Michael S. Greco and the Hon­or­able Sonia Sotomayor Also to Receive Hon­orary Degrees

Approx­i­mately 200 mem­bers of the class of 2007 will offi­cially earn their juris doctor degrees at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law’s com­mence­ment on Friday, May 25, 2007 at 1 p.m. in Matthews Arena (238 St. Botolph Street, Boston). The Hon­or­able Nonnie S. Burnes, Com­mis­sioner of the Mass­a­chu­setts Divi­sion of Insur­ance, will give the com­mence­ment address and will also receive an hon­orary doc­torate of public service.

Com­mis­sioner Nonnie Burnes, a grad­uate of Northeastern’s School of Law, was appointed to head the Mass­a­chu­setts Divi­sion of Insur­ance in Feb­ruary of 2007 by Gov­ernor Deval Patrick. Prior to taking the helm at the Divi­sion, Com­mis­sioner Burnes was an asso­ciate jus­tice of the Supe­rior Court of Mass­a­chu­setts for more than a decade.

Com­mis­sioner Burnes’ career in legal advo­cacy has been exem­plary.. While on the bench, she served as the chair of both the Gender Equality Advi­sory Board and the Jury Man­age­ment Advi­sory Com­mittee. Prior to her appoint­ment to the Supe­rior Court by Gov­ernor William Weld, Com­mis­sioner Burnes was an attorney at the firm of Hill & Barlow.

In addi­tion to her work on the bench and in pri­vate prac­tice, Com­mis­sioner Burnes served as a com­mis­sioner on the State Ethics Com­mis­sion; a fellow of the Boston Bar Foun­da­tion; the vice chair of the Boston Bar Asso­ci­a­tion; and on the board of direc­tors of the Mass­a­chu­setts Law Reform Insti­tute and the Center for Law and Edu­ca­tion. Com­mis­sioner Burnes is a member of the vis­iting com­mittee for Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, the Center for Ethics and the Pro­fes­sions; and, a member of the board of trustees and board of over­seers for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. In 2004, she received the Cita­tion for Judi­cial Excel­lence from the Boston Bar Association.

Hon­orary degrees will also be pre­sented to Michael S. Greco (doc­torate of public ser­vice) and The Hon­or­able Sonia Sotomayor (doc­torate of laws).

Michael S. Greco, a partner with Kirk­patrick & Lock­hart Pre­ston Gates Ellis, LLP (“K&L Gates”) in its Boston office, is imme­diate past pres­i­dent of the Amer­ican Bar Asso­ci­a­tion. He served as pres­i­dent during the 2005–2006 asso­ci­a­tion year. He is a trial lawyer with more than 35 years of busi­ness lit­i­ga­tion expe­ri­ence, as well as an arbi­trator and medi­ator at the state, national and inter­na­tional levels.

The over-​​arching theme of Greco’s term of office as ABA pres­i­dent was renais­sance – a rebirth and reaf­fir­ma­tion of the legal profession’s core values and America’s con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples. His pri­or­i­ties as pres­i­dent included pro­tecting the rights and free­doms of Amer­ican cit­i­zens, safe­guarding the inde­pen­dence of the judi­ciary and other insti­tu­tions of America’s democ­racy, addressing the legal needs of lower-​​income cit­i­zens, advance­ment of women, people of color and per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties in the legal pro­fes­sion, and improve­ments to the ABA and the legal profession.

Sonia Sotomayor has been a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Cir­cuit since 1998. Prior to that appoint­ment, she served as a US Dis­trict Court judge for the Southern Dis­trict of New York.

Judge Sotomayor began her legal career in 1979 as an assis­tant dis­trict attorney in New York County. From 1984 until her first judi­cial appoint­ment, she prac­ticed with the law firm of Pavia & Har­court, where she even­tu­ally became a partner. She also served as a member of the Second Cir­cuit Task Force on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fair­ness in the Courts and was for­merly on the board of direc­tors of the State of New York Mort­gage Agency, the New York City Cam­paign Finance Board, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Edu­ca­tion Fund and the Mater­nity Center Association.

About North­eastern School of Law:

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law is dis­tin­guished by its Coop­er­a­tive Legal Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram and by its com­mit­ment to public interest law. The school offers a three-​​year course of study that alter­nates terms of tra­di­tional aca­d­emic study with terms of full-​​time pro­fes­sional employ­ment in 750 law offices, non­profit and legal aid agen­cies and courts nation­wide and around the world.

About North­eastern:

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.