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 and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  The Deputy Chief is a member of the Senior Management Team that develops and implements agency fiscal, operational, human resource and legislative policies.

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

Our Values

Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •   Excellence


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 legal counsel 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, family regulation, 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 clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS staff to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, genders and/or sexual orientation identities, abilities, and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics.


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.

To support this effort CPCS provides assigned private counsel with access to consulting attorneys with expertise in trial skills, post-conviction matters, immigration law, forensic evidence and expert witnesses and sex offender registration.  The Private Counsel Division also includes a grant funded Innocence Program.


CPCS is seeking a new Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division who has the talent, vision, and perseverance to lead panels of dedicated, experienced, and skilled groups of defenders and social workers, as well as administrative personnel in achieving an ever-improving quality of advocacy, deeper engagement with clients and their communities, and steadily improving outcomes for clients.

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 for the Private Counsel Division is responsible for:

  • 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 all Private Counsel staff and all aspects of the Division’s operations through managerial supervision, development and implementation of policies, and allocation of financial and other resources;
  • 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;
  • Making recommendations for, and consulting with, Human Resources regarding hiring and disciplining Division staff;
  • Working with the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Public Defender Division and the CPCS Training Chief to establish training goals for panel attorneys and supporting other divisions as needed to provide subject matter expertise;
  • 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;
  • Overseeing contract negotiation and contract compliance with bar advocate programs across Massachusetts;
  • Working with the General Counsel on legislative and policy advocacy, reviewing pending legislation, drafting bills, and testifying on proposed legislation before state legislative committees;
  • Working with the CPCS Communications Director on strategies for communicating information about Private Counsel issues, clients, and client communities; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • 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. QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS The successful candidate will have some or all of the following:
  • A demonstrated commitment to the principles of zealous advocacy and community-oriented defense in the representation of indigent clients for whom there is a right to court-appointed counsel;
  • A demonstrated commitment to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the
  • criminal legal system;
  • Demonstrated strong leadership skills and qualities;
  • Strong analytical, interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and decision-making skills;
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills;
  • Possess in-depth knowledge of criminal law and procedure and strong criminal defense litigation skills;
  • A demonstrated ability to develop, support, and mentor staff;
  • Ability to work successfully with courts and leaders of other state and private organizations involved in the criminal legal system;
  • Have the ability to work with courts, state agencies and legislators; and,
  • Prior experience in a policy-making position which required data analysis.
COMPENSATION 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. APPLICATION INFORMATION 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. 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 Chief Human Resources Officer.