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 – May 16, 2017 February 17, 2017 - SAVE THE DATE:  The CPCS Annual Training Conference will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 8:00-5:00 at the DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester. Advance Registration is Required.
MBA Recognizes CPCS Attorney With 2017 Access to Justice Defender Award May 19, 2017 - On May 4, 2017, Public Defender Division Staff Attorney Rebecca Jacobstein received the Massachusetts Bar Association’s 2017 Access to Justice Defender Award for her  work on behalf of clients affected by the misconduct of a state drug lab chemist in Western Massachusetts. Rebecca and her husband and mother were present at the MBA Annual Dinner to […]
CPCS Honors the Best in Indigent Defense – 2017 Awards Ceremony May 2, 2017 - On Tuesday, April 25, 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 […]
DCF New Family Assessment and Action Planning Policies April 13, 2017 - DCF recently released their new Family Assessment and Action Planning Policy, Policy#2017-01, effective 02/06/2017. Some notable provisions include: The term “Action Plan” replaces “Service Plan” and includes the following sections: areas of focus based on the Department’s assessment of parental capacity and child safety, observable changes, and the actions/tasks/services/supports identified to address the observable changes […]
CPCS 2017 AWARDS CEREMONY March 23, 2017 - YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC COUNSEL SERVICES 2017 AWARDS CEREMONY TO HONOR MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF AND PRIVATE BAR  JOHN ADAMS COURTHOUSE, PEMBERTON SQUARE, BOSTON TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017 — 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. ♦♦♦♦♦ Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments  Cynthia Nicholls Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth […]
Massachusetts Gives Juvenile Justice System a Makeover March 16, 2017 - The Impressive Top-to-Bottom Makeover of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System http://nationswell.com/massachusetts-juvenile-criminal-justice-makeover/