Mental Health Training

Director: Miriam Ruttenberg

The Mental Health Litigation Division is committed to protecting the legal and constitutional rights of citizens facing civil commitment to mental hospitals, guardianship and involuntary treatment including the administration of anti-psychotic medications. We do this through four staffed offices and a panel of private attorneys. All of our attorneys receive training in issues relating to mental health and the statutory and constitutional rights of our clients. We also provide training to attorneys in other divisions in mental health issues.

The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) of the Committee for Public Counsel Services is now accepting applications for the March 2023 Guardianship Certification Training

Application deadline is January 20, 2023

This training is for attorneys who want to represent adult respondents in probate court guardianship matters. A guardianship is a substantial deprivation of liberty; under guardianship an adult can no longer legally make their own decisions about many issues, including where to live, what medical treatment to accept or refuse, and other decisions people make every day. Because of this significant infringement on civil rights, respondents are entitled to court-appointed counsel. There is a great need for certified attorneys to represent these clients in this rewarding work. You will get client contact, litigation experience, and the satisfaction of providing zealous, client-centered advocacy for some of the most marginalized and disempowered people in the Commonwealth. The hourly rate for these Probate Court cases is $65.

CERTIFICATION PAYMENT: Attorneys accepted into the training will be eligible for a “Certification Payment” in the amount of $2,291.25 upon successful completion of the entire course including a mock trial, and within one year of completing the course accepting at least ten (10) MHLD guardianship matters, and billing at least two hundred (200) hours on those cases.

The live Zoom sessions will be held from 1:00-4:00 PM on February 27, March 2, 6, 9, 13, and 16. Each course participant will be scheduled for an in-person mock trials on one of the following dates: March 27, 28, 29, or 30 (morning and afternoon options, to be scheduled once registration is complete). Please hold these dates open pending notification of acceptance to the training.

Full announcement and application instructions here

Mental Health CLE programs

See our calendar here

CPCS CLE Submission Form (click to download form)