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.

CAFL Accepting Applications for April Trial Panel Certification Training November 30, 2016 - The Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is seeking qualified attorneys to represent children and indigent parents in termination of parental rights and child requiring assistance cases in the Juvenile Court.  Admission to the CAFL trial panel is by application only and requires completion of a seven-day training.  Applicants […]
Amy Karp named one of this year’s recipients of the MCLE Scholar-Mentor Award October 6, 2016 - Congratulations to CAFL Training Director, Amy Karp!  She has been named one of this year’s recipients of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Scholar-Mentor Award, which is presented to members of the Bar who have “demonstrated leadership through long-term service to MCLE, excellence in teaching or writing, and creativity in the suggestion of program and […]
Presidential Proclamation — National Youth Justice Awareness Month, 2016 October 5, 2016 - NATIONAL YOUTH JUSTICE AWARENESS MONTH, 2016 – – – – – – – BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION The essential promise that we make to our young people — that where they start must not determine how far they can go — is part of what makes America exceptional. […]