social Service Advocate, Investigator, and highly trained Administrative Assistants. The Attorney-in-Charge is expected to maintain an active, albeit reduced caseload, providing the same fullness and excellence of representation, no different than any other Trial Attorney, while consistently striking the proper balance between case responsibilities and managerial duties.


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: Attorney in Charge - PDD Northampton
Organization: Committee for Public Counsel Services - CPCS
Location: Boston,  MA 
United States
Salary: $98,540 - $124,852, commensurate with years of experience.
Posting Start Date: 10/12/2022
Date Posted: 11/1/2022



The following attributes are required for the position of Attorney-in-Charge:

  • Eligible to practice law in this jurisdiction as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing, or as an attorney in another jurisdiction who is eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
  • A minimum of seven years of experience handling criminal cases, at least four of which are as assigned counsel for indigent persons in criminal cases;
  • 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.


  • Significant Superior Court or equivalent jury trial experience;
  • Administrative and managerial skills and supervisory experience;
  • Commitment to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population;
  • A demonstrated commitment to the principle of zealous advocacy in the representation of indigent persons in criminal cases;
  • Ability and commitment to complete annual performance evaluations in a timely and comprehensive manner;
  • Strong interpersonal and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work in community and defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively; and,
  • Foreign language skills, Spanish in particular, are desirable.


Candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample.  The letter of interest should include a description of the candidate’s trial, supervisory, and administrative or management experience, as well as a discussion of his/her priorities and vision for leading the office.


The Attorney-in-Charge must be able to supervise and assist trial lawyers in the development of trial strategies, motions practice, and myriad other tasks that trial lawyers must undertake.  The Attorney-in-Charge is also responsible for the supervision and development of non-attorney support staff in the office.


The administrative responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding, communicating, and ensuring compliance with the agency’s Personnel Policies;
  • Being thoroughly familiar with the CPCS case management system, including the ability to generate and interpret case statistics and reports;
  • Ensuring that attorneys’ schedules and caseloads are reasonable and conform with CPCS guidelines, performance standards, and practice advisories;
  • Ensuring case files are properly maintained and scanned at the conclusion of each case;
  • Assigning all cases promptly;
  • Ensuring that all cases are promptly opened and closed in the agency’s case management system;
  • Ensuring that all cases are promptly checked for conflicts of interest, and when discovered, reassigning those cases immediately;
  • Ensuring that detailed running sheets for each case are current and electronically maintained;
  • Ensuring that annual performance evaluations are completed for all staff in a timely and comprehensive manner; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

In addition, the Attorney-in-Charge is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that information about recent developments in the law, CPCS policies and practices, and other relevant matters are disseminated to staff in a timely manner;
  • Providing ongoing in-house training to ensure continued excellence by all staff in furtherance of the CPCS mission statement;
  • Fostering positive relationships within the community and courthouses, and ensuring that a professional relationship and leadership role is maintained with the assigned private bar in the county;
  • Providing zealous and effective representation of the AIC’s own clients consistent with PDD guidelines and performance standards; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.

The Attorney-in-Charge must also attend regular meetings with other office heads, Managing Directors, and the Deputy Chief Counsel to discuss management and policy issues.  The Attorney-in-Charge is directly supervised by a Managing Director.

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

Status: This listing expires on: 1/30/2023
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Organization Information
Committee for Public Counsel Services - CPCS
75 Federal Street, 5th Floor

Boston,  MA 02110
United States
Kuda Chidzonga