Professor Sharon Beckman co-teaches the Boston College Criminal Justice Clinic and
supervises the BC Defenders, third-year law students who represent indigent clients
charged with crimes in the Boston Municipal Court. She directs the Boston College
Innocence Project, where law students work to exonerate innocent people who have been
wrongfully convicted. A BCLS faculty member since 1996, Professor Beckman has also taught
courses in Criminal and Constitutional Law and seminars on Punishment, White Collar
Crime, and the Supreme Court. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including
the University Distinguished Teaching Award, the Emil Slizewski Outstanding Teaching
Award, and the Ruth-Arlene Howe/Black Law Students Association Faculty Member of the Year
Professor Beckman graduated from Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law
School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review. She served as a law
clerk to the Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States and to
Hon. Frank Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to
teaching, Professor Beckman was a trial and appellate lawyer in Boston and Chicago
specializing in criminal defense and civil liberties litigation.
An avid swimmer, Sharon Beckman was a silver medalist in the 2009 United States Masters
Swimming Championships. She is currently the New England Champion and ranked in the
National Top Ten in several events. In the 1980s she was the first New England woman to
swim across the English Channel and was ranked 1st in the United States and 3rd in the
world among professional marathon swimmers. She participates in Swim Across America,
which raises money for cancer research.
Professor Beckman is married and the mother of two teenagers.
Selected Professional Activities
Works in Progress