Gretchen Van Ness
Self-employed at Gretchen Van Ness, Attorney at Law
- Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (Greater Boston Area)
- Law Practice
Gretchen Van Ness's Overview
- Self-employed at Gretchen Van Ness, Attorney at Law
- Staff Attorney at U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Sole Practitioner at Gretchen Van Ness, Attorney at Law
- Instructor, Legal Practice Skills Program at Suffolk University School of Law
- Instructor at Harvard University Extension School
- Litigation Associate at Shapiro, Grace & Haber
- Special Law Clerk, U.S. District Court and U.S. Sentencing Commission at Judge A. David Mazzone
- Law Clerk, First Circuit Court of Appeals at Senior Judge Bailey Aldrich
- Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts at Senior Judge Andrew A. Caffrey
- Evening Reference Librarian at Boston College Law Library
- Head Reference Librarian at Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle
- Boston College Law School
- Wilson College
Gretchen Van Ness' Experience
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
2005 – 2013 (8 years) Boston, MA
Assisted in all matters before the court, including direct appeals, interlocutory appeals, bail appeals, administrative appeals, habeas corpus petitions from state and federal prisoners, and immigration appeals. Researched and drafted memoranda for three-judge panels and single judge matters; drafted orders, judgments, and per curiam decisions for approval and issuance by the court.
Gretchen Van Ness, Attorney at Law
1992 – 2005 (13 years) Boston, MA
General practice emphasizing employment discrimination and civil rights, appellate advocacy, legal protections for nontraditional couples and families, nonprofit and small business advising, and general litigation.
Notable cases: Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Lesbian & Bi-Sexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995); Wright v. CompUSA, Inc., 352 F.3d 472 (1st Cir. 2003); A.Z. v. B.Z., 431 Mass. 150 (2000); Donaldson v. Farrakhan, 436 Mass. 94 (2002); Jackson v. Atlantic Monthly, MCAD Docket No. 02-BEM-448 (2002); Saunders v. Jeff’s Taxi, MCAD Docket No. 00-14-1715 (2000).
Notable clients: Massachusetts Medical Society, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, Bay Village Neighborhood Association, Socialist Workers Party (ballot access), JP Licks, Dr. Mary Daly, Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry.
Extensive experience in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts, as well as administrative agencies including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, the Boston and Cambridge Housing Courts, the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission, and others. Served as local counsel for law firms in California, Texas, Florida, and Maine. Selected for attorney referral panels of the American Association of University Professors and the American Association of University Women.
Gretchen Van Ness' Skills & Expertise
- Social Justice
- Public Speaking
- Legal Advice
- Organizational Leadership
- Strategic Planning
- Professional Ethics
Gretchen Van Ness' Honors and Awards
Commencement SpeakerWilson College
Massachusetts Super LawyerBoston Magazine and Law & Politics
Massachusetts Super LawyerBoston Magazine and Law & Politics
Best of Boston Employment AttorneyBoston Magazine
Everitt-Pomeroy TrusteeWilson College
Outstanding Volunteer AwardWilson College
Young Alumna of the YearWilson College
Sherman F. Levey Distinguished LawyerSyracuse University School of Law
Gretchen Van Ness' Publications
- 88 Mass. L. Rev. 161 (2004)
- 38 New Eng. L. Rev. 563 (2004)
Beyond the Criminal Justice System: Transforming Our Nation's Response to Rape: A Practical Guide to Representing Sexual Assault Victims
- Victim Rights Law Center
This on-line publication, which I co-edited, is no longer available.
"The Custody and Disposition of Frozen Embryos"
- Women's Bar Association Law Journal
- January 2000
"Parades and Prejudice: The Incredible True Story of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade and the U.S. Supreme Court"
- 30 New Eng. L. Rev. 625 (1996)
Massachusetts Employment Litigation Practice Forms'FAST
- West Publishing Co.
I was one of three co-authors of this publication.
"The Road Not Taken: Mandatory Arbitration of Securities Disputes"
- Boston Bar Journal
- January 1992
I co-authored this article.
"Expanding the Boundaries of Equality: Taking Pregnancy Into Account in California Federal Savings & Loan Ass'n v. Guerra"
- 28 B.C.L.Rev. 783 (1987)
Gretchen Van Ness' Organizations
Wilson College WomenFounder/Steering Committee Member
- 2013 to Present
In collaboration with multi-generational group of alumnae located in the U.S. and abroad, develop and execute legal and fundraising strategies to reverse the decision to make Wilson College, a historically women’s college, coeducational. Participate in core group strategizing; serve as media spokesperson; manage relationship with professional public relations firm; assist in keeping social media sites current. Represent alumnae and supports before the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Hyde/Jackson Main StreetPresident, Treasurer, Board Member
- 2011 to Present
Volunteer of the Year Award, 2014.
Commission on Shaping the Future of Wilson CollegeMember
- 2012 to 2012
Board of Trustees of Wilson CollegeVice Chair, Co-Chair of Governance Committee; Chair of Enrollment and Student Life Committee
- 2001 to 2010
Women's Bar Association of MassachusettsPresident
- 1997 to 2005
Board Member; Treasurer; President-Elect; Program Coordinator; Annual Gala Co-Chair; Same-Sex Marriage Task Force Leader.
Gender Equality Advisory Committee of the Trial Courts of MassachusettsMember
- 2003 to 2005
Massachusetts Law Reform InstituteMember, Board of Directors
- 1997 to 2000
American Civil Liberties Union of MassachusettsMember, Board of Directors
- 1995 to 1997
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & DefendersCooperating Attorney
- 1993 to 1995
Boston Bar JournalMember, Board of Editors
- 1992 to 1996
Battered Women's Clemency ProjectVolunteer
- 1992 to 1992
Massachusetts Bar AssociationMock Trial Program
- 1988 to 1989
Gretchen Van Ness' Education
Boston College Law School
Doctor of Law (JD)
1985 – 1988
Grade: Cum Laude
Activities and Societies: Editor-in-Chief, Boston College Law Review; Steering Committee Member, Women's Law Center; Founding Member, Coalition for Human Dignity; Teaching Assistant to Comparative Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon; Teaching Assistant to Constitutional Law Professor Arthur Berney.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History and English; Philosophy
1976 – 1980
Grade: Magna Cum Laude
Activities and Societies: Phi Beta Kappa; Honors in History and English; Senior Class Prize; President, Wilson College Government Association; Yearbook photographer.
Contact Gretchen for:
- job inquiries
- expertise requests
- business deals
- reference requests
- getting back in touch
View Gretchen Van Ness’ full profile to...
- See who you and Gretchen Van Ness know in common
- Get introduced to Gretchen Van Ness
- Contact Gretchen Van Ness directly