Justice Ruth Abrams, Pioneer for Women in the Legal Industry

We were sad to hear of the passing of Justice Ruth Abrams, “a trailblazer who quietly recruited many women to the bench.” According to Justice Abrams’ obituary in the New York Times, she was the first woman to sit on the highest court in Massachusetts since its founding, and the author of history-making decisions on family law and gender equality. Justice Abrams served on the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston for 23 years. One of only 19 women admitted in her Harvard Law class in 1953, Adams faced sexism in and out of the courtroom as she surged forward, laying the groundwork for female attorneys and other minorities entering the legal system behind her. By the time she reached retirement at age 70, Massachusetts was the only state with a majority of female justices in the top court. According to the NY Times article, among Justice Abrams’ more than 500 opinions on Massachusetts’ high court were historical opinions protecting women against controlling ex-husbands and sexist insurance companies, and protecting the rights of lesbian partners and co-parents. A pioneer for women’s rights, in and out of the courtroom, Justice Abrams is sure to be missed.