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…
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CPCS Annual Training Conference January 31, 2018 - SAVE THE DATE: The CPCS Annual Training Conference will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 8:00-5:00 at the DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester. Ruth A. Potee, MD will be the keynote presenter on the topic of the Physiology of Addiction and Opioid Use. She will explain the effects of opioid and other drug […] Nominations Accepted for Duggan, Marshall, Donovan, Blitzman, Winchester, Liacos, Mellen, Addams and Souto-Goyette Awards January 25, 2018 - Nomination Process The Committee will present the awards at an Awards Ceremony on April 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston. All nominations should be submitted to Ms. Denise Simonini, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02108, by fax to […] CPCS Plays Major Role in Massachusetts Wrongful Conviction Day December 12, 2017 - The CPCS Innocence Program led by CPCS Attorney Lisa Kavanaugh was one of several sponsors of the Massachusetts Wrongful Conviction Day held at the Massachusetts State House on October 2, 2017. Supporters of amending Massachusetts law relative to wrongful convictions and forensic science evidence assembled at the State House to educate members of the House […] Farak Press Conference December 1, 2017 - The Committee for Public Counsel Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts held a press conference on Thursday, November 30, 2017, in anticipation of the District Attorneys dismissing thousands of cases linked to Amherst State Chemist Sonia Farak’s criminal misconduct. CPCS Deputy Chief Counsel Randy Gioia and CPCS Atty. Rebecca Jacobstein were among […] Care and Protection of Walt November 8, 2017 - On October 20, 2018, the SJC delivered a tremendous win for vulnerable families in Massachusetts through its decision in Care and Protection of Walt. In a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Gants, the Court affirmed that the Department of Children and Families must comply with its legal obligation to make “reasonable efforts” to avoid […]