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CAFL Appellate Panel Certification Training Orientation

January 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Seeking Counsel for Child Welfare/State Intervention Appeals

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/state intervention 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 $85/hour.  During the first year after completing the mandatory training, newly certified attorneys are expected to take at least one appellant and one appellee assignment.  Panel members should expect to spend about 100-250 hours on each CAFL appeal. 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:


Kindly direct any questions to Abigail Salois, Supervising Staff Attorney, CPCS/CAFL Appellate Panel Support Unit, at: [email protected].


Applicants must have the following minimum qualifications:

    1. Demonstrated proficiency in legal research and writing; and
    2.  At least one of the following:
      i.      Two years of child welfare/state intervention trial experience;
      ii.     Primary authorship of two or more appellate briefs in other subjects;
      iii.    A recent appellate clerkship, substantial editing experience for a law journal, publication of a law journal article, or other substantial research and writing experience.

Applicants must be admitted to the Mass. bar or be eligible for admission by December 12, 2023.

Admission into the training is competitive and not all applicants will be admitted.  All admitted applicants must attend the four-day CAFL appellate training program scheduled for January 30, February 1, 6, and 8, 2024.  The trainings, which will be conducted by Zoom, will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.  There will also be an orientation by Zoom on January 24, 2024 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.  The agency actively seeks to diversify its private attorney panel membership.

Applications: CAFL Appellate Panel Application – 2024

Applications are due on December 11, 2023, but will be accepted on a rolling basis until the training is filled. 


January 24
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm




CAFL Training

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