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Excelling at law — and community service

Leiha Macauley (LAW’01) was honored as an Up and Coming Attorney.

Leiha Macauley (LAW’01)

Each year, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly chooses a handful of rising stars who have been practicing law for less than 10 years but have already distinguished themselves.  This year Boston University School of Law alumna Leiha Macauley (LAW’01) is being honored as one of its 15 notable Up and Coming Attorneys.

“Leiha is truly a leader in the Boston community, and we at BU Law are very proud of her,” says Mary K. Gallagher, director of communications and marketing at LAW, one of the people who nominated Macauley. 

For someone who graduated only five years ago, Macauley’s extensive accomplishments are impressive. Fresh out of BU, she was chosen as one of only 10 young lawyers to participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program. As a Public Interest Leader, she spent more than 250 hours serving the Boston community. She also researched and coauthored a paper on the effects of restricted access to legal aid on the health of poor children.

After becoming an associate at Day, Berry and Howard in Boston, Macauley drew from her experience in the Leadership Program to develop and direct the city’s first pro bono partnership between a law firm and a community health center (East Boston Community Health Center). Attorneys at the firm have been eager to participate — 85 percent donate two hours each week to provide legal information and advocacy for families struggling with legal obstacles that hinder their access to basic necessities such as food, housing, education, and health care.

Macauley is known for her compassion, confidence, and warmth in her interactions with her firm’s clients, as well as for her legal skills. Her contributions are not confined to professional work, however. She dedicated eight years to Squashbusters, an inner city after-school program, volunteering as a tutor and a coach. Her commitment to the program led to her becoming a member of the board of directors of the Big Sister Association. She has also been involved for many years with the American Liver Foundation and is the president of the Young Alumni Council at BU. 

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly will spotlight Macauley and its other Up and Coming Attorneys in the August 28 issue.