Common Questions

Common Questions About The MAC

What is the MAC Office?

MAC stands for Managed Assigned Counsel. The MAC office primarily functions as a re-establishment of the previous court system for managing appointments of qualified attorneys to represent indigent clients accused of crimes. Prior to the creation of the MAC office, appointments for misdemeanor cases—in addition to qualifications for attorneys receiving said appointments—were determined by the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law judges. The MAC office was thereafter created to serve as an independent entity within Harris County for assuming this duty within the criminal justice system.  The MAC office secondarily functions as a support system for MAC-appointed attorneys (referred to as court-appointed attorneys under the previous regime). Through our office, we have (resource) attorneys on staff to assist MAC-appointed attorneys with case coordination, client resources, litigation support, and skill development. Additionally, we have an immigration attorney on staff to assist MAC-appointed attorneys with clients impacted by such issues; social workers on staff to assist with client needs apart from litigation as well as to provide mitigation assistance; and an investigator on staff to assist with outsourcing investigation to help with case theory development.

What is a MAC-appointed attorney?
A MAC-appointed attorney is a private attorney who has an independent law firm with clients who pay for direct representation. A private attorney becomes a MAC-appointed attorney when in addition to their private practice, they also accept appointments by the MAC office of cases for clients who cannot afford representation.

How do I become a MAC-appointed attorney?

To become a MAC-appointed attorney, interested applicants will need to apply through the MAC office to be placed on our appointment list. We are in the process of finalizing the requirements necessary to apply and remain on our appointment list. Once that process complete, an announcement will be made through our website.

Is the MAC office accepting applications to become a MAC-appointed attorney?

Not at this time as we are finalizing the requirements to apply and remain on our appointment list.   Until an announcement is made by our office regarding the application process, all interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Harris County Office of Court Management. 

Is the MAC office accepting employment applications to become staff?

Please visit our website under employment opportunities for vacancies.

Are MAC-appointed attorneys employed by the MAC?

No. MAC-appointed attorneys function as independent contractors but receive appointments through the MAC Office. The MAC Office supports MAC-appointed attorneys in their representation  for their appointed cases only.

Does the MAC office report to judges, prosecutors, or MAC-appointed attorneys?

None of the above. While the MAC office is a Harris County Department, we exist as an independent entity for purposes of managing appointments among MAC-appointed attorneys. The MAC office reports directly to the Harris County Commissioners Court.

Does the MAC office handle appointments for all criminal cases in Harris County?

No. The MAC office is limitedly managing appointments for misdemeanor cases (i.e. the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law) by “phasing-in” its operations by court as our staff continually develops its capacity to phase-in all sixteen courts at law. Additionally, the MAC office is proud to announce that we will soon be managing appointments for felony cases in the Harris County Criminal District Courts.  Please continue to visit our website for updates as to when our felony defense services will become operational. At this time, the MAC office does not handle appointments for children accused of a crime (i.e. juvenile cases).

Is this the only MAC office in the State of Texas?

No. Out of the 254 counties in Texas, there are four other MAC Offices which exist in Lubbock County, Collin County, Travis County, and Bexar County.