Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Brett Walker ’13 (far right) has been selected by the American Bar Association as one of its inaugural top 40 lawyers under the age of 40. He is the only prosecutor and one of only a few public interest lawyers to receive the award.
The On the Rise Awards honor “young lawyers . . . who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service,” according to the ABA.
“In the inaugural year of this award, we received thousands of nominations for truly exceptional young lawyers,” said Lacy Durham, chairwoman of the ABA’s Young Lawyer Division. “Selection for this prestigious award is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to [Walker’s] superb reputation as an outstanding lawyer and servant to the public.”
Professor Richard Albert, a constitutional law professor at Boston College Law School under whom Walker formerly studied, nominated his former student for the honor. “Brett received this award because he is an exceptional leader in all he does,” Albert said. “Whether in the armed forces, in the court room, in his community, in his home, and everywhere else.”
Walker’s selection for the On the Rise Award recognizes his courtroom successes, among them the conviction of a man for stabbing his pregnant girlfriend and several drug-distribution cases involving unobserved transactions. His innovations in the field of specialty courts—for example, he helped establish the Boston Veterans Treatment Court for veterans with service-related disorders who are arrested for crimes—and his continued dedication to scholarly-legal development were also important factors.
“This is a great honor,” said Walker. “I was surprised even to be nominated, let alone selected. Heck, when I first got the notice, I had to call the ABA to verify it.”
Walker attributes his successes to the more senior lawyers who have taken the time to mentor him. “Boston College really inspired me. The faculty there are passionate about their work and very personable. Studying there was a great experience,” he said.
“I was then fortunate enough to be hired by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, which is another inspiring institution. This office is the pinnacle of professionalism and ethics,” Walker added. “The people with whom I work are, without a doubt, some of this state’s most gifted public servants.”
Beyond practicing law, Walker serves as a Major in the Massachusetts National Guard and is an involved member of his community. He lives in Ashland with his wife, Amanda, and two sons, Benjamin and James. Walker is also running for State Representative in the 7th Middlesex District of Massachusetts, which includes Ashland and parts of Framingham.