Leadership and Innovation
Regina M. Pisa is Chairman Emeritus of Goodwin, a leading Global 50 law firm with more than 1,600 attorneys, serving clients from locations in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Ms. Pisa led the firm as Chairman, and before that also as Managing Partner, for more than 16 years, from 1998 through September 2014. She was the first woman to lead an AmLaw 100 law firm in the United States and one of the youngest executives – at age 42 – to take the helm at the time of her appointment. In a survey of AmLaw firms, Ms. Pisa was recognized by her peers as among the most highly respected law firm leaders in the United States.
A recognized national business leader, Pisa’s vision and leadership fostered an unprecedented period of growth for Goodwin. Shortly after assuming her leadership role in 1998, she spearheaded a strategic plan that raised the firm to national prominence. The plan resulted in an expansion to several new markets, an intense focus on high-growth practice areas and the acquisition of lateral attorneys in key markets.
Under her strategic guidance, Goodwin transformed dramatically from a major regional law firm with gross revenues of $172.5 million and approximately 300 attorneys, to a leading national firm with more than $770 million in revenue and more than 850 attorneys. Today, Goodwin is well-known as a leader in its service to clients in many industries, including technology, life sciences, private equity, financial institutions and real estate capital markets, among others, and has received accolades for its outstanding client service, commitment to innovation, ongoing support of the legal profession, community outreach and pro bono work, and myriad diversity efforts.
The American Lawyer recently recognized Pisa’s innovative leadership style and vision for big ideas, naming her one of the “Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Past 50 Years,” noting “over the last 50 years a few dozen men and women have had an outsize impact on the profession. Our research and reporting teams spent six months looking for the people whose ideas, policies, and practices have left an indelible mark on the legal industry over the last five decades.”
In addition to her management responsibilities, Ms. Pisa continues to practice law, advising clients in the financial services industry and representing well-known banks and investment companies. She is a former director of Citizens Financial Group, and her merger and acquisition work with financial institutions has earned her and the firm national recognition and a place among the nation’s top bank M&A practices. Ms. Pisa is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, U.S. News-Best Lawyers and LawDragon 500.
In recognition of her work in support of the legal profession, she was elected a member of The American Law Institute based on her professional achievement and interest in improving the law. The organization was founded in 1923 to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs.
Ms. Pisa served as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Committee, appointed by former Governor Paul Cellucci to select justices to sit on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Pioneer for the Advancement of Women
Ms. Pisa is recognized as a pioneer in advancing leadership for women in the legal, business and academic communities. Understanding early in her career the benefits for organizations and industries that leverage women’s leadership, she has used the power and visibility of her position to dismantle gender and cultural stereotypes, and to facilitate mentorship, business development training and work/life balance for women at Goodwin Procter and in the legal industry. Ms. Pisa and the firm’s efforts have been recognized by Working Mother magazine, which has named Goodwin Procter to its exclusive “Best Law Firms for Women” list for the past four consecutive years.
She was recently elected Chair of the Board of Trustees of Simmons College, a nationally recognized private university located in Boston offering undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs. Ms. Pisa has been closely associated with Simmons for more than 30 years, first representing the College as counsel and then serving on its Board of Trustees.
Ms. Pisa is also a member of the Board of Directors and a Past President of the Massachusetts Women's Forum, a member of The Committee of 200 (an international network of women business leaders whose members are prominent entrepreneurs and chief executive officers), and a member of The Commonwealth Institute Advisory Board.
A highly regarded leader in the business community, Ms. Pisa serves on numerous business boards, including Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc., Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Massachusetts Business Roundtable.
In 2010, Ms. Pisa was inducted into the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. Each year, the Chamber honors select individuals who have made extraordinary contributions, both personally and professionally, to the Greater Boston Community; past inductees have included Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Chef Julia Child, Rep. Tip O’Neill and Celtics great Bill Russell.
Community and Pro Bono Work
In addition to her management and professional responsibilities, Ms. Pisa is deeply involved in numerous community organizations and important social causes and is widely recognized for the extraordinary time and effort she invests on behalf of others. Her commitment to community service reflects Goodwin’s 102-year tradition of community outreach.
