Armenian Bar Association celebrates historic appointment of Justice Gabrielle R. Wolohojian to Massachusetts’ Highest Court

The Armenian Bar Association is overjoyed with the recent appointment of its long-time member, Justice Gabrielle Wolohojian, to the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth’s highest appellate court and is comprised of a chief justice and six associate justices. In front of a capacity audience of friends, family and colleagues, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey delivered a ceremonial administration of the oath of office in the Great Hall of the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.  

Justice Wolohojian’s June 10, 2024 oath ceremony, which was attended by Armenian Bar leaders from around the country including members of the executive committee, marked a significant milestone as Wolohojian becomes the first Armenian-American woman to serve on the state’s, indeed on any state’s, highest court. This momentous occasion highlighted Justice Wolohojian’s exceptional legal career and underscored the significance of representation of Armenian-Americans in the judiciary. Wolohojian used her full name — Gabrielle Repsimé Wolohojian — as she swore the three requisite oaths.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey (R) administers oath of office to Associate Justice Gabrielle R. Wolohojian (L) (Photo credit: Joshua Qualls from the Massachusetts Governor’s Office)

Justice Wolohojian brings a wealth of experience and a sustained commitment to justice to the Supreme Judicial Court. Her distinguished career, marked by her 16-year tenure on the Massachusetts Appeals Court and her extensive contributions to legal scholarship and public service, exemplifies the dedication and excellence in which the Armenian community takes pride. Her appointment is a testament to her unwavering commitment to the rule of law and her passion for upholding justice for all.

In her acceptance remarks, Justice Wolohojian offered the following glimpse into the roots of her inspiration and humility: “Like all Armenian-Americans, my deepest dept of gratitude is owed to my family, not only to those who are present, but to those who are not, and particularly to our grandparents and great-grandparents, whose journeys of survival and sacrifice after the Armenian Genocide laid the foundation for the generations who followed them. Although involuntarily scattered across the globe, that first generation managed to take root in new countries. And here we are as lawyers, 110 years later, with an obligation to pay that debt forward through public service and pro bono work.”

In celebrating this landmark achievement, the Armenian Bar Association also reflects on the enduring legacies of Justice Armand Arabian and Justice Marvin Baxter, who previously paved the way for Armenian-Americans in the judiciary with their historic appointments to the California Supreme Court. Justice Arabian, appointed in 1990, and Justice Baxter, appointed in 1991, both served with distinction and left an indelible mark on California’s legal landscape.

Armenian Bar delegation: Board member Souren Israelyan, Massachusetts Bar Association former president Marsha Kazarosian, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Richard S. Hartunian, Melanie Hagopian, Governor Maura Healey, Associate Justice Gabrielle R. Wolohojian, chairwoman Lucy Varpetian, immediate past chairwoman Taline Sahakian, past chairwoman Sonya Nersessian

“The appointment of Justice Gabrielle Wolohojian to the Supreme Judicial Court is a proud moment for the Armenian-American community and a testament to her exceptional legal acumen and dedication,” said Armenian Bar Association chairwoman Lucy Varpetian. 

The Armenian Bar Association remains committed to supporting and promoting the advancement of Armenian-Americans in the legal profession. Justice Wolohojian’s appointment serves as a magnificent ideal for aspiring lawyers and a reminder of the importance of diversity and representation in the judiciary.

For more information about the Armenian Bar Association and its initiatives, please visit www.armenianbar.org.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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