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Meaghan M. Cary

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Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Defense


Meaghan M. Cary joined PiltserCowan Law LLC as a Supervising Attorney in July 2018. Meaghan and Andy met while they were both working as public defenders back in 2008. They have been friends and collaborators ever since, sharing a passion for the practice of law.

Meaghan spent her youth in the wine country town of Petaluma, California and the small college town of Columbia, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2003 Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. with honors in Philosophy and a minor in Classical Humanities. Meaghan attended Harvard Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate in 2006 when she was just 24 years old. While at Harvard, Meaghan was on the Women's Law Journal Article Selection Committee which evaluated articles and determined the content of the journal. While at Harvard she was the law school chair for the 2004 LGBT Policy and Law Conference, the subject of which was "LGBT Rights as Human Rights." She also participated in Harvard Defenders, a student organization that represents indigent people at criminal probable cause hearings.

During law school, Meaghan interned with the Missouri Public Defender's Office Capital Litigation Division where she worked with the defense team on several death penalty cases. The following year Meaghan interned with the Boston branch of what was then KLNG, which gave her insight to the monied world of big law firms and how they operate. The contrast between these internships showed her that she wanted to be in a courtroom more than a conference room and illuminated her growing passion for criminal defense. During her 3L year she participated in the Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute with Professor Charles Ogletree where she received training from some of the best criminal law practitioners in the country. Upon graduation, Meaghan went to work for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in the Public Defender Division as part of the first class of full-time professional public defenders for the Massachusetts District Courts.

Criminal defense truly was Meaghan's calling, and twelve years later she was still doing it. As a public defender she represented clients charged with a wide variety of offenses including OUI, drug offenses, domestic violence, assault & battery, and property crimes. During her time as a public defender Meaghan represented over one-thousand clients which gave her extensive experience in all areas of criminal defense practice from pre-arraignment to post-trial. She held her office's highest success rate on motions that resulted in dismissal of charges or suppression of evidence and developed a reputation for her creative and aggressive pre-trial motions practice. During her time at CPCS she also specialized in mental health cases and served on the defense team for the Cambridge District Court Recovery Session.

Meaghan is excited to bring her professional experience and compassion to PiltserCowan's clients and practice.


  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • Juris Doctorate - 2006
    • Honors: Women’s Law Journal Article Selection Committee
    • Honors: Chair for the 2004 LGBT Policy and Law Conference
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
    • B.A. - 2003
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Philosophy
    • Minor: Classical Humanities

Past Positions

  • Missouri Public Defender’s Office Capital Litigation Division, Intern
  • KLNG, Intern
  • Committee for Public Counsel Services in the Public Defender Division

Current Employment Position

  • Supervising Attorney, 2018