The MBLA hosted our 2016 Annual Gala on March 24, 2016, at the Park Plaza Hotel. Click here to see videos & photos from the Gala.

We would like to thank our distinguished honorees and guests for contributing to a memorable evening celebrating black excellence and the continued pursuit of a legal profession which reflects the diverse composition of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond in all ranks.

Over 600 guests attended the 2016 Annual Gala to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of Wayne A. Budd, Paulette Brown, Stephanie Lovell, and Patricia J. Williams. The event was held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and emceed by WCVB-TV CityLine host, Karen Holmes Ward.

The distinguished guest list included national, state, and local dignitaries, appointed and elected officials, members of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and Massachusetts state judiciary, the Massachusetts legal community, and many supporters throughout Massachusetts. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Massachusetts State Representative Evandro Carvalho, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts Chief Judge Patti B. Saris and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine S. Hines were a few of the notable supporters in attendance at the Gala.

Bookended by receptions sponsored by Goodwin Procter LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the MBLA acknowledged the following esteemed honorees:

Wayne A. Budd

Lifetime Achievement Award

Senior Counsel, Goodwin Procter LLP

Paulette Brown

Trailblazer Award

President, American Bar Association

Partner, Locke Lord LLP

Stephanie Lovell

Trailblazer Award

Executive Vice President, Medicare

and Chief Legal Officer

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Patricia J. Williams

Keynote and Trailblazer Award

James L. Dohr Professor of Law,

Columbia University School of Law

Columnist, The Nation Magazine

Taisha Sturdivant

The Honorable Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland Leadership and Juvenile Advocacy Award

Boston College Law School

Stephanie Johnson

The Honorable Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award

Boston College Law School


The 2016 Annual Gala was truly an inspirational evening. We are thrilled and humbled by the outpouring of support from so many law firms, government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and individual supporters.  On behalf of the MBLA, we extend our deepest appreciation to everyone who attended and/or supported the Annual Gala. We look forward to seeing you again at our 2017 Annual Gala!

Click here for a PDF of our Press Release

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