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.

The Berkshire Eagle – Attorney Richard LeBlanc June 12, 2018 - The Berkshire Eagle Monday, June 11, 2018 9:51 am STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE Attorney Richard LeBlanc of Pittsfield has received the Edward Duggan Award from the state Commission of Public Counseling Services for his work as a public defender in the Berkshires. Tuesday, May 22, 2018. “It’s all I ever wanted to do”: […]
MBA and CPCS Issued Statement on Judicial Independence June 8, 2018 - CPCS and the Mass Bar issued a joint statement on Friday, June 8, 2018, responding to those calling for the removal of Judge Timothy Q. Feeley.  CPCS and the Mass Bar warn that removing a judge because he or she made an unpopular decision would threaten the independence of the Judiciary.  See statement below or […]
Press Release May 23, 2018 - In response to call for the removal of Judge Timothy Feeley, CPCS and the MBA issued a joint statement in support of the Judge and highlighting the importance of an independent and impartial judiciary.  See statement below: CPCS and MBA: Support Impartial Courts – Agree Attacks against Judge Feeley Detrimental to Fair Judiciary –   Boston […]
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 […]