Margaret H. Marshall

Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer on Law

Fall 2014


Chief Justice Marshall is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, having retired from the Court in December 2010. Appointed to the position in 1999 by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, Chief Justice Marshall was the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, and the second woman appointed to serve as an Associate Justice in the Court's then three hundred and four year history when she was first appointed to the bench in 1996 by Governor William F. Weld. Chief Justice Marshall, who was born and raised in South Africa, obtained her baccalaureate 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, at the time a leading anti-apartheid organization. She came to the United States to pursue her master's degree at Harvard. She became a United States citizen in 1978. She received a master's degree in education from Harvard in 1969 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1976. Following her graduation, Chief Justice Marshall practiced law for sixteen years in Boston and became a partner in the Boston firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart. In 1992, she was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University, the first woman to hold that position. Chief Justice Marshall has been involved in numerous professional and community activities. She served as President of the United States Conference of Chief Justices (2008 - 2009), and as Chair of the Board of the National Center for State Courts. Chief Justice Marshall is as a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and in 2001, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as a Fellow of the Corporation of Yale University from 2004 to 2010. She is the recipient of many honorary degrees and other professional awards.