The Sheila E. McGovern Memorial Scholarship

The Sheila E. McGovern Memorial Scholarship was created in 2003 to celebrate the memory of The Honorable Sheila E. McGovern, a long-time member and past president of MAWL who served for 28 years on the Massachusetts bench.

Judge McGovern, a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduated from Boston College and the Boston College Law School. She then worked for 14 years in the probate courts before being appointed to the bench in 1974. In 1980, she was appointed First Justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, a position she held until her death in 2002.

During her long and distinguished career, Judge McGovern committed herself to her community, to her profession and to the advancement of women in the law. A member of MAWL from her earliest years as a practicing attorney, she served as its President from 1968-69. She became the first president of the Boston College Law Alumni Association in 1974, served as the Boston College Alumni Association President from 1985-86, and was a founding member and leader of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Throughout her life, she also served in many community boards and worked in other capacities on behalf of her home community of Cambridge.

Among her many honors, Judge McGovern was a proud recipient of the 1975 Boston College Alumni Award of Excellence in Public Service. In 1996, MAWL recognized her as its Distinguished Jurist.

The Sheila E. McGovern Memorial Scholarship honors her outstanding work as a lawyer and jurist, as well as her dedication to MAWL and its goals. The Scholarship is awarded each year to a law student who has demonstrated not only academic excellence, but that commitment to the ideals of public service which Judge McGovern’s life so exemplified.

If you would like to donate to The Sheila E. McGovern Memorial Scholarship please contact MAWL at

Thank you!