Sandra Lea Lynch
|Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit|
June 16, 2008 – June 16, 2015
|Preceded by||Michael Boudin|
|Succeeded by||Jeffrey R. Howard|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit|
|Assumed office |
March 17, 1995
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Stephen Breyer|
|Born||July 31, 1946|
Oak Park, Illinois
|Education||Wellesley College (A.B.)|
Boston University School of Law (J.D.)
Sandra Lea Lynch (born July 31, 1946) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is the first woman to serve on that Court, and on June 16, 2008, became its first female chief judge.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Lynch graduated from Lake Highlands High School, Richardson Independent School District, Dallas, Texas, in 1964, as a member of the first graduating class. Lynch received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Wellesley College in 1968, and her Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law in 1971.
From 1971 to 1973, Lynch served as a law clerk for Judge Raymond J. Pettine of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, becoming the first female law clerk to serve in that court. She then went on to serve as an assistant state attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1973 to 1974 and general counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1974 to 1978.
In 1978, Lynch entered private practice, joining the law firm of Foley, Hoag, & Eliot, becoming a partner in 1982. During her tenure at Foley Hoag, Lynch became the first woman to head the firm's litigation practice, and was among the team of lawyers representing defendant W.R. Grace & Co. in the Woburn, Massachusetts, toxic tort trial (the subject of Jonathan Harr's 1995 book A Civil Action.) Lynch remained in private practice until being appointed to the First Circuit.
Lynch also served as an instructor at the Boston University Law School from 1973 to 1974 and as special counsel to the Judicial Conduct Commission of Massachusetts from 1990 to 1992. From 1992 to 1993, she served as President of the Boston Bar Association.
Federal judicial service
President Bill Clinton nominated Lynch to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on January 11, 1995, to fill the seat vacated when Stephen Breyer was elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States. She was confirmed by the Senate on March 17, 1995, and received her commission on the same day.
In 2006, Judge Lynch found that trading a gun for drugs violates the criminal law against using a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. She served as Chief Judge from June 16, 2008 to June 16, 2015.
- Marquis Who's Who (1999). Who's Who of American Women 1999-2000. Marquis Who's Who. ISBN 9780837904245. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "Recent Case: First Circuit Holds That Trading Drugs for Guns Constitutes "Use" of a Gun for Purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 924(C)" (PDF). Harvard Law Review. 120: 852. 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- "Fearless First: BUSL Graduate Sandra Lynch". The Record: The Alumni Magazine of Boston University School of Law: 2–3. Summer 2006.
- Sandra Lynch at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
| Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Jeffrey R. Howard