Claire Alexis Ward is a criminal defense attorney who is focused on helping each individual client obtain optimal results in trial and on appeal. In addition to her criminal work, Claire also represents clients in hearings before the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB). Attorney Ward has deep experience with helping clients mitigate the professional, financial, and personal consequences which can flow from a criminal case. She is regularly asked to speak on the civil consequences of criminal cases and has trained many Massachusetts lawyers on this complex and frequently-overlooked area of the law. Sealing a criminal record (CORI) is one way to move forward but may not meet all of a client’s needs. Many professional licensing boards require applicants and license holders to both submit to a CORI check and to report arrests and dismissed cases, in addition to criminal convictions. Attorney Ward frequently advises and represents clients seeking to prevent or minimize professional consequences. In addition, the Registry of Motor Vehicles may suspend driving privileges in a variety of circumstances and Attorney Ward is experienced at both preventing license loss and appealing administrative decisions to the Board of Insurance Appeals.
Claire joined Wood & Nathanson after three and a half years as a trial attorney in the Brockton office of the Committee for Public Services (CPCS).While at CPCS, she appeared at pretrial hearings and in bench and jury trials in Brockton District Court and Plymouth Superior Court and represented clients on a full range of criminal offenses, from misdemeanor driving charges to serious felonies, including firearm charges and sex offenses. Prior to joining the Brockton office of CPCS, Claire worked for the CPCS Boston Municipal Court Office, the law firm of Rankin & Sultan, the Homeless Advocacy Project, and as a judicial intern for Chief Judge Mark Wolf in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Claire is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Harvard University.
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
Juris Doctor, May 2013
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Bachelor of Liberal Arts, cum laude, Classical Civilizations May 2010
Wood & Nathanson, LLP, Boston, MA
Associate Attorney. Represent clients in criminal cases at all stages of trial and appellate litigation in state and federal courts. April 2017 – present.
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Brockton, MA
Trial Attorney, Brockton District Court Office. Represented indigent clients in criminal cases in Brockton District Court, including at pretrial hearings, motion hearings, jury and bench trials on misdemeanor and felony charges. Represented indigent clients in Superior Court jury trials by cross examining witnesses and arguing trial motions, including at multiple trials of life felony charges. August 2013 – March 2017.
Homeless Advocacy Project, San Francisco, CA
Legal Intern. Represented clients in eviction proceedings and in SSI/SSDI applications & appeals. March – May 2013.
Rankin & Sultan, Boston, MA
Legal Intern. Prepared draft motions and legal memoranda for criminal defense attorneys practicing in state & federal courts on trial and appellate cases. September – November 2012.
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston, MA
Certified Student Attorney, Boston District & Municipal Court Office. Represented indigent clients in bail and motion hearings under supervision of staff attorneys. March – May 2012.
The Honorable Mark L. Wolf, Chief Judge, Boston, MA
Judicial Intern, U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Prepared draft orders, legal memoranda, and internal memoranda. September – November 2011.
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS:
"Civil Consequences of Criminal Activity." Presented during multi-day training programs for new public defenders & bar advocates. Boston, MA. CPCS & MCLE. Numerous dates, 2015 - 2017.
"Commonwealth v. Pon: A New Standard and a New Procedure for Sealing Dismissed & Nol Prossed Cases." Presented during panel ‘Hot Topics in Criminal Law.’ CPCS Annual Conference. Worcester, MA. May 2015.
"Throw the Book at Them: Testing Mortgagor Remedies in Foreclosure Proceedings After U.S. Bank v. Ibanez." Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report 66 (2012): 269.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2013).