Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts
, released this week, reviews the evolving role of women in Massachusetts’ legal community since 1882. Edited by US District Court Judge Patti B. Saris, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Margot Botsford and Barbara F. Berenson, the book captures the experiences and personal reflections of 100 Massachusetts women lawyers and judges as they navigated paths to success within the legal community. Karen Green
, a partner in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department
was invited to contribute her personal reflections to the chapter on women in private practice. In “Confessions of a Chinese Acrobat”, Karen focuses on challenges she confronted as a “full-time woman litigator”, including a motion in which opposing counsel asserted that she had filed a motion for summary judgment in a highly-publicized environmental case to accommodate her maternity schedule. She uses the incident, which occurred less than 30 years ago, to illustrate how “the practice of law and the role of women within it have changed dramatically.”
Hundreds of similar stories of influential women are retold within the pages of Breaking Barriers
. Together, they provide a compelling account of the perseverance Massachusetts women have applied to overcome significant barriers within the legal profession in the past. They also furnish a platform for continued progress in the years to come.