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Andrew W. Cowan

also known as Andy Cowan

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About me

I practice law to help real people solve real problems.  Whether you are coming to me for estate planning, estate administration, or criminal defense, I help you understand your situation in plain English, give you advice you can use, and work for what you want.


Estate Planning

Everybody comes to an estate planner with different priorities and different needs. In this area, my job is to sit down with you and make sure that I understand what you need. For some people, it is a simple matter of making sure that their will is up to date and treats their children fairly and equally. Others want to make sure that nobody can fight over their estate. At the next level, you may be thinking of avoiding probate, or protecting a disabled family member. Families with assets of $1 million and up need to think about how their estate will be taxed, and what they can do to make sure that they do not overpay. If you are in the habit of making charitable contributions, you can use charitable estate planning to generate tax benefits now or at the time of your death.


Regardless of your goals, I will tailor a plan that fits you and your family. Rather than selling cookie-cutter documents that you can’t understand, I will make sure that every part of your estate plan is custom-fit to you. You have the opportunity to review all of your documents and ask me questions before signing anything, and the plan isn’t done until you say it is. After planning is complete, I will check in with you periodically to make sure that your plan still fits, and keep you up to date regarding any changes in the law that might impact your estate.

Criminal Defense

Being charged with a crime is a frightening experience, and you'll need an experienced advocate to guide you through the process and fight for the best possible outcome.  I have represented hundreds of clients in all types of criminal cases, from shoplifting and trespass to attempted murder, kidnapping, bank robbery, and high-level drug trafficking. 


Different people have different goals in a criminal case.  Some people need to win the case at any cost, because a conviction would be devastating.  Others care more about minimizing the time that they spend in court, and getting it over with as soon as possible.  Still others are most worried about avoiding jail time, and can tolerate the possibility of a conviction or long delays so long as they stay out.  Whatever is most important to you, I will explain your options in plain English (not legalese), and work with you to figure out what approach is right for you.  After every hearing, I will take the time to talk with you about what happened in the courtroom and how that affects our strategy.  Before every hearing, I will check in with you to make sure that you know what to expect at the upcoming court date.


Even when a case seems hopeless, I will investigate it from every angle to find a defense. A seemingly-simple fraud case can get dismissed if the bank records are out of order.  Many drug cases are won because the police do not follow all of the technical requirements for stopping and searching a suspect.  Regardless of the case, I will look for any problem that I can use to your advantage.


Call or email me to discuss your case.  I will read through the police report, discuss the case with you, and go over all of your options during a free, 30 minute consultation.


Languages spoken: German

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 70%
    8 years
  2. Probate: 20%
    3 years
  3. Estate Planning: 10%
    3 years



Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

14 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Dominic L. Pang

    Attorney Cowan is a top notch criminal defense practitioner. I have personally observed him in court on many occasions. He is an persuasive and zealous advocate for his clients who possesses an keen legal mind and excellent understanding of criminal law.


    Dominic Pang Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Nicole Mann

    I endorse this lawyer. I have known Andrew personally and professionally for over ten years. He is dedicated, thorough, and straightforward in his work. He is one of the most upstanding professionals I have met in my career.


    Nicole Mann Contracts and agreements Attorney
    Relationship: Friend

Contact info

Law Office of Andrew Cowan

875 Massachusetts Avenue
Suite 31
Cambridge, MA, 02139


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Rising Star Award for Exemplary Public ServiceCornell Law School2012
Legal Worker AwardNational Lawyers Guild (Massachusetts chapter)2012
Freeman Award for Civil/Human RightsCornell Law School2008
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Trial AttorneyCommittee For Public Counsel Services2008 - 2013
Association namePosition nameDuration
Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar AssociationMember2015 - Present
Massachusetts Bar AssociationMember2013 - Present
National Lawyers Guild (Massachusetts chapter)Member2011 - Present
American Radio Relay LeagueMember2000 - Present
Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2013 - 2014
Hampshire County Bar AssociationMember2013 - 2014
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Cocaine Trafficking and Illegal Gun PossessionDismissed
Attempted Arson Jury TrialGuilty of lesser offense, time served.
Bank RobberiesProbation -- No Jail Time
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Trying Drug Cases in MassachusettsScientific Evidence and Protocols2015
Trying Drug Cases in MassachusettsScientific Evidence and Protocols2010
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Cornell Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor2008
University of IowaPhysics and AstronomyBS - Bachelor of Science2008
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Zealous AdvocacyEvidence2016
Superior Court TrainingDiscovery2016
Social Science and the LawSocial Science and Criminal Defense2016
Probation Violations in the District CourtProbation Violations in the District Court2016
Zealous AdvocacyLaw of Evidence2015
Superior Court TrainingDiscovery2015
Zealous AdvocacyLaw of Evidence2014
New Lawyer TrainingScientific Evidence in Drug Cases2014
Going Through the (Criminal) MotionsIdentification Issues2014
New Lawyer TrainingScientific Evidence in Drug Cases2013
Technology Assisted LitigationTablets in Court2012
New Lawyer TrainingScientific Evidence in Drug Cases2012