PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
BOSTON, MA — The Supreme Judicial Court today announced that the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission has named Attorney Carolyn Goodwin as its Director, effective August 5, 2019.
First established by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2005, the Commission seeks to improve access to justice for people who are unable to afford an attorney for essential civil legal needs, such as cases involving housing, consumer debt, and family law. Among other activities, the Commission coordinates with civil legal aid organizations to support their activities and develop new initiatives to address unmet needs. The Commission also works to increase the number of attorneys able to provide pro bono or limited assistance civil legal services and coordinates with the court system on initiatives that assist individuals to better understand and navigate civil legal proceedings. The Commission's membership includes representatives from the court system, legal aid organizations, social service organizations, bar associations, law schools, businesses, and other stakeholders in the access to justice community.
In her role as director, Attorney Goodwin will be responsible for providing strategic guidance and overseeing key operational functions for the Commission in consultation with its co-chairs, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and Susan M. Finegan, Esq., of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.
"Carolyn brings a wealth of knowledge as an innovative administrator and an attorney in pro bono and public interest legal services that will provide invaluable support to the Commission," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants. "We look forward to working with her."
Attorney Goodwin joins the Commission from Boston University School of Law, where she most recently served as Director of Public Service and Pro Bono. She is also the incoming co-chair of the Boston Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Steering Committee, a previous member of the National Advisory Committee for Equal Justice Works, and formerly chaired the Public Service and Pro Bono Section of the American Association of Law Schools.
Attorney Goodwin has previously held positions as an assistant attorney general for the State of New York; as an attorney in private practice representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination and civil rights litigation, and tenants in landlord-tenant matters; and as a pro se staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and of the School of Law at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she was publications editor for the law review.
Attorney Goodwin will be part of the staff of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC). MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid organizations in the Commonwealth.