Martha Coakley

Partner - Boston

Martha Coakley
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Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is a partner in Foley Hoag's Administrative Law Department. She focuses her practice on government and internal investigations, litigation, and data privacy and security. Martha has substantial experience in civil and criminal litigation in all state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. She has performed extensive grand jury work and defended federal grand juries and has considerable experience conducting complex investigations.

As the first female Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha has been a national leader in addressing the economic crisis by holding banks accountable and keeping residents in their homes; protected civil rights as the first Attorney General to successfully challenge the Defense of Marriage Act; investigated fraud and corruption; championed major initiatives to address health care and energy costs; and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars back for the taxpayers of Massachusetts. She served as Attorney General from 2007-2015.

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  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • Williams College, B.A., cum laude, 1975

Professional Experience

  • Resident Fellow, Harvard University Institute of Politics (IOP), John F. Kennedy School of Government, Spring 2015
  • Attorney General of Massachusetts, 2007-2015
  • Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney, 1999-2007
  • Special Attorney, Boston Organized Crime Strike Force, 1987-1989
  • Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's Office, 1986-1987 and 1989-1997


  • National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Kelley-Wyman Award, given annually to the Attorney General who has done the most to achieve NAAG objectives, 2014
  • Excellence in Computer Forensics Award, Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC), 2009
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Award, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 2006
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Management in Government, 2004
  • Selected as a member of the YWCA Boston's Academy of Women Achievers, Class of 2002
  • Leila J. Robinson Award for contributions to the field of law, Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts, 2000
  • Named Woman of the Year by the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, 1998
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Honoree
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Honoree
  • Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Honoree
  • Victim Rights Law Center, Honoree


  • President, Massachusetts District Attorney's Association (2002)
  • Former Board of Directors, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Former Chair/Board of Directors, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Incorporated
  • Former President, Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts
  • Panelist, “State AG Investigations: How to Fight Back!” Foley Hoag webinar (September, 2017) 
  • Panelist, "Front Office" Policy Collision Debate, ABA Section of Antitrust Law Forum, Washington, D.C. (November, 2016) 
  • Speaker, “Cyber Security Belongs in the C-Suite: Are you ready?,” Information Systems Security Association, New England Chapter Meeting (September, 2016) 
  • Panelist, “Interpreting US SEC 2011 Cybersecurity Risk,” ABA 2016 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (August, 2016)
  • Panelist, "AG Role in Consumer Protection: Top Cop, Protector of Consumers, including Vulnerable Populations, or Over the Top Regulator? Will the Real AG Please Stand Up!," George Washington Law School (October 2015)
  • Speaker, “Are you prepared, ready & resilient?,” PwC Cybercrime & Healthcare Roundtable, Boston, MA (March, 2015)
  • Regularly presenter of trainings and instruction at conferences and seminars, both in Massachusetts and nationwide
  • Guest lecturer for colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Boston College Law School and Tufts University
  • Guest lecturer for organizations such as the Columbia Law Review, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society.
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts