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Alumni Roundup

Triumphs, Honors, and Good Deeds

A periodical update of the noteworthy achievements of BC Law alumni.


Kenneth Ongalo-Obote ’97:
During a trip last summer to the US for a legislative conference, Uganda parliamentarian Ongalo-Obote also paid a visit to BC Law, stopping to visit his former professor, Judith McMorrow, and the Office of Graduate Legal Education and International Programs, which didn’t exist when he was a student here 20 years ago. After graduation, Ongalo-Obote held a fellowship with South Africa’s Portfolio Committee of Justice, then returned to his native Uganda, where he was elected to parliament and has distinguished himself as an advocate for human rights, particularly women’s issues and health care. Among his efforts was a bill to emancipate women, who are considered property in the country.

In a recent email to McMorrow, Ongalo-Obote wrote of his admiration for the US government’s disaster relief response to Hurricane Harvey in Houston and reflected on his own nation’s limited capacity to deal with such disasters. “Last year, we had an outbreak of hepatitis-B and it took over a half a year before we could marshal enough resources to even begin dealing with the worst hit areas. You may find this hard to believe but my entire constituency—150,000+ people—does not have even a tricycle for an ambulance!” Ongalo-Obote said.

“There are so many preventable deaths, especially for children and mothers giving birth. The health centers don’t offer much and the nearest hospital is about 50 miles away. In 2015, I used my savings to buy bicycles for the six main health centers and that has helped a little, especially for maternity cases, but its a mere drop in the ocean of difficulties that an ambulance would be most suited for.”

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Susan Finegan ’91:
Adding to an already impressive list of accolades, Finegan in September received another: the 2017 Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) Yvette C. Mendez award for her dedication to making the Pro Bono Appellate Project a success. Yvette C. Mendez is a distinguished honor, only awarded four times in the past fifteen years, recognizing a member or project of the Greater Boston Bar Association that has made an extraordinary contribution to furthering equal access to justice in ways beyond the traditional law practices.

Finegan has been full-time pro bono partner since 2007 at the Boston firm Mintz Levin. For the past several years, she has worked in partnership with VLP and the courts to start and oversee the Pro Bono Appellate Project. Through the project, over 140 pro bono attorneys have helped several hundred self-represented low income litigants.


Thomas E. Peisch ’74:
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has reappointed Peisch for a second term as Chair of MassBay Community College’s Board of Trustees. Peisch has served as a trustee in several capacities since his appointment by former Governor Deval Patrick in 2012. A founder of Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP, Peisch is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. “I am honored and grateful to the governor for the opportunity to continue my service to the college,” said Peisch. “Thanks to the hard work of the faculty, staff, and my fellow trustees, MassBay continues to provide an accessible and affordable top-notch education to its students.”

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Yasin Akbari ’15 and Isaac Kalish ’14:
Recent graduates Akbari and Kalish were married Sept. 9 at Lindsey Memorial Chapel of Emmanuel Church in Boston. Their friend and BC Law Professor Sharon Beckman officiated. Akbari is working at the Boston firm Goodwin Procter as an associate in the business law department. Kalish is an attorney at the Cambridge law firm Piltser Cowan.


Nelson Apjohn ’81:
Nutter McClennen & Fish’s Apjohn has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. Fellowship in the college is extended by invitation only and membership cannot exceed 1 percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Apjohn’s induction took place at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the college in Montreal.

Apjohn is a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He regularly represents clients in civil litigation cases, focusing on business litigation and products liability claims. A leader in the legal community, Apjohn is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and chair of the Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute.

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Teresita Ramos ’14:
As a language access attorney for the law firm Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Ramos is party to a federal lawsuit filed in August by the institute against the State of Massachusetts and Holyoke school officials. At issue is their alleged failure to provide sufficient translation services to parents with limited English skills, which hinders their ability to fully engage in their children’s education.

“When parents are precluded from directing and participating in their children’s educational programs due to language barriers,” Ramos told the Associated Press, “both parents and children are harmed.”

The parents claim that this is a problem of longstanding and violates federal civil rights laws. The lawsuit was filed on their behalf by Padres Latinos de las Escuelas de Springfield y Holyoke, which is represented by Ramos’ firm.


Robert F. Morrissey ’02:
Morrissey was elected to the Boston College Board of Trustees in September. A partner with the Boston-based firm Morrissey, Hawkins & Lynch, he was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 2012 and the Florida bar in 2003. He began his professional career as a licensed bond broker for Cowan in New York City prior to law school. He serves on numerous boards and is the son of BC Trustee Associate and current Investment and Endowment Committee Chair Robert J. Morrissey.