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.

2018 Awards Ceremony – CPCS Honors Outstanding Achievements in Client Centered Advocacy May 4, 2018 - On Thursday, April 26, CPCS had the pleasure of honoring exceptional members of our community – attorneys from the public and private counsel divisions, as well as a social worker, investigator and administrative professional – who work tirelessly to insure that CPCS meets our mission:  to fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting […]
Springfield Summit April 27, 2018 - On February 26, 2018, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants and Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey hosted the “Springfield Summit on Child Welfare Attorney Crisis.”  The purpose of this unique event was to discuss the initiatives and plans to increase the capacity and improve the quality of child welfare/state intervention practice in the Hampden […]
CPCS Brings Gideon to the State House March 28, 2018 - In recognition of the 55th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, CPCS held an informational forum for Legislators and their staff on Gideon and the right to counsel at the Massachusetts State House on March 20, 2018.  Although a majority of those attending were staff, several legislators, including State […]
CPCS 2018 ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY March 23, 2018 - YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES 2018 ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY TO HONOR MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF AND PRIVATE BAR __________ Thurgood Marshall Award Nancy T. Bennett (to be awarded at the Annual Conference on May 15, 2018) Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments Norman Beach Edward J. […]
CPCS Atty. Wendy Wayne and Other Advocates File Writ of Protection Asking SJC to Block Immigration Arrests at Massachusetts Courthouses March 16, 2018 - On March 15, 2018, the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) Immigration Impact Unit, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice (LCCR) and Greater Boston Legal Services filed a petition in the Commonwealth’s highest court, seeking a “writ of protection” to prevent federal immigration officials (ICE) from arresting individuals on civil immigration matters […]
Private Counsel Compensation Hearings – SPRINGFIELD HEARING POSTPONED March 12, 2018 - DUE TO THE ADVERSE WEATHER PREDICTED FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2018, THE SPRINGFIELD HEARING IS BEING POSTPONED.  A NEW HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED IN SPRINGFIELD AND NOTICE OF THAT EVENT WILL BE PUBLISHED SHORTLY. Pursuant to M.G.L. ch. 211D, § 11 (Establishment and Review of Compensation Rates) CPCS will be holding hearings in order to […]