The Immigration Impact Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is seeking to fill the position of Staff Counsel I to provide immigration advice, training, and litigation support to court appointed Child and Family Law (CAFL) attorneys throughout Massachusetts.  The position allows for a hybrid work schedule.

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

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT

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.

AGENCY OVERVIEW

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.

OFFICE OVERVIEW

The Immigration Impact Unit (IIU) is physically located in the CPCS Malden Office, where it shares office space with several other CPCS units. Located just outside of Boston, Malden has an estimated population of 66,263 people in 2020. Malden is a diverse community with large Brazilian and Vietnamese populations. Malden has several MBTA bus lines and is served by the Orange Line T.

Although situated in Malden, the IIU serves the entire state of Massachusetts. In 2023, the IIU provided support to more than 1400 immigrants from over 86 countries. We worked with attorneys from every county in Massachusetts and all divisions of CPCS.

POSITION OVERVIEW

The IIU supports CPCS staff attorneys and bar advocates in all divisions of CPCS to provide equitable, client-centered representation to immigrant clients and to provide technical assistance on related immigration issues. This position will specialize in the interplay of immigration and child welfare/family regulation law and focus on issues involving immigrant clients represented by attorneys in the Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division of CPCS. The attorney will work with CAFL training and leadership to identify missing resources and support and work to fill those gaps. The attorney will support individual CAFL attorneys in their direct representation and will also provide support on systemic issues.

The Staff Counsel I position will report to the Director of the Immigration Impact Unit and will work in close collaboration with other staff counsel in the IIU.

The position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The duties of the Staff Counsel I include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing immigration advice and expertise on individual cases to court appointed CAFL attorneys throughout Massachusetts, and conducting outreach to increase awareness of the IIU as a resource;
  • Developing and preparing written resources, training materials, and practice advisories on relevant issues related to immigrants in the child welfare/family regulation system;
  • Collaborating with CAFL management, staff, and training unit to identify and address ongoing needs for support and training of CAFL attorneys;
  • Developing and presenting trainings that respond to identified needs of CAFL attorneys with immigrant clients;
  • Providing mentoring in cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, including collaboratively screening for eligibility and reviewing drafts of state court motions, affidavits, and proposed orders;
  • Litigating or providing amicus support on cases that raise significant and/or systemic issues impacting CAFL immigrant clients;
  • Other duties as assigned.
Requirements
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
  • Staff Counsel I must be committed to serving a culturally diverse, low-income population and 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 Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
  • Experience in child welfare/family regulation law experience, including trial experience representing both parents and children in C&P cases;
  • Access to reliable transportation is required in order to travel to courts, meetings, and training locations that are not easily accessible by public transportation; and,
  • Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely.
To apply:  please upload a resume, a personal statement of interest, and a writing sample. QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS Candidates should possess the following attributes for this position:
  • At least three years of prior child welfare/family regulation law experience strongly preferred;
  • Prior immigration law experience is preferred, especially experience in the interplay of immigration law and child welfare/family regulation law;
  • Awareness and experience of cultural competency and language access issues within the child welfare system;
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills;
  • Prior in person and remote training experience, as well as video editing skills, are highly preferred;
  • Proficiency with Excel and data analysis is strongly preferred; and,
  • Candidates must be able to work independently and collaboratively and must be committed to working with indigent immigrant clients.
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.