Susan M. Finegan

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  • Boston College (JD, 1991)
  • Dartmouth College (BA, 1985)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Sue is a Member in the Litigation Section and is Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. Appointed the firm’s first Pro Bono Partner in 2007, Sue serves as lead counsel on numerous high profile pro bono litigation matters. She also manages the firm’s pro bono efforts, consisting of over 300 varied cases annually throughout Mintz Levin’s eight offices, and advises firm clients on developing and sustaining pro bono programs within their in-house legal departments.

As member and current co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission for several years, Sue has been a tireless and innovative advocate for low income people in Massachusetts and beyond. She has spearheaded creative funding mechanisms to support legal aid organizations and developed the statewide civil appellate pro bono program for self-represented litigants. Five years ago, she co-founded the Access to Justice Fellows program, in which ninety-five retired and retiring lawyers have devoted over 70,000 pro bono hours at legal services organizations, nonprofits, and the courts.

From 2004 to 2007, Sue served as legal director of the Victim Rights Law Center, overseeing free statewide civil legal services to sexual assault survivors and providing training to legal aid attorneys nationally. While previously at Mintz, from 1993 to 2004, as an associate and then a partner, Sue handled complex commercial, white collar, defamation, land use, and insurance defense matters in both state and federal trial and appellate courts. She also performed extensive pro bono work, including oversight of the firm’s Domestic Violence Project.

Following law school, Sue served as a law clerk for the Honorable Andrew A. Caffrey at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and for the Honorable Francis P. O’Connor at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Representative Experience

Over the past several decades, Sue’s pro bono litigation experience has been varied and acclaimed. Some representational matters include:

  • Led the firm’s representation, with the ACLU of Massachusetts and other co-counsel, challenging President Trump’s first immigration executive order “travel ban.”
  • Successfully argued for a civil right to counsel for indigent parents in certain guardianship matters, favorably impacting hundreds of low income parents each year. Lead appellate counsel, Guardianship of J.T., 49 N.E.3d 242 (Mass. 2016); argued alongside L.B. v. Chief Justice of the Prob. & Family Ct. Dep’t, 49 N.E.3d 230 (Mass. 2016).
  • Served as lead counsel in several compelling political asylum matters, including one that is the subject of a Steven Spielberg documentary, Finding Oscar.
  • Managed a team of Mintz Levin attorneys who advocated for the eventual passage of a new criminally enforceable restraining order law for sexual assault survivors in Massachusetts, filing a gap in the existing statute. For these efforts, the American Bar Association awarded the firm its Pro Bono Publico Award.
    pro_bono_publico_award/ past_recipients.html#2010
  • Specialize in representing of victims of crime and the nonprofits that serve them.
    • Represent several families impacted by crime, including high profile domestic violence homicides and Boston Marathon bombing survivors. 
    • Represent hundreds of individual domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
    • Advise domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers on a variety of legal matters
    • Draft appellate and amicus briefs in state and federal appellate courts on issues relating to sexual and domestic violence.
  • Professional & Community Involvement

    • Co-chair, Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission. Appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
    • Member (Former Chair), Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee Pro Bono Legal Services. Appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
    • Member, Women's Forum Advisory Committee, Boston Bar Association
    • Member, Dartmouth College Alumni Awards Committee

    Selected former positions held:

    • Chair and Member, Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct
    • Member, Judicial Nominating Commission
    • Chair, Merit Selection Panel for Magistrate Judge, United States District Court
    • Member, Boston Bar Association Council
    • Member, Boston Bar Association's Task Force on Expanding the Civil Right to Counsel
    • Board of Directors, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
    • Member, Trial Court Gender Equality Advisory Board
    • Board of Directors, Women’s Bar Foundation
    • President, Dartmouth College Association of Alumni
    • Member, Dartmouth College Alumni Council
    • Member, Presidential Steering Committee on Moving Dartmouth Forward
    • Board of Advisors, Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College

    Recognitions & Awards

    • Litigation Counsel of America (trial lawyer honor society limited to less than one-half of one percent of lawyers/judges)
    • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
    • Best Lawyers in America: Commercial Litigation (2014 – present)
    • Legal Services Corporation, Pro Bono Award (2017)
    • Volunteer Lawyers Project, Yvette Mendez Award (2017)
    • Boston College Law School, Women’s Law Center, Woman of the Year Award (2017)
    • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Pinnacle Award (2017)
    • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Top Women of the Law - Circle of Excellence Award (2015)
    • International Bar Association Pro Bono Award (2013)
    • Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts, Lelia J. Robinson Award (2013)
    • Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project Outstanding Achievement Award (2013); Pro Bono Law Firm Award (2017)
    • Jane Doe, Inc. Inaugural Kelly Timilty Advocate for Justice Award (2013)
    • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly/Massachusetts Bar Association Excellence in Pro Bono Award (2012)
    • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Legal Aid/Legal Services (2012)
    • Dartmouth College Alumni Award (2011, awarded to those who have demonstrated extraordinary service to Dartmouth and civic organizations in addition to career accomplishment)
    • Boston College Law School Curtin Center for Public Interest Pro Bono Service Award (2011)
    • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Women of Justice Award (2009)
    • Boston Business Journal: “40 Under 40” business leaders (2003)
    • Mintz Levin Special Recognition Award for Distinguished Service and Significant Contributions to the Pro Bono Program (2003)
    • Mintz Levin Pro Bono Award (1998)
    • Dartmouth College Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award (1996)
    • St. Thomas More Award, Boston College Law School (1991)

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