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.

CPCS Past Award Recipients January 23, 2017 - Each year, the Committee for Public Counsel Services recognizes the work of individuals who dedicate their careers to overcoming injustice, and championing the cause of zealous representation and effective assistance of counsel. A listing of the past award recipients from 1998 through 2016 can be found here:   Award Recipients – 1998 – 2016.
Innocence Program Holiday Letter January 19, 2017 - Please see the attached link to view the Innocence Program Holiday letter:  2016 Holiday newsletter
CY 2017 Committee Meeting Dates December 27, 2016 - All meetings will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except where noted. January 25 (4th Wednesday) February 15 March 15 April 12 (2nd Wednesday) May 17 June 21 July 19 August — NO MEETING September 20 October 18 November 15 December 20
CAFL Accepting Applications for our May Appellate Certification Training December 15, 2016 - CAFL is currently accepting applications for our Appellate Panel Certification Training to be held on May 22, 23, and 24, 2017 at the offices of Community Legal Aid, 405 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. The application deadline is April 7, 2017.  For additional information and a link to the application, please visit CAFL Training.
ESSA Creates New Federal Rights for Foster Children to School Stability December 14, 2016 - In December 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  ESSA amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Two parts of the amended ESEA are particularly relevant to children in foster care: Title I, which now provides school stability rights for children in foster care, and Title IX, the McKinney-Vento […]
DCF Rewriting Its Regulations December 14, 2016 - DCF is in the process of rewriting its regulations.  The agency anticipates submitting between one and four sets of proposed changes to the Secretary of State every two weeks during the next several months. In total, they are planning on publishing 19 new or revised CMR sections. CPCS will be submitting comments on each section, and […]