William “Mo” Cowan, L’94
Mo Cowan is the chief legal counsel for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and is a former member of the litigation section at the Boston-based law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glosky & Popeo PC. He has been named a “Top 5% Massachusetts litigator” by Law and Politics magazine and a “40 Under 40” business leader by Boston Business Journal. He is the former president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and a current member of the Northeastern University Corporation. He resides just north of Boston with his wife Stacy, L’97, and two children.
On his first time out on co-op with the Honorable Patty Saris, Massachusetts State Trial Court:
MC: “It was a fundamentally important co-op for me because it really helped crystallize the importance of the academic experience and the marriage with the practical side of what we do. Being with her in her chambers, and researching and writing with respect to the complex issues she was dealing with on a daily basis, and getting her real-time constructive criticism of my lawyering skills in their infancy was important in shaping the lawyer that I ultimately became.”
On his “eye-opening” second co-op at North Carolina Prison Legal Services in Raleigh, North Carolina:
MC: “I traveled far and wide in North Carolina to even some locations that I was unaware of despite the fact that I grew up there. Some very small jails and you meet some very interesting people along the way on both sides of the bars if you will. And, you know, some of the claims obviously presented some fact patterns that were at times shocking and eye opening. And, it helped me realize that as a litigant, an advocate more accurately, in your job you often have to place personal feelings on the back burner to … advocate for your client or to ensure that justice is done.”
On his fourth co-op in Palm Beach County, Florida:
MC: “I went there with two of my classmates and we served special public defenders or student public defenders with the Palm Beach County Public Defender’s Office. We represented criminal defendants brought before the Palm Beach County authorities and tried cases, argued bail and worked with the public defenders in that area.”