Middlesex District Attorney’s Office hires three BU Law alumni from the class of 2013

Marian Ryan welcomes new Assistant DA hires
Middlesex DA Marian Ryan welcomes the class of 2013 assistant DA hires

This fall, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office announced its 2013 class of assistant district attorneys, three out of 10 of whom are BU Law alumni.  Matthew Bailey is assigned to the Framingham District Court, Shaun Donnelly to the Woburn District Court, and Caitlin Gemmill to the Somerville District Court.

The new hires are welcomed by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, who was appointed DA in April 2013 by Governor Deval Patrick. 

“We are thrilled to welcome this talented class of assistant district attorneys to the office and specifically to the various district courts in the county, which are the hub of our criminal justice system,” says Ryan.  “This group brings experience from the public and private sectors.  Many have interned with us, and others have clerked in various courts.”

The three BU Law alumni bring to their new roles a diverse array of legal experience. Bailey and Donnelly were teammates at the 2013 John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition. Bailey spent summers interning at the City of Boston Law Department, and at the Middlesex DA’s Office, an experience that sparked his interest continuing his work there after graduation.  He also participated in two Spring Break pro bono trips, one to Newark, New Jersey, and the other to Detroit, Michigan. Donnelly was editor-in-chief and Gemmill executive editor of the Public Interest Law Journal 2012-2013. Donnelly completed a judicial externship with Judge Thompson at the U.S. Court of Appeals and interned with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, while Gemmill interned at the Office of Legal Advisor, Boston Public Schools, the Office of Senator Mike Johnston (CO), and the Colorado League of Charter Schools.  

But one credential they have in common: Bailey, Donnelly, and Gemmill all participated in the Criminal Law Clinic during their time at BU Law.  Donnelly described his time in the clinic as the best experience he had in law school. 

“The Moot Court experience during 1L played a large part in my realization that I wanted to be in the courtroom, and led to me wanting to do the criminal clinic,” Donnelly says.  “The clinic was a tremendously formative experience for me.  I chose to do defense work because I knew by that time that I wanted to be a prosecutor, and I wanted the chance to see things from a different perspective.”

The clinic gave Donnelly that chance.  “Because of my experience, I’m able to be more effective at things like turning over discovery to the defense, for example.  It helps to be able to think of things in terms of what a defense attorney would need.”

When asked about what he most enjoys about his new role as an ADA, Donnelly recalls speaking to a victim of domestic violence the day after an incident.  “Having to represent those statements in court is a tremendous amount of responsibility, and it makes me feel very good about what I’m doing and the difference I’m making.”

Bailey, Donnelly, and Gemmill join a long list of BU Law alumni who begin their legal careers as public servants. And, be they prosecutors or defenders, many can credit BU Law’s clinical programs for their first real lawyering experiences. In fact, five members of BU Law’s Class of 2012—Tabitha Bolden, Libby Hugetz, Paul Shapiro, Meredith Shih, and Maura Tansley, who were also all members of the Criminal Clinic—became public defenders with Massachusetts’ Committee for Public Council Services after graduating.

Says Ryan, “It is wonderful to see so many talented young lawyers committed to public service.”

Reported by Sara Womble
January 27,2014

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