In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Denise Jefferson Casper, a 1986 Patchogue-Medford High School graduate, to be a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. With her confirmation and appointment to the bench, Ms. Casper became the first African-American woman to serve as a United States district judge in Massachusetts. Immediately prior to her appointment to the bench, she served as the Deputy District Attorney for Middlesex County, the largest county in Massachusetts. Before that, Judge Casper served for six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Boston. Ultimately, she became Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit. Before becoming a prosecutor, Judge Casper clerked for justices of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and was in private practice in the litigation department of the law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP.
Judge Casper is a graduate of Wesleyan University (1990) and a graduate of Harvard Law School (1994). She has previously been an active member of the Boston Bar Association and has served as an officer of the Association and a member of its governing council. She currently serves on the boards of the Steppingstone Foundation and the Park School. Judge Casper has also served on the boards of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the Executive Board of the Women’s Bar Foundation and the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys. In addition, Judge Casper has taught Legal Writing and Advocacy at the Boston University School of Law. In 2013, the Boston Globe recognized Judge Casper with an Honorable Mention as one of the Bostonians of the Year. In 2014, she was awarded the Trailblazer Award by Massachusetts Black Lawyers’ Association in recognition of her contributions to both the bench and the bar. In 2015, Wesleyan University awarded her a Distinguished Alumna award.
Since joining the Court in January 2011, Judge Casper has chaired the Court’s Bench/Bar Conference, “Changing Landscaping in Law, Legal Practice and Beyond” (2012), served as chair of an ad hoc Criminal Working Group Committee (2014) and, over the past three years, has organized an annual roundtable discussion with newer members of the bar and the judges. She was recently appointed by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security. Judge Casper and her twin sons (age 12) live in Brookline, Massachusetts.
While at PMHS, among other activities, she served as student body president and a member of the National Honor Society. Each year for the past ten years, Judge Casper and her family have sponsored and funded the PMHS Jefferson Memorial Scholarship for a PMHS graduating senior in honor of her late grandfather, Leroy Jefferson (PMHS Class of 1928) and her late father, Eugene Jefferson.