Youth Advocacy Division Administrative Office
75 Federal Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
617.482.6212 (p)
617.988.8493 (f)

The mission of YAD is to ensure that every child in Massachusetts has access to zealous legal representation that employs a Youth Development Approach to traditional criminal defense.  To be effective these advocates must be highly skilled criminal defense attorneys, as all adult criminal law and procedure applies in Massachusetts Juvenile Court.  They must also be expert in juvenile law and procedure, Positive Youth Development (the leading evidence based framework for promoting life success for adolescents), adolescent brain development, navigating DCF and DYS, and education advocacy.  Accordingly, the YAD leadership team provides leadership, training, support and oversight to a diverse and collaborative juvenile defense bar across the state, consisting of over four hundred private attorneys and nine staff offices.

Juvenile Defenders and forensic social workers or social service advocates are encouraged to call or email YAD administration at any time for consultation or assistance on cases, to request training, to inquire about certification or other billing matters, to raise concerns regarding anything having to do with the quality of representation or the fairness of court proceedings.


Deputy Chief Counsel, Duci Goncalves
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(617) 910-5712

Assistant Director, Priscilla Duffy
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(617) 910-5808

Trial Panel Director, Erica Cushna
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(978) 219-5425

Training Director, Melanie Roberts
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(508) 484-5938

Director of Social Work, Claudia Dunne
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(617) 910-5753

Director of Juvenile Appeals, Afton Templin
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(508) 484-5785

Senior Trial Counsel, Laura Alfring
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(508) 484-5934

Senior Trial Counsel, Patrick Sparks
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(413) 355-5284

Trial Panel Oversight Attorney, Melissa Ellis
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(508) 484-5787

Supervising Administrative Assistant, Pamela Lewis
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(617) 910-5809

Administrative Assistant, Angela Childs
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(617) 910-5725

EdLaw Director of Education Advocacy, Marlies Spanjaard
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(617) 910-5841

EdLaw Senior Counsel, Michele Scavongelli
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(617) 910-5845

EdLaw Senior Counsel, Erin O’Sullivan
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(617) 910-5842

EdLaw Senior Counsel, Elizabeth Levitan
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(617) 910-5812

YAF Operations Coordinator, Jackie Stimpson