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Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, Inc.

Hampden County
Lawyers for Justice, Inc.

Welcome to HCLJ

Welcome to the Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, Inc. We invite you to take a few moments to view our website and learn about our program. We proudly provide excellent indigent criminal defense services in Hampden County and feel that our program is one of the best in the Commonwealth. We work with our panel members to ensure they possess the skills they need through experience and training, access to mentors, resources, experts, and educational opportunities to meet high-performance standards in their representation.

We invite you to join us!

Christopher S. Todd, HCLJ President

Mission Statement

Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, Inc., (“HCLJ”) contracts with The Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”) to provide excellent legal services to each client by assuring all assigned attorneys possess the skills they need through experience or training and meet high-performance standards in their representation for the indigent in the District Courts of Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Chicopee, Palmer, Hampden County Superior Court, and Hampden Juvenile Court.

Indigent Advocacy

It is bedrock law that anyone charged with a crime has a right to counsel, and if the person charged doesn’t have sufficient funds to hire a lawyer the government must provide a qualified lawyer. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)

Massachusetts utilizes a hybrid system whereby both full-time public defenders employed by the Commonwealth and private attorneys who work as independent contractors share the duties of providing indigent criminal defense services. The majority of those services are provided by private attorneys, commonly known as Bar Advocates. Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, Inc administers the program for private attorneys in Hampden County, Massachusetts.


HCLJ, Inc. embraces and endorses diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to ensure that we represent a broad range of human differences and experience and promote dignity and well-being.


HCLJ provides mentorship for new panel attorneys to assist in their practice in criminal defense. HCLJ has an experienced panel of lawyers who are skilled at providing guidance and instruction to new panel lawyers.

Continuing Legal Education

HCLJ, Inc. makes every effort to keep our panel abreast of new developments in the legal community. To that end we provide a number of free CLE opportunities throughout the year. In addition, there are multiple free CLE opportunities offered through CPCS as well as other paid CLE vendors.