The Public Defender Division of CPCS, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a Supervising Staff Attorney with a minimum of five years of experience providing criminal defense representation for its Boston Office.  Candidates must have sufficient trial experience in both the Municipal, District, and Superior Courts so they are qualified to supervise all Trial Attorney staff.

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 an attorney 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 Public Defender Division Boston Office provides public defense services for Suffolk County.  The Boston Trial Unit is conveniently located in the downtown area of Boston.  It is accessible by MBTA subway and buses, Amtrak Commuter Rail, and ferry services.  The Boston Trial Unit shares space with CPCS Administration, and other divisions and units on two floors of a modernized office building.  Other amenities include restaurants, retail businesses, and historic landmarks.


The Public Defender Division of CPCS, Boston Office, is seeking a Supervising Staff Attorney, with a minimum of five years of experience providing criminal defense representation. Under the direction of the office’s Attorney in Charge, the Supervising Staff Attorney will assist in the supervision of Trial Attorneys and will also have their own reduced caseload. Clients are indigent persons charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the respective court.


The Supervising Staff Attorney will supervise Trial Attorneys assigned to Municipal, District, and Superior Court cases in addition to their case responsibilities. The Supervising Staff Attorney must be capable of supervising new Trial Attorneys as well as experienced Trial Attorneys practicing in the Superior Court, particularly around serious felony or otherwise complex cases.

The direct representation duties of the Supervising Staff Attorney include:

  • Client interviews;
  • Arraignment and bail advocacy;
  • Legal research and writing;
  • Pretrial investigation including visiting crime scenes, locating and interviewing witnesses, collecting and reviewing documentary evidence;
  • Preparing and arguing pretrial motions, affidavits and legal memoranda;
  • Dispositional investigations and advocacy;
  • Jury and bench trials of criminal cases; and,
  • Representation of clients in interlocutory proceedings.

The supervisory duties of the Supervising Staff Attorney include, but are not limited to, the following in accordance with the CPCS Guidelines for Supervision of Public Defender Trial Attorneys and the Guidelines for the Implementation of Unified Public Defender Division Offices:

  • Regular one-on-one meetings with individual supervisees to review case files, as well as group meetings, to review case preparation and performance;
  • In-court supervision, including second-seating of trials and significant pretrial hearings;
  • Preparation of annual performance evaluations;
  • Presentation of in-office training sessions;
  • Supervision of other staff, such as investigators and student interns, as delegated by the office’s Attorney in Charge; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS The following attributes are required for the position of Supervising Staff Attorney:
  • Must be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts either as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing or as the member of the bar of another jurisdiction eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under Supreme Court Rule 3:04
  • A minimum of five years of experience providing criminal defense representation in District and Superior Courts;
  • Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts, clients, and investigation locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.
Candidates must have sufficient trial experience in both the District and Superior Courts so they may supervise all Trial Attorney staff. QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS The following attributes are preferred for the position of Supervising Staff Attorney:
  • Significant jury trial experience as lead counsel in criminal cases; including Superior Court cases;
  • Commitment to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population,
  • Willingness and ability to work positively and collaboratively with both the Attorney in Charge and Supervisees;
  • A demonstrated commitment to the principle of zealous advocacy in the representation of indigent persons in criminal cases;
  • Ability and commitment to complete annual performance evaluations in a timely and comprehensive manner;
  • Strong interpersonal and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work in community and defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively; and,
  • Foreign language skills, Spanish in particular, are desirable.
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 interim Chief Human Resources Officer.