Please note the information below is a historical biography of the Hon. Dalila Wendlandt originally published when she served as an Associate Justice of the Appeals Court. Justice Wendlandt was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court by Governor Charlie Baker in 2020. Click here to read her updated biographical information.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Justice Wendlandt graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1993. While at MIT, she designed, manufactured and developed the non-collocated control of a climbing robot. She then earned her Juris Doctor degree, with highest honors, from Stanford University Law School in 1996, where she was an article editor of the Stanford Law Review.
Upon graduation, Justice Wendlandt clerked for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She joined the firm of Ropes & Gray LLP in 1997, eventually becoming a partner in the Intellectual Property Litigation Group of that firm. Her practice focused on counselling clients in such diverse industries as semiconductor manufacturing, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, with particular emphasis on electro-mechanical devices and controls algorithms, regarding patent and trade secret misappropriation litigation. Her active trial and litigation practice included a successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a federal statute on constitutional grounds. She was also active in firm's administration, particularly with regard to hiring and coordinating the firm's summer associate program. She also served on the firm’s flextime committee, assisting lawyers who desired flexible work arrangements.
Justice Wendlandt has published widely on the subject of patent law, writing in technical journals like Biotechnology Law Report to more popular publications such as Forbes. She has also lectured extensively at specialized seminars, bar associations and a law school. Justice Wendlandt assisted clients in pro bono activities such as requests for political asylum and a death row inmate's post-trial petitions. She also served as a Middlesex County Special Assistant District Attorney in two appellate matters.
Appointed by Governor Charles Baker, Justice Wendlandt joined the court on July 7, 2017. Justice Cypher served on the Appeals Court until December 4, 2020, when she was appointed by Governor Baker to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court.