Racial Justice Attorney – Center for Public Representation

Building upon its national intersectional work during COVID-19 that challenged discrimination against people with disabilities, the BIPOC community, and institutionalized persons, the Center for Public Representation (CPR) is expanding its racial justice activities and systemic reform initiatives.  CPR seeks an attorney with at least three years of experience to assist in this effort, to work directly with impacted and under-resourced communities, and to challenge the historical and structural racism that contributes to health inequities.

CPR is a national legal advocacy center that has been advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities for over 45 years.  Its staff, including nine attorneys, a paralegal, a communications coordinator, and administrative personnel, work in Northampton, Boston, and other locations.  Through its systemic advocacy, CPR has been a major force in promoting civil rights, community integration, self-determination and improvements in services for people with disabilities throughout the country.  CPR is one of the leaders of the Boston-based Coalition for Health Equity.

CPR’s system reform agenda includes numerous litigation and policy initiatives that are designed to challenge health inequities, end segregation and promote community integration, enforce and expand civil rights, ensure equal access to health resources and establish new standards of care for persons with disabilities.  The agenda, like CPR’s mission, focuses on supporting institutionalized and other persons with disabilities and people from BIPOC communities 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 at http://www.centerforpublicrep.org/litigation-and-major-cases/litigation.

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 and civil rights cases, and designing new systems of care for persons with disabilities in the community.  CPR undertakes new systemic initiatives in collaboration with BIPOC advocacy organizations, other public interest law firms, Protection and Advocacy (P&A) programs, legal services programs, and stakeholder groups.  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 P&A programs in each of the states and territories. It provides support on all institutional and community issues, systemic litigation, and the P&A programs’ authority to access records and facilities.

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 racial justice attorney to work with experienced attorneys on a number of system reform cases and policy initiatives designed to challenge health inequities, 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.

CPR is committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and encourages applications from members of the BIPOC and disability communities.  The attorney must have at least three years’ experience, preferably including knowledge of relevant disability and civil rights laws.  Experience in assisting in the development, prosecution, and trial of complex litigation is desirable.  The attorney will be part of CPR’s highly-experienced litigation team and will be offered ongoing training and mentoring.

The attorney can be based in either CPR’s Northampton or Boston offices (although Northampton is preferred), and can work primarily remotely, but is expected to spend considerable time with local (Massachusetts) community organizations and stakeholders.

The Salary and Benefits

CPR offers an excellent salary (DOE) and a unique benefit package, including health insurance; disability insurance; paid time off, including vacation, sick, and personal days; retreat time and a flexible spending account; and a 403(b) retirement plan.

Please send cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Cathy Costanzo, Center for Public Representation, 22 Green Street, Northampton, MA 01060, or by e-mail to info@cpr-ma.org, by September 15, 2021.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.