The Honorable Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffly

The Hon. Fernande R. V. Duffly

Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Fernande R.V. Duffly, Associate Justice, was born in Indonesia on December 10, 1949. She received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1973, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978. Justice Duffly began her legal career in 1978 as an attorney in the litigation department of the Boston law firm then known as Warner and Stackpole.

Justice Duffly served on the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court from 1992-2000; on the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2000 to 2011; and was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court on February 1, 2011, by Governor Deval Patrick.

As an attorney, she provided pro bono legal services to indigent clients through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. She also served on the Boston Bar Association’s committees on pro se litigation and attorney volunteerism; the Probate and Family Court’s committee on pro se access to the courts; the ABA subcommittee on representation of children; and the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on substance abuse.

Justice Duffly is a member and past President of the National Association of Women Judges. She is NAWJ’s delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, and has served three years as a Commissioner on the ABA ‘s Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession, and one year as a Commissioner on the Special Committee on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. She has served on the Resolutions Committee of the ABA’s Minority Caucus. Justice Duffly has served on the Center for Women in Law’s Women’s Power Summit Advisory Board since 2013. She is also a member of the CWIL Consortium for Advancing Women Lawyers and was instrumental in its inception.

Justice Duffly has written articles and taught seminars on various subjects. She speaks frequently on topics related to ensuring access to justice, increasing diversity in the courts and advancing women and minorities in the profession. Justice Duffly has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Award from the Probate Judge’s Association; the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers; and the Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She has also been recognized as a Diversity Hero by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and was named a 2008 Woman of Justice, an award co-sponsored by Lawyers Weekly, the Women’s Bar Association and Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers. In 2011, the ABA Business Law Section presented Justice Duffly with its annual award honoring a woman judge who has contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession; in 2012 NAWJ bestowed on Justice Duffly its highest honor, named after founding member Joan Dempsey Klein.