In a career characterized by three-piece suits and stereotypes, standing out is often unheard of. But Judge Shannon Frison believes in setting the standard, not living by other people’s expectations. In this episode of Bouncing Back, she talks to Rebecca Glatzer about her decision to go into the military after law school and the intentional choices she makes to live her life authentically as one of the few openly LGBTQ, Black female judges on the bench.
Judge Shannon Frison was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 2013 at age 42. Prior to that, she served on the Boston Municipal Court from 2009–2013 beginning her tenure on the bench at the young age of 39.
Before her appointment, Judge Frison practiced locally and abroad as owner of Frison Law Firm. Her practice focused on ‘blue collar’ criminal law and military justice. Judge Frison spent nearly seven years as a litigation associate at the former white collar defense firm Dwyer & Collora in Boston, MA, prior to opening her own firm.
Judge Frison earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University & Radcliffe College. She received her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Judge Frison began her career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Judge Frison holds the rank of Major in the United States Marine Corps and is a Marine Corps Judge Advocate. She completed Officer Candidates School and accepted her commission in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1994. She continued on to complete The Basic School and Naval Justice School in 1997. From 1997-2000 she was the prosecutor aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
In addition to serving the country and practicing law, Judge Frison has served as a Guberman Teaching Fellow at Brandeis University as well as appearing as guest lecturer at Brandeis on military justice and military tribunals. Judge Frison was also recently a member of the Boston Bar Association’s “Task Force to Prevent Wrongful Convictions” and Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. She is a past President of the Massachusetts Black Judges Conference. Judge Frison is a jurist, a Major of Marines, and a mentor to new trial lawyers.
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