Theresa Coney, Esq. is the first Racial Equity Statewide Training Lead for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Committee for Public Counsel Services. As a pioneer in this position Theresa has developed and implemented a strategic plan to engage more than 3000 attorneys and staff in racial equity work to address the disparities which exist in our legal systems in Public Defender spaces. She launched the Why Race Matters Speaker Series, a multipart legal education course from race equity leaders around the world; leads a Racial Equity Internship Program; and conducts trainings for the judiciary, bar associations and other stakeholders. She is the founder of Race Equity Solutions Consulting, helping organizations understand how to navigate issues of equity and developing tangible solutions to address these challenging concerns. She is the Racial Justice and Diversity Committee Co-Chair for the Criminal Justice Section, of the American Bar Association, where she spearheads critical policy analysis and trainings concerning race and equity for legal professionals across the country.
Throughout her career Theresa has been involved in the creation of programs and strategies to reduce the inequities that people of color face both in and out of our legal systems. A litigator for more than 20 years, she is a former Assistant Attorney General both in New York State and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts handling mental health, civil rights, employment discrimination and other cases in State and Federal Courts. A former prosecutor with the New York City Law Department, she worked with the New York City Mayoral Office to develop and implement an alternative to incarceration program for juveniles. Theresa left the Division handling major crimes in juvenile matters and creating office strategy, as the Attorney-in-Charge. Theresa has been training in litigation skills and presenting on legal topics for more than 20 years on a local, state and national level. She is responsible for the development and implementation of several training programs and curricula including Restorative Justice in the Court and a Restorative Justice Honors Colloquium, as an Adjunct Professor at Roxbury Community College. She taught at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
Theresa volunteers with several bar associations and philanthropic organizations in varying capacities including: the Criminal Justice Section (CJS) Liaison on the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession; the Co-Chair of the ABA CJS Racial Justice and Diversity Committee, member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, member of the Massachusetts Bar Association Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee, and member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Professional Development Committee. Theresa was the inaugural Co-Chair for CAFL Racial Justice Task Force and is a current Hearing Officer for the Board of Bar Overseers for the Supreme Judicial Court. She has received several professional awards and honors.