The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a Director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit. The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas. The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT
CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation. In fulfilling its mission, CPCS is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the agency. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. In striving always to achieve those goals, CPCS embraces diversity and inclusion as core values and is steadfast in our commitment to: (1) ensuring that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human difference and experience; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS's leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.
As the public defender agency for Massachusetts, CPCS zealously seeks justice for those unable to afford an attorney in all matters in which the law requires the appointment of counsel. This includes representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare/state intervention, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry matters. The Strategic Litigation Director will play an essential leadership role in the agency’s pursuit of systemic and institutional reform on behalf of our clients in in all of these practice areas.
Reporting directly to the Chief Counsel, the Director will regularly meet and consult with the leaders of all CPCS divisions to jointly identify systemic issues affecting a broad range of clients throughout the agency and will be responsible for initiating and prosecuting litigation to address those issues. The Director will supervise a small dedicated staff, as well as attorneys assigned to other CPCS units who work on Strategic Litigation Unit cases.
The Director’s work will involve criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy. Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court. Depending upon the matter at issue, the Director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.
The Director’s responsibilities will include:
Working with the Chief Counsel, other members of CPCS’s Senior Management Team, and other stakeholders (including other staff members and trial and appellate panel attorneys) to identify matters of systemic importance that may need to be addressed through strategic litigation;
Initiating and prosecuting litigation to address issues of systemic importance;
Developing a network of attorneys at private law firms and other organizations to undertake or assist with impact litigation;
Responding to or participating in impact litigation brought by others;
Supervising staff assigned to the Strategic Litigation Unit, including attorneys assigned on an ad hoc basis;
Producing memoranda for leaders of CPCS divisions and other CPCS units and advisory memoranda for staff and private attorneys on issues of systemic importance;
Partnering with CPCS’s Training Department and others to train private and staff attorneys on how to develop and litigate challenges to matters of systemic impact; and
Assisting with the production of amicus briefs.
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 Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
Candidates must be driven to seek sustainable systemic and institutional reform on behalf of CPCS clients. Candidates must possess an advocacy imagination unrestrained by traditional litigation approaches.
Be eligible to practice law in this jurisdiction as a member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing, or as an attorney in another jurisdiction who is eligible to engage in limited Massachusetts practice under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04;
Be admitted, or eligible to be admitted, to the trial bar of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; and,
Have a minimum of seven years of significant and broad experience as an attorney, with at least five of those years involving substantial trial court litigation
Candidates must have excellent litigation, writing, and oral presentation skills, be well-organized, and have exceptional interpersonal skills.
Strong preference will be given to:
Candidates who have substantial poverty law experience or who have otherwise demonstrated their commitment to the representation of indigent clients;
Candidates with substantial experience in constitutional, civil rights, class action or other impact litigation;
Candidates with significant and broad experience as an appellate attorney; and
Candidates with significant management experience.
This position will require travel; candidates must have access to reliable transportation throughout the state.
Applicants must submit (1) a résumé, (2) a statement of interest (which includes a specific description of the applicant’s qualifications) and (3) a writing sample of 10-15 pages which has not been substantially edited by anyone other than the applicant.
The position will be posted until filled; preference will be given to candidates who apply before November 26, 2018.