Attorney in Charge - CAFL Fall River
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 Fall River 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 and handle a small caseload of individual clients.
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.
Fall River is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts. As of 2020 Fall River's population was 94,000 at the making it the tenth-largest city in the state. Located along the eastern shore of Mount Hope Bay at the mouth of the Taunton River, the city gained recognition during the 19th century as a leading textile manufacturing center in the United States. While the textile industry has long since moved on, its impact on the city's culture and landscape is still prominent. Fall River's official motto is "We'll Try", dating back to the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1843. Nicknamed The Scholarship City after Irving Fradkin founded Dollars for Scholars there in 1958. Fall River is known for its numerous 19th-century textile mills and Battleship Cove, home of the world's largest collection of World War II naval vessels (including the battleship USS Massachusetts).
The Attorney in Charge (AIC) oversees the CAFL Fall River 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 CAFL Fall River office is comprised of the AIC, a Supervising Attorney, four staff Trial Attorneys, a Social Worker, and an Administrative Assistant. The office covers four juvenile courts located in Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton, and Attleboro. The Fall River office is also co-located with the Fall River Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) office, and the AIC will be expected to collaborate with the YAD AIC regarding crossover representation of clients and on other matters.
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:
- Training, supervising, and evaluating Trial Attorneys;
- Supervising support 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 family regulation 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.
Client Representation Responsibilities:
- 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.