Goulston & Storrs Attorney Karen O’Malley Named a 2020 “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly


Karen O’Malley

Goulston & Storrs, an Am Law 200 firm, is pleased to announce that director Karen O'Malley, who co-chairs the firm’s Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Group and Pro Bono Committee,has been named a 2020 “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for her exceptional achievements as a “pioneer, educator, trailblazer, and role model.”

O’Malley is a well-known real estate attorney who focuses her practice on retail and office leasing within mixed-used properties for many large public and private real estate companies. She has represented WS Development for many years and helped lead their commercial leasing of 7.6 million square feet of mixed-use retail, office, residential, and hospitality projects in Boston’s Seaport District. Other high-profile projects include representing Samuels & Associates in the redevelopment of the Landmark Center and representing Federal Realty Trust in the retail and office leasing at Assembly Row in Somerville.

O’Malley began her career as a civil rights advocate and is passionate about women’s rights. While in college and law school, she volunteered at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Through this work, she saw firsthand that knowledgeable, compassionate legal support was not easily accessible to rape survivors and their families. To help fill that gap, O’Malley organized and led legal advocacy trainings so that other volunteers were empowered to advocate on behalf of survivors throughout the legal process. She helped launch the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) in 2003, which is the first nonprofit law center in the country dedicated to serving the critical legal needs of sexual assault survivors. O’Malley also serves as co-chair of the statewide Sexual Assault Response Unit, which supports sexual assault survivors with intellectual and development disabilities, a particularly vulnerable portion of the community.

As co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, O’Malley not only facilitates the firm’s extensive pro bono program but serves as the lead for many clients including the VRLC, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and Sociedad Latina. She has also been deeply involved in pro bono affordable housing projects at Goulston & Storrs, and her work for Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation helped create hundreds of safe, sustainable and affordable housing units in Dorchester.

A fierce advocate for women in the workplace, O’Malley has been a voice for equity, retention, promotion and work-life balance for women at the firm. She has mentored countless client and industry contacts as well as junior attorneys within the firm, with many of these young women then moving into leading roles and maintaining key relationships with clients. In 2019, she served as co-chair of the Northeastern University School of Law’s annual Women in the Law Conference.

O’Malley is also on the Advisory Board and teaches at Georgetown University’s Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute and is a frequent speaker at the ICSC Law Conference. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1994 and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College in 1991.

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