PHOTOS: Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly Budd

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Justice Budd's grandfather was the first African American police officer in Springfield, Massachusetts, and her father is a former U.S. attorney. She became the third African American ever to serve as a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
However, Budd says her path to the state's highest court hasn't been easy. "I have been underestimated in the courtroom," she told NBC10 Boston's Latoyia Edwards. "I have been mistaken for a defendant's girlfriend when I was first practicing."
EMPTY_CAPTION"I think, little by little, I hope we are making progress," Budd said. "I feel good about being where I am and hoping to make a difference where I can."
Budd says she feel the gravity of lending her voice to dilemmas such as inequalities in the law regarding race, especially because she is the mother of two African American sons. "It makes me nervous about when they go out, are they going to be treated well?" she said.
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