Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Internship - 2019 Mental Health Litigation Division

    Job Locations US-MA-Boston
    # of Openings
    Posted Date
  • Overview

    The Mental Health Litigation Division is committed to protecting the legal and constitutional rights of citizens facing civil commitment to mental hospitals, Guardianships and involuntary treatment including the administration of anti-psychotic medications. We do this through four staffed offices and a panel of private attorneys. All of our attorneys receive training in issues relating to mental health and the statutory and constitutional rights of our clients. We also provide training to attorneys in other divisions in mental health issues.


    The Mental Health Litigation Division provides attorneys for civil commitment proceedings in the District Courts and the Boston Municipal Court as well as attorneys in the Probate and Family Courts for guardianships, substituted judgment proceedings, and cases involving the validation of health care proxies. Civil commitments are handled by both panel attorneys and staff attorneys, while all of the cases in Probate Court are handled by private panel attorneys.


    The Mental Health Litigation Division offers interns a variety of experiences and assignments under supervision from highly experienced attorneys. 


    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Law Students who have taken classes in evidence, criminal law, constitutional law, critical legal theory, and/or trial advocacy
    • Law students who speak a foreign language
    • Law students who have experience or demonstrated interest working with individuals with mental illness.
    • Law students who are able to represent clients under the supervision of a staff trial attorney in court per SJC Rule 3:03.


    Interns in the Boston Administrative Office work directly with attorneys primarily on the following tasks: 


    • Perform legal research on issues affecting clients with mental disabilities, including appeals and systemic issues, and specific issues which arise during direct representation of clients.
    • Assist in preparing trainings for attorneys representing clients in mental health proceedings.
    • Handle calls from patients in mental health facilities. 

    Interns in the Boston/Roxbury, Brockton, and Worcester staff offices work directly with attorneys primarily on the following tasks:


    • Assist with direct client representation including client meetings at mental health facilities, reviewing medical      records, preparing for trials by drafting direct and cross examinations & arguments, engaging in legal      research, assisting the client by exploring discharge       
    • Work with independent medical experts including psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health      professionals as requested by staff attorneys.


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