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Paul R. DeRensis

Attorney Profile

Top Rated State, Local & Municipal Attorney in Boston, MA

Brooks & Derensis, P.C.
260 Franklin St, Suite 700
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 857-259-5200
Fax: 857-259-5212
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2005, 2007 - 2016
Licensed in Massachusetts Since: 1975
Education: Harvard Law School
Practice Areas: State, Local & Municipal, Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Environmental, Government Contracts, Land Use/Zoning
Attorney Profile

Attorney Paul R. DeRensis is a partner with Brooks & DeRensis, P.C., law firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Regarded as among the preeminent lawyers in the country, Mr. DeRensis has nearly 50 years of total legal experience, and he provides exceptional counsel and support to a diverse range of clients throughout Boston and all across the state who have legal needs involving any of the following:

  • Public procurement
  • Land use and zoning
  • Environmental law
  • Civil rights
  • Contracts
  • Ethics
  • Municipal finance and Department of Revenue issues
  • Special education
  • Retirement issues
  • Corporate governance for nonprofit and for-profit entities

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. DeRensis has represented a number of public entities in his region, including various municipalities, school districts, and police and fire departments as well as an airport, a land bank and a water company. As such, he has gained considerable experience dealing with various city councils and commissions, boards, and departments as well as with the key personnel, stakeholders and decision-makers.

The strong professional relationships he has developed serve him well as he seeks to help his clients achieve their goals as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, and he has achieved a long record of obtaining successful results for his clients.

In honor of his outstanding professionalism and service, Mr. DeRensis has earned an AV Preeminent peer review rating* from Martindale-Hubbell as well as a listing in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers for municipal and zoning law. He has also received a top-rated lawyer designation from the Boston Globe in the areas of government law and zoning and planning and land use along with many other top rankings and endorsements from his peers.

A 1966 graduate of Harvard College, Mr. DeRensis obtained his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1969. He is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts as well as before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st and 2nd Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A leader in his field, Mr. DeRensis has served as an elected town selectman for a local municipality as well as chairman of the board of selectmen. He has also served on various other municipal boards and committees, and he has served as president and vice president of the Massachusetts Selectman’s Association. For nine years now, he has served on the Governor’s Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Committee, and he accepted an appointment by the state's governor as public member of the Board of Registration in Medicine.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 40%State, Local & Municipal
  • 20%Administrative Law
  • 10%Civil Rights
  • 10%Environmental
  • 10%Government Contracts
  • 10%Land Use/Zoning
Focus Areas

Environmental Law


12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2005, 2007 - 2016

About Paul R. DeRensis

First Admitted: 1970, New York

Professional Webpage:


  • 12 times as a New England Super Lawyers, most recently in 2016
  • One of the Boston Globe’s Top Rated Lawyers of 2015 in both the Government Law category and the Zoning, Planning and Land Use category
  • Martindale Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers, Municipal and Zoning Law (Volume 1 page 1258A and 1258B)

Educational Background

  • Harvard College

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • “Discovery and Pretrial Defense in a Proprietary Rights Case”, Contesting Computer Disputes, Harcourt, Brace & Janovitch, 1981
  • Handbook for Massachusetts Selectmen, Fourth Edition, 2014, Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Mass. Municipal Association
  • “The Civil Liabilities of Data Base Operators”, The Practical Lawyer, July 1978 (Reprinted), DATA EXCHANGE, March-April 1979)
  • “Impact of Computers on Professional Malpractice”, The Practical Lawyer, June 1979 (Reprinted), Case & Comment, May-June 1980)

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Public Member, Board of Registration in Medicine, 2013 - 2016

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Board Member, Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association
  • DeRensis is an eight-term elected official serving as a town selectman. He was also chairman of a Board of Selectmen for seven years, a former town planning board member, and former town Finance Committee Member
  • Board Member, Massachusetts Municipal Association
  • President and First Vice President, Massachusetts Selectman’s Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Mr. DeRensis serves as town counsel to a number of Massachusetts communities
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Office Location for Paul R. DeRensis

260 Franklin St
Suite 700
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 857-259-5200

Fax: 857-259-5212

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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