Extended applause and whistles greeted Marsha V. Kazarosian,
president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, as she took to the
podium at the MBA's President's Reception Sept. 18, at the Boston
Kazarosian kicked off the 2014-2015 association year by
emphasizing the importance of creating a strong MBA community. She
dedicated her year as president to fostering relationships -
particularly between lawyers and judges - and furthering
"'The MBA educates.' That is a phrase that you will hear quite a
bit this year," Kazarosian said. "With the MBA's free CLE
commitment [effective Sept. 1], we offer not only free education to
all lawyers, but in doing so we provide mentoring relationships,
networking opportunities and social events that will enhance any
Immediate Past President Douglas K. Sheff opened the evening by
recounting how, when Kazarosian was 12 years old, her uncle told
her she couldn't come golfing with him at the Haverhill Country
Club because she was a woman.
"The Haverhill Country Club had no idea what lion they had just
awakened. Decades later, Attorney Marsha Kazarosian went to work,
and she crushed them," Sheff said, referring to her victory in the
landmark case Borne, et al. v. Haverhill Golf and Country Club,
Inc. "She didn't just crush them by making the Haverhill
Country Club treat women in every respect equally to men [or] by
doing the same for a thousand country clubs all over the country.
She changed the culture. She made everyone in the country realize
and think about how we need to treat women the same as men."
Elevating the profession
In her speech, Kazarosian, who began her law career working for
her late father Paul Kazarosian, explained the important role a
supportive community played in her path to becoming a lawyer.
"My grandfather was an immigrant barber who came from a small
village in Armenia and had no formal education, but he raised my
dad to believe that he could go to Harvard," Kazarosian said. "When
he was accepted, but found that the tuition was more than a barber
could afford, an Armenian businessman in the community paid his
first year's tuition … It really did take a village to get ahead in
those days, and I don't think much has changed today."
Kazarosian had many members of her "village" in tow, including her
sons Matthew, Marc and Jeremy Moccia; her law partners Walter A.
Costello and former MBA President Kathleen O'Donnell; and her
88-year-old mother, Margaret.
"Since she was a little girl my favorite thing to tell her - and
all of my children - was that she could do anything she wanted,"
Margaret Kazarosian said.
In Kazarosian's case, she said she wants to help others achieve
"As I mentioned earlier, 'It takes a village.' … The MBA wants to
be your village. We are here to help, we have the resources and we
want to provide you with what you need to succeed," Kazarosian
said. "That is our commitment to you, and that is my goal for the
MBA this year. Together, through education, unity, a strong
partnership with our judiciary and a commitment to ensuring access
to justice, I see the MBA as the community that will elevate our
profession, and I'm incredibly honored to have this opportunity as
your president to help make that happen."