Budd to receive MBA Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award at 2023 Annual Gala

Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd

Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Chief Justice Kimberly S. Budd will receive the Massachusetts Bar Association's Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award at the MBA Annual Gala on Thursday, May 11, at the Westin Boston Seaport District, 425 Summer St., Boston. The Hennessey Award is presented to a federal or state court judge within Massachusetts who has upheld the highest traditions for public service, while demonstrating extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice.

Budd was appointed as an associate justice of the SJC by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016, and four years later was elevated to the leadership position she now holds. As such, Budd became the first African American woman to serve at the helm of the commonwealth’s third branch of government.  

"Since her history-making appointment to lead Massachusetts' highest court, Chief Justice Budd has shown an unwavering commitment to advancing the ideal of equal justice for all, and to rooting out inequities in our legal system," said MBA President Grace V.B. Garcia. "Through her legal opinions, her stewardship of the judiciary, and her advocacy at public events, Chief Justice Budd has exemplified the qualities of service and integrity that define this award."

A classmate of former President Barack Obama, Budd earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and her B.A. from Georgetown University. She began her legal career as a law clerk for the chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, worked as a litigation associate in the Boston office of Mintz Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC, and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Major Crimes and Drug Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

Prior to her initial appointment to the bench in 2009, Budd worked in the General Counsel’s Office of Harvard University, and later directed the Community Values Program at Harvard Business School. She then was nominated and elevated to the Superior Court by Governor Deval Patrick, and in her last year as a trial court judge on that bench, served as the regional administrative justice for Middlesex Criminal Justice.

Budd is married to Bill Thompson and they have two young adult sons.
The MBA Annual Gala will also include a keynote speech by Juliette Kayyem, faculty chair of the Homeland Security and Security and Global Health projects at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the presentation of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship. In addition to Budd, the following individuals will receive awards:

MBA Gold Medal Award: MBA Past President Christopher A. Kenney of Kenney & Sams PC

MBA Public Service Award: Hon. Bonnie H. MacLeod (ret.) of JAMS

MBA Legislator of the Year Award: State Rep. Michael S. Day (D-Stoneham)


Consider joining our growing list of event sponsors by selecting one of the options below:

Gold Sponsor — $5,000

  • 8 tickets
  • Full-page vertical advertisement in program (5"W x 8"H)
  • Logo/firm name projected at event and featured on MBA website
  • Additional prominent recognition at the event

Silver Sponsor — $2,500

  • 8 tickets
  • Half-page horizontal advertisement in program (5"W x 4"H)
  • Logo/firm name projected at event and featured on MBA website

Bronze Sponsor — $1,750

  • 8 tickets
  • Logo/firm name projected at event
Click here for a sponsorship form. 

Please submits ads/logos to Heather Robertson at by Friday, April 28. Logos and ads should be hi-res (300 dpi) jpg, eps or pdf. 

Thank you to our Signature Sponsor, the Massachusetts Bar Association Insurance Agency, and the following Gold and Silver Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

  • C.N.A. Insurance
  • Goodwin Law
  • Kenney & Sams, P.C.
  • Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C.
  • Morrison Mahoney LLP
  • Rubin and Rudman LLP
  • Sheff & Cook, LLC
  • Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP
  • Turco Legal, P.C.

Silver Sponsors

  • Arrowood, LLP
  • Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC
  • Chris Milne Law 
  • Diller Law, LLP
  • Eden Rafferty
  • Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
  • Hinckley Allen
  • Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, LLP
  • JAMS
  • Kazarosian Costello, LLP
  • Lubin & Meyer, PC
  • McGrath & Kane 
  • Mintz
  • MJP Wealth Advisors 
  • Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo, LLP
  • Todd & Weld, LLP
  • Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer, LLP
Additional program information to be announced.

Registration for this event is due by Friday, May 5, at noon.


Questions regarding this event can be directed to MBA Membership and Marketing Manager Heather Robertson at To register by phone, please call (617) 338-0530.