The Mental Health Commitment Defense Unit of CPCS is seeking applicants for Summer 2023 internship positions across the Commonwealth. We are interested in law students (both with and without SJC Rule 3:03 Certification), graduate students, and undergraduate students for opportunities with the Mental Health Litigation Division.
We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.
We stand with our Clients and the Community in the fight for Justice. We are dedicated to providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense and protection of fundamental constitutional and human rights. Our staff across the Commonwealth embodies a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. It is through these differences in age, ethnicity, geographic origin, race, faith, religion, and progressive values, that we are able to best serve our clients. Through our internship program we seek to hire, develop, and hopefully retain talented people from all backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized, or underrepresented groups to apply.
The clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS attorneys to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, genders and/or sexual orientation identities, abilities, and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics.
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.
The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one. The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
Interested candidates should have a demonstrated commitment to the principle of zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the protection of fundamental constitutional and human rights.
Candidates must also:
Interested applicants should submit (1) Resume, (2) Personal Mission Statement (no more than two pages detailing your interest in the internship, your personal qualities and background, and what draws you to this work, and (3) Writing Sample.
Applicants should specify preferred office locations for the Summer 2023 Internship Program.
Applications received prior to January 17, 2023 will be given preference.
INTERNSHIP FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
CPCS has a limited number of paid internship opportunities for Summer 2023. In order to be considered, applicants may complete the following application: https://www.publiccounsel.net/hr/cpcs-intern-scholarship-program/
For students who are not selected for a paid internship, CPCS can work with students to support the receipt of externship credit or outside funding.
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 Chief Human Resources Officer, Ted Waterman, at firstname.lastname@example.org
MENTAL HEALTH LITIGATION DIVISION OVERVIEW
The Mental Health Litigation Division provides individuals with attorneys for Civil Commitment proceedings in the District Courts and the Boston Municipal Court and provides attorneys to the Probate and Family Courts for Guardianships and Substituted Judgment proceedings, including cases involving the Validation of Health Care Proxies, Nursing Home Admission and Do Not Resuscitate orders. Civil Commitments are handled by both panel and staff attorneys, while almost all cases in the Probate Court are handled by private panel attorneys.
Mental Health Commitment Defense Units
Interns will assist attorneys who are dedicated to protecting the legal and constitutional rights of citizens facing involuntary civil commitment to mental health facilities, guardianships, and involuntary medical treatment for mental illness, including the administration of anti-psychotic medications. This unit offers interns opportunities to perform legal research affecting clients with mental disabilities (including appeals and systemic issues), assist in preparing trainings for attorneys, assist with calls from patients in mental health facilities regarding legal status and provide the necessary resources or counsel, all of which will be under the supervision of highly experienced attorneys.
Mental Health Litigation Division Trial Support and Oversight Unit
Interns with the Boston Trial Support and Oversight Office work directly with attorneys and 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. Interns will also have an opportunity to assist in preparing trainings for attorneys representing clients in mental health proceedings and will take calls from patients in mental health facilities regarding legal status and provide the necessary resources or counsel.
OVERVIEW OF REGIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH COMMITMENT DEFENSE UNIT OFFICE LOCATIONS
The Southeast Region is home to an ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse population of immigrants dating back to the 19th century whaling industry. Brockton known as the “City of Champions” because it was home to former undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, Rocky Marciano, and middleweight boxing champion Marvin Hagler. Fall River was once the leading textile manufacturer center in the country and maintains the world’s largest collection of World War II naval vessels at Battleship Cove. New Bedford is home to the Whaling National Historic Park. Hyannis is known as the gateway to esteemed Cape Cod and is home to the iconic Kennedy family compound. The area offers beautiful sand beaches, numerous state parks, and quaint towns with picturesque harbors.
The Southeast Region of CPCS includes the Mental Health Commitment Defense Unit office location in Brockton.
The West Region has a diverse topography from the Berkshire Mountains to the banks of the Connecticut River. The region is home to 22 colleges/universities which is the 2nd highest concentration of higher learning institutions aside from the Boston Metropolitan area. The area has long been patronized by artists and is recognized for the Eric Carle Museum, Tanglewood, and Norman Rockwell Museum. The area is famous for all of its “first innovations” including basketball, volleyball, American gas-powered automobile, motorcycle company, commercial radio station, use of integrated parts in manufacturing, railroad sleep car and the American dictionary. The city of Worcester became a center for the American Revolution that was recognized for his industry and as a result attracted many immigrants of European descent. The city of Springfield was designated by George Washington for an Armory that became the site of Shay’s Rebellion and is now a national park and site to the world’s largest collection of historic American firearms. The city played a pivotal role in the Civil War as a stop for the Underground Railroad.
The West Region of CPCS includes Mental Health Commitment Defense Unit office locations in Worcester and Northampton.
The Central Region is famous for its rich history. Boston is not only the capital of the Commonwealth but one of the oldest municipalities in the United States and the scene of several significant events in the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. It was a port and manufacturing hub and a center of education and culture, as well as home to the first public park, public school, and subway system in the United States. The area is home to professional sports teams, including Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, and the Boston Red Sox. The city of Roxbury is known to serve as the “heart of black culture in Boston” and is home to an extremely diverse population. The city of Quincy is recognized as the “City of Presidents” as it was the birthplace of John Adams, and his son John Quincy Adams, as well as, John Hancock, who was president of the Continental Congress and first signor of the Declaration of Independence, and first and third governor of Massachusetts. This city was home to first commercial railroad in the United States and had a thriving granite industry.
The Central Region of CPCS includes the Trial Support & Oversight Unit in Boston and the Mental Health Commitment Defense Unit office location in Roxbury.