YAD Private Counsel

The majority of juveniles under the age of 18 charged with delinquency matters in Massachusetts are represented by private court-appointed counsel on a case-by-case basis under the auspices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, pursuant to MGL c.211D. Currently, over 300 private attorneys in the state have been trained and certified to accept assignment of these delinquency cases by CPCS.  Many of these attorneys devote a significant portion of their practice to representing juveniles. In order to do so, attorneys must comply with rigorous CPCS Performance Standards, annual caseload limits, continuing legal education requirements, supervision, oversight, and other requirements. They also must be selected by a county-wide bar advocate program and comply with the program’s contractual obligations, including reporting, training, supervision, and other responsibilities.

For any questions or concerns regarding YAD Private Counsel  please contact:

Erica Cushna
Trial Panel Director
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Melissa Ellis
Trial Panel Oversight Staff Counsel
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In each Massachusetts county, CPCS contracts with a local bar advocate program for purposes of providing a legal services delivery system and professional oversight of private counsel to the indigent in delinquency, youthful offender, and adult criminal cases. The programs, in turn, contract with qualified private attorneys, who are assigned duty days in the district and juvenile courts of the county. Pursuant to contract, private attorneys are assigned private local Resource Attorneys through the bar advocate program. These resource attorneys serve as mentors to less experienced counsel.

Additionally, CPCS contracts with private attorneys to serve as Juvenile Supervising Attorneys (JSAs) in each county. The JSAs provide technical assistance, training, support, and oversight to the private counsel representing juveniles in delinquency and youthful offender cases in the county. JSAs also serve as a liaison between the courts, judges, CPCS, DYS, and other agencies, and provide leadership to the private bar with respect to juvenile practice throughout the state.

Below are links to resources for YAD Private Counsel defenders.

Assigned Counsel Manual
Delinquency and Youthful Offender Certification

List of Presumptive Youthful Offender Charges 

CPCS E-Bill Manual
CPCS E-Bill Program
Fillable Juvenile Appeal Referral Form – FINAL 5.21.19

For CPCS Attorneys: Becoming a Private Attorney Vendor

Juvenile Defender Advisory Council (JDAC)
Juvenile Supervising Attorneys


List of Upcoming YAD Trainings
CPCS Training Calendar