Managing Director - Public Defender Division

$121,508 - $132,288 yearly
  • Committee for Public Counsel Services
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Nov 03, 2021
Full time Legal

Job Description

The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney to serve as Managing Director in the Public Defender Division. Managing Directors oversee regions of approximately four to six county-based trial offices. The region to be filled by this posting will be the Central Region, covering Suffolk and Norfolk Counties.


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.


The Managing Director (MD) oversees the Central Region (Suffolk and Norfolk Counties) Trial Offices in CPCS’s Public Defender Division (PDD) and manages the various regional operation and legal issues that arise. The MD supervises the Attorneys in Charge (AICs) of the Trial Offices and assists the Deputy Chief Counsel (DCC) in ensuring that PDD staff representation is effective, client-centered, culturally competent, and meets agency practice standards. 

The MD also works collaboratively and in consultation with the other legal practice divisions (Children and Family Law Division, Youth Advocacy Division, Mental Health Litigation Division, and Private Counsel Division), and CPCS legal support and operational units (Training, Human Resources, IT, Facilities, and General Counsel).

The MD reports directly to PDD’s Deputy Chief Counsel and is a member of the PDD Leadership Team.


The responsibilities of the Managing Director include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervising AICs and assisting them in effectively managing PDD Offices to ensure that all staff meet performance and supervision standards; completing annual performance evaluations for all direct reports, and ensuring that direct reports complete annual performance reviews for all assigned staff in a timely and comprehensive manner; and ensuring AICs work collaboratively with HR to address employee relations and performance issues in compliance with the CPCS personnel policies;
  • Supervising Senior Trial Counsel and working in collaboration with AICs to ensure there are clear expectations regarding case assignments, second seating, and mentoring obligations;
  • Working with the Director of Social Services Advocacy and the Chief Investigator to ensure effective collaboration between Trial Attorneys, Social Services Advocates, and Investigators;
  • Identifying and addressing systemic issues that may arise in the operation of PDD offices, including developing and recommending changes to guidelines or performance standards to the DCC;
  • Developing and implementing a plan to collect and use case-related data to promote high-quality representation, ensuring that office and attorney caseloads are appropriate, and analyzing and reporting regularly on caseload statistics;
  • Facilitating strong communication across the assigned region and with the PDD Leadership Team, and conducting regular visits to the assigned Offices;
  • Assisting AICs in creating and maintaining a positive workplace environment, promoting professional development opportunities, and in consultation with HR, overseeing the hiring of staff in the assigned region;
  • Working with the AICs, Training Department, and the Equity & Inclusion Director to ensure that PDD staff are culturally competent, sensitive to issues of diversity, and provide client-centered representation;
  • Investigating and responding to legal conflicts, legal ethics questions, and complaints regarding attorney and non-attorney staff;
  • Working with Facilities and IT to address office space and technical needs;
  • Maintaining a professional relationship and leadership role with the local judiciary and private bar, and working with AICs and local bar leadership to develop and maintain a collaborative working relationship between PDD offices and bar advocate attorneys;
  • Working with the PDD DCC, other PDD Managing Directors, and other CPCS Division leadership to develop and execute CPCS and PDD policies and strategic plans including developing and advancing legislative and policy agendas and other CPCS and cross-divisional goals and objectives;
  • Working with the PDD DCC to address budget and spending issues and preparing PDD budget requests and spending plans; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.


Applicants for this position must have a demonstrated commitment to the representation of indigent persons accused of crime, a minimum of eight years’ experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney (including both experiences representing indigent criminal clients and significant jury trial, appellate, or equivalent relevant experience), and four years of managerial experience.


The position requires strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills, the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and the capacity for close attention to detail.

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 interim Director of Human Resources Management, Mark Conlon, at