In Memoriam: Edward J. Barshak


Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) mourns the passing of Edward J. Barshak, our long-time Board member. Our thoughts are with all his family and friends at this difficult time.

Ed was a distinguished and influential leader in Boston’s legal community. His life-long passion and vision for racial justice continues to shape LCR’s mission and life-changing work.

In 2016, LCR joined forces with Ed and his law firm, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C., to launch the Edward J. Barshak Fund for Justice. The launch event program is available here, including a list of the fund’s initial supporters and Ed’s bio. Inspired by Ed’s leadership, more supporters have fueled the Barshak Fund over the years, including a major gift from WilmerHale.

The Barshak Fund’s resources continue to have a transformative impact enabling LCR’s free legal work on discrimination cases on behalf of people of color and immigrants in low-income communities.

LCR’s uplifting and creative work with Ed, Sugarman Rogers, and WilmerHale on the Barshak Fund created a powerful blueprint for other unique interventions and partnerships in Boston’s legal community, including the launch of the Ropes & Gray Justice Fellowship at LCR. In this manner, Ed’s legacy continues to inspire lawyers to join the racial justice and civil rights movement, and to help move the struggle for civil rights from the street to the courtroom.

We invite you to see our 2016 video tribute celebrating Ed’s life and legacy.

LCR is grateful to Sugarman Rogers for their uplifting note featuring Ed’s incredible accomplishments. Please click here to see the firm’s powerful tribute and to learn more about Ed’s life and legacy.

LCR is also grateful to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for featuring the 2016 launch of the Barshak Fund, including wonderful pictures of Ed, his family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you for sharing these memories.