Press Release

Burns & Levinson Attorney Ellen Zucker Receives Wonder Woman Award

October 21, 2013


Burns & Levinson is pleased to announce that partner Ellen J. Zucker was honored with the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women’s (Mass NOW) 2013 Wonder Woman Award at the Massachusetts NOW Foundation’s Feminist Affair on October 19, 2013.

Ms. Zucker was presented with the 2013 Wonder Woman Award in recognition of her outstanding advocacy on behalf of the women and girls in Massachusetts. The Wonder Woman Award is given to women who exemplify the mission of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which is to advance the equal status of women and girls in all aspects of their lives.

Previous winners include Eileen McDonagh, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University; and Toni Troop, Director of Communications for Jane Doe, Inc.

Mass NOW Executive Director Ellie Adair said: “We are thrilled to recognize the many years of work Ellen Zucker has invested in ending discrimination and advancing the cause of equal justice. Mass NOW is delighted to honor her commitment to furthering equality for women and girls. Ms. Zucker’s distinguished activism makes her an inspiring member of the feminist community in Massachusetts and we are proud to stand along side her in the fight for equality.”

Attorney Zucker focuses her practice at Burns & Levinson on employment law, as well as business litigation and white collar criminal defense. She is an advocate for social and economic justice, and has won landmark victories at trial and on appeal in cases where she has championed civil rights in the workplace. In particular, Ms. Zucker won praise for her representation of Malvina Monteiro in a discrimination and retaliation case against the City of Cambridge, which resulted in the largest punitive damages award to be sustained by an appellate court in an employment case in Massachusetts. She also represented Carol Warfield, M.D., the former Chief of Anesthesia at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in her noteworthy case, resolved on the eve of trial.

From the late 1980s throughout the 1990s, she served in various leadership positions in NOW, serving as Boston NOW’s president from 1989-1994, when NOW took the lead in combating local attacks on reproductive health clinics, as well as participating in passing and protecting landmark civil rights legislation on behalf of gays and lesbians, and in advancing the cause of equality in the workplace. In addition to her work in the local arena, Ms. Zucker participate in national efforts to protect civil and reproductive rights, working with NOW’s national leadership as a member of NOW’s National Board from 1994-1998.

In addition to her work with NOW, Ms. Zucker served on the Board of MassEquality, the umbrella group that spearheaded efforts to protect marriage equality in Massachusetts, and served as Chair of the group in 2007, when the campaign successfully protected marriage equality in this state.

Ms. Zucker’s efforts have earned her other accolades both in the legal profession and among advocates for equal justice. In 2012, Ms. Zucker received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the NAACP’s Cambridge Branch, and in 2013 was honored with Boston College Law School’s “Woman of the Year” award. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has called Ms. Zucker a “dynamic trial attorney” and named her among the most powerful attorneys in Massachusetts. Chambers USA lists her as a practitioner to watch. In 2009, she was honored as a “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and was featured in the publication’s touted “Battle of Lawyers” program. She has also been consistently selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers of America® and in Chambers USA’s Guide to Lawyers.

“Ellen Zucker has dedicated her legal career to protecting civil rights, and she’s done so not only with great passion, but also with unquestionable skill,” said David Rosenblatt, Managing Partner at Burns & Levinson. “She is most deserving of this year’s Wonder Woman Award, and we congratulate her for being honored by the Massachusetts NOW Foundation.”

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