As a three-time cancer survivor and above-the-
knee amputee, Lenore has faced adversity. She
has two younger brothers, one of whom passed away at
the age of 19 from leukemia in 2011. “John passed away
in my arms as I sang to him, and his passing continues to
be the greatest of all of my trials. He and I were especially
close. He was 14 months younger than me, but he taught
me so much.” Lenore’s other brother, Jason, also attends
Western New England University, and is majoring in
Finance. “Jay grounds me,” she says. “He is smart, decent
and kind...and a good baseball player!”
Lenore wants to use her experiences to help and
encourage others. While she is interested in the areas of
family law, employment law, and litigation, Lenore is par-
ticularly passionate about health law and bioethics and
would like to practice defense litigation in medical mal-
practice suits. Because of her medical history and because
of the lessons that she received in her law classes with
Law Professor Barbara Noah, she feels that she can relate
well to those who rely on federal, state, and local regula-
tions for safe care and treatment.
“With all of the scientific advancements and innova-
tions, I believe that health law is a growing area and I
would like to be part of it,” she says.
Part of what drew Lenore to Western New England
was how accommodated she felt on campus. “Dean John-
son showed me the layout of the school, and he made me
feel that I was a part of the law school family. I am happy
that the School of Law is contained in one building.”
There is a reason that Lenore is the only leg amputee to
graduate from the College of the Holy Cross: Holy Cross
is located on Mt. St. James, a location with uneven terrain
and many staircases. “I joined the Women’s Varsity Row-
ing Team at Holy Cross because someone told me that
Crew is a leg sport and that would be too difficult for me,
so I had to do it.”
In 2014, Lenore was one of two recipients of a
national scholarship competition sponsored by the
Defense Research Institute (DRI). Her winning essay
contained her detailed opinion of two of the Proposed
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Additionally, Lenore was able to attend the DRI Diversity
Committee event in Chicago last June.
Lenore’s dedication to making a positive impact on
the world doesn’t begin with her career goals or recent
scholastic achievements; instead she’s set her sights on
making her mark at the Western New England Univer-
sity School of Law. Lenore is president of the Women’s
Law Association and has also interned at the United
States Attorney’s Office. She is currently gaining invalu-
able experience as a law clerk at Bacon Wilson, P.C.,
which she proclaims to be “the best law firm in western
Additionally, Lenore is a published poet and Mellon
Foundation fellow. She has already taken her passion for
poetry and writing to the next level. Her book of poetry,
The Morning Within the Dark, is written and published in
memory of her brother. All of the proceeds benefit The
John F. Montanaro III Memorial Foundation.
These experiences have exemplified the three passions
that lead her to a career in law: a strong interest in The
Constitution, a love of the written word, and a commit-
ment to justice.
“These three passions, when placed together, are
exactly what I believe make a great attorney,” says Lenore.
“I truly want to make a difference in the lives of others.
What better way to make a positive contribution to the
world than to help others through the legal system?”
Lenore’s perspective has transformed as the School of
Law not only challenged her thought-process, but also
taught her the craft of legal storytelling. As a first-year
law student, Lenore won the “Best Brief” Award and the
“Best Oral Argument” Award for her Legal Research and
“The law program here has allowed me to develop as
a logical and intense thinker. I have grown as a writer,
too. It is important that an attorney be able to tell a
story,” she notes.
“As an undergraduate at Holy Cross, I was able to
ponder life’s big questions: Who am I? Who am I for
others? What is my purpose? In law school, the spiritual
component does not exist. Approaching questions from
the legal perspective provided me with an opportunity
Having suffered and overcome so much at a young
age, Lenore’s perspective on the future includes her
knowledge of the law, as well as her aesthetic and deep-
rooted view of the world.
“I have a vision for how I can make a difference in
Lenore Montanaro 3L has an impressive résumé filled with
society in many areas of law,” said Lenore. “Law school
has given me the confidence in my abilities, in my voice.
professional experiences, even before graduating from law school.
But her résumé tells only part of her story.