Kate Nace Day Honored as Pioneering Attorney

Professor emerita honored for her work on gender studies and human rights

The Women’s Bar Association (WBA) will honor Suffolk University Law School Professor Emerita Kate Nace Day with its top award for pioneering women attorneys. Day will receive the Lelia J. Robinson Award during the WBA’s 40th Anniversary Gala on October 24, 2018, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The award is named after the first woman admitted to practice in Massachusetts.

A press release from the WBA describes Day as “a phenomenal role model” who has “revolutionized education on key issues in gender studies and human rights as a scholar and a filmmaker alike” and notes the professor’s initiation of “important discussions about the realities of sex trafficking” and successful advocacy for legal protections for survivors.

Lora Pellegrini, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (MAHP) will also be honored with the award.

About Kate Nace Day

Professor Emerita Kate Nace Day taught at Suffolk University Law School for over 30 years. Her teaching included courses in Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law, but her great joy was developing non-traditional pedagogies in courses for women law students, including Gender and Law, Feminist Legal Theory, Women’s International Human Rights, and Sex Trafficking in Film and Law.

In 2005, Day and her husband Professor Russell G. Murphy founded Film and Law Productions, dedicated to the use of documentary film in teaching, political advocacy, and law reform. Her first film, A Civil Remedy, which tells the story of an American sex trafficking survivor, was part of their successful advocacy for a civil remedy provision for such survivors in the new Massachusetts human trafficking law.

Day screened "A Civil Remedy" at numerous film festivals and venues, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Lund University in Sweden, the National University of Ireland Galway, Emory University Law School’s Feminism and Legal Theory Project, the United Nations Association International Documentary Film Festival at Stanford University, and the New Filmmakers NY Film Series.

For her work in the space between the academy and activism, Day was recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly as recipient of a 2013 Top Women in Law Award. In 2014, she was honored with the Media Award of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus – an EMMA.

Day also served as a member of Working Group on Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking of the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School. She was a Reporter for the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Future of the Courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and served on the Massachusetts Special Commission on Violence Against Children.

Day is working on a new multi-media project, "Without Consent". She received her JD from the University of California School of Law Berkeley (Boalt Hall). Before she entered the academy, she was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue.