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About Joan Ackerstein

Joan Ackerstein grew up in NYC and had a far more interesting and satisfying career than she envisioned years ago when her dad encouraged her to go to law school and she took a flier and did. Joan received her degree from Georgetown University Law Center and practiced law at Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, at Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Ferdon in NYC and for the last 29 years in the Boston office of Jackson Lewis P.C., where she was a management-side employment law litigator. Joan was named to Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and by Super Lawyers as one of the top 50 women lawyers in Massachusetts. While practicing, Joan married and raised two sons.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Joan scored many “firsts” at Jackson Lewis, which has offices around the country and nearly 800 lawyers when she retired in 2016:

  • 1997, the first woman elected to the firm’s 10 member management committee.
  • 2007, the first woman elected to the firm’s five member partner compensation committee.
  • 2013, the first woman named National Director of Litigation, with leadership responsibility for hundreds of litigators around the country.

Helping Others Succeed

Throughout her career, Joan championed lawyers, brought about changes in rules and attitudes to help level the playing field and served as a mentor to many lawyers who went on to great personal and professional success. Joan is now sharing her experience, observations and skills by mentoring lawyers interested in breaking barriers, finding their voices, following their passions and managing their work/life balance.