Trial Attorney - PDD New Bedford

You are here

Job location
700 Pleasant Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Street address: 
75 Federal Street 6th Floor
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking to fill a Trial Attorney position in our New Bedford Office, covering Bristol County. Public Defender Division offices provide legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts.

 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 New Bedford PDD office provides public defense services in Bristol County.  The office is located at 700 Pleasant Street in New Bedford.  Attorneys assigned to the office represent clients in the New Bedford District Court and in the Bristol County Superior Court located in New Bedford. There are 9 trial attorneys (including 1 supervising attorney and the Attorney in Charge) in the office.  The attorneys are supported by staff that includes investigators, social service advocates, and administrative assistants.  The office is a close-knit group with a strong culture of teamwork and cooperation, led by experienced attorneys.


The Public Defender Division of CPCS is seeking a Trial Attorney to provide criminal defense representation in the New Bedford Office.  Public Defender Division offices provide legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses in both the District and Superior Courts.  Public Defenders begin their work by representing clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, including misdemeanors and felonies, see G.L. c.218, § 26, and some serious sexual offenses, and occasionally handle initial commitment proceedings under G.L. c.123, §§ 12(e), 35. After gaining experience on cases within the final jurisdiction of the District Court, it is expected that Public Defenders will represent clients in the Superior Courts consistent with our unification guidelines and occasionally represent clients on interlocutory appeals, civil commitments, and certain collateral matters as permitted by a supervisor.  It is also expected that Public Defenders, as they gain experience, will act as informal mentors and advisors to other staff attorneys in the office. 

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 duties of a Trial Attorney include, but are not limited to:

• Interviewing clients;
• Arraignment and bail advocacy;
• Legal research and writing;
• Pretrial investigation including visiting crime scenes, locating and interviewing witnesses, collecting and reviewing documentary evidence;
• Preparing and arguing pretrial motions, affidavits and legal memoranda; 
• Dispositional investigations and advocacy;
• Jury and bench trials of criminal cases;
• Representing clients in interlocutory proceedings;
• Where appropriate, working collaboratively with private attorneys on cases assigned through the Private Counsel Division of CPCS; and,
Other duties as assigned.



• A trial attorney 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;
• Access to an automobile in order to travel to courts, clients, and investigation 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 the position of Trial Attorney:

• Demonstrated commitment to the principle of zealous advocacy in the representation of indigent persons in criminal cases;
• Commitment to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population;
• Commitment to our organizational values;
• Commitment to continuing legal training;
• Strong interpersonal and analytical skills;
• Ability to work in a community and defense-oriented capacity, both independently and collaboratively; and,
• Foreign language skills to support interaction with predominant limited English proficient groups in the region are desirable.

 To apply:  please supply a resume and a personal mission statement of no more than two pages detailing your interest in the position, your personal qualities, background, and skills, and what you hope to achieve in this work.

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.

To apply: 

To be considered for this position, please apply at:

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$68,000 - $115,378.00, commensurate with years of experience
Submission deadline: 
Monday, October 2, 2023