THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
BIOGRAPHY OF DEVAL L. PATRICK
A respected Boston attorney who grew up in a segregated neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Deval L. Patrick's life experience and professional expertise make him a highly qualified candidate to help carry forward the Clinton Administration's strong civil rights agenda as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
Patrick, currently a partner in the law firm of Hill & Barlow and a leader of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, was raised and attended public elementary and junior high schools at the edge of the Robert Taylor Homes project on Chicago's South Side. When he was in the seventh grade, a teacher who recognized Patrick's great potential recommended him to the Boston-based group "A Better Chance," which awarded him a scholarship to the prestigious Milton Academy. After graduation in 1974, he won a scholarship to Harvard College, where he received his B.A. in 1978. He then spent a year in the Sudan and Nigeria as a Michael Clark Rockefeller Travelling Fellow before returning to Harvard to attend law school. At the law school, where he received his J.D. in 1982, Patrick served as President of the Legal Aid Burea and won the final round of the Ames Moot Court Competition. Following his graduation, he spent a year as a clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt.
In 1983, Patrick became a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. He litigated a variety of civil rights cases there, specializing in capital punishment and voting rights cases.
After three years at the NAACP, Patrick joined the Hill & Barlow, where he is currently a partner. In addition to his civil and commercial practice there, he has continued to devote as much as a third of his time to civil rights cases on a pro bono basis. He chairs the New England Steering Committee of the Legal Defense and Education Fund, and for the past three years has served on the executive committee of the Fund's National Board.
In addition to his work for the NAACP, Patrick serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the Harvard University Alumni Association, Milton Academy, the Boston Bar Association Council, and WGBH, Boston's public broadcasting station. He formerly served as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Council, which screens candidates for appointment to state court judgeships by Governor Weld.
Patrick lives in the Boston area with his wife, Diane Bemus Patrick, a labor and employment lawyer who is the Director of Human Resources at Harvard University. They have two daughters. Patrick is 37 years old.
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