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.

DO YOU WANT TO HELP PROTECT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF PEOPLE FACING GUARDIANSHIP PETITIONS? APPLY TO JOIN THE MENTAL HEALTH LITIGATION DIVISION TRIAL PANEL! January 9, 2019 - The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is now accepting applications to its spring 2019 Guardianship Certification Training. A guardianship is a substantial deprivation of liberty – under guardianship the person can no longer legally make their own decisions about many issues,including where to live, what medical treatment […]
Committee Meeting Dates – CY 2019 January 7, 2019 - All meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held on the third Wednesday of the month except where noted. January 15, 2019 (Tuesday starting at 11:00 a.m.)February 20, 2019 February 26, 2019 (Tuesday)March 20, 2019April 17, 2019May 15, 2019June 19, 2019July 17, 2019August – NO MEETINGSeptember 18, 2019October 16, 2019November 20, 2019December 18, 2019
Upcoming Children and Family Law Certification Trainings November 19, 2018 - CPCS Certification Training to Represent Children in Child Requiring Assistance (CRA) Cases to be held February 12 & 13, 2019 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 […]
New Juvenile Court Rules and Time Standards Go Into Effect November 5, 2018 October 29, 2018 - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has issued new Juvenile Court Rules for the Care and Protection of Children, which go into effect on November 5, 2018. The new 2018 rules will replace the 2007 Juvenile Court Rules for the Care and Protection of Children. Along with these Rules, the Juvenile Court has issued new Standing […]
Childhood Trauma And Its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Minorities – NPR September 20, 2018 - NPR Reported on Monday about a new study that show the impact of childhood trauma on Lifelong health When researchers first discovered a link in the late 1990s between childhood adversity and chronic health problems later in life, the real revelation was how common those experiences were across all socioeconomic groups. But the first major […]
YAD Staff Recognized for their Efforts Fighting Racism Across the State September 14, 2018 - It is my pleasure to share with everyone the news that three staff members from YAD will receive awards at the Annual Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) Awards Breakfast on September 20, 2018 (see attached flyer).  JDAI is a national juvenile justice initiative that focuses on reducing the unnecessary and harmful use of secure detention […]