What We Do

The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) ensures that every child from an indigent family in Massachusetts has access to zealous legal representation that incorporates a Youth Development Approach, resulting in fair treatment in court.  YAD works with each client to achieve both legal and life success.  Accordingly, YAD provides leadership, training, support, and oversight to a diverse and collaborative juvenile defense bar across the state. Through individual representation and systemic advocacy, YAD partners with other state agencies, as well as community organizations and local agencies, to work toward creating safer and healthier communities.

Established by the Committee for Public Counsel Services in 1992, the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP) began with a goal of protecting and advancing the legal and human rights of children and promoting their healthy development, through active partnerships in Boston’s communities.  At the time, YAP consisted of one full time and one half-time attorneys.  YAP became the Youth Advocacy Division in 2009 and now includes over four hundred specially trained private attorneys that accept delinquency, youthful offender, appeals, juvenile murder parole hearings, and GCL revocation cases, as well as nine staff offices in which lawyers and forensic social service advocates work together as a team to help young people achieve their legal and life goals.

The Youth Advocacy Division is comprised of the


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