Janette A. Ekanem

In the constantly evolving realm of employment law, Janette is a tireless advocate on behalf of her clients. Janette adheres to the highest standards of practice and is determined to give her clients the best solutions.


Janette A. Ekanem represents businesses, nonprofits, human service providers, colleges & universities, and other entities in a variety of employment matters. Janette’s practice involves providing comprehensive counsel on hiring, termination, personnel policies, discrimination, retaliation, pay equity, and wage and hour compliance. Her practice also includes conducting investigations, training, and litigation.

She advises clients on a wide range of federal and state employment laws, including: the Massachusetts Pay Equity Law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, Title VII, and Chapter 151B.

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2013
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2017


  • Clark University, B.A. in Government and International Relations, magna cum laude, 2009
  • Clark University, Master of Public Administration, 2010
  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2013
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy Professional Training; Trial Skills 2017


Prior to joining the HRW Team, Janette was an attorney in the Employment Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). At GBLS, Janette successfully litigated wage and hour cases in state and federal courts and effectively represented clients in cases before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in a variety of matters. Janette also provided legal advice and counsel to incorporate and develop businesses as worker-owned cooperatives. Janette’s experience also includes working as an associate in a Boston law firm where she represented a variety of sophisticated clients in transactional matters.

Publications & Appearances

  • Panelist, “Practicing with Professionalism,” Boston Bar Association, June 2021
  • Panelist, “Diversity in the Legal Profession,” State Street, June 2021
  • Presenter, “Our Voices: The Journey of Advocates and Lessons Learned,” MCLE | New England’s 8th Annual Legal Services Conference, May 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “Where & How to Draw the Boundary Lines of Employee Free Speech, Improper Behavior & Political Expression,” MCLE, March 2021
  • Moderator, “Lessons from Our Legacy,” Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, February 2021
  • Program Chair and Moderator, “Understanding and Implementing the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act,” Massachusetts Bar Association, December 2020
  • Presenter, “Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Legal Update,” The Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association, November 2020
  • Panelist, Practicing with Professionalism, Boston Bar Association, September 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Employer Update: Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Law,” Eastern Benefits, August 2020
  • Speaker, Taking Space Career Conference, Nutter Uncommon Law, February 2020
  • Author, “Playing Politics: An Examination of the Protections Against Political Discrimination in the Workplace,” Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin, December 2019
  • Presenter, “Exploring Legal Careers Enrichment Seminar,” Boston Bar Association, 2018
  • Moderator, “Effective Tips for Networking,” Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, 2018
  • Presenter, “Creating Worker-Owned Cooperatives: A Growing Movement in Greater Boston,” Boston Labor Conference, 2018
  • Panelist, “Clark University Alumni Career Panel,” Sullivan & Worcester LLP, 2017
  • Co-Creator and Panelist, “Anatomy of a Deal: A Commercial Real Estate Transaction from Development to Closing, Session Four: Closing,” Boston Bar Association, 2016
  • Panelist, “Practicing With Professionalism,” Boston Bar Association, 2016


  • President, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys
  • Member, Massachusetts IOLTA Committee
  • Chair, Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Working Group
  • MBA Labor & Employment Section Council, 2018-Present; Vice Chair, 2019-2020
  • Council Member, MBA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force 2019-2020
  • Boston Bar Association Public Interest Leadership Program, 2018-2019
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Steering Committee, Boston Bar Association
  • President’s Leadership Council, Clark University
  • Member, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
  • New England Intercollegiate Mock Trial Judge
  • Member, Women’s Bar Association


  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, 2021-2022
  • Named a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers, 2020
  • 2019 Up & Coming Lawyer, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Distinguished Young Alumni Award, Clark University, 2019

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