Margaret H. Marshall

Margaret H. Marshall was the 24th Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the first woman to hold that position in the Court’s more than three hundred year history. She was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Court in 1996 and was Chief Justice from 1999 to 2010. Chief Justice Marshall wrote numerous opinions, many of them groundbreaking, including the 2003 decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which declared that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage.  The ruling made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage. Prior to her service on the Supreme Judicial Court, Marshall was in private practice for sixteen years and was a partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart before joining Harvard University as Vice President and General Counsel in 1992. She served as a Fellow of the Corporation of Yale University, the governing board and policy making body for the University, from 2004 to 2012. She was appointed Senior Fellow in 2013, the first woman to hold that position. She rejoined Choate in January 2012 as Senior Counsel. She is a graduate of the Witwatersrand University, Harvard University, and Yale Law School.