On February 4, 2021, the Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being (the "Committee") released the Report Summarizing Affinity Bar Town Hall Meetings. The Report provides a summary of seven meetings the Committee conducted in the second half of 2020 to hear from attorneys and law students from underrepresented, historically excluded, and systemically oppressed populations about their recent experiences of Massachusetts law practice and culture.
The results were saddening, and often painful to hear. As Committee Co-Chairs Retired SJC Associate Justice Margot Botsford and current Massachusetts Bar Association President Denise Murphy describe: “This report is a reality check for those among us who think that all Massachusetts lawyers are treated equally and that our efforts to eliminate systemic bias are working. As difficult as it is to read this report and all that it contains, imagine having to live these experiences, every day. We need to understand and acknowledge this current reality in order to work meaningfully to improve the legal profession for the future.”