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Barbara Berenson

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Barbara Berenson


Senior Attorney, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
2 year career break

After graduating from a joint J.D./MPA program, I clerked for a federal judge, and then joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow where I worked as an associate in the litigation department for several years. I then joined the Middlesex County District Attorney's office and worked as a trial lawyer for almost two years until my first child was born. Before I left, I wrote several legal briefs for the Appeals Bureau so they could see a sample of my work, as I made a proposal to work at the Appeals Bureau three days a week after my maternity leave. They accepted my proposal. I did this for seven years, worked through the birth of my second child, and took two other several-month leaves of absence during that time.

When the District Attorney became Attorney General in 1999, he asked me to join him and focus on school safety issues (this was shortly after Columbine). I remained at the Attorney General's office working three days per week for three more years. I left in 2002 without a clear next step. I was ready for a change, but also felt a strong desire to be home with my children each day after school. For the next 18 months, I remained on career break, occasionally writing some amicus (friend-of-court) briefs while I contemplated my next step. While in this mode, I noticed a job posting for a full-time Senior Attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The job description sounded interesting and eclectic and I decided to apply. I began work in June 2004 and remain at the Court. In addition to my official legal responsibilities, I have also assumed oversight for the court's civic education and outreach efforts. Separately, I'm also serving as a co-editor of a forthcoming book on women lawyers and judges in Massachusetts.


Background: Law, Government and Military Industry
Pre-Break: Trial Lawyer, Middlesex County District
Relaunch Connection: Friend of iRelaunch
Key Job Search Factor: Strategic Volunteering