First Indian-American Woman Confirmed to Massachusetts District Court

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on May 19, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

President Obama has nominated several Indian-Americans to posts on the federal judiciary, and last week, a unanimous U.S. Senate voted 94-0 to confirm Indira Talwani as the first Indian-American to sit in the First Circuit, reports INDOlink.

Read on to learn more about Massachusetts' newest district judge.


Born of immigrants from Germany and India, Indira Talwani went on to get her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and graduate in 1982. She later earned her J.D. at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California Berkeley in 1988, graduating with honors and named to the Order of the Coif. She went on to become a member of both the California and Massachusetts bars.


After law school, Talwani went on to clerk for Judge Stanley Weigel, district judge for the District Court for the Northern District of California, known for his rulings protecting the rights of prisoners and the elderly, as well as school segregation, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Talwani has focused her practice on employment and labor law, and has been an attorney at Segal Roitman, LLP, based in Boston, Massachusetts since 1999; in 2003, she became partner. She has also published extensively on the topic, and been a speaker and panelist on employment law issues, according to her Senate Questionnaire. Among her honors, she was selected as an individual for inclusion in 2013 and 2014 The Best Lawyers in America for Employment Law, and included among the 2012 and 2013 Massachusetts Super Lawyers.


Indira Talwani was nominated in September 24, 2013 by President Obama, and renonimated on January 6, 2014, to fill the seat vacated by Judge Mark Wolf, reports Judgepedia. Supporting her nomination, President Obama stated: "These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system ... I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity."

President of the South Asian Bar Association of North America, Nadeem Bezar, stated: "Indira is a committed attorney with an exceptional record. She is admired by her peers. We are extremely excited that another deserving South Asian has been nominated to the judiciary," reports The Hindu.

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