Position Information

Position Information Message
Senior Trial Counsel - CAFL Western MA

The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an experienced family regulation/child welfare attorney to serve as Senior Trial Counsel in the Children and Family Law Division (CAFL).


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.




Attorneys working with CPCS’s Children and Family Law Division represent parents, children and older youth, custodians, and guardians in cases in which the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is seeking custody of children and a limited number of other civil cases relating to families.  Attorneys appointed to these cases represent clients in care and protection matters (known elsewhere as dependency or abuse and neglect cases) and in termination of parental rights, guardianship-of-a-minor, and child requiring assistance cases.  Nearly all of these cases are heard in the Juvenile Court.


CAFL’s legal advocacy plays a critical role in cases that affect families.  For a parent involved in a care and protection case, having a skilled CAFL legal team may mean the difference between the family’s reunification and the termination of parental rights – the “death penalty of family law.”  For a teenager who is the subject of a truancy case, CAFL’s advocacy may secure the special education services that enable the client to succeed in school and avoid being placed in a foster home with strangers.  For siblings looking for stability after the court has freed them for adoption, the CAFL attorney will fight to ensure that they are provided a permanent home that allows them to stay together.


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.



Senior Trial Counsel (“STC”) provide legal representation and advocacy to CAFL clients at the trial level in cases involving novel or complex issues, including termination of parental rights cases.  STC are expected to take on leadership roles in their regions, including assisting Trial Attorneys on serious or otherwise complex cases.  They will mentor less experienced Trial Attorneys and aid in training Trial Attorneys on how to litigate complex cases.  STC will collaborate with the CAFL Management Team, the Director of the Strategic Litigation Unit, and others on novel or cutting-edge issues.


Children and Family Law Division Senior Trial Counsel report to a Managing Director.

Position: Senior Trial Counsel - CAFL Western MA
Organization: Committee for Public Counsel Services - CPCS
Location: Boston/ Roxbury,  MA 
United States
Salary: $103,060 - $131,263 commensurate with experience.
Posting Start Date: 1/1/2023
Date Posted: 11/29/2022



Senior Trial Counsel are responsible for providing full representation of CAFL clients at the trial level in cases involving novel or complex issues, including termination of parental rights cases.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • First-seating, or assisting CAFL Trial Attorneys, in complex cases, such as cases involving co-occurring superior court criminal charges, cases involving multiple expert witnesses, and cases involving novel legal issues;
  • Working with the Managing Director and Attorneys in Charge to involve Trial Attorneys in appropriate cases;
  • Training Trial Attorneys on how to prepare and litigate complex cases;
  • Mentoring Trial Attorneys as directed;
  • Collaborating with the CAFL Administration and Senior Management Team and others on strategic approaches to novel or cutting edge legal issues;
  • Collaborating with STC and management in MHLD, PDD, and YAD on serious or complex co-occurring matters; devising and participating in cross-divisional training and mentorship;
  • Taking assignments in multiple counties, as deemed appropriate by Senior Management; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts, as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing, or as the member of the bar of another jurisdiction eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04; 
  • Have at least seven (7) years’ experience as an attorney, including at least five (5) years’ experience with experience as a family regulation/child welfare attorney;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to the representation of indigent persons and to serving a culturally diverse, low-income population;
  • Applicants must have access to reliable transportation in order to travel to offices, courts, and other locations throughout the state; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume.  Candidates must also complete the Senior Trial Counsel application, which may be found here.




The position requires significant trial experience, including extensive experience involving expert matters and motion practice, experience mentoring and training attorneys, strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.


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