Bowditch is committed to the advancement and success of our women lawyers.

The Women’s Initiative provides an internal network of support to encourage growth and achievement. Members actively promote women inside and outside the firm, create a strong sense of team among our women and support business development efforts.

Internally, we host quarterly meetings for female lawyers and senior administrative staff. During these meetings, we report on external initiatives for organizations with which we are involved and ensure that we maintain our ongoing presence. Also during these meetings, we focus on career advancement by discussing business books and tactics.

Throughout the year, we host networking events for our female clients and referral sources and provide educational programs focused on the needs and interests of female professionals.

Our female lawyers serve in a variety of leadership positions within the firm and throughout the community. Every female attorney is a member of the Women’s Bar Association.

  • Donna Truex chairs Bowditch’s Women’s Initiative and the Central Massachusetts Committee of the Women’s Bar Association
  • Pamela Berman serves as vice president of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC)
  • Katherine Garrahan is chair-elect to the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Lynette Paczkowski is president-elect for the Worcester County Bar Association
  • Jennifer Garner and Laura Plourde participated in the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program
  • Kristin Shirahama and Pamela Berman are past presidents of the Women’s Bar Association; Pam is also past-president of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations

Robert Cox, Managing Partner, James Hanrahan, immediate past Managing Partner, and John Shoro, Estate, Financial & Tax Planning Practice Area Leader, are among the first male members of the WBA.

Recent Awards and Recognition

  • Bowditch received a legal marketing award for our women’s initiative
  • Katherine Garrahan and Kristin Shirahama are among Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s “Top Women of the Law”
  • Pamela Berman received the Lelia J. Robinson award from the Women’s Bar Association, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly “Top Women of Law Circle of Excellence” award and the Women of Justice Award
  • Donna Truex and AiVi Nguyen received the Worcester Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business Award
  • Kristin Shirahama was awarded the Women’s Bar Association Pro Bono Award for her volunteer work with the Foundation’s Elder Law Project

History of Female Leadership

For decades, Bowditch has been at the forefront of the advancement of women in law firms. In 1955, Irene Gowetz became a named partner at the firm (then known as Bowditch, Gowetz and Lane) at a time when there were few women attorneys at major law firms, much less partners. In 2003, Bowditch launched its Women’s Initiative with the goal of supporting the advancement and retention of women at the firm.

Jane Hawkes is a former Managing Partner at Bowditch and one of the first women to serve a major Massachusetts law firm in that position and currently leads the firm’s Boston office. Jane is also the leader of the firm’s Business & Finance Practice Group.


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