Rachel Stroup

Picture of Rachel Stroup

I focus my practice on employment law, criminal defense, and university discipline. I am a tenacious advocate who is dedicated to fighting for your rights.

Practice Focus Employment Law and Other Civil Rights

I bring to bear vast experience, sound judgment, and compassion to achieve exceptional results for you. I have successfully represented people across a wide range of discrimination claims (race, sex, national origin, religion, age, and sexual orientation), as well as claims of retaliation, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, wrongful termination, violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and breach of contract. I regularly advise individuals facing these issues, and I have litigated in state and federal courts, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

I listen carefully to ascertain your needs and work with you to devise a case strategy aimed at achieving your goals, whether it is receiving compensation for injuries suffered or going to trial. My strong advocacy, thoughtful decision-making, and hard work have led to substantial pretrial settlements for my clients, including:

  • Obtained a substantial settlement for client with sexual harassment claims.
  • Secured a substantial settlement, pre-litigation, for client with sex and age discrimination claims.
  • Settled clients’ claims for Massachusetts Wage Act violations.
  • Obtained a substantial settlement for a client with employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation claims.
  • Settled claims for national origin, religion, disability, race, sex, and sexual orientation discrimination.

I also advise clients facing difficult workplace situations, sometimes helping them to remain in their jobs, and when that is not possible, negotiating separation and severance agreements. My legal knowledge and litigation experience enable stronger negotiating positions that you can leverage to help resolve your situation.

Additionally, I represent clients in other civil matters, including corporate litigation, divorce, and personal injury.

Criminal Defense

I apply the same tenacity, thoroughness, and strategic sense to my criminal cases as my civil cases. I have worked on a wide range of felony and misdemeanor criminal matters in state and federal courts. I represent clients charged with murder, firearms violations, drug possession and distribution, wire fraud, assault, OUI, negligent operation, possession of child pornography, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, and disorderly conduct. I also represent plaintiffs and defendants in restraining order hearings and those charged with violating restraining orders. No matter the situation, I am engaged in all facets of preparing for and conducting trial, from working closely with you to ensure your needs are met, to preparing and arguing motions and examining witnesses.

I have secured excellent results for my clients, some through trial and some before trial:

  • Tried two first-degree murder cases, one to a not guilty verdict after I conducted a critical cross-examination of the Commonwealth's cellphone expert.
  • Secured a not guilty verdict for a client charged with OUI and negligent operation.
  • Convinced the prosecutor to agree to a continuance without a finding in a recent drug case, which will result in a dismissal and no conviction on the client’s record once the client completes probation.
  • Secured pre-trial probation for a client who faced charges of assault and battery, battery on a police officer, and other charges. Following a short term of unsupervised probation, the client’s case was dismissed.
  • Represented a client convicted of child pornography charges before the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) and got him categorized as a low-level offender, which made it easier for him to rebuild his life after his incarceration.

I also serve on the federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel to represent indigent federal defendants in Boston federal district courts.

Student Rights & Title IX

My background and experience in criminal defense prove valuable in defending students who face charges of academic misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. I have successfully represented clients in disciplinary proceedings at various colleges and universities against allegations of sexual misconduct, cheating, and other campus code violations. I bring my depth of knowledge of school discipline cases, as well as civil and criminal litigation, to each student disciplinary matter, and work closely with students and their families to devise a case strategy that will meet their needs. Recent successes include:

  • Assisted a client in obtaining a not responsible finding on charges of sexual misconduct.
  • Advocated on behalf of a client to have the Title IX charges against him dismissed.
  • Overturned a finding of cheating on appeal.
  • Assisted a client in obtaining findings of not responsible on misconduct charges.
  • Advocated on behalf of client to have misconduct charges dismissed and law degree awarded, where law degree had been withheld while misconduct proceeding was pending.
Professional Activities
  • Member, Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Family Law (2021 - 2022)
  • Super Lawyers
    • Employment (2021)
    • Rising Stars, Massachusetts (2015 - 2016)
Why I Became a Lawyer

I became a lawyer because I wanted to advocate for people who need legal representation. I came to Zalkind because the firm enables me to work collaboratively with other talented, dedicated lawyers so I can fight hard to achieve success for my clients.


J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 2006

B.A., Wesleyan University, 1999

Bar & Court Admissions Commonwealth of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent - Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence 2020
Recognized by Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms
Client Reviews
I hired Mr. Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr. Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.