Barbara M. Golden Lynn ’76 shattered gender barriers early in her career and continues to open doors for women in the legal profession. Shortly after earning her Juris Doctor from SMU’s Dedman School of Law, Lynn joined Carrington Coleman in Dallas as the firm’s first female associate, and, later, its first female partner, before assuming the bench as a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Texas in 2000. Lynn made history in 2016 as the first woman to attain the position of chief judge.
As an SMU law student, Lynn earned membership in the Order of Barristers and Delta Theta Phi honor societies before graduating summa cum laude, Order of the Coif. She fondly recalls graduating first in her class and serving as the standard-bearer in the presence of her parents and grandfather, and being hooded by her husband, Mike Lynn, who received his SMU law degree in 1975. He is founder and chairman of Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann, a leading commercial litigation firm in Dallas.
Despite a full docket, Lynn finds time to give back to her alma mater through service on the Dedman Law Executive Board and as an Alumni Community Fellow. She also serves on the Tate Lecture Series board of directors.
As a leader in her profession, Lynn has held numerous positions with the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association and other professional organizations.
In recognition of her impact on intellectual property and patent law, The Honorable Barbara M. G. Lynn American Inn of Court was chartered in 2011 and meets at SMU.
Lynn’s accomplishments have been celebrated with many awards, including Dedman Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Private Practice in 1999 and the inaugural Louise B. Raggio Award from the Dallas Women Lawyers Association. National Law Journal named her one of the most influential women attorneys in the country, and the International Women’s Forum presented her with the Women Who Make a Difference Award.