How to Apply to YAD’s Juvenile Appeals Panel

Private counsel interested in becoming certified to accept juvenile appeals should review the information below.  If you have additional questions, please contact Afton M. Templin, Director of Juvenile Appeals.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all materials are submitted.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. Additionally, a short phone call with candidates may be scheduled.

The application process is selective and not all applicants will be accepted.

Consistent with our commitment to diversity, YAD encourages recent law school graduates to apply.  Life or legal experience that has provided the applicant with a unique or personal perspective on juvenile defense work will be considered, and a comprehensive and robust mentoring program will be provided.


The Youth Advocacy Division is committed to providing our clients with excellent appellate advocates who are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each client, understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs.  YAD strives to meet these goals by recruiting and maintaining a diverse and inclusive panel of private attorneys who represent a broad range of human difference and experience.

To qualify for the juvenile appellate panel, counsel must be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts bar and:

1. Possess demonstrated proficiency in legal research and writing; and

2. At least one of the following:

          • One year of trial experience with adult criminal defense, delinquency, youthful offender, juvenile murder, Children and Family Law, SORB, SDP or Mental Health litigation; or
          • Primary authorship of one or more thoroughly researched and well written appellate briefs; or
          • A recent judicial clerkship, substantial editing experience for a law journal, primary or ancillary authorship of a law journal article, or other substantial legal research and writing experience; or
          • Other relevant life or legal experience that has provided the applicant with a unique or personal perspective on juvenile defense work.

Acceptance onto the juvenile appellate panel is on a provisional basis.  Once accepted onto the juvenile appellate panel, the attorney must successfully complete the next available certification training and the YAD Appeals mentor program to become a permanent member.  The Director of Juvenile Appeals may grant a waiver of the mentor requirement in some circumstances.  Unless such a waiver is granted, the attorney must successfully complete the mentor program, including working with a mentor for the first three assignments, to become a permanent member of the panel.

Attorneys certified for juvenile appellate assignments may receive assignments in juvenile delinquency and youthful offender appeals, juvenile murder appeals, screenings for collateral motions (new trial, relief from unlawful restraint, revise and revoke), sentencing appeals and other post-adjudication matters.  An additional certification process is required to receive juvenile murder appeals.

Once accepted onto the panel, the attorney is expected to comply fully with the Juvenile Appeals DRAFT Performance Standards.


The applicant must submit the following documents via email to [email protected], with a subject line of “Juvenile Appeals Panel Application-[Applicant’s Name]”:

1. A completed application: YAD Appeals Application 2024

2. A current resume;

3. Two legal writing samples totaling no more than 100 pages, of which the applicant is the primary author. If the applicant does not have two samples of primary authorship, one jointly authored sample may be included provided the following are clearly identified: the name and level of involvement of other attorneys; the portions the applicant wrote; and whether anyone edited the portions written by the applicant.  Writing samples concerning criminal or delinquency law are preferred but not required.  Court investigator or GAL or other similar reports will not be accepted.

4. In addition, the applicant must submit three professional references that are familiar with the applicant’s abilities in legal research and writing, and trial experience and/or appellate practice in adult criminal, juvenile delinquency/youthful offender, juvenile murder, Children and Family Law, SORB, SDP or Mental Health law. References familiar with the applicant’s experience working with adolescent clients are preferred but not required.


 Applicants are required to attend a comprehensive certification training that covers topics including but not limited to: adolescent development, positive youth development, client relationship building as well as communication with parents and guardians, the screening process, the performance standards and the appellate process.

The next certification training has not been scheduled.  If accepted on to the panel, applicants will be provided with training materials to be reviewed before being provisionally certified.


Attorneys who wish to maintain their juvenile appellate certification must:

Comply fully with the Performance Standards Governing Representation of Clients in Juvenile Appeals and Other Post-Adjudication Matters, the Assigned Counsel Manual, and the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct;

1. Remain in good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers.

2. Remain in good standing with any other CPCS panel(s) for which counsel is certified.

3. Complete eight hours of CPCS-approved continuing legal education credits per fiscal year (July 1-June 30), four of which must be juvenile-specific;

4. Accept at least one direct appeal every three fiscal years;

5. Accept at least one screening assignment per fiscal year;

6. Provide YAD Appeals with screening reports within the 90 days required, unless an extension has previously been granted;

7. Provide YAD Appeals with copies of all appellate briefs and collateral motions;

8. Maintain regular client contact as required by the Performance Standards;

9. Comply with any complaint allegation investigation; and

10. Comply with any additional performance-related requirement as a result of any complaint investigation.

Attorneys who do not satisfy these requirements may be removed from the panel at the discretion of the Director of Juvenile Appeals.