The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is seeking private attorneys to join the Children and Family Law (CAFL) appellate panel.  CAFL appeals are appeals of final judgments in care and protection, termination of parental rights, Child Requiring Assistance, guardianship of a minor, and other child welfare matters.  Most cases concern intervention by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in family life.  The work of the CAFL appellate panel attorneys includes interviewing and visiting clients, conducting legal research, writing motions and briefs, and arguing cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.  Private panel attorneys handle the vast majority of CAFL appeals; other CAFL appeals are handled by the CAFL Appellate (staff) Unit.  This posting is not for a staff position; it is for private attorneys to obtain certification to receive, and be compensated for, CAFL appellate appointments.  Compensation is $50/hour.  Private panel attorneys submit bills to CPCS and must agree to follow all billing and other requirements set forth in the CPCS Assigned Counsel Manual, available at:

Kindly direct any questions to Andrew Cohen, CAFL Director of Appellate Panel, at:




Applicants must have the following minimum qualifications:


  • Demonstrated proficiency in legal research and writing; and
  • At least one of the following:
  1. Two years of child welfare trial experience;
  2. Primary authorship of two or more appellate briefs in other subjects;

iii.        A recent appellate clerkship, substantial editing experience for a law journal, or publication of a law journal article.


Applicants must also be admitted to the Massachusetts bar or be eligible for admission by June 30, 2015.  Admission into the training is competitive and not all applicants will be admitted.  All admitted applicants must attend the three-day CAFL appellate training program scheduled for May 11, 12, and 13, 2015, at the office of Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.  The agency actively seeks to diversify its private attorney panel membership.




Applications are due on March 31, 2015, but will be accepted on a rolling basis until the training is filled.