When Emil Ata ‘05 drives from his home in Randolph to his job as Assistant Norfolk District Attorney and Supervising Prosecutor at the Quincy District Court, he often passes by Archbishop Williams High School.
“I credit all of this to getting a good education at Archbishop Williams,” Ata said of his career. “I’m still in touch with many of my classmates. I play basketball with them, and they encouraged and supported me as I went through law school.”
Ata, a graduate of Emmanuel College and Suffolk University Law School, is also thankful for his AWHS English teachers Ms. Kathy Habel, Mr. Gus Lawlor and Mr. Paul Scavotto who helped him develop his critical thinking and reading skills, which were so important to success in law school.
Ata has been working for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey since graduating from law school in 2015. For two years before that, he was an intern in the DA’s office, where his hard work and expertise were noticed, leading to his current position.
But serving in the local court system is only part of his legal career. Ata recently joined the Army Reserve, and in May, will report to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training, and when completed, he’ll head to the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va.
His experience in the military and in the district court will complement each other well.
“Those who sacrifice to serve our country in the Guard and Reserve need to know that their employers, their friends and their communities are behind them and support them,” District Attorney Morrissey said in a press release. “Emil Ata is not the first member of my staff to serve in uniform and I hope he will not be the last. The insight, experience and discipline that military training provides is an asset to the DA’s office, just as it proves an asset to other organizations. We thank him for his service.”
Morrissey’s support of Ata and others in his office who serve in the military, has earned him an award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, which honored Morrissey for each of the last two years with an “Above and Beyond” award in recognition of extraordinary support of its members who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Morrissey, for example, assures that Ata and others are paid the equivalent of a full salary while serving in the reserve..
According to Earl Bonett, ESGR Massachusetts Chair, “The ESGR ‘Above and Beyond’ Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers who provide extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees and members, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” Bonett said in the same press release. “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”