New England Law | Boston is excited to share that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker nominated former New England Law Adjunct Professor, Associate Justice Kimberly Budd, to serve as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Justice Budd was unanimously confirmed by the Governor's Council on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020.
Justice Budd is the second Black Chief; second female Chief; first Black female Chief; and the youngest person to lead Massachusetts’s highest court in the past century. She is replacing Chief Justice Ralph Gants who tragically passed away earlier this fall.
Justice Budd began her distinguished legal career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Joseph P. Warner of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 1991. She was a litigation associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo before serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts. After that, she was a University Attorney for Harvard University in the General Counsel's Office. She later served as Director of the Community Values program at Harvard Business School. She was nominated to the court by Governor Deval Patrick in 2009.
Between the years of 1994-1996 Justice Budd taught Legal Methods as an Adjunct Professor at New England Law. Her ties to the New England Law community don't stop there; she is also the daughter of long-term New England Law Trustee Wayne Budd.
An accomplished and dedicated public servant, Justice Budd is the latest in a long line of ground-breaking firsts in her family. In the late 1970s, Trustee Budd co-founded one of the country’s largest minority-directed law firms, Budd, Reilly, and Wiley. He left the firm in 1989 when he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and was the first African American to hold such a post in a New England state. Trustee Budd also served as the youngest president in the history of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Justice Budd’s late grandfather, Joseph Budd, was Springfield’s first Black police officer. Additionally, Justice Budd’s aunt, Dr. Celeste Budd-Jackson, was the first Black woman to be hired as a high school principal in Springfield.
The New England Law community extends our congratulations to Associate Justice Kimberly Budd, and remains in awe of her groundbreaking accomplishments.