Susan M. Finegan is a nationally recognized pro bono pioneer with a passion for helping underserved populations and exceptional litigation skills. As chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee, she leads groundbreaking cases and manages pro bono matters for the firm.
She has helped to defeat President Trump’s first immigration travel ban in early 2017, engineer the passage of a Massachusetts restraining order law for sexual assault survivors, and create several innovative statewide model pro bono programs in Massachusetts.
She serves as co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, which focuses on civil justice for low-income and disadvantaged people. 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’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.
- Led the firm’s representation, with the ACLU of Massachusetts and other co-counsel, challenging President Trump’s first immigration executive order “travel ban.” https://aclum.org/uncategorized/aclu-files-expanded-lawsuit-seeking-full-repeal-president-trumps-muslim-ban/
- 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.
- Represent several families impacted by crime, including high profile domestic violence homicides and Boston Marathon bombing survivors.
- Draft appellate and amicus briefs in state and federal appellate courts on issues relating to sexual and domestic violence.
- Litigation Counsel of America (trial lawyer honor society limited to less than one-half of one percent of lawyers/judges)
- Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project Outstanding Achievement Award (2013); Pro Bono Law Firm Award (2017)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Women of Justice Award (2009)
- Mintz Pro Bono Award (1998)
- 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, External Advisory Committee, Dartmouth College Campus Climate and Culture Initiative
- Member, Dartmouth College Alumni Awards Committee
- Former Member, Boston Bar Association Council
- Former Board of Directors, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
- Former Board of Directors, Women’s Bar Foundation
- Former Member, Dartmouth College Alumni Council
ADMISSIONS : Massachusetts
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