Committee for Public Counsel Services

Internship - 2020 Fall PDD Boston Office

Job Locations US-MA-Boston
# of Openings
Posted Date
Unpaid Internship


The Boston Office is currently seeking law students for Fall 2020 internship positions.  Interns must be able to commit to at least 21 hours, three full days per week. At this time, we are accepting applications for Fall 2020 only. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and list of references no later than July 1, 2020.



CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation.  We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs.  In striving always to achieve those goals, CPCS embraces diversity and inclusion as core values and is steadfast in our commitment to:  (1) ensuring that CPCS staff members represent a broad range of human difference and experience; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS's leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.



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. 


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



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


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