One of five siblings, Mary received a scholarship to Boston University, graduated magna cum laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She attended Suffolk University Law School at night, graduating in the top 5% of her class, while holding a full-time research position at The Medical Foundation in Boston, co-authoring multiple articles on alcohol and drug use among different populations.
As an attorney, Mary was the first female Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct. She also volunteered her legal expertise to several nonprofit organizations, and served as Board Chairman of Friends of CASA.
In 2001, Mary co-founded the Wareham Land Trust and the Stifler Family Foundation, and the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum in 2012. She has served on the boards of many nonprofits.