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…
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Care and Protection of Walt November 8, 2017 - On October 20, 2018, the SJC delivered a tremendous win for vulnerable families in Massachusetts through its decision in Care and Protection of Walt. In a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Gants, the Court affirmed that the Department of Children and Families must comply with its legal obligation to make “reasonable efforts” to avoid […] REPRESENTING CHILDREN IN CHILD REQUIRING ASSISTANCE (CRA) CASES CPCS CERTIFICATION TRAINING September 22, 2017 - The Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking qualified attorneys to represent children in Child Requiring Assistance cases in the Juvenile Court. Admission to the CRA panel is by application only and requires completion of a two-day training. Applicants must be members of the Massachusetts Bar, or be […] Mental Health Litigation Appellate Certification Training – Fall 2017 September 15, 2017 - The CPCS Mental Health Litigation Division is now accepting applications for its 3 day Appellate Certification Training taking place in the Fall of 2017. The training will take place at the Registry of Deeds in Worcester over the course of three days**: Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 from 9:00 – 4:30 Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 from […] Congratulations to the Essex County Bar Association Advocates – Updated August 22, 2017 - David Hallinan receiving the American Bar Association’s Harrison Tweed Award The following article on the Essex County Bar Advocate Program being named this year’s recipient of the American Bar Association’s Harrison Tweed Award appeared in The Salem News on June 28, 2017: http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/local-legal-assistance-program-receives-national-award/article_825265e8-c83e-5c41-9873-f47c655446ed.html