Duly Noted

Historic first: Women sweep the presidencies of nation’s three largest organizations for attorneys

With the election of Mary Massaron Ross at the October annual meeting of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar – in New Orleans (as reported in the Grand Rapids Legal News for 11/9/2012), women now lead the nation’s three largest professional organizations for attorneys. In a field that has been typically dominated by men, the event constitutes an historic first for the legal profession.

The presidents are:

Laurel Bellows, President, American Bar Association

Mary Massaron Ross, President, DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Mary Alice McLarty, President, American Associa-

tion for Justice (Plaintiffs Bar)

“The story is, of course, much bigger than three women being elected president,” said Ross. “It’s a dramatic demographics shift in the profession. In 1963, only 3.7% of law school students were women. Today, it’s nearly half.  And that shift is part of a larger societal shift. For instance, we’ll have a record number of women in the Senate next year. This says that America is more and more fully utilizing the talents of all of its people.”

Massaron Ross is a native of Grand Rapids.