Marisa Christina Maleck, aged 37, unexpectedly passed away on April 17, 2023, leaving behind a profound sense of loss. Marisa was the beloved daughter of Maria F. Rodriguez-Maleck and Paul M. Maleck from West Springfield, MA, and the cherished sister of Marta Rodriguez Maleck from New Orleans, LA.
Who is Marisa Maleck?
Marisa was known for her vibrant personality and her kind and loving nature. She was incredibly generous to her family and friends, and her presence was adored by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. Despite her numerous accomplishments, Marisa remained humble and rarely spoke about her achievements. Instead, she preferred to listen to others and genuinely cared about making a positive impact and bringing happiness to those around her. Marisa possessed a brilliant mind and had a lifelong passion for learning. She immersed herself in reading from a young age until her final days. She was an exceptional debater, both at home and beyond. Marisa honed her skills in the debate club at Amherst College and continued to use her passion to share knowledge and express her opinions throughout her life. She also had an adventurous spirit and eagerly embraced experiences such as traveling the world, learning new recipes, trying diverse cuisines, and embracing the joy of life.
Marisa graduated with honors from Amherst College, where she pursued a double major in political science and gender studies. Subsequently, she briefly worked for The Federalist Society before entering law school in 2008. In 2011, she graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where she received the Thomas R. Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy and the Ann Watson Barber Outstanding Service Award for her exceptional contributions to the law school’s quality of life.
Marisa began her legal career as an associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s DC office, where she took great pride in her pro bono work. Notably, she successfully won an appeal on behalf of a female victim of human trafficking and played a crucial role in an appeal that resulted in the striking down of a voting law in Guam that restricted voting based on race.
Fulfilling her lifelong dream, Marisa served as a clerk at the United States Supreme Court from 2015 to 2016. She considered it a privilege to be selected as one of the clerks for the Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas and was grateful for the opportunity to interact with the Justices of the Court and their clerks. Another notable achievement was her clerkship for the Honorable Justice William H. Pryor, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which prepared her for her role at the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2016, Marisa joined King & Spalding, where she became a partner in the Data Privacy & Security and Appellate practice. Marisa was always mindful of her responsibility and had a strong desire to assist the underprivileged. She held a particular interest in advocating for individuals who had been unfairly or unjustly incarcerated. To this end, she actively engaged in pro bono representation of indigent defendants through federal appellate appointments as part of the Criminal Justice Act program. Additionally, she served as a screener for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Marisa found joy in achieving a balance between her personal life with her partner in Maine and her professional work in DC. During her final months, she dedicated herself to significant data privacy breach cases and aimed to share her knowledge with others. She frequently expressed her happiness in working at King & Spalding and considered herself fortunate to be able to pursue work she loved.
Marisa deeply loved her family, and her absence will be felt profoundly. She is survived by her parents, Maria and Paul, her sibling Marta, and her partner Zachary Manuel from New Orleans. She is also survived by her paternal grandmother, Jean Bonacquist from Schenectady, NY, her beloved partner, Peter Murphy, M.D. from Maine, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends in the United States and abroad.
Marisa Maleck Obituary and Funeral Service
A private family service will be held at Saint Christopher’s Church, followed by burial at Hillside Cemetery in Tiverton, RI, in the coming days. In memory of Marisa’s advocacy work, the family kindly requests that, instead of flowers, donations be made to a charity of your choice or one that aligns with Marisa’s dedication to making a difference.
You can read some condolences for Marisa Maleck below;
Deseo que pronto encuentren la paz, el consuelo y la fuerza para atravesar este triste momento. Les mando muchísimo amor y un fuerte abrazo a toda la familia.
April 22, 2023
To Marisa’s parents, sister, extended family, Paul, and her beloved friends, I am so very sorry for your indescribable loss.
I worked with Marisa at King & Spalding until my recent departure from the firm. We quickly connected over our shared love of administrative law and how much we enjoyed that type of work and became fast friends. We decided that our penchant for “nerdiness” made us “twins”– a nickname that we used for each other.
I am a grateful beneficiary of Marisa’s extraordinary kindness and generosity. She was generous with her clients, insisting first on introducing me to them and then on working together on any new matters that derived from those introductions. She was generous with her time, organizing dinners that always involved good food, great laughs, and the best company. She also was incredibly thoughtful — always sending a well-timed check-in text after my father passed away at the end of last year.
I used to tell Marisa that I admired her unapologetic boldness in the face of issues that she believed resulted in a negative and/or disproportionate impact on people. I also admired her keen intellect, which she deployed to bolster her position with facts.
To me, what made Marisa special is that, above all of the academic and professional successes that she had (and there were many), she cared most about people. She left an indelible mark in my life and (I am certain) in the lives of those who knew her and were on the receiving end of her kindness and care. I pray that her wonderful memory is a blessing to her family and all who knew and loved her during the difficult days and weeks ahead.
April 22, 2023
Maria, Paul and Marta,
My heart is aching for you as you grieve for Marisa. May God´s love and the love of family and friends embrace and sustain you in your grief.
April 22, 2023
What an accomplished woman and such a lovely tribute. I cannot express my sorrow for all her family and friends. Please accept my condolences you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Laurie A Noel
April 22, 2023
I had the honor of working with Marisa for more than five years, including in the crucible of trial. Despite the pressures and difficulties, she always-always-had a smile and a laugh. She alway wanted to hear about others. She not only lit up a room, but she lit up when someone else walked into the room. And she made you feel like the most important person alive.
My deepest sympathies to her family.
April 22, 2023