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In adding probate judges, seize moment to increase diversity on bench

Near the end of his second term as governor, Charlie Baker gathered with judicial nominees he's appointed and had a photo taken at the Grand Staircase at the Massachusetts State House on Dec. 5, 2022. This image was captured with a slow shutter speed.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Thank you for both spotlighting the proposed expansion of the Probate and Family Court bench to reduce the current caseload strain on overworked judges and recognizing the emotional toll that the complex and fraught cases in that court can impose on all participants, including judges (“Legislators seek more judges for probate,” Page A1, May 15).

One additional element to consider in this discussion is the opportunity this expansion presents for addressing the lack of diversity among Probate and Family Court judges and within the judiciary as a whole. The Boston Bar Association, which I lead as president, has enthusiastically endorsed the addition of eight judges, but the association also urges all stakeholders in the appointment process to seize this moment to build upon and accelerate past efforts toward diversifying the judiciary. We strongly believe that justice is best advanced when the legal community, especially the judiciary, reflects the diversity of the community it serves.


I am confident that Governor Healey shares this view, as expressed through her appointment of a highly diverse Judicial Nominating Commission. The Boston Bar Association is similarly committed to judicial diversity through its work helping to vet potential nominees and encouraging applications from the broadest possible pool of candidates for the bench. We will remain at it until those tasked with providing justice reflect the whole Commonwealth.

Chinh Pham