Janette Ekanem, of Lexington, was recently elected the president of the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys effective September, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein announced.
Ekanem represents businesses, nonprofits, human service providers, colleges, universities and other entities in a variety of employment matters. Her practice involves training, providing comprehensive counsel, litigation and conducting investigations.
“Janette is always thoughtful and strategic in her many roles representing our employer clients,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, co-managing partner of the firm. “Whether litigating a wage and hour case, facilitating a leadership training session, advising a senior leader on a sensitive situation or serving as an investigator, Janette tirelessly helps her clients achieve their mission-driven goals.”
In 2019, Ekanem was named an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and a Massachusetts “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2020. Most recently, she was recognized as one of 2021’s “Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch.”
“I am honored and excited to serve as the 17th president for the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys,” said Ekanem. “This program year is special because 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of MBWA. I look forward to working with the board to continue to build MBWA’s legacy and to create innovative programs that promote the advancement of Black women attorneys in the commonwealth.”
Founded in 1981, the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys works toward the advancement of justice and equality for people of color with a particular emphasis on Black women and/or women of African descent. MBWA’s work focuses on eradicating sexism and racism in the legal industry and advancing equal employment opportunities, and providing their members with a supportive, career-building network. The MBWA also focuses on issues of importance to the community, including promoting pro bono activities and community activism.
“We salute Janette as she commences her term as the president of the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys,” said Hirsch. “Our firm proudly supports the mission of the MBWA, and we are proud that it will be led by a member of the HRW team.”
Ekanem serves as chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Working Group and is a council member of the MBA’s Labor and Employment Section Council. She is also a member of the Women’s Bar Association.
Ekanem is a graduate of Clark University and Northeastern University School of Law.