Welcome Back Reception honors pioneers, celebrates MBA diversity

Thursday, May 19, 2022

At its first major in-person event in more than two years, the Massachusetts Bar Association held a Welcome Back Reception on May 12 to celebrate the organization’s ongoing legacy of diversity and honor two pioneering members of the legal community.

Held at the Westin Boston Seaport District, the reception featured remarks by President Thomas M. Bond on the MBA’s history of welcoming lawyers from all backgrounds in accordance with its founding principles. Bond noted that the MBA has admitted Black lawyers since its incorporation in 1911, a time when other legal associations had yet to integrate, and registered its first female member two years later. 

In 1979, Wayne A. Budd became the MBA’s first Black president and the first Black president of any state bar association in the country. More than 40 years after his groundbreaking election, Budd received the MBA President’s Award for his service to the profession, including as both U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts and associate attorney general of the United States. 

The MBA also presented its President’s Award to Rachael S. Rollins, who currently leads the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, making her the first Black woman to hold that position. Rollins previously made history as the first female district attorney in Suffolk County and the first woman of color to serve as district attorney in the commonwealth. 

Prior to the presentation of awards, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd spoke to attendees about the importance of diversity on the bench, citing recent appointments at the state and federal levels. Chief Justice Budd, the daughter of Wayne A. Budd, also discussed the courts’ collective efforts to combat systemic inequalities and discrepancies in criminal sentencing.

To conclude the event, Bond read the names of this year’s graduating Leadership Academy Fellows and described them as the future leaders of an increasingly diverse legal community. (See related story on the Leadership Academy graduation.)

Click here to view event photos by Jeff Thiebauth and Eric Haynes.

The MBA thanks its Signature Sponsor, the MBA Insurance Agency, and the following Diversity Champion Sponsors:

  • Arrowood LLP
  • Breakstone, White & Gluck PC
  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston University School of Law
  • Burns & Levinson LLP 
  • Campbell Conroy & O’Neil PC
  • Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc.
  • Dalton & Finegold LLP
  • Dilday Law PC  
  • Diller Law LLP
  • Fitch Law Partners LLP
  • Gesmer Updegrove LLP
  • Goodwin Procter LLP
  • JAMS
  • Justia
  • JusticeApp
  • Kazarosian Costello LLP
  • Keches Law Group PC
  • Kenney & Sams PC
  • Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
  • Law Offices of Samuel A. Segal
  • LexisNexis
  • Lubin & Meyer PC
  • Marcotte Law Firm LLC
  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Bar Foundation
  • Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers
  • McGrath & Kane Attorneys at Law Inc.
  • Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow PC
  • Melick & Porter LLP
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Morrison Mahoney LLP
  • Morrissey, Wilson & Zafiropoulos LLP
  • New England Law | Boston
  • O’Brien & Levine Court Reporting Solutions, A Magna Legal Services Company
  • Perkins & Anctil
  • Ringler Associates
  • Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Rubin and Rudman LLP
  • Sheff Law
  • Sherin and Lodgen LLP
  • Suffolk University Law School
  • Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP
  • The Kaplan/Bond Group
  • Todd & Weld LLP
  • Turco Legal
  • UMass Law
  • Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer LLP