Ms. Pisa has been a director, trustee or member of many not for profit organizations, including Mass Mentoring Partnership (Chairman), Boys & Girls Clubs of America (National Board), Easter Seals Massachusetts (Past Chairman), Franciscan Hospital for Children (Past Development Chairman), Somerville Museum (Past President), Women's Educational and Industrial Union and Catholic Charities.
Ms. Pisa currently serves as co-chair of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee of the Pro Bono Institute based in Washington, D.C.
In June 2013, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston honored Ms. Pisa with the Robert B. Fraser Award for Pro Bono Excellence. This award recognized her as a leader in the provision of pro bono legal work in Boston and across the country, and as a champion of the Arts & Business Council’s legal services arm, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts.
Awards and Recognition
Ms. Pisa is the recipient of numerous other honors and awards, including:
- Selection on The American Lawyer’s 2013 list of “Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Law of the Past 50 Years.” The list of 11 men and one woman, featured law firm leaders who “were able to see beyond geographic boundaries and traditional business practices and to visualize how their firms could go in a different—and profitable—direction.”
- Selection as one of the 50 most influential Bostonians by the editors of the Boston Business Journal and placed on its “Power 50” List in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013.
- Selection by the editors of Boston Magazine in their 2011 list of “The 50 Most Powerful Women in Boston.” The magazine cited her success in nabbing 35 hotshot partners and 26 associates from rival law firm Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, one of the biggest hiring coups in Boston legal history.
- Induction into the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Academy of Distinguished Bostonians in 2010. Each year, the Chamber honors select individuals who have made extraordinary contributions, both personally and professionally, to the Greater Boston Community.
- Recipient of the San Francisco Barristers Club’s First Annual Award for leadership in diversity in 2009.
- Recipient of the Team Hoyt Award for community leadership from Easter Seals of Massachusetts in 2007.
- Recipient of Georgetown University Law Center’s 2007 Paul R. Dean Award, given to outstanding alumni who have exhibited leadership to Georgetown Law and the legal profession.
- Selection as one of "The 100 People Who Run This Town" in Boston magazine's May 2005 "Power Issue.”
- Selection by the editors of Women's Business magazine in their March 2005 issue as one of the Top Ten Lawyers in Boston. Women's Business is a monthly publication dedicated to providing visibility for women in business.
- Recipient of the New England Women's Leadership Pioneer Award, given annually by the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club to a select group of women in positions of respect and influence who have found ways to give back to their communities.
- Placement on the roster of “The 50 Most Powerful Women” in Boston in Boston magazine’s 2003 “Power Issue.”
- Induction into the Women's Business Hall of Fame for her strong leadership skills, management abilities and team-building expertise.
- Induction into the YWCA's Academy of Women Achievers, Class of 2002. Established in 1995, the Academy recognizes women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement in their professional and civic lives.
- Recipient of the Lady Baden Powell Good Scout Award, which is bestowed by the Boston chapter of the Boy Scouts of America to "distinguished women who have had a significant impact on Boston area youth through service to others, community leadership and personal example."
- Named by the editors of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of 10 area "Lawyers of the Year." This honor is awarded annually to Massachusetts attorneys who have been recognized as distinguished legal professionals.
- Recipient of the Lelia J. Robinson Award, awarded annually by the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts to women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence and influenced other women to pursue legal careers. Previous recipients include former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
- Recipient of the Pinnacle Award for Achievement in the Professions by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce to honor her accomplishments in the Greater Boston business community.
- Recipient of the Leading Women 2001 Award from the Patriots' Trail Girl Scouts Council of Greater Boston for her accomplishments and contributions to the community.
- Recipient of the Outstanding Alumnae Achievement Award by Georgetown University.
- Recipient of the First Annual LeadBoston Community Award given by the National Conference for Community and Justice.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1982
- M.A., B.A., St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford, 1983
- A.B., Harvard University (Radcliffe College), 1977
At Georgetown, Ms. Pisa served as editor-in-chief of The Tax Lawyer. She also served as Chair of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center and was awarded Georgetown’s 2007 Paul R. Dean Award, given to outstanding alumni for their leadership on behalf of Georgetown and the legal profession.
Bar and Court Admissions
Ms. Pisa is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. She is also a member of various bar associations, including the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association. She is also a Trustee and Fellow of the Boston Bar Foundation.
Ms. Pisa grew up in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Georgetown University Law Center
MASt. Hilda's College1983
University of Oxford
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts