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The federal judgeship in Massachusetts is set to undergo the most sweeping makeover it has seen in 20 years, creating a new face for a court system that oversees some of the area’s most high-profile cases, from political corruption trials to civil disputes that have had legal ramifications across the country.
With four of the 13 seats in Massachusetts vacant, and veteran judges going on senior status, or taking reduced caseloads, the bench could see a new, diverse flush of lawyers draping black robes. Two of the existing judges have been on the bench only since 2010: Judge Timothy S. Hillman, who sits in Worcester, and Judge Denise J. Casper, the first black woman judge on the federal bench in Massachusetts.
“We will see young people, people from different backgrounds,” said retired US District Court Judge Nancy A. Gertner, who stepped down in 2011 and now teaches at Harvard.