The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking an experienced Immigration practitioner to provide immigration analysis and advice on individual cases, litigation support on post-conviction motions, and drafts amicus briefs in relevant cases. 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


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, child welfare, 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 Immigration Impact Unit (IIU) supports CPCS staff attorneys and bar advocates in all divisions of CPCS to provide equitable, client-centered representation to immigrant clients and provides technical assistance on relevant immigration issues. The IIU provides training, litigation support, and advice in individual cases on the impact of criminal and juvenile delinquency charges on a client’s immigration status, as well as the impact of a client’s immigration status on child welfare/family defense cases, mental health, and other civil commitment proceedings. The unit also engages in some systemic litigation on issues regarding immigration enforcement and other issues impacting CPCS clients.


The Staff Counsel II will work under the direction of the Director of the Immigration Impact Unit and will work in close collaboration with other staff counsel in the IIU.  The Staff Counsel II also provides immigration analysis and advice on individual cases, provides litigation support on post-conviction motions, and drafts amicus briefs in relevant cases. The Staff Counsel II supports and oversees the members of the Post-Conviction “Padilla” Panel, including assisting in the selection and training of the panel attorneys and mentor attorneys, supervising the mentor attorneys, evaluating attorney work product and performance, and developing trainings for the panel. The Staff Counsel II may engage in litigation on systemic issues involving immigration enforcement and the intersection of criminal and immigration law.

The Staff Counsel II reports to the Director of the Immigration Impact Unit.


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

  • Providing immigration advice and expertise on individual cases to court-appointed attorneys throughout Massachusetts;
  • Drafting written resources, training materials, and practice advisories on relevant federal immigration law for Massachusetts practitioners;
  • Developing and presenting training programs for court-appointed attorneys on immigration issues related to their practices;
  • Providing support to, and oversight of, members of the Post-Conviction “Padilla” Panel, including assisting in the selection of panel attorneys and mentors, supervising the mentor attorneys, evaluating attorney work product and performance, advising attorneys on case strategies and issues, and investigating and mediating client complaints;
  • Developing, leading, and participating in training workshops for panel members and collaborating on trainings with other CPCS units as well as drafting practice advisories;
  • Providing litigation support to court-appointed attorneys on post-conviction motions filed to minimize adverse immigration consequences;
  • Monitoring immigration-related issues before the Massachusetts appellate courts and filing amicus briefs when necessary;
  • Litigating cases involving the role of the state criminal justice system in the enforcement of immigration law and involving other inequitable treatment of immigrants within Massachusetts criminal and civil legal systems; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Staff Counsel II 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;
  • Have at least five years’ experience in criminal, child/welfare/family defense, or immigration law;
  • 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.
  • Candidates should possess the following attributes for this position:
  • Experience in the interplay between Massachusetts criminal law and federal immigration law is strongly preferred;
  • 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 strongly 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 Chief Human Resources Officer.