Position Information

Position Information Message
Appeals Attorney - Children & Family Law Division

The Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an Appeals Attorney for the CAFL Appellate Unit in Worcester.


CPCS is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing legal services to indigent persons in criminal and civil matters in which the state or federal constitution, state statute, or case law require the appointment of counsel for any person who cannot afford to retain counsel.  The agency provides representation on criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as appeals and post-conviction cases related to those matters.


CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation.  In fulfilling its mission, CPCS is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the agency.  We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs.  In striving always to achieve those goals, CPCS embraces diversity and inclusion as core values and is steadfast in our commitment to:  (1) ensuring that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experiences; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS's leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.




CAFL Appellate Unit Appeals Attorneys represent parents and children in appeals from custody and guardianship orders and decrees terminating parental rights.  (Please note that all child welfare appeals receive oral argument at the Appeals Court.)  CAFL Appeals Attorneys also help counsel in CAFL’s trial offices to identify and preserve legal issues, raise constitutional concerns, and address systemic problems that impact vulnerable children and families throughout the commonwealth. Each Appeals Attorney will advise, assist, and train the trial attorneys and social workers in the CAFL trial offices. This requires travelling to each assigned trial office (no more than three) at least once per month. The Appeals Attorneys also may participate in other projects related to CAFL appellate and trial practice, such as drafting and reviewing legislation and regulations, oversight of law students and research projects, and other matters. 


  • Representing clients in child welfare;
  • Meet with and interview adult and child clients;
  • Ensure case files are up-to-date, complete, and closed promptly;
  • Conduct legal research and writing;
  • Advise CAFL trial attorneys on appellate matters;
  • Meet regularly with each of the assigned staff trial offices;
  • Assist trial attorneys with issue identification, motion practice, and providing support and assistance with interlocutory appeals;
  • Develop and participate in trainings for each of the assigned trial offices; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.

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 Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon.

Position: Appeals Attorney - Children & Family Law Division
Organization: Committee for Public Counsel Services
Location: Boston,  MA 
United States
Salary: $60,000 - 102,500, commensurate with years of experience
Posting Start Date: 1/31/2019
Date Posted: 1/31/2019


  • An Appeals Attorney must be committed to serving a culturally diverse, low income population and must be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts, either as a member of the Massachusetts bar or as an attorney licensed in another jurisdiction who is covered by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04.
  • The Appeals Attorney position requires travel. Access to reliable transportation throughout the state is necessary.
  • The following qualifications:
    •  (1) demonstrated proficiency in legal research and writing;
    • (2) three years’ recent experience as a trial attorney in child welfare cases in Massachusetts; and,
    • (3) at least one of the following:
      • (a) current certification for the CAFL appellate panel and authorship of at least one appellate brief in a CAFL case;
      • (b) primary authorship of two appellate briefs, preferably in child welfare or a related field;
      • (c) a recent appellate clerkship, substantial editing experience for a law journal, or publication of a law journal article; or 
      • (d) primary authorship of a petition for interlocutory relief or two substantial memoranda of law.



Foreign language skills are desirable


Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, and two legal writing samples. The letter of interest should include a description of the candidate’s trial, appellate, and writing experience.

Status: This listing expires on: 5/1/2019
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Organization Information
Committee for Public Counsel Services

Boston,  MA 02108
United States
Kevin Ruderman


December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
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You can watch a video about the event HERE 

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