Deputy Chief Counsel - Private Counsel Division

$163,055 - $181,055 yearly
  • Committee for Public Counsel Services
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Apr 26, 2024
Full time Legal

Job Description

The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is accepting applications for the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division.

The Private Counsel Division delivers legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial, post-conviction, and parole cases as well as in civil commitment trials, registration administrative hearings, and appeals from those legal proceedings.  Our mission is to provide excellent legal services to each and every client by ensuring that all assigned attorneys possess the skills they need through experience or training, meet high standards of performance, and have ready access to mentoring, supervision and continuing legal education.

The Private Counsel Division utilizes the services of over 2000 private assigned counsel statewide to provide legal representation in criminal and civil cases.  The Deputy Chief Counsel is responsible for the leadership, support, training and oversight of private bar panels in criminal, sexually dangerous person and sex offender registry cases, and in appeals and post-conviction cases related to those matters.

The Deputy Chief Counsel will oversee all aspects of the Private Counsel Division, including the selection, certification, and training of panel attorneys as well as provide oversight to the bar advocate programs. The Deputy Chief Counsel will directly oversee the management team of the Private Counsel Division, including the Directors of Criminal Trials, Criminal Appeals, Alternative Commitment Support Registration Unit, Parole Advocacy, Immigration Impact, Innocence Program, and Private Social Work.

The Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division reports to the Chief Counsel and is a member of CPCS Senior Leadership, which develops and implements agency fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.

The Deputy Chief Counsel’s duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Defining the Private Counsel vision, priorities, and goals in collaboration with the Chief Counsel and communicating with Private Counsel staff and panel members about them with inspiring messaging;
  • Managing and supervising the Directors of the Criminal Trial Support Unit, Post-Conviction Unit, Alternative Commitment and Registration Support Unit, Innocence Program, Immigration Impact Unit, Parole Advocacy Unit and Private Social Services Advocacy;
  • Overseeing the certification, recertification, and (in partnership with the CPCS Training Chief) training of private attorneys in criminal, sexually dangerous person and sex offender registry cases in all courts of the Commonwealth;
  • Overseeing the performance of Private Counsel panel members and compliance with performance standards and the requirements of the Assigned Counsel Manual;
  • Ensuring compliance by private attorneys with relevant CPCS Performance Guidelines and other agency policies and procedures, investigating complaints, and assisting, as necessary, CPCS’s Audit & Oversight Department in its review of billings in Private Counsel Division matters;
  • Consulting regularly with judges, attorneys, non-governmental agencies, clients, client groups, and others regarding Private Counsel matters;
  • Working with the General Counsel on legislative and policy advocacy, reviewing pending legislation, drafting bills, and testifying on proposed legislation before state legislative committees;


  • Be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts bar, or be licensed in another jurisdiction and eligible to practice in Massachusetts under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
  • Have at least ten (10) years of litigation experience, five (5) years of which must be in the practice of representing indigent criminal clients;
  • Have at least five (5) years of supervision/management experience, including supervision of legal and support staff;
  • Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts and other locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.

 Preferred candidates will have at least ten years of experience as a trial, managing, or supervisory attorney or comparable legal or administrative experience and education, including previous experience providing or supervising legal services to indigent persons.


CPCS offers a competitive compensation, benefits, and pension package; a diverse and inclusive culture; colleagues and co-workers who are committed to and passionate about their work; and the opportunity to serve.  Salary Range:  $163,055 - $181,055, commensurate with experience.


Candidates should submit a résumé, writing sample, and statement of interest.

The position will be posted until filled, however preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to May 20, 2024.

Application process: Candidates should submit a résumé, writing sample, and statement of interest through the following link: Deputy Chief Counsel Application