PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago Jennifer.Donahue@sjc.state.ma.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 27, 2016
Supreme Judicial Court Presents Awards to Attorneys, Law Student for Pro Bono Work, Including Assisting Homeless Women, Elderly
BOSTON, MA -- At a ceremony Wednesday in the Seven Justice Courtroom of the John Adams Courthouse, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine S. Hines presented awards to three attorneys and a recent law school graduate in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services for those in need.
"We are fortunate in Massachusetts to be a part of a legal community where pro bono service is a part of our culture; you might say it is in our DNA," Justice Geraldine S. Hines said. "What we have here is indeed special; it is born of a tradition that traces as far back as 1783 when pro bono lawyers convinced the Supreme Judicial Court that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibited slavery in the Quock Walker case."
Justice Hines continued, "I have come to believe that one's worth to the cause of justice for those who are at the margins of our society is valued not in who we are but what we give of our time, our talent and of course, our hearts. The people we honor today have given everything expected of them and more. I am proud to be a part of this celebration of their contributions to our community."
Selected by the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, Justice Hines presented Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, to the following attorneys:
and a special student award to:
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants noted the many attorneys who have made "substantial commitments to pro bono work" including an increase in law students, many of whom logged enough hours of pro bono work to be listed alongside law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government legal offices, non-profit organizations and law school faculties to be included on the SJC's Pro Bono Honor Roll for calendar year 2015. Susan M. Finegan, Esq., Co-Chair of the Access to Justice Commission, presented certificates to the attorneys and law students on the Pro Bono Honor Roll in recognition that they have performed a minimum number of hours of approved pro bono legal services during a specified time period. Their names are listed on the Court's website here.
The SJC's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, chaired by Kathleen McGrath, Esq., works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means in need of legal representation, in accordance with SJC Rule 6.1. The awards ceremony is one of many events and activities in October celebrating and building support for pro bono legal work in Massachusetts, a month officially proclaimed as Pro Bono Month by Governor Charlie Baker. The American Bar Association has declared October 25 to 31 Pro Bono Week.
Photo Caption - From left: Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants; Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine S. Hines; Attorney Roger J. Reid; Attorney Bancroft "Bats" Wheeler; Attorney Carolyn Goodwin, Director for Public Service and Pro Bono at the Boston University School of Law accepting the award on behalf of 2016 Boston University Law School graduate Alexandra Tucker; Attorney Ann Milner.