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Young Wins Edward J. Duggan Award

5/19/06--Boston College Law School is pleased to announce that BC Law alum Rebecca Young (class of 2001) has won the Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service from the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). Young accepted the award at the CPCS annual conference held last week. The award, the highest given by CPCS, is awarded to one full time public defender and one private attorney each year who best represent zealous advocacy in the representation of indigent criminal defendants in Massachusetts.

Rebecca Young is a private practitioner concentrating in the representation of indigent clients in mental health cases and in sex offender registration cases. A graduate of Harvard University and BC Law, she started the Criminal Law group while she was a student at BC Law, and began her career as a Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellow designing and implementing the “Rapid Response Project” at Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services. This innovative project focused on deterring guard-on-prisoner assaults in Massachusetts prisons. She was no newcomer to work on behalf of justice for indigent members of society, having previously served as executive director of the Citizens for Juvenile Justice in Boston for 4 years and as a criminal justice consultant for many years. Rebecca has also written and lectured extensively on the subjects of prison brutality, policy issues concerning drug offenders, juvenile justice, and other miscellaneous criminal justice topics. At the commencement of the private practice in late 2003, the Sex Offender Registry Board was beginning to pick up steam in classifying former offenders. Rebecca enthusiastically began to accept appointments to cases in this new practice area. In a short time, she has represented over 30 clients before the board. She has obtained reductions in classification levels from the board in roughly 80% of her cases. More importantly, she welcomes the most difficult of clients and most novel of issues. She sets the standard for advocacy in this area of the law by virtue of her tenaciousness and sharp analysis. She also serves on the sex offender registration appellate and mentor panels.

The "Edward J. Duggan Award for Outstanding Service" is named for Edward J. Duggan, who served continuously from 1940 to 1997 as a member of the Voluntary Defenders Committee, the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The award has been presented each year since 1988 to the public defender and private attorney who best represent zealous advocacy --- the central principle governing the representation of indigents in Massachusetts.