Job Title:
Notice of CAFL Trial Panel Training – Spring 2019
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Statewide, MA
Position Description:

For the last few years, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has intervened in lives of Massachusetts families at an alarming rate. Most of these families cannot afford to hire attorneys. Fortunately, in Massachusetts there is a right to counsel for parents and children in state intervention cases. Unfortunately, there are not enough certified attorneys who have the time and training to zealously represent all these families in need. The Children and Family Law Division (CAFL) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is inviting members of the private bar to apply for admission to the CAFL Trial Panel. We are looking to increase the number of attorneys handling state intervention cases (typically referred to as “care and protection” or “termination of parental rights” cases) in the Massachusetts Juvenile Court. Because the shortage is most acute in Springfield and other parts of central and western Massachusetts, we are particularly interested in applicants who are able to accept CAFL appointments in those courts.

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 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.

Here is some information that might help attorneys decide whether they are interested in joining this panel of litigators.

– Certification Training – We will be presenting a training in Springfield beginning March 25, 2019. Successful
completion of the training will enable attorneys to be certified to accept assignments in state intervention cases.
The training will take place on March 25-26, April 1-2, and April 8-9. Because this is New England, we have
reserved April 3 as a snow date! One-day mock hearings will be scheduled April 23 and 25, 2019. If selected,
participants must keep both mock hearing dates open until assigned to a specific date and place for the mock
hearing. The mock hearings will be located throughout the state. The training will be open to attorneys of all
levels of experience, but trial experience is preferred.
– Assignment – Care and Protection/Termination of Parental Rights cases begin, most often, with a petition being
filed ex parte by the Department of Children and Families. The attorney’s responsibilities for the case begin
immediately upon assignment, as he or she must prepare for a potential emergency custody hearing to take place
within 72 hours of any ex parte order (the “72-hour hearing”). These cases frequently continue to be court
involved for 15 months or more. Children Requiring Assistance cases (or status offenses) are usually concluded
within 15 months.
– Compensation – Private attorneys are paid at the rate of $55/hour for their work on Care and Protection
/Termination of Parental Rights cases.
– Expectations Regarding Performance – Attorneys are required to abide by CAFL’s performance standards
( and
meet other requirements set forth in CPCS’s Assigned Counsel Manual (
– Support – Each new member of CAFL’s private attorney panel is assigned a mentor. The mentor is available to
support the attorney for the first couple of years of practice, to introduce the attorney to court personnel and
others, to assist in learning local practices, to attend initial court hearings, and to provide other support and

Attorneys who are interested in pursuing this opportunity can find a link to the application for the certification training through the CPCS website and via the link below. CPCS is committed to ensuring that the panel of attorneys accepting CAFL assignments is sensitive to the diversity of the client population it serves. We will give preference to attorneys who commit to practicing in central and western Massachusetts and to attorneys who submit completed applications by Friday, February 8, 2019. We encourage interested attorneys to apply early and not wait until the deadline.

Come help ensure that parents and children are receiving the due process and effective representation they deserve! Thank you for your interest in this dynamic, challenging multi-party litigation practice.

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
Legal Hiring Coordinator
44 Bromfield Street
Boston, MA 02108
United States
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(617) 910-5769