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Edward Ginsburg: His Courage and Grace Remembered

The adjunct professor at BC Law for forty years was admired for his wit and judicial chops.


Massachusetts judge and a longtime Boston College adjunct faculty member Edward Ginsburg passed away on June 24. His love of knowledge—which he generously shared—began at a young age and flourished throughout his impressive academic journey from Philips Exeter Academy to Harvard College to Harvard Law School.

Judge Ginsburg taught Family Court Practice and Trial Practice at the Law School with Judge Paul Chernoff for more than forty of his ninety years. He did so while also serving as an Associate Justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court and as founding director of Senior Partners for Justice, a group of nearly a thousand lawyers who provide pro bono legal services to low-income individuals. He was also a supervising attorney at the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.

In various published tributes, those who knew Judge Ginsburg spoke of his commitment to the law and his dedication to serving and mentoring others. Judge Chernoff, for one, admired Judge Ginsburg’s ability to “recruit the best and the brightest.”

Here’s what several members of the BC Law community had to say about their “courageous and kind and gracious” friend.

Remembrances from Colleagues

Jay Blitzman ’74: His Honor will live in our hearts forever.

Robert Bloom ’71: Judge Ginsburg’s contribution to the courts and the legal profession was great throughout his career. At BC Law, with his partner Judge Chernoff, he left a legacy of well-trained trial lawyers. I will miss his feisty personality and his heart of gold.

Mark Brodin: He was a dear, dear gentleman, a legendary trial lawyer, a beloved teacher, a compassionate judge, and a huge supporter of this school. Every conversation with him was a unique treat.

Thomas Carey ’65: Eddie was one of the best, a good friend and colleague, and a lively presence in the adjunct office. When he dragged me out to Worcester to speak to his Senior Lawyers crowd, their universal admiration of him was obvious.

Daniel Coquillette: Judge Ginsburg was the very essence of a true teacher and professional leader. Always full of good cheer and humor, he inspired so many of us, students and colleagues alike.

Frank Garcia: I feel very lucky to have met him this year—such an example of character. He invited Lisa Brathwaite [BC Law Director Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] and me to give a lunch talk on DEIB issues to his Senior Partners for Justice organization only last month—learning, and leading, right up until the end.

Michelle Grossfield: Judge Ginsburg was a champion of access to justice initiatives and leaves an incredible legacy. I had the pleasure of working with him and several members of his family who have also dedicated their careers to public interest and public service. He was dedicated, kind, and a mentor to many students and lawyers.

Susan Gedrick: He was an inspiration to us all and his death is a tremendous loss for us, for the people we serve, and for the access to justice community. Judge Ginsburg was a champion of the [Access to Justice] Fellows Program, and we will miss dearly his partnership and friendship.

Judith Mc Morrow: Judge Ginsburg’s delightful joie de vivre brightened up our community whenever he stepped foot in the building. He is a great example of savoring life.

William Bagley: A remarkable judge, a kind man, and so much more. I’ll surely miss him and our occasional chats. His students were, surely, greatly benefitted by his part in their education. His legacy is a lesson in the importance of teaching and the wisdom of the law. 

Alan Minuskin: I had the pleasure of knowing and admiring Judge Ginsburg in a number of capacities, first as a new-sheriff-in-town force of nature on the Probate and Family Court bench before whom my clinic students and I practiced on a near daily basis, second as an access-to-justice ally in the legal services community, and finally as a colleague who taught practice-based courses as a long-standing member of our adjunct faculty.

As a judge, his no-nonsense approach to family law litigation was refreshing. His influence on lawyers, attention to detail, and professionalism had a dramatic, outsized, positive effect on practice within the family law bar. In nearly every encounter, whether we were on the winning or losing side of an issue, the case, the parties, and the result benefited from his elegance, intelligence, wisdom, and good humor.

Creating Senior Partners for Justice, he envisioned and implemented a brilliant match between the crisis of underrepresentation and the wealth of lawyering ability retired judges and lawyers could apply toward bridging the access gap. His example and impact currently guide and inspire me as I consider how to apply my time, attention, and lawyering ability after I make the transition to retirement over the next couple of years.

Finally, I greatly admired his commitment to teaching our students skills and professionalism in law practice that enabled them to become better lawyers faster. We were very fortunate to have had him with us for so many years. He was a very special guy.