June 3, 2004
Yale Names Massachusetts Judge and YLS Grad as New Trustee
Margaret H. Marshall '76 will join the Yale Corporation as an Alumni Fellow for a six-year term beginning July 1, University President Richard C. Levin has announced.
Marshall, elected to the Corporation by the alumni, has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts since 1999. She is the first woman to serve in that position.
Born and reared in South Africa, Marshall obtained her B.A. in 1966 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. While an undergraduate, she was elected president of the National Union of South African Students, an anti-apartheid organization of some 20,000 members.
Marshall earned a master's degree in education from Harvard in 1969 and completed four years of doctoral study before studying law. Following her graduation in 1976 from Yale Law School, she practiced law for 16 years and became a partner in the Boston firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation. She became a U.S. citizen in 1978.
Marshall was vice president and general counsel of Harvard University from 1992-96, where she was responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs of the University and its affiliated institutions.
In 1996 she was appointed one of the seven justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and three years later was elevated to Chief Justice. A number of significant matters have come before the Court during her tenure, ranging from challenges to utility and telecommunications regulations to the recent decision holding that denying the "protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage" to two persons of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution.
She served as President of the Boston Bar Association and has been a member of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, both in Massachusetts and nationally. She was a trustee of The Africa Fund and a member of the boards of "Africa News" and the Southern Africa Legal Services and Legal Education, Inc. She has served on numerous civic and charitable boards.
Among her many honors are the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the Louis D. Brandeis Award from the American Jewish Congress and several honorary degrees. In 2001 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Marshall has been a member of the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee since 1991. She served as secretary-treasurer and then president of the Yale Law School Association of Massachusetts and has been a member of her class's reunion gift committee. She participated in the Yale Tercentennial conference "Gender Matters" in September 2001.
Marshall lives in Cambridge with her husband, Anthony Lewis. She has three stepchildren, including one who is a graduate of the Yale College Class of 1984.
The Yale Corporation is the University's chief governing body. It is made up of the president of the University, 10 successor fellows, and six alumni fellows who are elected by Yale alumni. The governor and lieutenant governor of Connecticut are ex-officio members.