One member of the Boston College Law School faculty and four alumni were named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as Lawyers of the Year in 2020. The BC Law group comprises nearly 30 percent of the 17 honorees recognized for “advocacy on behalf of the disempowered.”
The work of each of these BC Law awardees is notable for its focus on the needs of others, a theme that is central to the academic and professional values of the BC Law community.
Here’s a brief introduction to the BC Law people selected for Lawyers of the Year and the cases that caught the attention of the publication’s judges.
Sharon Beckman (above), associate clinical professor and faculty director of the Boston College Innocence Program (BCIP), who was recognized for her work to exonerate Frances Choy, who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life without parole for a double murder she did not commit. It was one of three wrongful conviction cases in 2020 in which Beckman and the BCIP were involved. (Read more about Beckman and work with the Innocence program in BC News.)
Sophia Hall ’12, supervising attorney for Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston, was lauded, in particular, for a civil rights violations case she brought on behalf of childcare workers.
Susan Finegan ’91, chair of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo’s Pro Bono Committee, was honored for assembling a team who brought a class action case challenging the burden of proof placed on detainees being held by ICE.
John Roddy ’80, a partner at Bailey and Glasser, handled a plaintiffs’ class action suit for victims of the Columbia Gas explosion in South Lawrence, MA.
Elliot Weinstein, a Boston criminal defense attorney, successfully challenged the continuous, long-term video surveillance of the homes of defendants charged with drug distribution.
Read the full story on Beckman and the other awardees in BC News.
Photograph of Sharon Beckman by Lee Pellegrini/Boston College