2012 Midyear Conference


NAWJ Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference

March 9 - 11, 2012 • Cambridge, MA
The Charles Hotel

Dynamic, Joyous and Inspirational
2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference Delights all in Cambridge, Boston

The National Association of Women Judges returned to Boston, Massachusetts for its 2012 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference March 9-11. After more than a year of thoughtful planning and leadership, NAWJ President Judge Amy L. Nechtem of Massachusetts' Juvenile Court welcomed over 300 members of the legal community of judges, attorneys, and academics to Cambridge, Massachusetts for an dynamic meeting covering the topics of feminism, the United States Supreme Court, and the role of courts in preserving democracy and immigration. Attendees enjoyed the lovely Charles Hotel in Cambridge and later were welcomed at Harvard Law School, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at Columbia Point in Boston, and the Schlesinger Library of Women's History in America on the Harvard campus. Time was also spent in Cambridge exploring the interesting nooks of the historic city. This amazing weekend of activities would not have been possible without the additional energy and dedication of the Conference Planning Committee including President Hon. Amy L. Nechtem; NAWJ Past President Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly; NAWJ District One Director Hon. Ariane Vuono; NAWJ District One Deputy Director Hon. MaryLou Muirhead; Hon. Martine Carroll; Hon. Cynthia Cohen; Hon. Terry M. Craven; Hon. Leslie Donahue; Hon. Ellen Flatley; Hon. Patricia A. Flynn; Hon. Martha P. Grace; Hon. Patricia Hurst; Hon. Bonnie H. MacLeod-Mancuso; Hon. Antoinette E. McLean Leoney; Hon. Sally F. Padden; Hon. Mary Lou Rup; Hon. Karyn Scheier; Hon. Kathe M. Tuttman; Hon. Mary Dacey White; and the Hon. Gabrielle Wolohojian.

The Legal Profession Past and Present
The Midyear Conference activities commenced with a powerful program on key topics of the day. In Harvard Law School’s recently built Wasserstein Hall, Retired U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner began the conference delivering a vigorous keynote address, 'Choice Feminism and the Revolution of Declining Expectations', examining the state of women in the legal profession and suggesting the inflexibility of workplace design as an explanation of the stagnant growth on women in leadership at major law firms. Judge Gertner who retired from the federal District Court of Massachusetts last year, is currently Professor of Practice at the Harvard Law School, has published numerous articles on sentencing, discrimination, forensic evidence, women's rights, and the jury system, was greeted by attendees who eagerly sought a few words with her as she signed copies of her recent memoir, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of a Unrepentant Advocate.

With overflowing capacity, attendees gathered to hear the "Conversation" between the Justice Elena Kagan, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and moderator Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. The two spoke of the workings of the Supreme Court, and Justice Kagan’s life there thus far. The warm, easy exchange was followed by the presentation of the NAWJ Justice Elena Kagan Scholarship Award to Harvard Law School student Stephanie Berger. It was our honor to welcome Justice Elena Kagan to NAWJ membership and a privilege for all to attend this extraordinary event.

To focus attention on an issue of great concern, an expert panel convened to address ‘Courts in a Time of Fiscal Crisis - Who Needs Courts?’. Moderated by NAWJ Judicial Education Committee Co-Chair and Harvard Law School’s Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law Vicki C. Jackson, Chief Judge of the State of New York the Hon. Jonathan Lippman joined commentators Co-Chair of the NAWJ Judicial Education Committee, Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor at Yale Law School and Gillian K. Hadfield, Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, visiting at Harvard’s Law School, to discuss the financial and political stress threatening our courts. The next day, conference participants addressed the topic of immigration with particular focus on “Children and Immigration Issues and The Intersection in Judicial Proceedings.” Frequent speaker from Center For Public Policy Studies, Dr. John A. Martin, Director of their Immigration and the State Courts Initiative, previewed the program with key points on why immigration is important for state courts. Professor Deborah Anker, Director of Harvard’s Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program concentrated on issues surrounding children and asylum protection. Another friend of NAWJ, attorney Leslye E. Orloff, President of the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project focused on immigration options for children and their impact on family court proceedings. Retired Immigration Judge Joan V. Churchill, chair of NAWJ’s Immigration Project Advisory Committee, and President-Elect rounded out the discussion.

Extracurricular Activities
Friday’s impressive programs at Harvard Law School were followed by a reception later that evening. Conference attendees made their way to The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at Boston’s Columbia Point. Upon arrival, attendees enjoyed the Museum’s film on the life and Presidency of John F. Kennedy. Trinity Catholic Academy Middle School Band performed their unique versions of rock and American classics during the reception.

A special highlight of the evening was NAWJ’s farewell to Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Groton after years of service to NAWJ. Jeff’s responsiveness, professionalism, and accommodating spirit led NAWJ Past President Judge Bea Ann Smith to say “Jeff was the best decision she ever made for NAWJ.” Jeff's ten years at NAWJ will become solid ground for his upcoming years at the International Association of Women Judges.

