What We Do
The Center for Public Representation is a public interest law firm which has been assisting people with disabilities, both in the community and in institutional settings, for over forty years. Its staff of attorneys and paralegals work in its Northampton and Newton offices, although much of the Center's activities occur throughout Massachusetts and in other jurisdictions. Through its systemic advocacy over the past four decades, the Center has been a major force in promoting improvements in services for citizens with mental disabilities throughout the country.
With funding from the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Center is a statewide backup center and provides statewide technical assistance and support to public and private attorneys who represent people with disabilities in Massachusetts. It provides support to legal services programs throughout the state on mental disability issues, co-counsels system reform cases with legal services and other public interest organizations to enforce the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Center is also a national support center, providing training, and technical assistance to protection and advocacy programs (P&As) in each of the fifty states and territories under a contract with National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). It serves as the national technical assistance and support center on all institutional and community issues involving persons confined in psychiatric hospitals, mental retardation centers, nursing facilities, jails, prisons, forensic institutions, juvenile justice facilities, and all types of community programs.
To obtain legal representation
Unfortunately, CPR is seldom able to provide legal representation in individual cases, except those involving SSI/SSDI benefits. To obtain legal representation regarding other matters, please contact the protection and advocacy system in your state. Protection and advocacy (P&A) systems in each state are federally funded to assist people with disabilities in understanding and asserting their rights. To learn how to contact your state's P&A (and for other helpful information), please visit the website of their national association, at The National Disability Rights Network.
The Center lacks the resources and specific knowledge of individual states' laws to respond effectively to individual inquiries or requests for assistance, but help is available from your state's protection and advocacy system. Since we seldom can provide representation in individual cases, you can contact your P&A through the link above or NDRN.
Massachusetts residents may find legal help and a list of legal services programs at www.masslegalhelp.org.