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.

Our Mission Statement

We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.

Our Values

•   Courage   •   Accountability   •   Respect   •   Excellence

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.

Committee Meeting Agenda – January 21, 2021 Meeting January 15, 2021 - The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Registration is required. Approval of minutes of the December 17, 2020 meeting Audit and Oversight Overview Commitments $10,000 and Over Report Monthly Financial Overview Report COVID-19 Update Chief Counsel Report Registration is required to join the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMlcO2urzwoE9w44A61UIi6AA8N8ujR93es After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information […]
CPCS Attorneys Selected for BBA Leadership Program January 15, 2021 - Two Committee for Public Counsel Services public defenders have been selected to participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program. Jim Barakat, with the Children and Family Law Division’s Brockton office, and Schuyler Daum, with the Public Defender Division’s Quincy office, will be part of an impressive class of attorneys who will participate […]
Mental Health Litigation Division Appellate Panel Certification Training January 14, 2021 - Committee for Public Counsel Services Mental Health Litigation Division Appeals Unit January 2021 The Mental Health Litigation Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is now accepting applications for the Mental Health Litigation Division (“MHLD”) Appellate Panel Certification Training Qualifications: Applicants must have the following minimum qualifications: (i)        Demonstrated proficiency in legal research and […]
January 12, 2021 - Hello, As you may have already seen, the state – responding to a joint request from CPCS and the Massachusetts Bar Association – has added defense attorneys and other “court system workers” to Phase 2 of the vaccination priority list. The decision to add defense attorneys to the Phase 2 designation came over the weekend […]
Committee Meeting Agenda – December 17, 2020 Meeting December 11, 2020 - The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2020.  Registration is required to attend the meeting. Approval of minutes of the November 19, 2020 meeting Amicus Request(s) Doe No. 7346 v. Sex Offender Registry Board, SJC-13032 CAFL Counsel Shortage – emergency language Monthly Financial Overview Report Commitments $10,000 and Over Report FY […]
Children and Family Law Panel is Seeking Attorneys December 1, 2020 - CAFL Trial Panel Training (January 28 – March 17, 2021) CPCS is now accepting applications for its 2021 CAFL Trial Panel Certification Training to represent children and parents in care and protection/termination of parental rights cases.  The on-line training includes a mix of substantial self-directed learning and live Zoom sessions two mornings a week for […]