Chief Justice Roderick Ireland to deliver 2014 Law Day address
Annual celebration of nation’s laws, justice system
Please click the links below for online registration.
(Boston, Revised-2/19/14) New England Law | Boston: The Honorable Roderick L. Ireland, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
, will deliver the keynote address at New England Law | Boston’s annual Law Day Banquet on Friday, April 4, 2014. Chief Justice Ireland is the 36th chief justice and has been a jurist for more than 35 years.
Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland
The annual Law Day Banquet brings together the New England Law | Boston community to celebrate our country’s laws and justice system and their role in maintaining the freedoms we enjoy. Law Day 2014 will take place at Boston Marriott Copley Place
, beginning at 6 pm.
Chief Justice Ireland was slated to speak at last year’s Law Day event, which was cancelled due to the regional lock-down precipitated by the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Chief Justice Ireland has led the Supreme Judicial Court with distinction during a time when the judicial system has faced unprecedented challenges," said Dean John F. O'Brien. "He has been a dedicated and valued friend of our law school for many years, and after the cancellation of last year's Law Day Banquet, he was gracious about returning this year. We are very grateful that we will benefit from his wisdom and experience at this year’s banquet.”
Chief Justice Ireland
was appointed an associate justice to the court in 1997 by Governor William F. Weld. In 2008, he became the senior associate justice, and in 2010, he was appointed chief justice by Governor Deval Patrick. Before his appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court, he served as a judge of the Juvenile Court (1977–1990), after which he was appointed an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court (1990–1997). He is the first African American to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court and the first African American chief justice.
Chief Justice Ireland began his legal career in 1969 as a Neighborhood Legal Services attorney, then worked as a public defender with the Roxbury Defenders Committee. He was assistant secretary and chief legal counsel of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds.
Chief Justice Ireland has received numerous awards, including the Great Friend of Justice Award from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (2008); the Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association and Lawyers Weekly (2001); and the Judicial Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (1999). He is the author of the juvenile law volume of the Massachusetts Practice Series, as well as law review articles. He delivered the Sixteenth Annual Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice at New York University School of Law in 2010.
He is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School and has a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law, Policy, and Society from Northeastern University.
Law Day was established in 1958 by proclamation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Celebrated annually by the nation’s legal community and the general public, it promotes awareness of our country’s laws and justice system and the role they play in maintaining our nation’s freedoms.
Recent Law Day Banquets at New England Law have featured Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg; U.S. Senator Scott Brown; Governor Howard Dean; U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas; former chief UN weapons inspector, Dr. Hans Blix; and former federal Court of Appeals judge and solicitor general Kenneth Starr.