The first semblance of celebrating women's history in our nation
came to light in the 1970s. The official observance has since grown
into a month-long celebration. First recognized as "Women's History
Week" in 1981, National Women's History Month carries throughout
the month of March and enjoys bipartisan support in the House and
Senate, as both continue to support the resolution annually.
This national observance is also a timely excuse for me to
highlight the extraordinary women who enrich our profession and
those who simply serve as an inspiration to us all.
First, I look to the women who have come before me in the MBA
office of the president. I've been privileged to gain much from
each of these women presidents, who all have aptly led the
association as the preeminent voice of the legal community in
Massachusetts. I trust you'll read with great interest the cover
article that focuses on this impressive slate of women.
Second, I salute the women in our profession who continue to make
a difference in their clients' livelihoods on a daily basis -- from
the many women attorneys who have succeeded in being named partner
at their respective large firms to the many solo practitioners
across the state.
I also applaud those women who respectfully serve as part of
Massachusetts's exemplary judiciary. I commend the Hon. Margaret
Marshall and her work as the first female SJC chief justice, and
applaud the examples set by Associate Justice Margot Botsford,
outgoing Associate Justice Judith Cowin and the newest addition to
the Supreme Judicial Court, the Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly. Their
collective contributions have been remarkable and have set a path
for younger female attorneys to aspire to.
Likewise, we are honored to have three of the departments of the
Trial Court led by highly respected jurists. Chief Justices Barbara
J. Rouse, Lynda M. Connolly and Paula M. Carey have consistently
led the Superior, District and Probate and Family courts in the
commonwealth to better serve the citizens of Massachusetts.
Last, stepping back and looking beyond our legal community, I am
not at a loss to quickly point out leading women at the helm of
influential public and private institutions. I applaud the hard
work of Attorney General Martha Coakley, Senate President Therese
Murray, Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, Harvard Law School Dean Martha
Minow, Bentley College President Gloria Larson and Blue Cross Blue
Shield Chief Legal Counsel Sandra Jesse, to name only a few.
I encourage the legal community, men and women alike, to let this
column serve as a reminder of the important impact women attorneys
have had on the good of the commonwealth. As a mother to a grown
daughter, I take particular pride in seeing the opportunities
awaiting her as she begins to make her mark in the professional
arena and beyond.