For Immediate Release
Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts
Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts
email@example.com · 617-973-6666
WOMEN’S BAR ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF NEW EMERGING WOMEN LEADERS IN THE LAW AWARD
WBA to Honor Lindsay Manning Burke, Mehreen Butt, Jessica Ragosta Early, and Sophia Hall at October 2019 Gala Celebration
August 6, 2019 - The WBA is pleased to announce the recipients of its Emerging Women Leaders in the Law Award, a newly established award to recognize the significant achievements of women lawyers during the first approximately 10-15 years of their legal career. Through this award, the WBA will honor women who have demonstrated professional excellence or had a significant professional achievement in the earlier stages of their legal career, and either promoted the status of women in the legal profession or contributed meaningfully to the equal participation of women in a just society. The WBA is honoring four amazing women in its inaugural group: Lindsay Manning Burke, Mehreen Butt, Jessica Ragosta Early, and Sophia Hall.
“I am thrilled to honor these women who have excelled in their careers while also guiding other women in achieving success,” said WBA President, Jennifer Saubermann. “These four women have touched the lives of so many people through their contributions to the legal professional and volunteer work, and they are wonderful role models for women across many areas of the legal profession. They are leaders within and outside of the WBA, and they truly represent what this award is all about.”
The Emerging Women Leaders in the Law Award is closely aligned with the WBA’s mission of promoting women in the legal profession, and all four awardees have been active members and participants in the WBA for a number of years. Lindsay, Mehreen, Jessica, and Sophia will be honored at the WBA’s Annual Gala on October 10, 2019, at the Sheraton Boston. The Gala is the WBA’s largest event of the year and is attended by hundreds of attorneys, judges, legislators, and business professionals.
Lindsay Manning Burke is the first woman director at Kenney & Sams, P.C. She defends and asserts the rights of companies entangled in complex disputes. Her cases often involve business-to-business contract disputes, business divorce, employment disputes, trade secret litigation, non-competition agreements, and questions regarding intellectual property ownership. Lindsay also maintains an active pro bono practice focused on representing low-income survivors of domestic violence. Prior to joining Kenney & Sams, she worked at large law firms in both New York and Boston.
Lindsay is the co-chair of the WBA’s Women in the Courtroom Committee, and was selected to participate in the WBA’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Program, 2015-2016. She is a Trustee of the WBA’s sister organization, the Women’s Bar Foundation (WBF), currently serving as its Clerk, and takes cases through the WBF’s Family Law Project for Battered Women.
Mehreen N. Butt is currently a Town Councilor on the Wakefield Town Council. She was first elected in 2017 and was the first Muslim-American woman elected to a municipal board or council in Massachusetts. Mehreen is a public policy attorney and social advocate. Mehreen works at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) as the Associate Director of Policy and Government Affairs. Mehreen has also worked at Rosie's Place, Tufts Health Plan, Health Care For All, and the Massachusetts Legislature for the Committee on Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources. Mehreen is a graduate of the Emerge Massachusetts training program for women leaders, and she has since served as a mentor to dozens of women who serve as elected officials or are running for office in Massachusetts. Mehreen is also a Board Trustee for Melrose Wakefield Healthcare, an advisory member of the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston and an associate member of the Wakefield Alliance Against Violence (WAAV). In January, she was asked to be a speaker at Boston's 2019 Women's March.
Mehreen was selected to participate in the WBA’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Program, 2013-2014; and participated in the WBF’s Family Law Project for Battered Women.
Jessica Ragosta Early is a partner in Holland & Knight's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. She advises companies and individuals regarding complex business disputes, including breach of contract, unfair trade practices, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty in both the corporate and trusts and estates contexts. Jessica also has significant experience with environmental cost recovery and property damage, toxic torts and product liability actions. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, she served as a judicial clerk in the Massachusetts Appeals Court for the Honorable Scott L. Kafker, now a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She also interned as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Margaret R. Hinkle (Ret.) of the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for the YW Boston, which works to empower women and eliminate racism, and serves as co-chair of its Annual Academy of Women Achievers event.
Jessica was selected to participate in the WBA’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, 2013-2014, and served as a co-chair of the WBA’s Business Development Committee.
Sophia Hall is a Supervising Attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights. As an experienced litigator, she handles a broad range of civil rights matters. Sophia actively represents people of color and immigrant women to protect their rights in the workplace and in the community. Most recently, she filed a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against a prominent national restaurant chain expanding #MeToo to #YoTambien. She also successfully resolved a precedent-setting racial profiling matter creating a blueprint for police departments across the country to implement comprehensive implicit bias and search/seizure training. Additionally, Sophia has a growing practice focused on dismantling barriers to diversity in public agencies. Her work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and NPR.
Prior to joining Lawyers for Civil Rights, Sophia was a Staff Attorney with AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization. There, she represented low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS in a wide range of issues. She also advised the organization on legal matters.
Sophia is a tri-chair of the WBA’s Women of Color Committee.
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