BY LYNN SWEET April 22, 2013
WASHINGTON--The defense team for Boston bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is led by Federal Public Defender Miriam Conrad, a 1979 graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism who left reporting to attend Harvard Law School and start a second career as an attorney.
Conrad was one of three Federal Public Defenders present at the brief bedside hearing held Monday for Tsarnaev at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Conrad attended Northwestern between 1975 and 1979, was an editor at the Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper, moving on to become a reporter at the Miami Herald.
Michele Weldon, an assistant professor at Medill, was one of Conrad's Northwestern classmates. In an interview on Monday Weldon told me Conrad was "one of the smartest people I know, a person of great integrity."
In 1992 Conrad became an assistant Federal Public Defender in Boston and in 2005 was appointed to a four-year term to oversee the entire office, which covers Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
According to an article in a Medill publication, Conrad is married to an attorney in private practice and is the mother of twin boys.