Discovering Justice Events

Courtroom Sketch Art: Documenting History and Justice

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Discovering Justice’s Executive Director, Matt Wilson, facilitates a conversation between U.S. Senior District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, Courtroom Artist Elizabeth Williams, and Boston Globe Reporter Shelley Murphy about the profession itself, its impact on journalists, and also on public perception of the justice system. During the event, we recognize the life and work of Jane Flavell Collins, a well-admired courtroom sketch artist who passed away in 2021 and frequently covered federal proceedings in our federal district.


U.S. District Douglas P. Woodlock | Douglas P. Woodlock was appointed a United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts in 1986. As chair of the new Boston Federal Courthouse Building Committee since 1988, he has supervised on behalf of the courts the design, construction, and ongoing maintenance of the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse and HarborPark. In that capacity, he continues to represent the interests of the courts in discussions among stakeholders concerning the unfolding development of the Seaport/Innovation District surrounding the federal courthouse on Boston’s Fan Pier. Before graduating from law school in 1975, Judge Woodlock began his work career as a newspaper reporter with the Chicago Daily News during the summer of 1968, covering the federal courts in Chicago where he first found himself immersed in the medium of courtroom sketch artistry. Later in that summer, he was part of the Daily News team covering the tumultuous Democratic National Convention. He joined the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times, the sister paper of the Daily News, in 1969 as a general assignment reporter during the trial of the Chicago 7 arising from the previous year’s Democratic National Convention. He then covered the Illinois legislature before moving to the Sun-Times Washington Bureau in 1971 where, from 1971-1973, his beat was national legal institutions including the Supreme Court.

Reporter Shelley Murphy | Shelley Murphy is a reporter for The Boston Globe who covers federal court and focuses on enterprise stories involving criminal justice and legal affairs. She has been covering organized crime in Boston since the 1980s. She and her colleague, columnist Kevin Cullen, are co-authors of the New York Times bestseller, “Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice.” The 2013 book, published by W.W. Norton & Co. was a National Book Critics Circle nonfiction finalist. Since joining the Boston Globe in 1993, Murphy has had a variety of assignments: federal and state courts, deputy city editor and stints at the Massachusetts State House and on the Spotlight Team. She was part of the Globe staff that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category in 2014 for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Murphy was born and raised in Dorchester. She graduated cum laude from Northeastern University.

Illustrator Elizabeth Williams | Elizabeth Williams is a New York City-based illustrator, courtroom artist and author. She attended Washington University School of Art and graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1979. She began her illustration career in Los Angeles in 1980 drawing trials of the Hillside Stranglers and the anti-trust trial of Al Davis (owner of the Los Angeles Raiders football team) v. the National Football League. Williams’ court artwork has been published on the front page of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, New York Newsday and The National Law Journal. Her client list includes: The Associated Press, CNN, CNBC News, ABC News, Bloomberg News, NBC News, CBS News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Lawyer and National Law Journal.

Kayla Nordman

Kayla Nordman believes strongly in expanding access to comprehensive civic education to provide the next generation with the resources they need to uphold and expand upon the values of American democracy and create a more equitable future. Before joining Discovering Justice, she worked as a Legislative Intern at the Massachusetts State House and as a Program Manager for the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education. Kayla graduated from Suffolk University with a BA in International Relations.