Committee for Public Counsel Services Fall 2021 Boston Internship

View the internship posting here.

The Boston Office is currently seeking law students for Fall 2021 internship positions.  The fall internship will run from September 8 to December 3, 2021. Interns must be enrolled in law school. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and writing sample no later than July 23, 2021. In their cover letters, candidates are encouraged to share any of the lived or professional experiences that draw you towards public defense. We are considering applications on a rolling basis, so we strongly encourage applicants to submit their completed applications as soon as practically possible. If you have any questions, please reach out to the intern coordinator Cristina Rodrigues at crodrigues@publiccounsel.net

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT:

CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation.  We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs.  It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility each member of the CPCS community.

Position Overview:

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is Massachusetts’ state-wide public defender organization. The Boston Office defends people accused of misdemeanors and felonies in six courts in the Boston area: the South Boston, East Boston, Brighton, Charlestown and Central Divisions of the Boston Municipal Court, as well as the Chelsea District Court. We defend clients against a broad range of charges, including firearm offenses, drug charges, assaults and theft offenses. We also advocate for clients in mental health court, veteran’s court, drug court and homeless court programs.

Students are an integral part of our office and work closely with our team of dedicated attorneys, social service advocates and investigators. Students qualified to appear in court under SJC Rule 3:03 will represent clients at arraignments, bail appeals, and pretrial motions, all under the close supervision of experienced attorneys. Out-of-court work includes legal research and writing, case investigation, client meetings, and assisting attorneys with the preparation of trials. Students are also encouraged to attend court as often as they would like to observe motions and trials.

Our office is committed to helping to prepare students to be excellent public defenders. All students begin their internship by participating in an intensive two day training focused on client advocacy skills and Massachusetts criminal practice. During the summer, our office hosts a weekly brown bag lunch series for interns. Interns are also welcome to attend all office trainings and brainstorm sessions.

Our office and all of our courts are easily accessible via public transportation, so students are not required to have access to a car.

Qualifications:

The Boston Office is currently seeking law students for Fall 2021 internship positions.  The fall internship will run from September 8 to December 3, 2021. Interns must be enrolled in law school. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and writing sample no later than July 23, 2021. In their cover letters, candidates are encouraged to share any of the lived or professional experiences that draw you towards public defense. We are considering applications on a rolling basis, so we strongly encourage applicants to submit their completed applications as soon as practically possible. If you have any questions, please reach out to the intern coordinator Cristina Rodrigues at crodrigues@publiccounsel.net

All students who will have completed their first year of law school by the start of their internship are eligible to apply. Students who have successfully completed or are enrolled in an evidence or trial practice class, with the written approval by their Dean, may represent clients under the supervision of a staff public defender in court per SJC Rule 3:03. However, students who will not be eligible for 3:03 certification are also encouraged to apply.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Students who have taken classes in evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, critical legal theory, and/or trial advocacy
  • Students with experience working with low income clients, people of color, immigrants, LGBT people, and other underrepresented groups
  • Students with experience working with clients with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders
  • Students who speak a foreign language

Responsibilities:

Interns work directly with attorneys, investigators, and social service advocates on the following:

  • Representing clients at arraignment and arguing for their release from imprisonment (if 3:03 certified)
  • Representing clients at pretrial hearings, including hearings on motions to dismiss (if 3:03 certified)
  • Meeting with and interviewing clients in the office and at various prisons, jails and hospitals
  • Conducting legal research
  • Drafting pretrial motions and legal memoranda
  • Assisting attorneys to prepare for motions and trials
  • Investigating cases, including visiting the locations of alleged offenses and interviewing witnesses

EEO Statement

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies.  Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact the Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at lbacon@publiccounsel.net