Dianne Crocker Baron

I think of myself as someone who always wants to be in control of every detail – planning and anticipating what might happen. But the best things in my life have been the ones I did not plan or expect. I had thought about law school when I graduated from Boston College in 1975, but instead I did graduate work in psychology at Brandeis University, worked for a while in marketing, and then had a very successful four-year stretch administering one of the departments at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. A stint on the grievance committee there got me thinking about law again, and that brought me back to BC to go to law school in 1982. Lucky for me, I found the Legal Assistance Bureau (LAB) where I thrived under the supervision of our wonderful clinical faculty – Greg Conti, my immediate supervisor, and also Alexis Anderson, Mark Spiegel, Carol Liebman, Paul Tremblay, and Bob Smith.

A “wild” life decision
Student loan debt made a position in public interest law seem out of the question when I graduated, and I was grateful to accept an offer to be an associate at Bowditch and Dewey in Worcester. Practicing law as a woman litigator in 1985 was like taking a step back in time. I was often the only woman in the courtroom in Superior Court, and the local Worcester club did not allow women to enter through the front door or eat in the dining room, except at firm functions.

At the end of 1987 I made a wild (for me) life decision and left my job to accompany Buzzy Baron, my former law professor and “significant other,” on a half-year sabbatical to Oxford, England. We returned in the fall of the next year, married, had a child in 1990 (Sam), and I became, for the most part, a stay-at-home parent. We later spent full-year sabbaticals in the south of France and just outside Florence, Italy, with Buzzy attempting to lecture in French and Italian. They were magical times, with Sam attending local schools and mastering the language in each country.


The next chapter
After Sam was graduated from Newton North High School in 2008, Buzzy retired and we moved to a small town in southeastern Massachusetts where I am active in volunteer work for the town as well as at Roger Williams University School of Law. I am a coordinator of the Street Law Program at Roger Williams, president of the Westport Education Foundation, whose work has greatly revitalized our public schools, chair of the Westport School Building Committee, and a director on the Board of Westport Business to Business as well as serving on other committees. Buzzy has been a visiting professor at Roger Williams and has served as chairman of the town finance committee for several years. Looking back on it, I don’t think planning could have done as well!


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