Position Information

Position Information Message
Appeals Attorney - PDD Appeals Unit Boston

The Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking a full-time attorney for its Appeals Unit in Boston.


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 state-wide Public Defender Division (“PDD”) Appeals Unit is centrally located in downtown Boston, within walking distance of the John Adams Courthouse, where both the Supreme Judicial Court and Massachusetts Appeals Court hear cases. The Unit is a close-knit office with a strong culture of collegiality and collaboration. The Unit prides itself on providing excellent, client-centered representation and strives to advance the law for the benefit of defendants around the state.


Currently, attorneys in the Appeals Unit work remotely on Mondays and Tuesdays and are expected to be in the office from Wednesday to Friday.




The PDD is seeking an Appeals Attorney to provide criminal defense representation at the appellate level. The Appeals Unit provides legal representation and appellate advocacy for indigent adult clients in the Massachusetts appellate courts, and occasionally in federal court or state trial courts. The cases handled by the Appeals Unit are primarily direct appeals in criminal cases (from misdemeanors to serious felonies), but also include motions for new trials, interlocutory appeals, and amicus briefs in selected cases. In addition, the Unit provides training and assistance to trial attorneys around the state, and often assists the agency with system-wide issues and challenges.


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: Appeals Attorney - PDD Appeals Unit Boston
Organization: Committee for Public Counsel Services - CPCS
Location: Boston/ Roxbury,  MA 
United States
Salary: $68,000 - $115,378 commensurate with experience.
Posting Start Date: 1/1/2023
Date Posted: 11/29/2022



The duties of a PDD Appeals Unit Appeals Attorney include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Interviewing clients;
  • Conducting legal research;
  • Collecting and reviewing documentary evidence;
  • Writing briefs, reply briefs, motions for reconsideration, and applications for direct and further appellate review;
  • Arguing before the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court, including preparation via moot arguments, and assisting other attorneys with their moot arguments;
  • Conducting post-conviction investigation, including visiting crime scenes and locating and interviewing witnesses, when needed;
  • Providing formal and informal assistance to PDD Trial Attorneys on trial court level cases;
  • Providing training to PDD and Private Counsel Division staff attorneys;
  • Depending on experience level, may include editing and mentoring of other Appeals Unit Attorneys and, on occasion, of PDD Trial Attorneys who are representing clients on appeal;
  • Drafting or assisting in the drafting of amicus briefs;
  • Assisting the agency in work on special projects involving systemic legal issues with broad impact;
  • Participating in brainstorming sessions on Appeals Unit cases with the other members of the Unit;
  • Keeping up with new opinions on criminal law and procedure issued by the Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and United States Supreme Court; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Candidates must be 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;
  • Candidates must have at least two years as an attorney in a related field;
  • Access to reliable transportation in order to travel to courts, clients, and investigation locations across the Commonwealth; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

Candidates must also be able to work in a defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively, and be committed to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population.  Candidates must possess very strong writing and oral advocacy skills


To apply, candidates must submit a resume, letter of interest which includes a description of prior appellate experience, and a writing sample.

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: 2/27/2023
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Organization Information
Committee for Public Counsel Services - CPCS
75 Federal Street, 5th Floor

Boston/ Roxbury,  MA 02110
United States
(617) 910-5797
Kuda Chidzonga