Page 49 - BusinessWest May 13, 2024
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 attend summer camp (the firm will send 16 youth campers to a YMCA-run camp this summer for one week); and a $10,000 donation to Baystate Health to purchase infusion chairs.
“Giving back to the community
is one of the core values that differ- entiates us,” said Peter Barry, who joined the firm in 1982 and preceded Finnegan as managing partner, adding that this is one of many qualities and traditions that essentiually go back to 1924.
For this issue and its focus on law, BusinessWest takes a look at 100 years of tradition, expansion, innovation, entrepreneurship, and giving back — and at how these traits will continue
to define the firm moving forward.
Making Their Case
When asked how Bulkley Rich- ardson intends to celebrate its cen- tennial — beyond ‘Be the Change’ — Finnegan suggested that the annual holiday party “might be a little more robust this year.”
In most respects, though, it will be business as usual.
“Members of the firm have contributed time, resources, and finances to help so many worthy causes over the past century, and we plan to continue that legacy.”
And it has been this way since 1924, when R. DeWitt Mallary became associated with the law firm of Frederick Wooden and Harold Small, located in an office at 387 Main St. in Springfield, several blocks south of where the firm is headquar- tered now, in Tower Square. Eventu- ally, the firm would become Wooden, Small & Mallary.
Mallary would later partner with Morgan Gilbert to form Mallary & Gilbert, and in 1934, J. Bushnell Richardson, a graduate of Spring- field’s Central High School, Amherst College, and Harvard Law School, would join them, and in 1947, the firm became Mallary, Gilbert & Richardson.
In 1950, the firm was reorganized, with the law practice conducted in collaboration by two separate partner- ships — Mallary & Gilbert, and Rich- ardson Dibble & Atkinson, adding Norris Dibble and Robert Atkinson as partners. The firms practiced together in shared office space.
Fast-forwarding through the midle of the 20th century, Richardson Dibble & Atkinson merged with the firm of Gordon, Bulkley, Godfrey and Burbank in 1956, and the firm was renamed Bulkley, Richardson, God- frey and Burbank. A year later, Robert
Gelinas joined the firm, and in 1964, Godfrey left to form a partnership with Edwin Lyman. Matthew Ryan Jr., elect- ed as district attorney, a part-time office in those days, joined Bulkley, Richard- son, Godfrey & Burbank soon thereaf- ter. And with Burbank’s departure in in 1972, the firm was renamed Bulkley, Richardson, Ryan, and Gelinas.
In 1978, the district attorney’s
role became full-time, and Ryan left the firm, whch was renamed Bulkley, Richardson, and Gelinas. By 1983,
the firm consisted of 27 attorneys and was occupying a suite of offices at Bay- state West, which later became Tower Square.
Dan Finnegan says the firm’s commitment to the community has become a focal point of its centennial celebration.
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