Super Lawyers
Best Lawyers
Best Law Firms

Boston Criminal and Civil Litigation Lawyers

At Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, we are experienced trial lawyers who specialize in criminal defense, employment law, students' rights, and other civil litigation.

Experience. Our legal power comes from decades of experience and a breadth and depth of knowledge, skill, and creativity that is unmatched. For over fifty years, our Boston criminal defense lawyers have defended clients in courtrooms in Massachusetts and across the country. Our Massachusetts employment attorneys have won multimillion dollar jury verdicts. Our experience in criminal and civil litigation gives us confidence in the courtroom and the skills necessary to craft strong, creative, and persuasive legal arguments. While we have no shortage of impressive credentials, we are also grounded: We use common sense and an understanding of human nature – honed over years of practicing law in Massachusetts and around the country – to work to get the best possible results for our clients.

Advocacy. Our lawyers are passionate and dedicated advocates for our clients. We understand that our clients' lives are impacted by the legal problems they face. They need and deserve strong, effective advocacy and representation. Our firm grew out of founder Norman Zalkind's work in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The ideals of freedom and equality that motivated Norman's visionary work representing criminal defendants in Mississippi and protestors, radicals, and draft resisters in Massachusetts continue to motivate our Boston criminal defense lawyers today. Each of our lawyers brings to this firm a background in different areas of the law; they choose to work here because of their commitment to justice and to helping those who have been treated unfairly, whether that means representing criminal defendants struggling to protect their liberty, employees fighting for workplace rights, or students facing disciplinary proceedings at their colleges.

We understand that many of our clients come to us during extraordinarily stressful moments in their lives, and we are privileged to fight with our clients to protect their rights in these circumstances. Our Massachusetts employment attorneys provide close personal attention, thoughtful judgment, thorough preparation, and a creative approach in every case. We leave no stone unturned in serving our clients. Whether the fight involves ensuring that the constitutional rights of criminal defendants are not violated; standing strong to ensure that civil rights, workplace rights, and students' rights are respected; or taking a stand for freedom and equality – we bring our passion to bear for our clients

Success. We have a winning track record. In a criminal case, nothing beats the sound of a jury saying “not guilty” and our Boston criminal defense attorneys have stood beside many clients who have heard just those words. In civil cases, too, our Massachusetts employment attorneys are known for achieving some of the best jury verdicts in the state in our practice areas. Our ability to win at trial enhances our ability to resolve cases by agreement and we have represented many clients who have had their cases resolved, without going to trial, with excellent results.

Our peers and clients recognize us as leaders in the legal field. U.S. News and World Report ranks us in their Tier 1 ranking for white-collar criminal defense, non-white-collar criminal defense, and employment law on behalf of individuals. Our lawyers and our of-counsel attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers in America, Massachusetts Super Lawyers, and New England Super Lawyers. Fortune Magazine recognizes the firm as one of its top ranked law firms, and Martindale Hubbell, the best known directory of lawyers and law firms, lists our firm in its “Preeminent” category.

We recognize that no two cases are alike. For every client we represent, our goal is to achieve the best possible results and we bring our passion, skill and experience to that effort.

If you are interested in speaking with us about your case, please call us at (617) 742-6020 or use the contact form to speak with one of our Boston criminal defense or employment attorneys.

Client Reviews
I hired Mr Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein Law in April 2018 to get help for my son on an education-related matter. We worked primarily with Zoraida Fernandez, an Associate, and when needed met with Ruth O'Meara-Costello, a Partner. Zoraida was excellent. The whole process was emotionally exhausting and depressing and Zoraida was the only bright light in all of it... Nancy O.
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.
Attorney Spotlight
Melissa Ramos

Melissa focuses her litigation practice on criminal, employment, and Title IX and university discipline cases. She is an active member of the Boston Bar Association as a New Lawyer Liaison for the Criminal Law Section and the Women’s Bar Association as a member of the Women of Color committee.

Melissa represents clients facing criminal matters at the state and federal level on a range of charges, including operating under the influence, domestic assault and battery, and social security fraud.

Melissa represents employees to enforce their rights to be treated fairly in the workplace, including in wage and hour cases, discrimination cases, and unemployment benefits cases.

Boston Lawyer Blog
Case Results
Boston Jury Awards Nearly $11 Million Verdict Against the City
Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah won a nearly $11 million verdict in a race discrimination and retaliation case against the City of Boston...
Acquittal on All Charges in First-Degree Murder Case
In a first-degree murder case, which included charges of armed assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm, Norman Zalkind and Rachel Stroup won...
$7.6 Million Verdict in Employment Case
Inga Bernstein and Norman Zalkind won a $7.6 million verdict in a case charging the MBTA with retaliation against its former Chief Administrative Officer...
Recent News
Contact Us
  1. 1 Dedicated Advocacy
  2. 2 Over 50 years of Experience
  3. 3 Ranked as a Tier 1 Firm in U.S. News & World Report

Fill out the contact form or call us at (617) 742-6020 to schedule your consultation.