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Practice Areas

Since its founding, our firm has advocated for our clients in times of crises. We defend individuals facing criminal prosecution and the loss of liberty. We represent employees who face discrimination, retaliation, or other unlawful conduct at work. We also fight on behalf of clients embroiled in the hot-button legal issues of the day, whether that was defending people accused of avoiding the draft during the Vietnam war or representing students accused of misconduct at college and universities today, or those who have experienced discrimination and harassment in their education.

Criminal Defense

We have an extraordinary breadth of experience, not only representing clients in criminal cases in both state and federal court, but also in every stage of the criminal process, from the initial stages of investigation through trial and appeal. Whether you are facing the issuance of a criminal complaint for OUI or a potential life sentence for murder, our Boston criminal defense lawyers will work tirelessly for you. Our lawyers are experienced in handling all types of drug cases, and have excellent relationships with the best toxicologists and drug experts in the area to provide a thorough defense to each of our clients. We also have significant experience representing clients accused of violent crimes, including assault and battery and murder. Our deep understanding of issues that arise in sexual assault cases, including understanding the way alcohol and drugs can affect memory and perception and understanding the forensic medical evidence used in these cases allows us to vigorously defend clients accused of sex crimes. And because our Boston criminal defense lawyers attended the best law schools in the country, and nearly all clerked in the judicial system, we are uniquely prepared to write and argue persuasive criminal appeals should the need arise.

More information on our various criminal practice areas can be found here:

Employment Law

Few moments in life are as stressful as when an employment relationship sours and an employee’s job is on the line. We understand the delicate balance that employees may need to strike in trying to improve their situations without losing their jobs before they are ready to depart. Employment law is a rapidly-evolving area of the law, and our Massachusetts employment lawyers stay on top of the latest developments in the law and work to think of creative and novel legal arguments to assist our clients. We are equally comfortable advising clients behind the scenes as they work through difficult employment situations or helping to negotiate and draft separation agreements as we are litigating difficult discrimination and retaliation cases in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and in state and federal court. Our Massachusetts employment lawyers are intimately familiar with the various federal and state statutes governing employment relationships in Massachusetts, including those addressing gender discrimination, sexual harassment, race discrimination, disability discrimination, and wage and hour violations. For more information on our employment practice click here .

More information about our various employment law areas can be found here:

Student Rights & Title IX

For forty years, our firm has represented students accused of wrongdoing by their colleges and universities, helping them avoid significant discipline that could disrupt their educations and impede their ability to get work or attend graduate school. When schools started to change the way they handled campus sexual misconduct cases in 2011, leading to a significant increase in the number of students investigated for sexual misconduct, our Title IX lawyers already had a deep understanding of how college campus systems work and differ from the criminal and civil legal system. In the last few years, we have become nationally recognized for our work representing students (and faculty) involved in campus sexual misconduct proceedings – both those accused of misconduct and those who have allege they have experienced misconduct. Our Title IX lawyers have successfully required schools to ensure that our clients are treated fairly, and have obtained favorable outcomes for our clients. Where schools violate our client’s rights to fair treatment and to be free from discrimination, we have will not hesitate to litigate their cases in state and federal court. We also have continued our long-standing work representing students and faculty accused of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, cheating, and research misconduct. Colleges’ and students’ reliance on the internet and web-based programs for assigning and submitting work makes this an ever-changing area in which to practice, and our lawyers understand the ways in which colleges interpret their academic honesty policies, as well as the computer forensic evidence that may be relied on to address these claims. More information on our student rights practice can be found here:


Our lawyers use their extensive backgrounds as trial lawyers, their exceptional academic backgrounds, and their experiences in prestigious appellate clerkships in state and federal court to provide appellate representation to clients in both criminal and civil matters.

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 to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
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.