A Legacy of Practicing Law -Fall 2019

by: Joshua H. Balling

photography by: Terry Pommett

Sometimes it is not only about a love of the law, or the excitement of courtroom battles. Sometimes being a lawyer is about family, tradition and a connection to the community.

Jessie Glidden Brescher had her undergraduate degree from Holy Cross, her law degree from Boston College, and was working at a Boston law firm when she decided it was time to come home. Practicing law on a small island was what she had always wanted to do.

Richard Glidden and Jessie Glidden Brescher

“I was missing the sense of community and belonging that comes with living here,” she said. “I always thought of Nantucket as home. I was at a point in my life where it was time to decide where I wanted to settle down and moving back home just made sense.”

Gliddens have been practicing law on Nantucket since 1946, when James “Jimmy” Glidden, then secretary of the Board of Selectmen, opened an office in town hall.

His son Richard joined the firm in 1974, which by then was in its own building on Centre Street. Richard’s wife Kate has been the office manager since the mid-1980s.

Jessie is the third generation of the family to hang her shingle on the island. She joined the office in 2003, six years before her grandfather, who still came to work at 92, died in 2009.

It seemed almost preordained that she would follow in their footsteps. “I was in and out of the office all the time as a little girl. I knew all the secretaries. I was always working for my father and grandfather in high school. In college I would come home and spend my time in the basement filing. My grandmother called me Bob Cratchit,” Jessie said.

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