2024 Public Defender Division Trial Attorney - Statewide Positions
The Public Defender Division of CPCS is seeking Trial Attorneys to provide criminal defense representation in various offices throughout the Commonwealth. The Public Defender Division provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts. Public Defenders begin their work by representing clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, including misdemeanors and felonies, see G.L. c.218, § 26, and some serious sexual offenses, and occasionally handle initial commitment proceedings under G.L. c.123, §§ 12(e), 35.
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 Public Defender Division provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts. Public Defenders begin their work by representing clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, including misdemeanors and felonies, see G.L. c.218, § 26, and some serious sexual offenses, and occasionally handle initial commitment proceedings under G.L. c.123, §§ 12(e), 35. After gaining experience on cases within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, it is expected that Public Defenders will represent clients in the Superior Courts and occasionally represent clients on interlocutory appeals, civil commitments, and certain collateral matters as permitted by a supervisor. It is also expected that Public Defenders, as they gain experience, will act as informal mentors and advisors to other staff attorneys in the office.
New Trial Attorneys in the Public Defender Division begin their CPCS career with a nationally recognized, comprehensive, skills-based training course to ensure they are ready to represent their clients to their full capabilities. Continuing legal education programs for new and experienced Trial Attorneys are held periodically to guarantee our Trial Attorneys are up to date on the law and have the skills necessary to provide zealous representation to their clients.
Positions will be filled as our FY24 & FY25 budgets allow. This posting does not guarantee that we will be filling Trial Attorney positions.
These positions have an expected start date in late August/early September 2024.
The expected staffing needs for Public Defender Division offices are greatest in central, western, and southeastern Massachusetts and we will be concentrating our recruitment and hiring for those regions.
- Interviewing clients;
- Arraignment and bail advocacy;
- Legal research and writing;
- Pretrial investigation including visiting crime scenes, locating and interviewing witnesses, collecting and reviewing documentary evidence;
- Preparing and arguing pretrial motions, affidavits and legal memoranda;
- Dispositional investigations and advocacy;
- Jury and bench trials of criminal cases;
- Representation of clients in interlocutory proceedings;
- Where appropriate, working collaboratively with private attorneys on cases assigned through the Private Counsel Division of CPCS; and,
- Other duties as assigned