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.

Annual Award Recipients – 1988-2019 May 6, 2019 - Award Recipients – 1998 – 2019
Good Work of Public Defenders Leads to Outstanding Results in the SJC April 25, 2019 - Recently, the outstanding efforts of public defenders – and assigned counsel – have led to great results for our clients in the Supreme Judicial Court.  This Tuesday, the SJC issued two groundbreaking decisions expanding access to post-conviction forensic analysis under G.L. c. 278A, in Commonwealth v. Williams and Commonwealth v. Putnam.  And just two weeks […]
In a Broken Foster System, Some Kids Can’t Find a Bed For the Night reports Boston Globe April 12, 2019 - The Boston Globe recently published an article on the severe shortage of foster homes for children removed from their parents.  According to the article, Massachusetts has one of the worst records nationally for placement instability, lagging behind all but three states.  “In 2018 nearly a third of children in foster care in Massachusetts were moved three […]
2019 Annual Awards Invitation March 21, 2019 -   YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES 2019 ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY TO HONOR MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF AND PRIVATE BAR _________________________________________________________________ JOHN ADAMS COURTHOUSE, PEMBERTON SQUARE, BOSTON WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2019 5:00-8:00 p.m. ________________________________________________________________ Thurgood Marshall Award Don Bronstein Edward J. Duggan Public Counsel Award for Outstanding Service Yolanda […]
CPCS Email Restored on March 15 2019 March 21, 2019 - CPCS email has been restored. You may also contact offices through the phone. Phone numbers may be found at www.publiccounsel.net/dir.
CPCS Annual Training Conference – May 14, 2019 March 21, 2019 - Please join us at the CPCS Annual Training Conference on Tuesday, May 14, 2018, 8:00 – 5:00, at the DCU Center on 50 Foster Street in Worcester, MA.  Advance Registration is Required and we are almost to capacity with a few seats left.   REGISTER TODAY TO ENSURE A SEAT!  The keynote address will include remarks […]