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How BC Law Inspired Marilyn Mosby’s Career

On Thursday, October 1, 2015, Baltimore States’ Attorney Marilyn Mosby ’05 returned to BC Law to speak to students in the School’s Criminal Justice Defense and Prosecution Clinic about the role of the prosecutor in criminal cases. Mosby, who grew up in Dorchester, is currently overseeing the Freddie Gray police brutality case in Baltimore, which has garnered headlines across the world. At the time of her election last year, she was the youngest top state prosecutor in the country.

As a third-year student at BC Law, Mosby represented individuals charged with crimes in Dorchester through the BC Defender Clinic. She spoke about how those experiences helped prepare her for the work she is doing as Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, reflecting on the supervision she received in her clinical work as well as challenging and being challenged by her classmates in the clinic’s joint prosecution and defense class. She recalled the entire class—prosecution and defense—going on a tour of the jail, an experience she now requires of all of her incoming prosecutors.

Mosby also recalled Professor Sharon Beckman’s Punishment seminar, Professor Evangeline Sarda’s class on leadership and authority, and Professor Michael Cassidy’s prosecutorial ethics class–where the focus was on pursuing justice, not simply winning cases–as pushing her to think about the criminal justice system from all different points of view, and helping her work on her own path toward professional discernment.

After class, Mosby had lunch with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) executive board and a group of first-year BLSA members, where she spoke about her experiences as a BLSA student and the mentoring and support she received at BC Law.

“The students in both groups were so impressive with their questions, which she answered honestly and fully,” Beckman said. “She urged students to push themselves, to take advantage of clinical educational opportunities, and not to let other people limit or define them. The students walked away inspired and enriched—it was one of the most amazing presentations and exchanges I have seen at BC Law.”

“Marilyn was just fantastic–candid, real, personal,” added Sarda. “She’s so appreciative of what BC Law provided her and credits the school with shaping her views and ideas. As a political figure, her authenticity was palpable; and as prosecutors go, she’s a way-beyond-the-box thinker. Her approach to prosecution is very collaborative, horizontal, community focused and authorizing–not top down.”

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