Skip to main content

Andrew W. Cowan

Criminal defense Attorney at Boston, MA

4.5   15 reviews

About Andrew

Learn Andrew’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
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.

Photos and videos

How to Win a Criminal Case
State MA
Status Administrative Suspension
Acquired 2008
Updated 09/19/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Andrew

PiltserCowan Law
25 Bay State Rd
FL 2
Boston, MA, 02215

Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
5 Star
 
87%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
13%
Posted by anonymous | August 6, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney Andrew Cowan Is Excellent, Genius, Friendly, Dedicated
Attorney Cowan, and his entire team (including, but not limited to, Attorney Meaghan Cary and Ray Lardie) were helpful, insightful, available, intelligent, reliable and supportive throughout a stressful ordeal. Attorney Cowan, or 'Andy', as I came to know him, is patient and comprehensive in listening and gathering information, creative and discerning in exploring various strategies, prudent and realistic in considering possible outcomes, and, most importantly simply excellent at litigation/ cross-examination. He was scientific and methodical in preparing key evidence, and he did so under a stressful time crunch. Attorney Meaghan Cary is also brilliant, compassionate, effective, and patient. Attorney Cary played a key role, with her creative thinking, accessibility and knowledge of the law, in our successful outcome. I believe Andy has a background in the sciences, and I assume this informs his amazing skills in critical thinking, analysis and preparation of evidence. Without going in to details, I needed his services, skill and expertise, through no fault of my own, and I needed it almost immediately. The amount of work he was able to do in a short amount of time, and the skills he demonstrated in knowledge of the law, high-tech cell phone (and other) evidence preparation, cross-examination, and patiently navigating me through a new and treacherous terrain from day 1 of this ordeal through to achieving a successful result, was nothing short of amazing. I am deeply grateful to Attorneys Cowan and Cary, and Ray Lardie, for their unerring work and support and expertise. Before finding Attorney Cowan, I had met with and consulted with at least 8 different attorneys/ law firms, in the course of a few days. Incidentally, Andy came highly recommended amongst his peers and colleagues, and is known to be a genius. I found this to be true, and additionally, he is dedicated to justice, to his client, and to a fair outcome, which is what he achieved for me, seemingly against some formidable odds. He is a workhorse, extremely efficient, very compassionate, and his communication skills--both that I observed and received--are second to none. He even has a way of not only communicating something, but explaining rather obscure or complex legal concepts or anomalies so that I could understand them perfectly and remain focused on the big picture or topic at hand. Often times when we need an attorney, we are either in crisis or just not in a comfortable place; Attorney Cowan and his team are a benevolent and effective force of guidance, protection, representation. His office is calm and productive and Andy exudes class and kindness and self-composure. He is so tuned in. Thank you Andy and Meaghan and Ray and the entire team!
Read less
Posted by RS | April 21, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing, empathetic, brilliant, and effective estate planning attorney!
I was so relieved to find Attorney Cowan. I had to figure out my estate planning and it was so confusing for me. I hired him to create a trust, write a will, do my health care proxy and my power of attorney. He made it so easy and was kind and empathetic throughout the process. He is also incredibly smart and knows his stuff. This is a confusing process so to know I could ask any question at any time and to have him answer it with both extraordinary patience and knowledge was such a relief. I now have everything squared away and thanks to Attorney Cowan I have such peace of mind that if the worst were to happen, my loved ones will have everything taken care of. If you ever need any help with your estate planning call Attorney Cowan. He really is so great.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | January 12, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best lawyer one could ever ask for!!
Probably one of the most down-to-Earth, nicest lawyers you'll ever work with. Andy really took the time to listen to every detail of my case and worked hard to ensure that no stone leave unturned. He was genuinely interested in understanding every nuance that governed my actions that lead to this hearing and was able to advise me as to how to best present myself at the time of my hearing. As a result of Andy's help, I was able to walk away with a 6m suspension rather than be charged -- so nothing on my record -- Thank Goodness!! I highly recommend Andy if you ever need a lawyer. KNOW that you can count on him to be there for you every step of the way.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | August 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding!
I hired Andy to help me contest a contract with a fraudulent real estate management company that billed thousands of dollars for services that they did not provide. Andy was the consummate professional - respectful, understanding, and extremely knowledgeable. He was also incredibly effective. Within days, he achieved remarkable success for me. The real estate company backed down immediately, releasing me from the contract without penalty. Andy then negotiated with the company to achieve a favorable settlement. He was top-notch in every respect, and I was blown away by how brilliantly he handled the situation. I recommend him without hesitation. He's terrific.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | March 23, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Knowledge, and understanding on Avvo call
