Written By: Michael Mayor
“Find what you love to do.” Cheryl M. Kimball L’95 is currently the Managing Partner of Keegan Werlin LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. She specializes in energy, regulatory, and public utility law, representing a number of electric and gas utility companies, as well as major project developers. Keegan Werlin LLP is a boutique firm with 20 lawyers. Cheryl has found success in her career through hard work and perseverance.
Prior to law school, Cheryl graduated summa cum laude from Fitchburg State University. Cheryl initially wanted to pursue a Master’s degree in Economic Policy following her undergraduate education. Cheryl decided to attend Syracuse University College of Law on a scholarship. A professor at Fitchburg State University recommended Syracuse University. Cheryl also credits Cheryl Ficarra with having a strong influence over her decision to attend Syracuse University. After her first year, she pursued a joint degree M.P.A. with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she primarily focused on economic policy.
Syracuse was not a consideration until Cheryl’s professor at Fitchburg made the recommendation. Cheryl grew up 10-15 minutes west of Boston in Westford, Massachusetts. She was the oldest of nine children growing up. Cheryl was 25 years old and a mother of two girls when she began at Syracuse. Despite the challenge of moving at the time, she does not regret the decision to make the move to Syracuse. Cheryl excelled and graduated summa cum laude in both the law school and her MPA program.
Cheryl loved collaborating with smart students at Syracuse University College of Law, and developed strong relationships with people she still knows to this day. She said Syracuse was a warm and supportive environment. Cheryl also enjoyed her time in the M.P.A. program at Maxwell, especially meeting new people with different interests. However, most of all she felt that the faculty at Syracuse University College of Law were tremendous. In particular, Professor Banks and Professor Lape. Both professors taught Cheryl skills that have translated into her legal career. She felt that the way she was taught to analyze problems and “think like a lawyer” has allowed her to approach any legal problem. Cheryl believes that Syracuse sets itself apart from other law schools where the focus may be more on motion practice.
During Cheryl’s second summer in law school, she started as a Summer Associate at Hiscock and Barclay in Syracuse. In 1996, she began a position as Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Cheryl began to build her expertise in the public utilities area from the governmental side. Keegan Werlin LLP routinely practices before public utility commissions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. In 1997, Cheryl joined Keegan Werlin LLP and has been there since.
Cheryl shared one of her most gratifying legal experiences from early on in her career. In Massachusetts, appeals from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities go up to the state’s highest court. She had the opportunity to help prepare a brief and assist her supervising attorney in the matter. She described the experience as “going before seven Professor Lapes.” It was such a nerve-wracking experience for her, but when it was all said and done, it was the best experience she ever had. They won the case and it was one her biggest legal accomplishments.
Cheryl reiterated that when you find something you love to do, you will work harder, and be the best at it. Syracuse University College of Law helped give Cheryl the tools to pursue her passion. She recommends that all law students embrace their time at law school and engage with their professors.