Attorney in Charge - CAFL Springfield
The Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking to fill the Attorney in Charge position in its Springfield Trial Office. The Attorney in Charge will lead and supervise a multidisciplinary team in providing high quality representation to children and parents in family regulation cases.
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.
Courage • Accountability • Respect • Excellence
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 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, family regulation, 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 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.
The Children and Family Law Division (CAFL) of CPCS provides children and indigent parents/caretakers zealous legal representation in care and protection, child requiring assistance, termination of parental rights and guardianship-of-a-minor cases through a diverse community of family regulation defenders. CAFL works to defend the rights of families to be free from unwarranted governmental interference. CAFL provides leadership, training, and support to the family regulation defense bar in Massachusetts.
The CAFL Springfield Trial Office is a robust defender team, including supervisors, attorneys, paralegals, social workers, and administrative support staff. They provide legal representation and advocacy throughout Hampden County to children and indigent adults in care and protection, child requiring assistance, termination of parental rights, guardianship-of-a-minor cases, and other types of custody and adoption proceedings. Team members work diligently to help and support CAFL clients to achieve their legal and life goals.
Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts, is located in Western Massachusetts along the Connecticut River. It is centrally located: Northampton is 25 minutes away, Hartford is 27 minutes away, Worcester is 55 minutes away, Boston is 90 minutes away, and New York City is 2 ½ hours away. Springfield is best known for being the birthplace of basketball and the home of Theodor Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss.”
The Attorney in Charge (AIC) oversees the CAFL Springfield trial office to fully address the legal needs of the office’s clients. The AIC plays a significant leadership role by managing the local office, helping with the management of CAFL as a whole, representing individual clients, and working closely with the private bar to build a strong community of family regulation defenders. The AIC will also be expected to collaborate with other collocated divisions, including the Public Defender Division, Mental Health, and the Youth Advocacy Division.
The AIC will report directly to one of the Managing Directors of CAFL. The AIC will be expected to participate in regular meetings with other CAFL AICs, the local CAFL Resource Attorneys, and the CAFL management team. The AIC also will collaborate extensively with private assigned counsel.
The AIC must be an experienced manager who excels at supporting, mentoring, and motivating legal and other office staff; developing processes that facilitate the efficient and effective delivery of legal services by staff; and leading teams that work closely with children, parents and caretakers who are experiencing governmental interference.
Management and Leadership Responsibilities:
Client Representation Responsibilities:
- Training, supervising, and evaluating Supervising Staff Attorneys and Trial Attorneys;
- Supervising support staff, paralegal staff, and assisting with the supervision of a staff Social Worker;
- Assigning cases and other work within the office;
- Generating management reports;
- Attending meetings with CAFL administrative staff and staff in other CAFL offices to discuss management issues and child welfare policy and practice issues;
- Assisting attorneys in other CAFL offices;
- Helping private attorneys through trainings and providing technical assistance;
- Developing and maintaining working relationships with local courts, bar associations, CAFL Resource Attorneys, the Department of Children and Families, and other organizations and individuals working on family regulation matters;
- Identifying systemic problems in the family regulation system (and within CAFL itself) and developing strategies for addressing those problems;
- Identifying and creating professional development opportunities for trial office attorneys and support staff; and,
- Other duties as assigned.
- Interviewing adult clients;
- Visiting and interviewing child clients;
- Pre-trial investigation and discovery, including locating and interviewing witnesses, reviewing documentary evidence, and consulting with experts and other service providers;
- Legal research and writing;
- Representing clients in pretrial proceedings, hearings, trials, and interlocutory appeals;
- Advocating with DCF and other providers for appropriate services for clients and other family members; and,
- Collaborating with CAFL social work staff.
Attorney in Charge - CAFL Springfield
||Committee for Public Counsel Services
||$105,623 - $133,827, commensurate with years of experience
|Posting Start Date:
||MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
- Eligible to practice law in Massachusetts, either as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing or as a member of the bar in another jurisdiction eligible to engage in the practice of law under SJC rule 3:04;
- A minimum of seven years’ experience as an attorney, including at least 5 years handling family regulation cases;
- Ability to travel to courts, clients’ homes, and other locations not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
- Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.
The following skills are preferable in a candidate:
- Strong experience with family regulation defense, particularly with a community-oriented defender practice;
- Demonstrated commitment to serve racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse low-income populations;
- Experience with successfully employing an anti-racist/anti-oppression lens to foster a diverse, equitable working environment;
- Proven success at leading, managing, developing, training, and directing high-energy legal teams;
- Modeling best practices for the representation of children and caretakers in accordance with CPCS Performance Standards;
- Desire and proven ability in promoting client empowerment;
- Experience working with clients of all ages, races, and backgrounds, including among others, LGBTQIA clients, survivors of trauma, people with disabilities, and indigent and other vulnerable populations;
- Demonstrable organizational skills, along with strong time management abilities to multi-task and manage a variety of priorities;
- Having strong interpersonal and communication skills, along with the ability to understand and handle sensitive and confidential information;
- Demonstrating high level writing, analytical and oral communication skills; and,
- Consistently maintaining an optimistic outlook along with the humor, flexibility, integrity, patience, and perseverance necessary to ensure that clients are provided high quality legal services.
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.
||This listing expires on: 12/4/2023