Litigating Attorney

PDF of Job Description

The Center for Public Representation (CPR) is a national legal advocacy center that has been advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities for over forty years.  Its staff of eleven attorneys, a director of its Supported Decision-Making project, and two paralegals work in its Northampton, Newton and D.C. offices. CPR recently established a national policy program that primarily is located in its D.C. office. Through its systemic advocacy, CPR has been a major force in promoting community integration, self-determination and improvements in services for people with disabilities throughout the country. 

CPR’s system reform agenda includes numerous litigation and policy initiatives that are designed to promote community integration, equal access, improved services, and new standards of care for persons with disabilities.  The agenda, like CPR’s mission, focuses on supporting institutionalized and other persons with disabilities to return to, or remain in, their homes and communities and to be full and equal participants in all community activities.  This agenda, which is periodically revised and updated, guides CPR’s legal reform activities.  A summary of the CPR’s systemic litigation agenda can be found here

CPR has a core of highly experienced attorneys who work, almost exclusively, on implementing its systemic agenda, creating new system reform initiatives, litigating complex disability rights cases, and designing new systems of care for persons with disabilities in the community. CPR undertakes new systemic initiatives in collaboration with other public interest law firms, P&A agencies, legal services programs, and consumer advocacy organizations.  In addition, CPR has created special partnerships with several large private firms that frequently co-counsel major class action cases.

CPR also is a national support center for the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), providing training and technical assistance to Protection and Advocacy (P&A) programs in each of the fifty states and territories. It provides support on all institutional and community issues, systemic litigation, and P&A access and authority. 

In addition, with funding from the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), CPR is a statewide backup center and provides technical assistance and support to public and private attorneys who represent people with disabilities in the Commonwealth.  It co-counsels system reform cases with legal services and other public interest organizations to enforce the rights of persons with disabilities in Massachusetts.

CPR is committed to developing a new generation of attorneys who can lead this agenda for at least the next decade.  It seeks to recruit, train, mentor, and support attorneys of various levels of experience to become the new leaders of CPR.

The Position

CPR seeks a litigating attorney to lead a number of system reform cases and policy initiatives designed to expand community living opportunities, improve service systems and supports, promote equal access, and redefine standards of care for persons with disabilities.  The attorney will have the opportunity to initiate, develop, and try complex civil rights cases, including both injunctive and damage actions. 

The attorney must have at least five years’ experience with complex litigation in federal court, preferably including an understanding of relevant disability and civil rights laws, including the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes (Americans with Disabilities Act, § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Medicaid), and state laws.  Experience in leading and/or assisting in the development, prosecution, and trial of complex litigation is highly desirable.  The attorney should ideally be familiar with disability services and systems and have some experience in designing and implementing remedial orders in system reform litigation.  The attorney will be part of CPR’s highly-experienced litigation team and will be offered ongoing mentoring by its directors. 

The Salary and Benefits

Excellent salary, DOE.  CPR offers a unique benefit package, and salaries commensurate with small private firms.   

CPR values diversity and strongly encourages and welcomes people of color, people with disabilities, members of the LBGQT community and people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to apply. 

The position will be located in Massachusetts, preferably in CPR’s Northampton office.  Please send cover letter and resume to Cathy Costanzo, Center for Public Representation, 22 Green Street, Northampton, MA 01060, or by e-mail to, by January 31, 2020.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.