CAFL Training

Amy Karp, Training Director

March 30-31, April 6-7, April 13-14, 2020 in Springfield, MA

Successful completion of this training will enable attorneys to be certified to accept assignments in Care and Protection/Termination of Parental Rights cases and Child Requiring Assistance (CRA) cases. The training will take place on March 30-31, April 6-7, and April 13-14 in Springfield. Because this is New England, we have reserved April 2 as a snow date! One-day mock hearings will be scheduled on April 28, 29 and 30, 2020. If selected, participants must keep all three mock hearing dates open until assigned to a specific date and place for the mock hearing. The mock hearings will be located throughout the state. The training will be open to attorneys of all levels of experience, but trial experience is preferred.

We will give preference to attorneys who commit to practicing in western Massachusetts and to attorneys who submit completed applications by Friday, February 14, 2020.  We will continue to accept applications after that date, particularly from those planning to practice in western Massachusetts. Attorneys who are interested in pursuing this opportunity can find more information about the training and the link to submit your application here.


February 26th & 27th, 2020 in Worcester, MAApplications must be received no later than January 13, 2020

The Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking qualified attorneys to represent children in Child Requiring Assistance cases in the Juvenile Court.  Admission to the CRA panel is by application only and requires completion of a two-day training.  Applicants must be members of the Massachusetts Bar, or be admitted to the Bar of another state and be eligible to practice law in Massachusetts.  All attorneys who accept CPCS assignments are required to maintain malpractice insurance.

This training is not intended for attorneys who are currently certified to represent parents and children in CRA cases.  This training is for attorneys who are interested in becoming certified to accept appointments to represent children in CRA cases. 

The CRA Certification Training will take place on February 26th & 27th, 2020 at Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608. We ask all applicants to also hold February 28th as a snow date. The training will run 9:00 – 5:00 each day.  Attorneys currently on the CPCS list to represent youth in delinquency proceedings may have portions of the training waived (i.e., sessions on adolescent development, school law, etc.)

The registration fee for the two-day training is $80 and includes the MCLE Delinquency & Child Welfare Sourcebook and MCLE’s Child Welfare Practice in Massachusetts.  Please do not submit payment until after receiving confirmation that you have been accepted into the training, at which point you will receive payment instructions.

Applicants must successfully complete the training course in order to be certified to represent children in CRA cases.  Attorneys who have satisfied the course training requirements are provisionally certified and assigned mentors.  Attorneys must work cooperatively with their mentors as required by the CAFL Mentor Program requirements.  Attorneys remain provisionally certified while they are under mentorship.  Attorneys must complete 4 hours of CAFL-approved continuing legal education each year to remain on the CRA panel.

Application Instructions
The application must be completed online here.

The deadline for submission of applications is January 13, 2020. CAFL will notify applicants by late January 2020 whether they have been admitted to the training program.  Admission into the training is competitive and not all applicants will be admitted.  Preference will be given to those practicing in areas of the state where the need for additional attorneys is greatest.

For questions, please email

CAFL Appellate Panel Training May 5, 6, & 7, 2020

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is seeking private attorneys to join the Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division appellate panel.  CAFL appeals are appeals of final judgments in care and protection, termination of parental rights, guardianship of a minor, contested adoption, and other child welfare proceedings.  Most cases concern intervention by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in family life.  The work of the CAFL appellate panel attorneys includes interviewing and visiting clients, conducting legal research, writing motions and briefs, and arguing cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.  All CAFL appeals get oral argument.  Private panel attorneys handle the vast majority of CAFL appeals; other CAFL appeals are handled by the CAFL Appellate (staff) Unit.  This posting is not for a staff position; it is for private attorneys to obtain certification to receive, and be compensated for, CAFL appellate appointments.  Compensation is $55/hour.  New CAFL appellate attorneys receive free mentoring for several years.  Private panel attorneys submit bills to CPCS and must agree to follow all billing and other requirements set forth in the CPCS Assigned Counsel Manual, available at: must be admitted to the Massachusetts bar or be eligible for admission by June 30, 2020. Admission into the training is competitive and not all applicants will be admitted.  All admitted applicants must attend the three-day CAFL appellate training program scheduled for May 5, May 6, and May 7, 2020, at the office of Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.  The agency actively seeks to diversify its private attorney panel membership. Qualifications can be found here.Applications are due on March 31, 2020, but will be accepted on a rolling basis until the training is filled. Applications are available here: CAFL Appellate Panel Application – May 2020Kindly direct any questions to Andrew Cohen, CPCS/CAFL Director of Appellate Panel, at:

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