The ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts today announced the selection of Jessie Rossman as Legal Director, following a nationwide search.
“For more than 100 years, ACLU lawyers have been at the center of one history-making court case after another – here in Massachusetts and nationwide,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Jessie’s expertise in constitutional law and litigation, combined with her ability to inspire and lead teams, makes her a fantastic fit for this crucial leadership role.”
Rossman joined the ACLU of Massachusetts in 2013 as a staff attorney, and most recently served as a managing attorney. Her extraordinary body of legal work includes successfully challenging the state wiretap law as applied to police officers performing their duties in public spaces; successfully expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder in local jails and both state and federal prisons; spearheading the organization’s amicus advocacy on privacy and technology issues; and leading the organization’s legal response to the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, including the ACLU’s participation in the statewide Abortion Legal Hotline.
In her new role, Rossman will lead the ACLU of Massachusetts’ legal department and coordinate with a network of statewide cooperating counsel who partner with ACLU of Massachusetts on high-impact civil rights and civil liberties cases and advocacy initiatives. Rossman is the first woman to serve as Legal Director in the 100-year history of the organization, and the third Legal Director overall.
Prior to joining the ACLU of Massachusetts, Rossman clerked for the Honorable Judge Raymond C. Fisher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and the ACLU of Michigan. Rossman is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale University.
Adriana Lafaille and Dan McFadden have been promoted to the position of managing attorney for the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts. They will join senior managing attorney Ruth Bourquin to work with Rossman to lead and manage the ACLU of Massachusetts’ legal department.
Lafaille joined the ACLU of Massachusetts as a legal fellow in 2012 and became a staff attorney in 2015. She has deep experience working on immigrants' rights issues, including challenging federal anti-immigrant policies and protecting the constitutional rights of immigrants to due process. Her work has led to numerous critical legal victories, including a landmark federal class action lawsuit successfully challenging the government’s overuse of “mandatory” immigration detention to imprison non-citizens without bond while their immigration cases were pending. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard University.
McFadden joined the ACLU of Massachusetts as a staff attorney in 2018. He has extensive experience litigating a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties issues, including in the areas of immigrants’ rights, criminal legal reform, and government transparency. His efforts at the ACLU have garnered numerous key legal victories, including a landmark federal class action that reversed a 20-year-old policy of requiring immigration detainees to bear the burden of proof in immigration detention hearings. Prior to joining the ACLU of Massachusetts, he worked as a litigation attorney in private practice. He is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Cornell University.