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…

CPCS News

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

Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Trial and Appellate Advocacy Concentration: Deposition Master Classes December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Part One January 22, Part Two February 12- Suffolk Law (Boston, 2 & 2 credits) Trial and Appellate Advocacy Concentration: Deposition Master Classes: Advanced Deposition Practice & Strategy, January 22 & Complex Case Strategies, February 12PART ONE: Advanced Deposition Practice and StrategyPart One focuses on advanced deposition strategies designed to enhance the […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Navigating the Clinical and Legal Choices of Elders with Mental Health Issues December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity: February 27-MHLAC (Boston, 8 credits) Navigating the Clinical and Legal Choices of Elders with Mental Health IssuesThe program will be held in-person in Boston at MCLE. Participants also have the option of attending the program via a simulcast in Worcester at UMass Medical School. At this location, participants will view the program […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Litigation Practice & Strategy December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity:February 18- BBA (Boston, 2 credits) Litigation Practice & Strategy: Tips, Tricks, and Pitfalls that Every New Civil Litigator Should KnowThis program will provide a unique opportunity for new litigators to learn valuable lessons in litigation practice and strategy. Our panel will address important considerations and nuances of Massachusetts Civil Superior Court practice, […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Advising Elder Clients in Crisis December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity: February 11-MCLE (Boston, 3 credits) Advising Elder Clients in Crisis How to handle the myriad of emergencies faced by elderly clients It’s 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, and you’ve just received a call from—or about—your elderly client. Do you know their rights when they receive a notice that they will be discharged […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Opening Statements & Closing Arguments December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity: January 18-MCLE (Boston, 3 CLE) Opening Statements & Closing Arguments Guiding the jury to your verdictAt trial, the jury is effectively dropped into the depths of a jungle and told to find their way out. They are confronted with two strangers (the lawyers), each telling them to follow a different path. Ultimately, […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: Trying Your “1st” (or Next) Civil Case in the Superior Court December 18, 2014 - Upcoming CLE Opportunity: January 26-MCLE (Boston, 3 CLE) Trying Your “1st” (or Next) Civil Case in the Superior CourtWhen a civil trial in Superior Court looms on your horizon, you need to be prepared. This program provides you with a comprehensive overview of both non-jury and jury civil trials in the Superior Court and explains […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunity: January 14 – MCLE (Boston, 3 CLE) – Effective Appellate Advocacy – Doing more with less December 18, 2014 - January 14 – MCLE (Boston, 3 CLE) – Effective Appellate Advocacy – Doing more with lessWhether you’re an appellate practitioner—focusing on criminal or civil appeals—or have argued only a few appellate cases, this program provides valuable insight into appellate practice. Success on appeal depends on more than the attorney’s knowledge of the law, the rules […]
Agreement Reached on Conditions at Bridgewater State Hospital December 17, 2014 - An independent monitoring group will open an office inside troubled Bridgewater State Hospital for the next two years to make sure that prison guards and clinicians continue reducing their use of isolation and physical restraints on mentally ill patients, under a deal with the state that averts a lawsuit. Read entire Globe Article which includes […]
Upcoming CLE Opportunities: December 19 – MCLE (Boston, 6 CLE) – How to Make Money & Stay Out of Trouble December 3, 2014 - December 19 – MCLE (Boston, 6 CLE) – How to Make Money & Stay Out of Trouble – Make your practice more ethical—and more successful Whether you are a new or experienced attorney, this program gives you the essential tools to run a professional practice. A panel of practitioners and counsel from the Office of […]
Playground Private playground open to public not “school or park” for purposes of G. L. c. 94C, sec. 32J December 2, 2014 - In a case charging the defendant with the sale of marijuana within 100 feet of a school or park, the Appeals Court ruled that a private playground open to the public does not fit the definition of a “school or park” under G. L. c. 94C, § 32J.  In Commonwealth v. Gopaul, the Court answered […]