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…
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New Juvenile Court Rules and Time Standards Go Into Effect November 5, 2018 October 29, 2018 - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has issued new Juvenile Court Rules for the Care and Protection of Children, which go into effect on November 5, 2018. The new 2018 rules will replace the 2007 Juvenile Court Rules for the Care and Protection of Children. Along with these Rules, the Juvenile Court has issued new Standing […] Childhood Trauma And Its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Minorities – NPR September 20, 2018 - NPR Reported on Monday about a new study that show the impact of childhood trauma on Lifelong health When researchers first discovered a link in the late 1990s between childhood adversity and chronic health problems later in life, the real revelation was how common those experiences were across all socioeconomic groups. But the first major […] YAD Staff Recognized for their Efforts Fighting Racism Across the State September 14, 2018 - It is my pleasure to share with everyone the news that three staff members from YAD will receive awards at the Annual Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) Awards Breakfast on September 20, 2018 (see attached flyer). JDAI is a national juvenile justice initiative that focuses on reducing the unnecessary and harmful use of secure detention […] MLW Top Women of the Law September 7, 2018 - Congratulations to our colleague Atty. Rebecca A. Jacobstein and former colleague Atty. Kelli L. Porges for being among those to be honored by Mass Lawyers Weekly as Top Women of Law 2018. Rebecca and Kelli are among 50 women attorneys being celebrated for their “outstanding achievements….by exceptional women lawyers who have made tremendous professional strides […] Staff Counsel Posting for MHLD in Boston August 20, 2018 - We have posted a position for staff counsel in Boston. Staff Counsel, Mental Health Litigation Division Administration: The Staff Counsel assists the Trial Panel Director with overseeing the work and training of the Division’s private panel attorneys so that clients receive zealous representation. The Staff Counsel also participates in, and helps develop the Division’s training, […]