The Honorable Leila R. Kern

Essex County Superior Court, Department retired

Appointed By: Gov. A. Paul Cellucci


The Hon. Leila R. Kern (Ret.) was an associate justice of the Essex County Superior Court in Massachusetts. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Paul Cellucci in 1999. Kern retired in 2012.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in 1962. Kern then earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University (1967) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1984). Before pursuing her law degree, Kern taught and conducted research in the psychology departments at Florida State University and Northeastern University.

After law school, she joined the law firm Hale and Dorr, where she worked as an associate. She was also a founding partner of Kern, Sosman, Hagerty, Roach & Carpenter, P.C. and senior counsel for Sun Life Financial. In addition to her private practice work, Kern also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in Boston.

She was a Justice Fellow with REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, where she was vice-chair of the Board.

Her memberships included the National Association of Women Judges, the International Association of Women Judges, and the Women’s Bar Association.

Kern was born in Brooklyn, New York.

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