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

The Women’s Initiative at Bowditch 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 professionals. 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. John Shoro, Managing Partner, and Robert Cox, immediate past Managing Partner, are among the first male members of the WBA.

  • Katherine Garrahan is President of the Board of Directors at MetroWest Legal Services and past Chair of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Julie O’Neill is Chair of the Board at the United Way of Tri-County
  • AiVi Nguyen is Chair of the Board of Directors at the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center and past Chair of the United Way of Central Massachusetts
  • Lynette Paczkowski is Chair of the Board of Directors at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest and past President for the Worcester County Bar Association
  • Chelsie Vokes is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at the MetroWest Visitors Bureau
  • Kristin Shirahama is a past President of the Women’s Bar Association and the Private Client Practice Area Leader
  • Samantha McDonald is Co-Chair of the Women’s Initiative at MSI Global Alliance, the former board chair of YOU Inc and the former President of ARTS Worcester

Not only is our firm abundant with successful women lawyers, we are proud to note that over two-thirds of our business operations leadership team are women, which is led by our female Executive Director, Tina Bussone. Tina is also the Board Chair of the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts.

Recent Awards and Recognition

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. One of our former Managing Partners was also one of the first women to serve a major Massachusetts law firm in that position.


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