Mary Jo Shartsis, 1942-2021

Mary Jo Shartis sitting at a wood table with Legal Aid at Work President Joan Graff

We mourn the loss of our cherished Board member and leader, who died on January 2nd, 2021. Mary Jo Shartsis, who was a litigation partner at Shartsis Friese for much of her career, was a force bringing vitality, energy, and vision to Legal Aid at Work and other institutions fortunate enough to have her involvement.

To our organization, Mary Jo brought unflagging passion, energy, and discipline as she served tirelessly for over 25 years of service as a Board member, including during her two-year term as Chair. Whether it was wrestling with budgets, raising monies, advising on business decisions, or offering advice on a case or an ethics issue, she responded unfailingly with grace and generosity.

Mary Jo was also a pioneer, breaking ground for generations of women attorneys who sought her out as a teacher, mentor, guide and role model. She was a litigator when courtrooms were very much a men’s club but she persisted—and succeeded—earning the respect and admiration of our bar as one of its luminaries.

Mary Jo shall live on in our thoughts for her deep commitment to our organization and the meaningful and long-lasting contributions she made as she worked to have us be an ever-improving provider of legal services.

There is no question that Legal Aid at Work is better because of Mary Jo’s dedication to our organization and its cause. We will miss her dearly.


*Photo: Mary Jo Shartsis (right) with Legal Aid at Work President, Joan Graff (left).

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