Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Sep. 23, 2010
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Friends and members of the legal community participate in the Sept. 16 President's Reception for Denise Squillante. Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

Squillante kicks off centennial year, honors state Sen. Joan M. Menard

Squillante will also be honored by the Attleboro, Bristol County, Fall River, New Bedford and Women's Bar Associations on Sept. 30

As the Massachusetts Bar Association begins its 100th anniversary, now is the perfect time to support our judges and state courts, MBA President Denise Squillante said at the President's Reception at Boston's Omni Parker House Sept. 16.

"We are in this centennial year at a crossroads of our struggling courts. Average students and average citizens, many do not understand the role of our courts. This lack of understanding leads to lack of respect," said Squillante, who outlined her plans to develop a Civics in Education program and increase the work of the Fair and Impartial Judiciary Strike Force. "These issues are all wrapped up together, respect and understanding."

In his introduction of Squillante, MBA Past President Edward P. Ryan Jr. applauded her decades-long history of hard work in bar associations and commended her efforts in raising awareness of the good work of lawyers.

"Denise Squillante is also someone who has never shied away from the acknowledgment that she is a lawyer. She's proud to be a lawyer," said Ryan, chair of the Fair and Impartial Judiciary Strike Force. "She has carried the banner of 'proud to be a lawyer' her entire career."

Following a standing ovation, Squillante explained it was Ryan who introduced her to bar association work 15 years into her career. "I was literally plucked out of a crowd," she said. And then she received a letter from Ryan's wife, Mal Ryan, inviting her to join the Family Law Section.

The timing was perfect, said Squillante, who was contemplating leaving the practice of law to teach the subject. "I was literally at a career crossroads," said Squillante, who said she was feeling isolated. "It gave me, as a solo practitioner, a home. That is one of the real member benefits I hope to share across the state."

Also at the reception, Squillante presented state Sen. Joan M. Menard (D-Fall River) with the MBA Legislator of the Year Award. Presented annually, it is given to a state or federal legislator who has distinguished himself or herself in public service through outstanding contributions to the legal profession, courts and administration of justice.

Calling her a "trailblazer for women in the Legislature," Squillante said Menard "has proven to be a true leader with an outstanding intellect and an extraordinary ability. Her superior leadership skills and loyalty have been recognized throughout her rise through the ranks."

Click here to view event images.

Look for more on the Sept. 16 President's Reception in the October Lawyers Journal.

MBA President Denise Squillante will also be honored by the Attleboro, Bristol County, Fall River, New Bedford and Women's Bar Associations on Sept. 30 at the Venus de Milo Restaurant in Swansea. Click here to view the invitation. R.S.V.P. to Gerlinde Lowe at (508) 990-1303.

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