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Coronavirus Updates

CPCS has assembled a list of important resources for lawyers and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency has also created an explainer outlining our COVID-19 litigation.


Our Mission Statement

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

Our Values

•   Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •   Excellence


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.

Committee Meeting Agenda – May 19, 2021 Meeting May 14, 2021 - The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required – details below. Approval of minutes of the April 15, 2021 meeting Amicus Request – Commonwealth v. Ernest Monell – FAR-28219 Contract – FY 2022 Juvenile Supervising Attorney Commitments $10,000 and Over Report Monthly Financial Overview Report FY 2022 Budget Update Personnel Subcommittee Update Chief […]
Baratta, O’Connor Win MBA’s COVID-19 Impact Award May 12, 2021 - The Massachusetts Bar Association has announced that it will present its Access to Justice COVID-19 Impact Award to the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Nancy Baratta and Ann O’Connor for going “above and beyond during these challenging times to address legal needs arising from the pandemic.” Baratta and O’Connor, who are both involved with the […]
Defenders in the News April 30, 2021 - Hello and welcome to the second edition of Defenders in the News.  On the last Friday of every month we will publish a list of news items, awards or big decisions involving anyone under the CPCS banner. If we missed anything, or if you spot an article that needs to be included in the weeks […]
April 2021 MHLD News April 14, 2021 - Kudos to Miriam, Beau & everyone who contributed to the MHLD Newsletter April 2021 Interesting, informative and helpful. Here are the headlines: Upcoming Webinars – check them out on the Training Page Why Race Matters Speaker Series: We encourage you to register for the April 26th session on the Harvard Study on Racism in the […]
Committee Meeting Agenda – April 15, 2021 Meeting April 9, 2021 - The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required Approval of minutes of the March 16, 2021 meeting Amicus Request(s) *Commonwealth McDermott, SJC-13091 – Reporting Only *Commonwealth Bailey-Sweeting, SJC-13086 – Reporting Only *Arnold Emma Massachusetts Parole Board, No. SJC-12954 CAFL Emergency Declaration – Franklin-Hampshire County Monthly Financial Overview Report Commitments $10,000 and Over Report […]
Defenders in the News March 26, 2021 - Hello and welcome to the first edition of Defenders in the News.  On the last Friday of every month we will publish a list of news items, awards or big decisions involving anyone under the CPCS banner. If we missed anything, or if you spot an article that needs to be included in the weeks […]