Director of Strategic Litigation – Committee for Public Counsel Services

CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation. 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 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.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a Director of its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit. 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, 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 and will be responsible for leading CPCS litigation efforts in areas which involve systemic issues affecting a broad class of CPCS clients in all practice areas (e.g. challenges to statutes such as those involving privileged records, preventive detention, and the sex offender registry). The Director will report directly to the Chief Counsel and will regularly meet and consult with the Deputy Chiefs and Directors of all CPCS divisions to jointly identify systemic issues affecting a broad range of clients throughout the agency. The Director may supervise a small dedicated staff as well as attorneys assigned to other CPCS units.

The Director’s work is at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels; and in state as well as federal court. It also may involve both criminal and civil litigation. Depending upon the matter at issue, the Director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.

In addition to the duties described above, the Director’s responsibilities will include:
– Meeting on a regular basis, and occasionally on an urgent basis, with members of the CPCS Senior Management Team to discuss issues of systemic importance that may be suitable to address through strategic litigation or policy advocacy;
– Working with members of the Senior Management Team to develop, prioritize, and manage a list of issues that provide substantial barriers to justice for CPCS clients;
– Consulting on a regular basis with CPCS trial and appellate staff and private vendor attorneys in order to identify and discuss issues of systemic importance that may be suitable to address through litigation;
– Meeting on a regular basis with the Directors and Attorneys-in-Charge of the appellate units to identify and discuss issues;
– Initiating and prosecuting litigation to address issues of systemic importance;
– Working with attorneys at private law firms and other organizations to undertake or assist with impact litigation;
– Developing relationships with other agencies, both in Massachusetts and in other states, that pursue impact litigation;
– Responding to or participating in appropriate class action litigation brought by others;
– Producing legal research and writing for the Deputy Chiefs and Directors of other CPCS units and advisory memoranda for staff and private vendor attorneys on issues of systemic importance;
– Partnering with the other appellate units and the Training Department to train private vendor and staff attorneys on how to develop and litigate challenges to various matters of systemic impact; Supervising staff attorneys who are assigned to the Strategic Litigation Unit on a permanent or ad hoc basis; and
– Drafting requests for, and assisting with the production of, amicus briefs, as needed.

Candidates must be driven to seek sustainable systemic reform on behalf of CPCS clients. Candidates must possess an advocacy imagination unrestrained by traditional litigation approaches. Candidates must be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts and have a minimum of seven years of experience as an attorney, with significant and broad experience as both a trial and appellate practitioner. Admission to, or eligibility for admission to, the trial bar of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts also is required. In addition, candidates must have excellent litigation, writing, and oral presentation skills, and exceptional organizational ability and interpersonal skills.

Strong preference will be given to candidates with substantial poverty law experience or those who have demonstrated their commitment to the representation of indigent clients. Strong preference will also be given to candidates with substantial experience in constitutional, civil rights, class action or other impact litigation.

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 edited by anyone other than the applicant.

The position will be posted until filled; preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to April 20, 2018.

Please apply via the following link:

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 Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at