The Honorable Nonnie S. Burnes, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, to Give Commencement Address at Northeastern University School of Law

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