Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
In the age of same-sex marriage, what makes someone powerful? How about being appointed to a very high court as an openly gay judge? That was the case with Barbara Lenk when Governor Deval Patrick offered her a position as Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2011.
The move made Lenk, a Harvard and Yale grad, the first openly gay member of the Massachusetts high court and part of a small club of other openly gay state supreme court justices in the country.
“Like all judges, however, I have had life experiences that have inevitably left their mark and that allow me to see things from many perspectives. Central among these experiences was having met the woman who is now my spouse more than 27 years ago and raising two daughters together with her in the years that followed,” says Lenk. “As has been true of so many members of the LGBT community, we have been clear with the world about who we are; the wlorld has changed considerably in the last three decades in response to this collective clarity.” Lenk understands her important role on the SJC and has a clear message about her mission: “Perhaps if I do my job well [on the SJC,] it will underscore that the judiciary in this Commonwealth is comprised of people who are diverse in background and experience but who share in common the quest for equal justice and the commitment to make it a reality.”
Matthew V.P. McTygue
Partner-in-charge of the Boston office, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
It’s a wonder that Matthew V.P. McTygue wasn’t born with an “I” nestled between the telling consonants of his middle name. This guy seemingly does it all. Co-chair of the Debt Finance and Capital Markets Group, a partner in the Business Law Department and the partner-in-charge of the Boston office of the firm Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, he specializes in debt finance and private equity transactions in a variety of industries. He’s represented equity sponsors, investors and operating companies in connection with leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions and recapitalizations.
Outside of the office, he serves on the Board of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and serves as Co-chair of both the Diversity and Inclusion Section of the Boston Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association High School Summer Jobs Program, which places city public high school students in legal office internships each summer. Matt is also a Fellow of the Boston Bar Foundation and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and has served on the Massachusetts Bar Foundation Grant Advisory Committee.
He’s also a do-gooder. Matt has served on the boards of directors and fundraising committees of local non-profit organizations, including GLAD, Transition House and the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. A member of his firm’s advisory committee and the Boston office diversity and pro bono committees, and previously as the chair of the Boston office diversity committee, the co-chair of the Firm’s technology committee and a member of the hiring committee.
“It is important to me to use my power to help organizations dedicated to civil rights, diversity and inclusion and pro bono legal services,” he says. “No less important is the need to use my power to further the professional development and career advancement of others, in the LGBT community and otherwise.”