Abim Thomas: “With Governor Patrick, I Learned How Important It Was Not Just to Listen, but Also to Have a Voice”

Abim Thomas is a counsel in Goodwin Proctor’s Litigation Department and a member of its White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Securities Litigation, and Gaming, Gambling & Sweepstakes Practices. Abim joined Goodwin Procter in 2012 after serving as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and focuses her practice on representing operating companies, entrepreneurs, and investors in the gaming and gambling field. Abim is President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, serves on the board of the Women’s Bar Foundation and was recently selected by the Women’s Bar Association to serve as a mentor for its Women’s Leadership Initiative. At the BBA, she served as a member of the 2013-2014 Beacon Award Selection Committee and serves on the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal. She is a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and has worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in both Boston and San Francisco.

Not many attorneys have the opportunity to work directly with the governor — can you share any stories about your time as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and what you gained from it?

Having the opportunity to work with Governor Patrick meant having the opportunity to learn from an incredible leader. In that job, I learned the importance of listening as well as the importance of having a voice. During meetings, the Governor always made sure to get everyone’s input. He would go around the table and ask everyone for their opinion. He would literally go from person to person! He always made sure to get everyone – no one was skipped – and everyone’s opinion was just as important. His decisions were informed by these opinions. His final decision may have been different from where he started, but if it was, it was because he put such great value in other people’s ideas and appreciated the views they had to offer.

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