by Evin Luongo
For nearly 20 years, Martha Rush O'Mara has been a
solo-practitioner in the area of children's law in the Boston
Juvenile Court and the Probate and Family Court. In 2003, when Rush
O'Mara was serving as the president of the Massachusetts
Association of Women Lawyers, she sat on the Massachusetts Bar
Association's House of Delegates and was impressed by the
networking and professional development opportunities the HOD
Today, Rush O'Mara is the co-chair of the MBA's Juvenile &
Child Welfare Law Section and an avid volunteer in the
Massachusetts legal community.
In the midst of a busy work schedule, Rush O'Mara has made it a
priority to dedicate her services to those individuals who are in
need. Her history of public service began several years ago, when
she became an MBA designee on the Massachusetts Legal Assistance
Corporation's Board of Directors - an organization that seeks to
ensure that low-income people have adequate access to legal
resources. Rush O'Mara has served on the MLAC board since 2005 and
is the current chair.
Elizabeth Lynch, executive director of the Massachusetts Bar
Foundation, the MBA's philanthropic partner, says Rush O'Mara shows
"extraordinary dedication to helping the many people in our
communities who need access to justice to obtain it."
Rush O'Mara has been a fellow with the MBF since 2005, and has
been a welcome and effective advocate of the MBF's mission, Lynch
said: "Martha contributes generously to the MBF, and she is among
the first to volunteer to participate in the work we do, including
the annual IOLTA grant review. She has truly played an integral
part in strengthening the delivery of legal services throughout the
state of Massachusetts."
Rush O'Mara's pro bono involvement has been extensive
and diverse, ranging from her work with children at the Children's
Law Center to law school graduates. Shireen Madan-Patton is one
graduate who has benefited from Rush O'Mara's generosity and
When Madan-Patton came to a Juvenile & Child Welfare Section
Council meeting for new lawyers, Rush O'Mara offered to help her
transition from pediatrician to lawyer. Rush O'Mara took
Madan-Patton to the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston to meet a
few judges, introduced her to other attorneys and gave her advice
about starting her own firm.
Equipped with the knowledge that Rush O'Mara had provided her,
Madan-Patton soon became appointed guardian ad litem just a few
months after being admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.
"What Martha did for me was extraordinary. I met Martha by
chance at the MBA meeting, and her generosity with her time and
knowledge has gotten me this guardian ad litem appointment," said
Madan-Patton, who praises Rush O'Mara not only for her qualities as
a mentor, but also as a friend. "I have been so lucky; with
Martha's friendship, I now have someone to go to for advice and