The Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking to fill a Staff Counsel I position in its EdLaw Project. The EdLaw Project is a dynamic team-oriented group that provides a wide variety of experiences to the attorneys who work here from direct client representation to work on policies that affect the practice of education law across the Commonwealth.
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.
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.
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 EdLaw Project is a dynamic team-oriented group that provides a wide variety of experiences to the attorneys who work here from direct client representation to work on policies that affect the practice of education law across the Commonwealth. We are a supportive and cohesive team and have strong relationships across CPCS with attorneys and social workers alike. EdLaw provides the opportunity for attorneys to work specifically at the intersection of school and court, an intersection that often leads a student on the path to future involvement in the criminal legal system.
This position may be seated anywhere in the Commonwealth in available CPCS office space. Preference for applicants willing to sit outside of metro Boston.
The duties of the Staff Counsel I include, but are not limited to:
- Providing direct support to delinquency and child welfare attorneys through advisory case support, requests for assistance, and ongoing regionally based training;
- Meeting with clients and conducting intake interviews;
- Providing direct representation in all areas of education advocacy including school-based meetings, special education team meetings, school discipline hearings and appeals (including possible appeals to district and superior court), state complaints, and other collateral consequences of school failure;
- Providing direct representation in administrative hearings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals;
- Maintaining strong working relationships with the local Juvenile Court, Probation, DYS, DCF, DESE, community agencies, and other stakeholders in the Juvenile and Child Welfare systems;
- Participating in state and local coalitions to drive education policy reform;
- Keeping up to date on practice issues and emerging laws to be able to provide appropriate and timely training and assisting with researching, preparing, and publishing training materials, legal outlines, practice guides, and practice advisories;
- Conducting legal research and writing, including preparing papers for National conferences, with publishing opportunities;
- Mentoring attorneys from area law firms on pro bono education matters;
- Working on projects related to improving legal representation and outcomes for court involved children;
- Assisting with the creation of annual plans for education advocacy training programs and projects; and,
- Other duties as assigned.