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.

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 […]
RESOURCE ATTORNEY POSITION April 19, 2018 - CPCS is accepting applications for Resource Attorney Positions with the Children and Family Law (CAFL) Division in the following regions: Berkshire, Essex–South, Middlesex–South, Suffolk and Worcester counties. The Resource Attorney position is an excellent opportunity for experienced, dedicated and zealous advocates to share their knowledge with CAFL practitioners for the benefit of indigent clients. Resource […]
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 […]
THE HISTORY OF THE ROXBURY DEFENDERS – February 13, 2018 – First Church Roxbury February 22, 2018 - Last Tuesday night I, and many other people, attended an event entitled “The History of the Roxbury Defenders” at the First Church in Roxbury.  The event was cosponsored by the Roxbury Historical Society and the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry.  It was great. A group of four former Roxbury Defenders, and the current Roxbury Defender Attorney-in-Charge, […]