I had a legal situation that I got on an Avvo consultation call with Mr. Cowan. He was understanding of the situation, knowledgeable and direct with his thoughts and advice. He discussed different potential outcomes and issues surrounding my situation and made me feel more at ease with where I stood, what my situation was, and what I could do/be facing. I highly recommend him for consulting and any further problems I will be in touch with him.
Read less
Posted by Jeff | November 6, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Probate Consultation
Attorney Cowan was exceptional in his knowledge and explanation of the probate process. His approach is personable, professional and above all firm on reality. I will hire Attorney Cowan for my probate needs. Before I knew about AVVO I hired Eskenas (See his Review on AVVO) whom squandered the financial resources available. I am in the process of recovering now and then will hire Attorney Cowan for my probate needs. I would highly recommend Attorney Cowan
Read less
Posted by Jon | October 5, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Made a stressful situation with my ex-landlord a lot less stressful
I consulted with Mr. Cowan after my landlord threatened legal action against my credit score when I asked, politely, about leaving my lease early. Mr. Cowan calmly and clearly explained my rights as a tenant, and highlighted several important reasons why the landlord might be ill-advised to sue me that I hadn't known about. After I communicated these to the landlord, he backed off. Absent this expertise, I might still be hiding under the bed waiting for the landlord to sue me. Can't recommend Mr. Cowan highly enough.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | September 7, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Effective, Enlightening, and Essentially Right About Everything
I'm at a loss for words, so I'm going to call upon one of my favorite recording artists, David Byrne, for help. You may find yourself in a dysfunctional relationship. You may find yourself sleepwalking through the wreckage of a phenomenally bad breakup. You may find yourself getting a call from a detective that you at first mistake for a prank, telling you that your ex has gone to the police and accused you of criminal conduct. And you may say to yourself, "Well, how did I get here?" Also, "What on earth do I do now?" This is precisely what happened to me, and my suggestion is that you contact Attorney Cowan posthaste. Although my terror and mortification and all-pervasive sense of unreality made it difficult for me to even decide what to eat for breakfast during this unfortunate time in my life, hiring Attorney Cowan to represent me at the Clerk Magistrate's hearing was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I found him to be sympathetic and good-humored, but also strategic and unwilling to sugar-coat anything (which turned out to be, without question, in my best interest, and most likely in yours as well). He understands the system inside and out, and knows that, regardless of the manifold reasons that we, as defendants, might feel we are not only innocent, but victims ourselves, asserting our fundamental goodness in every way possible probably won't do us any good where criminal cases are concerned. Attorney Cowan reviewed everything I shared with him and was always willing to listen (carefully), but also, in turn, shared a good bit of hard-earned insight into what would likely help and what could potentially backfire. Because my situation involved so many strong and unpleasant emotions, and because of my conviction (no pun intended) that I had been badly wronged, I would have likely rambled on and on and presented one superfluous document after another at the hearing if I had chosen to represent myself. And I'm certain I would have consequently wound up in even deeper trouble. After seeing Attorney Cowan in action, I can say with confidence that he chooses his battles (or rather, his clients' battles) wisely. I can also say that, while in my case he refrained from the bullying and antagonizing that I thought would be necessary in order to put an end to this nightmare, he was eminently well prepared to vaporize my accuser's specious claims. Thank you, Attorney Cowan, not only for giving me my life back, but for teaching me some valuable lessons that I believe will help me build a better one.
Read less
Posted by Shannon | December 30, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding defense attorney
Of all the lawyers that I could have gotten, I got the best. Mr Cowan is such a wonderful lawyer. He is always available. He has such a compassion for his clients. Mr Cowan will tell you his opinion as he sees it, no matter what. He is a genuinely honest person. I do not know what I would have done without him. Threw the years he was fighting my case the best support anyone could have had. I don't know if i ever could repay him.
Read less
Posted by Nate Oses | December 18, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent
Andrew W Cowan is a very very good attorney he toke mine and my brothers case and it was a serious one and got us the best deal I have ever Heard of . I hope to never be in trouble again myself but if I know of anyone that needs a real good lawyer I will tell them in a heartbeat about him. Thank you for everything.
Posted by Kevin | July 28, 2014
Thorough, Respectful, and Personable
Andy is a phenomenal problem solver and communicator in and out of the court room. In my case he was sure to take all factors of the accident into consideration, assuring that nothing could go wrong during my magistrate's hearing. He is patient and calm in times of stress - when things didn't go as expected in the court room, he took control of the situation and came through to win us the case.
Read less
Posted by Laurel | April 17, 2014
Exceptionally skilled attorney, with a healthy dose of kindness
