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WBA Holds Annual Meeting and Newly Admitted Lawyers Reception

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

27 School Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA  02108

Ph: 617.973.6666    Fax: 617.973.6663







Andrea Kramer
President 2012-2013

Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

Lurleen Gannon

President 2013-2014

Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

Patricia Comfort,
 Executive Director

Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

(617) 973-6666




Women’s Bar Association Transitions to New Leadership, Welcomes New Lawyers and Honors Leaders in the Community


BOSTON, MA – March 21, 2013 – The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) held its 2013 annual meeting and reception for newly admitted lawyers on March 20, 2013 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. At these events the WBA ushers in new leadership, welcomes new women attorneys to the Massachusetts legal community, and recognizes both WBA and civic leaders for their contributions over the past year.


The WBA is delighted to welcome as the organization’s incoming President Lurleen Gannon, an accomplished attorney at the firm Conn Kavanaugh in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing her practice in the areas of employment law, municipal law and commercial litigation.  Lurleen has made a substantial contribution to the WBA over the years and shown a strong commitment to the WBA mission. Lurleen has served as the WBA’s President-Elect for a term, the WBA’s Vice President of Membership and Statewide Outreach for two terms, and as the WBA’s Secretary for one term. Recently, she embarked on a new initiative for connecting the WBA to women-owned/women-led businesses


At the annual meeting, the WBA voted on the slate of officers put forth by the nominating committee and Board and elected members of the Board of Directors. The slate of officers consisted of: Kara DelTufo of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to serve as President-Elect; Meredith Ainbinder of Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers, LLP to serve as Vice President of Statewide Outreach and Membership; Kimberly Dougherty of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC to serve as Vice President of Operations; Jennifer Saubermann of the Massachusetts legislature’s Senate Ways & Means Committee to serve as Treasurer; and Kristin Shirahama of Rosenberg, Freedman & Lee, LLP to serve as Secretary. Each promises to bring demonstrated leadership ability and many years of WBA experience to the Executive Board.

This year, the WBA honored Massachusetts State Senator Katherine Clark as Legislator of the Year for her distinguished service on women’s issues during her tenure in the State House. Senator Clark represents the 5th Middlesex District and currently serves as the Senate Chair of both the Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy. Senator Clark, an attorney, received her J.D. from Cornell Law School and her Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Prior to entering the legislature, Senator Clark held positions as General Counsel for the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services and Chief of the Policy Division for the Massachusetts Attorney General. Senator Clark was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and the Senate in 2011. The WBA is grateful for her distinctive leadership on WBA priority bill, An Act providing for equitable coverage in disability policies (S. 427). The WBA also supports other bills she has sponsored, including An Act prohibiting discrimination in insurance policies (S. 426) and An Act relative to healthy youth (S. 209). The Senator has consistently supported the WBA over the years, most recently by serving as a panelist at the WBA’s “State House 101” event, where WBA members had the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and how to be an effective advocate. Senator Clark also regularly attends the WBA Annual Legislative Breakfast, and recently joined some of her fellow women lawyer-legislator colleagues for a candid discussion with the WBA about various topics, including the achievements for women in the state and national elections and how to get women more politically active. The WBA appreciates Senator Clark’s commitment to help victims of domestic violence and ensure such victims have the resources and protections in place to be safe. In August 2012, the Governor signed into law Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012, which included language sponsored by Senator Clark that allows domesticated animals to be included in abuse protection orders. The legislation addressed the well documented correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. The WBA thanks the Senator for her consistent service on behalf of women and women’s issues, and we will continue to work closely with the Senator to help advance WBA’s legislative priorities.


The keynote speaker at the reception for the newly admitted lawyers was the Honorable Barbara A. Lenk, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, who was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011. Justice Lenk is the first openly gay member of the Supreme Judicial Court. Justice Lenk received a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Justice Lenk’s career first began in 1979 at the Boston law firm of Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer (now known as Brown Rudnick), where she later became a partner at the firm, and focused her practice on civil litigation, with a specialty in First Amendment matters. In 1993, Governor William Weld appointed her to the Superior Court, where she served until 1995, when he elevated her to the Appeals Court, where she served until 2011. Justice Lenk’s past civic involvement includes serving as a Board member of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association; as Chair of the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal; and as a member of the Judicial Administration Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Her current involvement includes serving as a Trustee of Western New England University and as a member of the Boston Inn of Court. Justice Lenk also co-authored “Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts.” Justice Lenk issued the decision in Commonwealth v. Pugh, a case in which the WBA submitted an amicus brief. The WBA commended the SJC’s ruling, which held that a pregnant woman does not owe a duty to her own viable fetus to summon medical assistance and/or intervention during childbirth such that she may not be found criminally liable for her conduct during childbirth that inadvertently causes the fetus’s death in circumstances such as those of this case.


Incoming WBA President Lurleen Gannon stated, “I would like to thank Andrea Kramer for her leadership this year and tireless commitment to the WBA’s mission, of which she is a passionate advocate. I look forward to continuing the WBA’s efforts to support women and families of the Commonwealth and to assist our members in achieving professional success and satisfaction. ”


“Serving as president of the WBA, a wonderful organization that accomplishes so much each and every year, has been an honor and privilege.  The end of my term is bittersweet, but I leave knowing that the organization is strong and will remain so thanks to its excellent upcoming leadership and the best volunteers in Massachusetts, all of whom give so much to improve the lives of women in the Commonwealth and to advance the interests of women lawyers,” said outgoing WBA President Andrea Kramer.


About the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

Founded in 1978 by a group of activist women lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association boasts a large membership of women lawyers, judges, policy makers, and law students across Massachusetts.  The WBA is committed to the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society. The WBA works to achieve this mission through committees and task forces and by developing and promoting a legislative agenda to address society’s most critical social and legal issues.  Other WBA activities include drafting amicus briefs, studying employment issues affecting women, encouraging women to enter the judiciary, recognizing the achievement of women in the law, and providing pro bono services to women in need through its sister organization, the Women’s Bar Foundation.  For more information, visit