Thursday, March 16 @ 6:00 pm
Old North Foundation Speaker Series
Roaring through the Ages: The Emancipation of Women in the Law, 1976-2016
Speaker: Carol Ball
Co-sponsored by the Nichols House Museum
Tickets: “pay what you will” donation
Educated during the flowering of the women’s liberation movement, Carol Ball entered law school at a time when only 20% of law school enrollees were women. By the time she graduated, Carol’s career exploded by riding the wave of the nation’s growing interest in promoting women in the field. Despite her fair share of gender discrimination stories, Carol became a trailblazer prosecuting murder cases as an assistant district attorney, forging networks with other lawyers and politicians, embarking in private practice for over a decade, and then serving as a Superior Court judge for twenty years, during which time she presided over every type of case: medical malpractice, employment discrimination, products liability, rape, armed robbery, murder. Upon her appointment in 1996, only 19 of the 80 judges in the Superior Court were women; at her retirement, still only 26 of the 80 were women. Hear the vivacious Carol Ball as she reflects on her storied career and the changing nature of women in the field of law. Deeply connected to Old North Church as a parishioner of over 25 years, Carol is well-loved by her community in addition to being well-respected in her field.
After the lecture, please join us for a reception and community conversation with Carol and Victoria McKay, Executive Director of the Nichols House Museum, as the two women lead a discussion on the similarity of issues and concepts of the two major women’s rights movements of the 20th century. Only 50 years separated the Nichols women and Carol Ball’s generation. Weigh in on the state of women’s rights today and contemplate the paths of our Boston predecessors.
Carol S. Ball graduated from Smith College in 1973 and Northeastern University School of Law in 1976. She then was a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court for a year and became an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County in 1977. In that role she prosecuted crimes ranging from drunk driving to drug cases to sex crimes to murder. In 1985 she went into private practice, trying civil cases and representing criminal defendants for eleven years until she was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor William Weld in 1996. As a judge she presided over civil and criminal cases until her retirement from the bench in 2015. Judge Ball taught trial advocacy for more than 30 years at Northeastern, Boston University and Harvard Law Schools. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
This event is part of a 3 part series in partnership with the Nichols House Museum for Women’s History Month. We encourage you to attend as many as you can!