Overseeing the delivery of criminal defense services to indigent people in Boston area courts since 2001

Our Mission

The mission of Suffolk Lawyers for Justice is to ensure that poor people, both children and adults, accused of crimes in Suffolk County, receive competent and zealous representation.

SLJ trains and supervises all attorneys on our bar advocate panel. We provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and educational resources to assure that indigent clients receive the highest level of representation. Bar advocates working under contract with SLJ are certified to accept cases as appointed by the Massachusetts Courts.

SLJ advocates for reform of court policies and legal principles to protect the rights of all persons in our criminal justice system. We support implementation of the recommendations adopted by our state legislature in its 2004 Report: the Provision of Counsel to Indigent Persons in Massachusetts.

Program Overview

Suffolk Lawyers for Justice was founded in 2000 to administer the delivery of criminal defense services to indigent people in Suffolk County. We are a non-profit organization operating primarily under contract with the Committee for Public Counsel Services.

SLJ Board of Directors and staff oversee four hundred private attorneys who are appointed to defend clients in fourteen Boston area courts. Our attorneys handle approximately ninety percent of indigent criminal cases in the District, Superior, and Juvenile courts of Suffolk county. SLJ staff schedules members of the private bar to be present in the courts on specific dates for appointment to represent indigent criminal defendants.

Suffolk Lawyers for Justice works with courts, state agencies, and educational institutions to improve the provision of zealous criminal defense services to indigent people in Massachusetts.