The Massachusetts Bar Association will honor Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Second Suffolk and Middlesex) and Rep. Claire D. Cronin (D-11th Plymouth) with Legislator of the Year Awards at the April 24 Annual Dinner.
The MBA’s Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to state or federal legislators who have distinguished themselves in public service through outstanding contributions to the legal profession, courts and administration of justice.
“As chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Sen. Brownsberger and Rep. Cronin have always been accessible and open to input from the organized bar, and we are incredibly grateful for their steadfast commitment and contributions to improving the administration of justice in Massachusetts,” said MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy. “This year in particular we salute their leadership as their work together has brought meaningful, sweeping criminal justice reform to the commonwealth.”
Sen. Will Brownsberger
Will Brownsberger is the state senator for the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District, representing Belmont and Watertown and parts of Allston, Brighton, Back Bay and Fenway. He has served as Senate chair of the Joint Judiciary Committee since 2014.
Prior to his 2011 Senate election, Brownsberger served as state representative for the 24th Middlesex District for five years, and before that, as a Belmont selectman for three terms. From 1992 to 1998, Brownsberger served as a Massachusetts assistant attorney general under Scott Harshbarger, working as asset forfeiture chief in the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, and as deputy chief prosecutor in the Public Protection Bureau.
In 2001, Brownsberger became a defense attorney in private practice, doing a high volume of court-appointed criminal defense work. While serving as assistant attorney general and through his years as a selectman, Brownsberger taught, consulted and conducted research on criminal justice issues, holding positions at Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions, Boston University School of Public Health’s Join Together Program, the Kennedy School of Government’s Program on Drugs and Crime, and Harvard’s Interdisciplinary Working Group on Drugs and Addictions.
Rep Claire D. Cronin
Rep. Claire D. Cronin was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 11th Plymouth District, which includes both Brockton and Easton, on Nov. 6, 2012. Cronin serves as the House chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. She is a member of the Manufacturing Caucus, the Tech Hub Caucus and the Gateway Cities Caucus.
Cronin previously served as vice chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, where she worked on key legislation in the committee, including family law and civil rights issues. Cronin has served on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means; the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy; the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight; the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology; and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
Prior to being elected, Cronin maintained a solo practice in Brockton. She has been affiliated since 2002 with Commonwealth Mediation, where she has arbitrated and mediated cases involving a wide range of issues, most notably the landmark settlement of the Massachusetts clergy sexual abuse cases.
Cronin is a graduate of Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School. She is admitted to the Massachusetts bar and also admitted to practice in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.