On Saturday, attendees were treated to a reception at the Schlesinger Library of Women's History in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Not only does it house important artifacts in women’s history, the Schlesinger Library holds the vast majority of NAWJ historical items. On view for the evening were copies of past conference programs and NAWJ newsletters. Professor Nancy F. Cott, Director of the Schlesinger Library, presented a summary of NAWJ archives to the group. President Amy L. Nechtem presented the Schlesnger Library with volume one of the NAWJ Counterbalance.

Special Thanks To Our Friends Committee
The exciting programs, speakers and activities would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of the NAWJ Friends Committee Co-Chairs Karen Green, partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Susan Alexander, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Biogen IDEC. Approximately 50 law firms, corporations, universities, and individual contributors supported this year’s Midyear Conference. Thank you all for your support of the 2012 Midyear Leadership Conference and the National Association of Women Judges.

Gold Sponsors: Bingham McCutchen; Biogen Idec Inc.; Choate Hall & Stewart LLP; EMC Corporation; Foley Hoag LLP; Goodwin Procter LLP; Harvard Law School; Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.; Ropes & Gray LLP; State Street Corporation; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and WilmerHale.

Silver Sponsors: Burns & Levinson LLP; Chartis; CRA International; Mass Mutual; Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Partners HealthCare; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and West, a Thomson Reuters Business.

Bronze Sponsors: Boston University School of Law; Cabot Corporation; Charles River Associates; Collora LLP; Cooley Manion Jones LLP; Fidelity Investments; Fletcher Tilton PC; Goulston & Storrs; Lena Goldberg; Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Proskauer Rose LLP; Sherin and Lodgen LLP; Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.; Todd & Weld LLP; and Waters Corporation.

With additional support from: Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.; Boston College Law School; Boston Scientific Corporation; Cetrulo & Capone LLP; Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP; H.C. Starck Inc.; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP; Justine H. Brousseau, Kimball Brousseau LLP; Nina Joan Kimball, Kimball Brousseau LLP; Hon. Karyn Scheier; Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP; Suffolk University Law School; Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP; Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.; Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP and the Woman’s Bar Association of Massachusetts.



Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Judge Nancy Gertner (Retired), U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

NAWJ members and guests will lunch at Harvard Law School and hear Judge Gertner addressing Choice Feminism and the Revolution of Declining Expectations.

Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 1:35 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Moderator: Dean Martha Minow, Harvard Law School

NAWJ members and guests will have the privilege of enlightening remarks and insight into life as a member of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Presentation of the NAWJ Justice Elena Kagan Scholarship Award

Location: Harvard Law School
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

NAWJ Judicial Education Committee Co-Chair Professor Vicki C. Jackson, Harvard Law School

Professor Gillian K. Hadfield, Richard L. and Antoinette S. Kirtland Professor of Law, University of Southern California Law School;

Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals;

Professor Judith Resnik, Yale Law School, NAWJ Judicial Education Committee Co-Chair.

Location: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

NAWJ members and guests will enjoy an evening reception at one of Boston’s notable venues and network with old and new friends.


Location: The Charles Hotel
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Location: The Charles Hotel
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Moderator: Hon. Joan V. Churchill, Immigration Judge, (Retired), Immigration Court for Arlington, VA, and NAWJ President-Elect.

Professor Deborah Anker, Director, Immigration & Refugee Clinic, Harvard Law School
Dr. John A. Martin, Director, Immigration and the State Courts Initiative, Center For Public Policy Studies
Leslye E. Orloff, Esq., President, National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project, Inc.

Free time for those not attending the NAWJ Board meeting to explore Boston, Cambridge and surrounds. 
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Open to NAWJ Board members and NAWJ members that wish to attend.
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Schlesinger Library, Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Presentation of the NAWJ Archives by Professor Nancy F. Cott, Pforzheimer Foundation, Director of the Schlesinger Library.


Bingham McCutchen
Biogen Idec Inc.
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
EMC Corporation
Foley Hoag LLC
Goodwin Procter LLP
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Ropes & Gray LLP
State Street Corporation
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Burns & Levinson LLP
Chartis Insurance
Mass Mutual
Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Partners HealthCare
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
West, a Thomson Reuters Business

Boston University School of Law
Cabot Corporation
Charles River Associates
Collora LLP
Cooley Manion Jones LLP
Fidelity Investments
Fletcher Tilton PC
Lena Goldberg
Goulston & Storrs
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Todd & Weld LLP
Waters Corporation

Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.
Boston College Law School
Boston Scientific Corporation
Justine H. Brousseau, Kimball Brousseau LLP
Cetrulo & Capone LLP
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
H.C. Starck Inc.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Nina Joan Kimball, Kimball Brousseau LLP
Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP
Suffolk University Law School
Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.

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