Andrew Cowan provides legal counsel of the highest caliber. Even with complex matters, he is able to consult with a client, review relevant documents, identify the most critical pieces of written communication, and devise an action plan. Not only does he fully explain his reasoning, he is a great and active listener. Focused on collaboration and problem-solving, Attorney Cowan has consistently gone the extra mile (or marathon) to support me as a client and ensure I am fully informed. He is also available by whatever method we had identified as being most productive. Andy seems to be the definition of what young men and women entering law school want to be: someone who changes the world, one client's life at a time. I could not recommend him more highly.
Read less
Posted by Sean | August 11, 2013
Amazing Lawyer
Andrew Cowan represented me for a stressful year and four months. Andy informed me with everything that was going on was my case and every possible opition I could choose. He is very experianced with being up in front of a judge and never lets go without a fight. No matter how bad it gets in the court room, you still leave with a bit of a smile because Andy still pulls you up and gives you hope, or at lease makes you laugh with his great sense of humor. Andy is the one lawyer I will always contact if I get into trouble. Le's just hope I never need to again.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | September 12, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Your hiring process sucks. Meaghan Cary should be gone forever
How is that ponytail working for you now? Feel real superior. Meaghan Cary just Sh1t all over your law firm and it will probably implode in a week. You deserve exactly what you deserve. Your name will bw in infamy with hers. Good luck getting another job or starting another law firm. You are responsible and accountable for EVERY WORD from Meaghan Cary
Read less
Posted by anonymous | January 5, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Deceptive, Negligent, Personally Offensive
In the next month I will finalize my MA BAR complaint against Cowan. I will argue that he has violated not one but a multitude of codes of professional ethics of the BAR against me.Over 1.25 years, I endured a multitude of instances of Cowan egregiously neglecting core aspects of my case, and failing to provide me with even minimal protection against a shockingly vicious and retaliatory and housing-code violating landlord, including even sending that landlord and her attorney a letter asking that they not engage in defamation or harm against me in social spheres outside of the landlord-tenant matter. He also did not inquire into my financial status, my health status, my civil background, etc., during my first meeting with him. He was overtly reticent to engage in any meaningful discussion during my first meeting with him, did not interview me even 5% thoroughly, and as problems arose as the months proceeded, he evaded providing me with information and advising that any competent attorney would, ignored the problems, and the problems proliferated. He overtly lied to me a multitude of times about how he was investigating my apartment context, eg, he told me 5+ times over months that he would hire a plumber to assess the highly malfunctioning steam heating system (which was my primary complaint against the landlord), he never did, he avoided contacting the previous tenant of the apartment about the extreme radiator despite that I provided his contact information, he failed to interview the two tenants below me in a minimal through way including asking them if they heard my radiators, he objected to my personal opinion against my sadistic landlord arguing that I was being "sexist" (despite that she rampantly abused me for 8+ months, and despite that I had been abused only by women landlord-homeowners in the past), whereas he would refer to me impersonally as Mr.___ he would obsessively refer to the landlord by her first name, or first and last name, despite that he never met her, he clearly ignored my perspective about her, she kept abusing me over the next 1 year, and Cowan kept failing to protect me with even simple letters. He has immense communicative problems, I repeatedly told him that if anything needed to be discussed back and forth that I would prefer to do so by phone rather than countless aggressive emails, he nevertheless proceeded to respond to my voicemails with emails, and fueled continued misunderstanding and even hostility, I asked him to discontinue referring to my landlord by her first name, and first and last name, given her horrible chronic abuse against me, and he objected to this, and eventually agreed, and then later resumed doing so, including recently, clearly in order to cause me more distress, and in doing so, he dishonored his commitment and lied, his failure to communicate professionally is in violation of MA BAR standards of conduct. Countless violations. He obsessively reiterated my landlord's attorney's hostile statements about me (horrible personally offensive statements about me) as if he (Cowan) enjoyed doing so, I quickly asked him to not do so and that I would prefer to not be informed about what the defendent's attorney was saying about me, he honored this for some months, but then reverted to doing so intensely and repeatedly. He told me of my deposition date, and stated he would like to prepare me for it. He stated that the deposition would be benign and even boring. I trusted him. I was then subjected to 2.5 hours of the defendant's lawyer interrogating me and scoffing at me about highly personal aspects of my life...a vicious intimidation campaign. I later learned that this is common in such depositions, Cowan did not inform me of this to any degree. Cowan's patter of conduct was to entrap me maximally, so that I would not recede from the case. He subjected me personally, professionally, and financially to considerable damage, and clearly appeared to enjoy the game of doing so.
Read less
View less reviews

Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 250-450 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Andrew Cowan
  • 2013 - Present
  • Trial Attorney
  • Committee For Public Counsel Services
  • 2008 - 2013

Education

  • Cornell Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2008
  • University of Iowa
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 2008

Legal Cases

  • Photographing an unsuspecting nude person
  • All charges dropped
  • HPO Violation
  • Not Guilty in two cases
  • Distribution of Oxycodone
  • Not Guilty
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • National Lawyers Guild (Massachusetts chapter)
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • American Radio Relay League
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Hampshire County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2013 - 2014
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • German

Awards

  • Rising Star Award for Exemplary Public Service
  • Cornell Law School
  • 2012
  • Legal Worker Award
  • National Lawyers Guild (Massachusetts chapter)
  • 2012
  • Freeman Award for Civil/Human Rights
  • Cornell Law School
  • 2008

Publications

  • Trying Drug Cases in Massachusetts
  • Scientific Evidence and Protocols
  • 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Zealous Advocacy
  • Evidence
  • 2016
  • Superior Court Training
  • Discovery
  • 2016
  • Social Science and the Law
  • Social Science and Criminal Defense
  • 2016
  • Zealous Advocacy
  • Law of Evidence
  • 2015
  • Superior Court Training
  • Discovery
  • 2015
  • Zealous Advocacy
  • Law of Evidence
  • 2014
  • New Lawyer Training
  • Scientific Evidence in Drug Cases
  • 2014
  • New Lawyer Training
  • Scientific Evidence in Drug Cases
  • 2013
  • New Lawyer Training
  • Scientific Evidence in Drug Cases
  • 2012
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (20)
Given (12)
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"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."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 23
Relationship: Friend
"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."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 15
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Andy has been a friend and collaborator for many years. His experience and insight were invaluable to me in my work as a public defender, and I am delighted and proud to be working with him at PiltserCowan Law LLC."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Andy is an amazing, thoughtful and smart attorney. I trust his counsel and seek his advice often."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"An excellent lawyer who treats clients with patience, care, understanding, and utmost professionalism - an even better person and I wholeheartedly recommend for future services."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have conferred with and worked with Atty. Cowan on previous matters involving Massachusetts criminal law. I have found him to be knowledgeable and effective. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I met Attorney Cowan a few years ago. He is a master of the craft, and someone clients and attorneys alike can turn to for advice. Clients should feel secure with Attorney Cowan and his ability to represent them well."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Simply said, Andrew is a great criminal defense lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 31
Relationship: Co-worker
"Andy and I worked together for quite a few years. He is creative, tenacious, and cares deeply for his clients. I would trust him on any legal matter."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Andrew is a fabulous and hard working attorney."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Andrew is an exceptional lawyer and well-respected member of the Bar who subscribes to the highest standards of professionalism, service, ethics and integrity. He puts the interests of clients first and is credit to the legal profession. He is a credit to the Legal Profession and I’m proud to provide this Peer Endorsement as a colleague."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community, I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone looking for a lawyer who knows the law and truly cares about protecting the rights of his clients and getting them the most favorable result possible."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Andy is passionate about criminal defense, and definitely one of the best in the field."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Fine criminal defense lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Cowan is a thoughtful, creative and zealous advocate."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Estate planning
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense