What We Do

We provide legal representation in Massachusetts for those unable to afford an attorney in all matters in which the law requires the appointment of counsel. This includes representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, mental health, sexually dangerous person and sex offender registry cases, as well as related appeals and post-conviction matters.

Representation is provided by a combination of approximately 500 staff attorneys and 3,000 private attorneys trained and certified to accept appointments. Support for and supervision of these attorneys is provided by the Private Counsel and Public Defender Divisions (for criminal cases and related matters), the Children and Family Law Division (for child welfare cases), the Youth Advocacy Division (for delinquency, youthful offender, and GCL revocation cases), and the Mental Health Litigation Division (for guardianships and mental health/substance abuse commitments). Additionally, the Immigration Impact Unit provides attorneys within all divisions with training, litigation support and advice in individual cases regarding immigration consequences for noncitizens clients.

Learn more about who we are and how we are structured…


To see the latest CPCS news, check out our blog.

CPCS Annual Training Conference – May 14, 2015 February 26, 2015 - The CPCS Annual Training Conference will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester.  Advance registration is required.Over the course of the day there will be a wide variety of programs of interest to criminal, juvenile, child welfare and mental health attorneys.  At midday we will gather to […]
John_Adams_Courthouse_-_Suffolk_County_Courthouse_-_Boston,_MA_-_DSC04718 CAFL Now Accepting Applications For Appellate Panel Certification Training. January 22, 2015 - The Children and Family Law Division is now accepting applications for its May 2015 Appellate Panel Training. For more information and to download an application, visit CAFL Training.Image Credit
appeals court SJC takes age into account and upholds judge’s dismissal of delinquency complaint. February 13, 2015 - In Commonwealth v. Ilya I., SJC -11637 (February 13, 2015), the SJC reversed the Appeals Court and upheld a juvenile court judge’s dismissal of a delinquency complaint for lack of probable cause. The juvenile was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after the police found thirteen individually wrapped bags of marijuana inside […]
From the MOLST Folks: 2014 Update to Massachusetts Expert Panel on End of Life Care Report March 26, 2015 - This one in a series of reports on end of life care from UMass. It highlights issues relating to the use of a MOLST, which is a medical form similar to a prescription. It contains instructions from a clinician (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) to other heath professionals (e.g., nurses, emergency responders), about what […]