Women of the Year

Mary Cushing Doherty, VLS '78, Pearl Kim, VLS '07, and Roberta Pichini, VLS '81

The Legal Intelligencer named Villanova University School of Law alumnae Mary Cushing Doherty, Pearl Kim, and Roberta Pichini to their 2012 “Women of the Year” list, which honors top female attorneys in Pennsylvania who have made positive contributions to the legal community.

The winners were picked from a broad scope of female attorneys working at law firms, public interest organizations, government agencies, and other organizations.“We name a new group of women every two years in an effort to illuminate the valuable work being done by women throughout the state in all areas of the legal profession,” the journal said.

Mary Cushing Doherty ’78 is a partner at High Swartz and head of its family law practice. In her professional career and in her service as a teacher and lecturer, she has advanced the interests of women and women lawyers. Doherty received recognition from the Pennsylvania Bar Association last year for working with the bar association's Family Law Section to construct custody legislation. As a member of the legislature’s advisory committee on assisted reproduction technologies, she also helped construct legislation now pending that creates guidelines for establishing legal parents for children born under these circumstances. Doherty also teaches and lectures on family law for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Upper Dublin High School, and in the past she has lectured at the Villanova University School of Law and Widener University. She received the 2012 Lynette Norton Award by the Pennsylvania Bar, nominated by the Commission on Women in the Profession for her litigation skills and her history of teaching and mentoring young women lawyers.

Pearl Kim ’07 is an assistant district attorney in the special victims and domestic violence division of the Delaware County District Attorney's Office. She handles cases in the areas of rape, physical and sexual child abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, and internet crimes against children. Kim recently secured the first conviction for trafficking of persons under Pennsylvania's anti-trafficking statute. She was appointed to serve on the Joint State Government Commission's Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, and she was a faculty member for the 2012 Institute on the Prosecution of Human Trafficking. She has been cross-deputized as a special assistant district attorney for Montgomery County, and she helped create the Internet Crimes against Children Taskforce Initiative. Kim sits on the executive committee of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the board of directors for the Institute for the Advancement of Women in Law Enforcement, and the board of directors for Pearl S. Buck International.

Roberta "Bobbie" Pichini ’81 became the first woman president in 2011 of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only group that aims to promote the rule of law and administration of justice internationally. As president, Pichini started work on expanding the academy's cultural exchange programs to other countries. Currently, members host lawyers from China and Ireland in cultural exchange programs in which the American trial lawyer hosts open their homes and their law offices to a foreign delegate to show them American life and law. More than 500 actively practicing American attorneys are in the group. Invitations are based upon a trial attorney's litigation history, including information from lawyers on the other sides of cases and from judges in front of whom the attorneys have appeared. Pichini is a plaintiff’s attorney with Feldman Sheperd Tanner Weinstock & Dodig in Philadelphia. Her practice includes medical malpractice, products liability, and catastrophic accident cases.

Villanova University School of Law congratulates Mary Cushing Doherty, Pearl Kim, and Roberta Pichini on this impressive honor. Click here to read The Legal Intelligencer’s Women in the Profession supplement, which includes the entire list of 2012 winners.