Faculty Directory

Jay Blitzman

Union College, BA 1971
Boston College, JD 1974

The Honorable Jay Blitzman was first justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, Middlesex Division, at the time of his retirement in 2020. Prior to his 24-year judicial career, Judge Blitzman was a founder and the first director of the Roxbury Youth Advocacy Project, a community based interdisciplinary public defender unit that created the basis for the development of a statewide department. He also co-founded Citizen’s for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ) and serves on their advisory committee. He is a founder of Massachusetts Bar Association Juvenile and Child Welfare Section and was the first recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Award. Judge Blitzman was a co-founder of Our RJ, a school and pre-arraignment restorative justice initiative. He also serves on the advisory committee of UTEC in Lowell, Mass., and is an Access to Justice Fellow for More Than Words (MTW), based in metropolitan Boston and serving adolescents. He was a member of the Boston Bar Association Steering Committee on the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline. He currently serves on the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk and has been appointed as the ABA advisor to the Criminalization of Student Discipline Committee of the Uniform Law Committee (ULL).

Judge Blitzman publishes and presents regularly on a wide array of issues, including racial and ethnic equity in all contexts and adolescent development. He teaches trial advocacy at Harvard Law, juvenile law at Northeastern University School of law and a course on the cradle-to-prison pipeline at Boston College School of Law. Judge Blitzman chairs the juvenile committee of Northeastern Law’s Criminal Justice Reform Group and is a faculty member of the Center for Law Brain and Behavior (Harvard-Mass. General Hospital), focusing on juvenile and emerging adult issues. He is a member of the National Juvenile Defender Center Judicial Advisory Council and has co-authored bench cards on honoring Gault, adolescent development, racial and ethnic bias, sexual orientation and gender, fines and fees and bail, and collateral consequences. In 2019, he was honored with ABA Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award. The Massachusetts public defender agency annually presents the Jay D. Blitzman Youth Advocacy Award. He is also a Boston University Center on Antiracism research affiliate.