Judy Clarke for the defense

Photo by Reed Saxon/AP

If he is convicted, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect may be spared a trip to death row thanks to the addition of a criminal defense whiz—with a history of securing life sentences—to his legal team. Judy Clarke, a 1974 Furman graduate, joined Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team on Monday. Clarke, however, doesn’t seek out big death-penalty cases; they find her. She was profiled on NBCNews.com.

A native of Asheville, N.C., Clarke graduated from Furman with a degree in psychology before earning her law degree at the University of South Carolina.  She has spent most of her career in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Read more at NBCNews.com