The CPCS Training Department provides high quality training to all staff and private assigned counsel. The Training Department, led by the Training Chief, includes training for four separate practice areas – Criminal Defense, Children and Family Law, Youth Advocacy and Mental Health Litigation – all of which are overseen by individual Training Directors. In addition to providing substantive and skills training to attorneys, the Training Department ensures that all other professional staff members are provided appropriate training in their areas of expertise.
Training on substantive matters is provided by the CPCS Training Department within four practice areas. Criminal Defense Training focuses on adult criminal matters; CAFL Training addresses children and family law matters; YAD Training concentrates on juvenile delinquency, youthful offender and juvenile life without parole matters; Mental Health Litigation Training provides training on commitment and guardianship matters; the Immigration Impact Unit focuses on the potential immigration consequences of criminal convictions; the Alternative Commitment and Registration Support Unit provides training on Sexual Offender Registry (SORB) and Sexually Dangerous Person (SDP) matters; the Private Counsel Post Conviction Unit addresses criminal appellate matters; the EdLaw Project provides instruction on school issues; the CPCS Innocence Program concentrates on forensic and new trial issues; the Revocation Advocacy Panel trains attorneys representing juveniles committed to the Department of Youth Service who are facing a return to custody as a result of the revocation of their Grants of Conditional Liberty; the Forensic Services Unit provides training on forensic issues.
Courses Qualifying for CLE Credit
Private attorneys certified to represent CPCS clients in a variety of matters are required to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits to maintain certification. CPCS grants CLE credits for many programs conducted by CPCS, MCLE, the Social Law Library, the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, as well as many other organizations. Check the Training Calendar for programs qualifying for CPCS CLE credit.
How to Obtain CPCS CLE Credit Approval for Offered Course
If you would like CPCS to grant CLE credits for a course you intend to offer, please contact the appropriate panel representatives. Note that in many cases CPCS will approve a course for CLE credits for more than one panel. For courses relevant to the practice of:
- Criminal Law trial practitioners, contact Rose King, Director of Criminal Trial Support Unit;
- Criminal Law appellate practitioners, contact Elizabeth Dembitzer, Director of Criminal Appeals;
- Children and Family Law practitioners, contact Amy Karp, CAFL Training Director;
- Delinquency and Youthful Offender practitioners, contact Erica Cushna, YAD Trial Panel Director;
- Juvenile appellate practitioners, contact Laura Chrismer Edmonds, YAD Staff Attorney, Juvenile Appeals;
- Mental Health practitioners, contact Miriam Ruttenberg, Mental Health Litigation Division Training Director;
- Sexual Offender Registry and Sexually Dangerous Person practitioners, contact Larni Levy, Director, Alternative Commitment and Registration Support Unit.
How to Become Certified to Represent CPCS Clients
If you are an attorney and wish to accept appointments of CPCS cases, you must first be certified by CPCS in the area(s) in which you seek to practice. CPCS certifies attorneys to accept cases in the following areas:
- District Court criminal cases;
- Superior Court criminal cases;
- Murder cases;
- Criminal Appeals and Post Conviction matters;
- Delinquency matters;
- Youthful Offender cases;
- Juvenile Appeals and Post-Trial Matters
- Grant of Conditional Liberty Revocation cases (clients facing return to Department of Youth Services custody);
- Children and Family Law cases (including Children Requiring Assistance and Care and Protection Matters;
- Children and Family Law appeals;
- Mental Health cases (including commitment and guardianship proceedings);
- Sexual Offender Registry matters;
- Sexually Dangerous Person cases;
- Superior Court – Murder List Application (PDF)