Supreme Judicial Court Justice Judith A. Cowin To Retire In April
Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin today advised Governor Deval Patrick that she will retire from the bench on April 5, 2011. Justice Cowin has served on the Supreme Judicial Court for 11 years and previously served on the Superior Court for almost eight years. She was the third woman to be appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court.
“I have been privileged to serve the people of Massachusetts,” stated Justice Cowin. “I will remember these years with a conviction that the work is of great importance and with an abiding affection for the colleagues with whom I shared it.”
Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland said, “My colleagues and I are grateful to Justice Cowin for her many years of service and for her numerous accomplishments. She has been an excellent Justice and a most congenial and considerate member of the Court. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues at the Supreme Judicial Court and on other courts. The bar and the public have benefitted from her dedicated service.”
Justice Cowin would reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges in April 2012. In explaining her decision to leave one year before mandatory retirement, she told the Governor, “Everything has a season. It’s time to do those things with family and friends that I have had to postpone or reduce because of the demands of the office.”
Justice Cowin has been a longtime member of the Court’s Rules Committee. She also is a member of the Wellesley Alumnae Association and takes an active interest in advising young women about career paths and work-life balance.
Born in Boston, Justice Cowin earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College in 1963 and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1970. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served as Assistant Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (1971-1972), Legal Counsel to the Office of the Chief Justice of the District Court Department (1972-1979), and an Assistant District Attorney in Norfolk County (1979-1991). She is married to retired Appeals Court Justice William I. Cowin. They have three grown children, five grandchildren, and another one due in April.