Job Title:
Director of Juvenile Appeals
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Boston, MA
Position Details
Position Description:

CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation. 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 staff members represent a broad range of human difference and experience; (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.

Position Overview:

The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD), the juvenile defender division of CPCS, is committed to ensuring that every child in Massachusetts has access to zealous, and developmentally appropriate, legal representation in delinquency, youthful offender, murder, GCL, and parole cases from a diverse and ever improving community of juvenile defenders consisting of both private appointed counsel and staff public defenders. YAD is also committed to the vigorous pursuit of just juvenile justice law, policy and practice through litigation and other means. YAD provides leadership, training, support, and oversight to the indigent juvenile defense bar in Massachusetts. The Director of Juvenile Appeals plays a major leadership role in guiding the law reform efforts of YAD and the entire juvenile defender community. In addition, the Director will be responsible for assigning juvenile appeals; developing, training, and overseeing a panel of appellate attorneys with juvenile expertise; and assisting lawyers in the trial court in identifying, preserving, and litigating difficult and/or strategic issues. The Director of Juvenile Appeals will also handle a small number of potentially significant juvenile appellate matters. The Director of Juvenile Appeals plays an essential leadership role in helping all juvenile defenders seek access to justice through individual advocacy, as well as law reform efforts. The Director of Juvenile Appeals will work closely with the YAD Director, Assistant Director, Trial Panel Director, and Training Director. This position will also collaborate with the adult Private Counsel, Children and Family Law, Mental Health and Public Defender Division Appeals Units.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Major duties performed, but not meant to be all-inclusive or to prevent other duties from being assigned.

– Developing, leading, and managing a cadre of appellate lawyers with sufficient expertise and experience to provide excellent representation in juvenile appellate matters.
– Appointing counsel for all juvenile direct appeals, motions for new trials, interlocutory appeals, and proceedings under G.L. c. 211, 3.
– Leading efforts to identify and address significant barriers to justice within the juvenile law or practice.
– Identifying cases for which the Youth Advocacy Division should submit amicus briefs in cases before the Supreme Judicial Court, preparing proposals seeking permission from the CPCS Chief Counsel to file those amicus briefs, and selecting counsel to draft the briefs.
– Conducting training for trial and appellate counsel on a wide range of juvenile and appellate law matters.
– Consulting with trial attorneys regarding complex or novel legal issues arising in their cases.
– Handling a small number of potentially significant juvenile appellate matters.
– Providing assistance to YAD trial attorneys (private and staff) on trial court level cases.
– Consulting with the YAD Director on legal matters as they arise.
– Leading and/or assisting with CPCS litigation that affects multiple divisions

Minimum Qualifications and Skills:
Knowledge, skills, and abilities normally required for competent performance in the job. An Applicant should:

– be eligible to practice law either as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing; or as an attorney in another jurisdiction who is eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under SJC Rule 3:04
– have seven years of jury trial experience in criminal/juvenile defense or criminal/juvenile appellate and other post-conviction matters, two years of administrative or management experience or experience supervising and training staff public defenders and/or private appointed counsel, or a comparable mix of relevant legal and managerial/supervisory experience and skills
– be able to work in a defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively
– be committed to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population
– possess excellent writing and oral advocacy skills
– have strong organizational and administrative ability
– possess an ability to provide training and disseminate information about case law and other relevant legal developments
– have access to a vehicle and be prepared to appear in court or conduct trainings around the state

Though not required, these skills are preferable in a candidate:

– experience with juvenile defense
– experience with a community oriented defender practice
– an understanding of juvenile justice practice and policy issues
– an understanding of child and adolescent development and its applications to the law
– an understanding of Positive Youth Development
– experience with class action or other impact litigation strategies

The position will be posted until filled, preference will be given to candidates who apply within the first 30 days of the date of posting.

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, at

Application Deadline
Application Requirements
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
Who should be contacted for further information on this opportunity?
Kevin Ruderman