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Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly tells little about law work, emphasizes path to public service

John Connolly said he has represented about 30 clients since he became a city councilor.
John Connolly said he has represented about 30 clients since he became a city councilor.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff

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It’s the missing link in John Connolly’s biography. The one you won't hear about on the campaign trail. For all his talk of his experience as a teacher, Connolly has spent far longer, 12 years, as a lawyer.

His legal career has taken him into the offices of Ropes & Gray, one of the city’s top law firms, where as an entry-level lawyer he assisted in corporate transactions including the leveraged buyout of a large private company. He’s worked in bankruptcy law and later launched his own firm, where he handled minor business transactions while spending the bulk of his time as a City Council.

But Connolly rarely mentions his work as a lawyer, insisting the law “was never where [his] heart was.” He emphasizes that he doesn’t “have anything to hide,” but has steadfastly refused requests to release his client list for that legal work, citing attorney-client privilege.

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