Debra Shopteese

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Debra Shopteese is a Massachusetts judge. She was the first Native American to sit on the Massachusetts District Court.[1][2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Shoptese grew up in Kansas and is of Sac and Fox descent.[1] She attended Kansas State University, earning a bachelor of science degree in 1983, and then Northeastern University School of Law where she was a member of the class of 1986.[1][3][4]

Legal career[edit]

Shopteese was first admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1988.[3][4] She spent her entire pre-judicial career of 24 years as a public defender at the Committee for Public Counsel Services.[1][2][4] This time included serving as the Attorney-in-Charge for the Roxbury Defenders Division from 1999 to 2011.[1][4] As a lawyer, she was mentored by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.[1]

At the time of her appointment to the District Court, she taught criminal trial advocacy at Northeastern University.[1][4] She was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick and sworn into the post on September 21, 2011.[1][2][4]

She previously sat on the Massachusetts Juvenile Court.[1] In 2012, she served in the Boston Municipal Court.[4] As of 2015, Shopteese was assigned to the Roxbury District Court.[3][5]

See also[edit]

  • List of first women lawyers and judges in Massachusetts


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 McFarland, Andrew (September 22, 2011). "JP Resident Becomes First Native American Judge in Mass". Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Alumni/ae of Color Panel". Northeastern University. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Debra Shopteese". Martindale-Avvo. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "SHOPTEESE, DEBRA". Mass. Lawyers Weekly. January 27, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  5. Sweeney, Emily (2018-10-17). "Man accused of hitting cyclist in Jamaica Plain arraigned". Retrieved 2020-04-20.

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