The interactive map below gives you a 50-state view of your choice: the latest civil right to counsel activities, the status of civil right to counsel law by type of case (child welfare, paternity, guardianship, etc.), the efforts in which the NCCRC is involved, or the states where NCCRC has a presence.  After you select an option, instructions will appear above the map to explain how that option works.  Please read the disclaimers below the map.



  • No information in the map should be taken as legal advice.  Moreover, information in the map is to be taken as-is, with no guarantees of its accuracy.
  • We add new cases, statutes, and other developments every day as we learn of them.  The last comprehensive evaluation of all existing information for each state occurred in 2013. 
  • The map does not display any negative law (i.e., cases, laws, or other developments declaring there is not a right to counsel in a certain area).
  • In the "Right to Counsel Status" view, sometimes a state will be listed as not having a right to counsel for a certain subject area only because that subject area doesn't apply to that state. For instance, some states have no requirement that a minor obtain parental consent for an abortion, and therefore have no judicial procedures for bypassing consent that would need the presence of a lawyer for the minor.
  • In some states, unpublished opinions are cited where the state rules appear to allow such citation. However, such rules change from time to time and it is possible that an unpublished opinion may be relied upon in a jurisdiction that no longer allows such authority.

  • For rights to counsel pertaining to children, the map considers a child to have a categorical right to "counsel" if either of the following is true: 1) the court must appoint client-directed counsel; or 2) the court must appoint a guardian ad litem where such GAL must be an attorney.  In future versions of the map, the latter situation will be treated as a "qualified" right to counsel.
  • Instructions on how each map view works can be found right above the map.

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Key Total States
Categorical Right To Counsel -
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel -
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified -