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.

Public Defenders Seek Fair Retirement Classification November 13, 2019 - Prosecutors and public defenders have stressful jobs, and both are frequently placed face-to-face with the trauma that inevitably surfaces when working in the criminal justice system.  But when it comes to retirement, assistant district attorneys and those who work for the Committee for Public Counsel Services are treated much differently. Prosecutors receive enhanced retirement benefits, […]
CPCS Leaders, International Guest Tour Child Welfare Center November 4, 2019 - Committee for Public Counsel Services Youth Advocacy Division leaders toured a Bay State child welfare and juvenile justice center with an international guest and showcased some model residential and educational programming for children and youth. Mona Igram, the attorney in charge of the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Youth Advocacy Division office in Lowell, and Josh Dohan, […]
SJC: School Assembly Amendment Applies Retroactively October 31, 2019 - Legislation geared toward keeping kids out of the school-to-prison pipeline by prohibiting criminal proceedings against juvenile students for “disturbing a school assembly” based on in-school conduct must be applied retroactively to cases pending when the law was enacted, according to a recent high court decision. The Supreme Judicial Court, siding with the position of the […]
Boston Globe Shines Light on Impact of DCF Office Moves October 30, 2019 - The Department of Children and Families has recently moved some of its field offices from city centers to areas that are not as accessible to parents who have lost custody of their children and are attempting to participate in visits with their children. The Boston Globe’s Kay Lazar chronicled this concerning trend in a recent article, […]
Seeking Counsel for Child Welfare Appeals October 28, 2019 - 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 proceedings.  Most cases concern intervention by the Massachusetts […]
CPCS Attorney Wins Leadership Award October 25, 2019 - Mona Igram, the attorney in charge of the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Youth Advocacy Division office in Lowell, has been honored with the Lawrence Bar Association’s Leadership Award. The award is given yearly to an attorney “who serves not only their clients and other constituents, but also generously gives back by donating services, money, […]