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.


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.

Future Roxbury Defender Wins MBA Scholarship May 22, 2020 - Hakeem Muhammad, a future Committee for Public Counsel Services public defender, has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating law student who is committed to providing legal assistance to underrepresented individuals and communities in Massachusetts upon graduation. […]
Committee Meeting Agenda – May 20, 2020 Meeting May 13, 2020 - Due to the continued Stay at Home Advisory, the Committee will be taking all matters by phone. Approval of minutes of the April 16, 2020 meeting Amicus Request(s): William Dinkens and Eugene Ivey Mass. Parole Board, SJC-12882 Commonwealth J.C., A Juvenile, Appeals Court No. 2020-P-0070;SJC-DAR-27424 Commonwealth J.T., A Juvenile, SJC-12915 and Commonwealth v. G.L., A […]
illustration of coronavirus Daily Court Updates May 12, 2020 - Daily updates (mass.gov) from Massachusetts state courts in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Updates are posted after 4:30 p.m.
Committee Meeting Agenda – April 16, 2020 Meeting April 9, 2020 - Due to the continued Stay at Home Advisory, the Committee will be taking all matters that need to be addressed by phone. Minutes of the March 19, 2020 meeting Salary Adjustment for Bar Advocate Staff Monthly Financial Overview Report Commitments $10,000 and Over Report COVID-19 Litigation Update Chief Counsel Report
smartphone with home screen showing various apps Tools for Remote Communication March 20, 2020 - With the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, more and more we are looking for ways to communicate remotely with clients, colleagues, family and friends.  Below is a list of free video conferencing options.  We are also sharing information for you and your clients about expanded internet service and no or low-cost smartphones for low-income persons.
CPCS CLE Requirement – Emergency Policy Change – Fiscal Year 2020 Only March 18, 2020 - Dear Private Attorneys, We hope you and your families are well during this difficult time.  Due to exceptional circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 virus, CPCS is waiving the Continuing Legal Education hours requirement for all units for Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020.) Although we have waived the CLE requirements, we encourage […]