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.

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 […]
MLW Top Women of the Law September 7, 2018 - Congratulations to our colleague Atty. Rebecca A. Jacobstein and former colleague Atty. Kelli L. Porges for being among those to be honored by Mass Lawyers Weekly as Top Women of Law 2018.  Rebecca and Kelli are among 50 women attorneys being celebrated for their “outstanding achievements….by exceptional women lawyers who have made tremendous professional strides […]
Staff Counsel Posting for MHLD in Boston August 20, 2018 - We have posted a position for staff counsel in Boston.  Staff Counsel, Mental Health Litigation Division Administration:  The Staff Counsel assists the Trial Panel Director with overseeing the work and training of the Division’s private panel attorneys so that clients receive zealous representation.  The Staff Counsel also participates in, and helps develop the Division’s training, […]
DO YOU WANT TO HELP PROTECT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH PSYCHIATRIC CHALLENGES? APPLY TO JOIN THE MENTAL HEALTH LITIGATION DIVISION TRIAL PANEL! August 8, 2018 - The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is now accepting applications to its fall 2018 Civil Commitment Certification Training. In Massachusetts, people experiencing psychiatric distress can be involuntarily detained at psychiatric facilities, committed for up to six months, and treated with medications against their wishes. This substantial deprivation […]
Reporting tool to capture video conferencing issues experienced during client court hearings. July 25, 2018 - In response to the 2017 CPCS/Suffolk University survey regarding trial court video conferencing (VC), the Trial Court has established a Working Group to address various issues associated with VC.  Technological malfunctions are one focus for the Working Group. CPCS’s representatives on the Working Group seek to gather data so the Working Group can identify specific courts […]
Boston Globe Op Ed July 10, 2018 - CPCS Chief Counsel Anthony Benedetti coauthored an Op Ed for the Boston Globe with Dr. Laurie Guidry, chair of the Public Policy Committee for the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (MATSA).  The Op Ed, “Changing Sex Offender Law Needs to Be Evidence-Based”, opposes the Governor’s legislative response to the proposed release of […]