The Boston Bar Association honored Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the United
States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit with its 2011 Haskell Cohn
Distinguished Judicial Service Award at a special ceremony held at the BBA last
Thursday, June 9. She is a past President of the Boston Bar
"Chief Judge Lynch is a devoted servant of her country whose fidelity to the
United States Constitution, to the Rule of Law, and to the highest standards of
our profession makes her supremely deserving of the honor we bestow upon her,"
said BBA President Donald R. Frederico at last week's ceremony. "Chief Judge
Lynch makes you feel good about being a lawyer. Even more than that, she makes
you want to be a better lawyer."
Chief Judge Lynch has long been associated with firsts. In 1995, she went
from being the first woman to head the litigation department at Foley Hoag to
becoming the first woman appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the
First Circuit. In 2008 she became the first woman Chief Judge of the First
Circuit -- serving as executive officer of both the Court of Appeals and the
Judicial Council of the First Circuit, which handles all policy and decisions
for the courts of the entire circuit. She also sits on the Judicial Conference
of the United States, which sets general policy for the federal courts and their
relationship with Congress and the President.
At the ceremony, Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, a BBA past president, was
presented with a plaque that reads:
"The first and only woman judge to serve on the United States Court of
Appeals for the First Circuit, and the first woman to become its Chief Judge,
the Honorable Sandra L. Lynch demonstrates the noblest ideals of the judiciary
and public service, eminently fair and impartial, quickly grasping the
intellectual complexity of the issues before the court, and always appreciating
the profound ramifications of the court's decisions.
From her earliest days on the bench, Chief Judge Lynch's impact on the law
has been felt well beyond the geographic reach of the court on which she serves.
She is among the small group of federal judges whose work is most often cited by
other judges and in law review articles, and has earned a reputation as an
expert in the areas of immigration law, discrimination law, securities law, and
civil rights law. She also is widely admired for her extensive knowledge of the
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Written with great clarity and precision, Chief Judge Lynch's opinions
reflect a keen awareness that she is dealing not with abstract questions, but
with the lives of real people. Her opinions are also written in a manner that
provides practical guidance to lawyers and legal scholars grappling with similar
legal issues. In the courtroom, she is known for being meticulously
well-prepared and courteous to all parties. She believes that sound decisions
provide justice not just to those who are parties to the case but to others who
will be bound by the ruling.
All who have the privilege of knowing Chief Judge Lynch benefit from her
extraordinary leadership skills and her passion for sharing her rich knowledge
of the law and the legal profession. The young lawyers who clerk for her are the
beneficiaries of a mentoring relationship that continues long after they
complete their clerkships. Her vision of the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
as a center of community and civic activities proved a driving force in the
success of Discovering Justice, a program to educate children about
As Chief Judge of the First Circuit, she is attentive and faithful to the
needs of the court, and of the federal judicial system. Above all else, she is a
devoted servant of her country whose fidelity to the United States Constitution,
to the Rule of Law, and to the highest standards of our profession makes her
supremely deserving of the honor we bestow upon her today.
For her dedication and outstanding service as a U.S. Circuit Judge and as
Chief Judge of the First Circuit, the Boston Bar Association is proud to
recognize the Honorable Sandra L. Lynch with its Haskell Cohn Distinguished
Judicial Service Award."