About 200 bar leaders, colleagues
and family members celebrated the beginning of Valerie A. Yarashus'
term as 2009-10 president of the Massachusetts Bar Association on
Sept. 24 at the Top of the Hub on the 52nd floor of the
Prudential Center in Boston.
"The common characteristics of the
great ones are a depth of personal character and exquisite
judgment," said Leo V. Boyle, Yarashus' partner at Meehan, Boyle,
Black & Bogdanow PC in Boston, in introducing her. "That is
where Valerie excels. She is a rock to many people."
Yarashus thanked her mentors,
including Paul and Neil Sugarman of Sugarman and Sugarman PC in
Boston, for their guidance throughout her career. She also credited
the support of her colleagues and family and the staff of the
She noted that nearly 100 years ago,
30 lawyers met to form the MBA as an all-inclusive bar association
- at a time when the profession was anything but - including
African-American, Jewish and women lawyers.
"Together, we are stronger than we
are alone," she said.
In recognition of the MBA's
centennial celebration next year, as well as the organization's 15
50-year members honored at the event, Yarashus drew a direct line
between the MBA's past, present and future.
"Like the founders of this wonderful
organization, these 50-year honorees have given themselves to
causes larger than themselves," she said. "They've carried those
values with them for the last 50 years, and now, our job is to
carry those forward for the future."