Murtha Cullina LLP

July 7, 2015 - Quae Vide: The Diversity Newsletter of Murtha Cullina LLP


Murtha Cullina LLP continues to break the glass ceiling by electing successive female managing partners.

Jennifer Morgan DelMonico became the new Managing Partner of Murtha Cullina LLP in January 2015.

Jennifer succeeded Elizabeth J. Stewart, who had served as Murtha Cullina’s Managing Partner since 2009.

Jennifer is a trial lawyer who represents defendants in tort and product liability cases and parties in complex commercial litigation. She joined Murtha Cullina as a lateral associate in 2000 and became a partner in 2005. She is the immediate past Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department and the former Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s New Haven office.


Murtha Cullina LLP is pleased to welcome the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD) as residents of the Firm’s Hartford office for two years.

LCD’s mission is to support the efforts of its members in making Connecticut a more attractive place for attorneys of color to practice law and find satisfying professional opportunities. Over the next two years, LCD and Murtha Cullina hope to develop exciting new initiatives to improve services to its members and to advance the Firm’s diversity goals.

"Murtha Cullina is very pleased to host LCD in our Hartford office," said Thomas S. Vangel, Chair of Murtha Cullina’s Diversity Committee. "LCD’s presence will help strengthen our Firm’s commitment to advancing diversity."

"By hosting us, Murtha Cullina lends LCD physical space, operational support, and a commitment to our collaborative mission," said LCD Executive Director Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard. "This allows us to continue providing much needed support to advance diversity in Connecticut’s legal community."


Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard’s childhood was centered around the Civil Rights Movement. From elementary through high school, Carolyn was among the first students to integrate all-white public schools. Her experiences as a youth directed her on a path to activism that was further cultivated by her time as a student at Delaware State College. It was in college that Carolyn learned the importance of mentorship. In fact, she credits her mentors with her success.

Today, Carolyn is the Executive Director of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) in Massachusetts and the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD) in Connecticut. As the leader of both organizations, Carolyn’s goal is to advance diversity and inclusion in their respective legal communities.

She has been with the BLG for more than 20 years and in 2003 she replicated the model in Connecticut through the LCD. Through these groups, Carolyn has created countless opportunities for young attorneys of color through networking, recruiting and training. However, she is the first to admit that the legal industry still has mountains to climb regarding the development, retention and advancement of minorities.

Regarding recent racial tensions across the country, Carolyn says these tragic incidents serve as a reminder that there is still much work to be done. "There will always be racism," she said, "but there will also always be the coming together of communities to demonstrate strength." She hopes that current events will fuel the agenda of diversity and inclusion faster.

Despite commuting between two states and running two very dynamic organizations, Carolyn never sees herself tiring from the hard work she does. She hopes to continue to use her BLG and LCD platforms to create and participate in change. As long as there is still a difference to be made, Carolyn will be leading the way.


In March 2015, Karen J. Kepler, a partner in the Boston office of Murtha Cullina LLP, joined the inaugural slate of the Emeritus Board of Directors of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts.

Comprised of women leaders in the legal profession, the Emeritus Board will meet quarterly to support the ongoing work of the WBA.

Karen is a past-president of both the Women’s Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Foundation.


In April, James F. Radke, an associate at Murtha Cullina LLP, attended the 2015 Kickoff Reception for the Mentoring Program of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG). The BLG’s Mentor Program matches minority law students with Boston-area attorneys who are interested in forming professional relationships and offering guidance to up-and-coming attorneys.

This was Jamie’s second time participating in the program. He has found it to be a very rewarding experience that can make a big difference in the career of a promising law student. In speaking with his mentee, who recently completed her first year at Northeastern University School of Law, Jamie was reminded of how little he knew at that point in his career about the legal industry that awaited him.

Jamie has found participants in the program to be extremely bright and enthusiastic about their legal careers, but with few contacts in the industry to help them succeed. The mentees benefit greatly from the guidance of a practicing attorney who has been through many of the same challenges that the students now face in starting their careers.


On March 16, 2015, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Nisha Kapur and Bridget M. Widdowson attended the Connecticut Bar Association’s Women in the Law Committee screening of "Girl Rising."

On March 18, 2015, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Elizabeth J. Stewart, Suzanne Brown Walsh and Jennifer M. Egan attended the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon.

On April 2, 2015, Nan M. Birdwhistell, Alfred E. Smith, Jr. and Joseph B. Schwartz attended the Anti- Defamation League’s 2015 Greater New Haven Torch of Liberty Reception.

On April 17, 2015, Meredith C. Burns, Taruna Garg, Stella Szantova Giordano, Nisha Kapur and Bridget M. Widdowson attended the Connecticut Bankers Association Women in Banking Conference.

On May 5, 2015 Graham T. Coates, Taruna Garg and Nisha Kapur attended the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut’s Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser.

On May 7, 2015, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Jennifer A. Corvo, Kelly A. Trahan and Tracy Ellis Williams attended WESFACCA’s Women’s Leadership Presence event.

On May 14, 2015, Burt Cohen, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Michael E. McDonoughEdward B. Whittemore, Nisha Kapur and Bridget M. Widdowson attended the Crawford Black Bar Association Annual Dinner.

On May 20, 2015, Burt Cohen, Robert V. Giunta, Jr. , Paul R. McCary, Michael E. McDonoughEdward B. Whittemore, Nisha Kapur and Bridget M. Widdowson attended the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award Ceremony.

On June 2, 2015, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico attended the Chambers USA Women in the Law Awards.

On June 10, 2015, Monica P. Snyder graduated from the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute.

On June 12, 2015, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico attended the New England Women in the Law Conference.

On June 17, 2015, Burt Cohen, Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Nisha Kapur and Bridget M. Widdowson attended Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity’s 5th Annual Building Careers Symposium.

This newsletter is one of a series of publications by Murtha Cullina LLP and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.

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