From left to right: Access to Justice Section Chair Charles E. Vander Linden of Starr Vander Linden LLP in Fitchburg and Access to Justice Section Vice Chair Isabel Sara Raskin of the Suffolk University Law School's Education Advocacy Clinic in Boston.
Note from Access to Justice leadership
Welcome to our monthly newsletter, containing information about
CLE programs, meetings, hot legal developments and other section
Please contact either of us at [e-mail jstevens] if you have
comments or suggestions for the newsletter, or wish to post a
Charles E. Vander Linden, chair, Starr Vander Linden LLP,
Isabel Sara Raskin, vice chair, Suffolk University Law
School's Education Advocacy Clinic, Boston
MBA seeks 2011-12 Access to Justice Award nominations
The MBA is is seeking nominations for its 2011-12 Access to
The MBA annually recognizes the efforts of attorneys and law
firms who have made significant strides in enhancing access to
justice. To recognize an unsung hero of the legal profession, or a
law firm that has made a significant difference for low income
litigants interfacing with the justice system, please fill out the
form below and submit your nomination by 5:00 p.m. by Friday, Dec.
9, 2011 to:
Massachusetts Bar Association
Access to Justice Awards
20 West St., Boston, MA 02110
We encourage nominations from local and affiliated bar
associations, government agencies and/or legal services
here for a nomination form.
The Access to Justice Awards are:
Legal Services Award
An attorney employed by a public or nonprofit agency to provide
civil legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a
particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the
provision of low-income legal services, above and beyond the
requirements or his or her position.
Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
A law firm of two or more attorneys, with one or more offices in
the commonwealth, whose pro bono activities are particularly
noteworthy in relation to the firm's size and which has performed
significant or meaningful pro bono activity or which has been
particularly instrumental in developing, implementing and/or
supporting a pro bono program or pro bono services within
Pro Bono Publico Award
An individual who has been instrumental in developing,
implementing and supporting pro bono programs for the Massachusetts
Bar Association or for a local county bar association, or a pro
bono program of a law firm, or has developed a pro bono program
sponsored or organized through an agency in the commonwealth, or
has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity.
An attorney who is employed or retained by a public or nonprofit
agency to provide criminal legal services to low-income clients,
and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful
contribution to the provision of low-income legal services above
and beyond the requirements of his or her position.
A state or federal prosecutor who has distinguished himself or
herself in public service and whose commitment to justice and
serving the communities where he or she lives or works is
Upcoming Access to Justice section council meeting
As a member of the Access to Justice section, you are invited to
attend the Access to Justice Section Council meeting on
Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West
As a member of this section, you can keep abreast of the meeting
dates and other important information here.
Technology grant will create statewide pro bono website
MBA gave “unqualified support” to Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association will
create a statewide pro bono website with a $68,000 grant from the
Washington, D.C.-based Legal Services Corp. The Massachusetts Bar
Association strongly endorsed the group's grant application.
The Volunteer Lawyers Project will use the Technology Initiative
Grant, which will run from January 2012 through June 2013, to
expand the availability of quality pro bono representation for
low-income Massachusetts residents by creating a website that
increases the efficiency and productivity of pro bono programs and
helps match up clients with volunteer attorneys.
"Busy attorneys want and will appreciate this one-stop,
coordinated approach to pro bono," Denise Squillante wrote to LSC
when she was MBA president in 2010. She noted the MBA's
"unqualified support" for the project, saying that the online
resource would help connect lawyers with clients badly in need of
help. The grant application had been endorsed by the MBA's House of
Delegates in 2009 and 2010.
MBA House of Delegates supports Access to Justice
Pro Hac Vice proposal passes the MBA’s House of Delegates
On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, the MBA's House of Delegates voted
to approve and support a proposal from the Access to Justice
Commission for submission to the Supreme Judicial Court. The
proposal would establish a pro hac vice admission fee for
lawyers from other states, who seek to appear in cases before
This proposal was brought to the House of Delegates by the
MBA's Access to Justice Section Council.
The MBA is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Join the conversation today
The Massachusetts Bar Association now has a presence on three
social networking platforms, including Facebook, launched in October 2010, LinkedIn, launched in January 2010, and Twitter,
launched in July 2009. All three social media platforms feature
information about the MBA including CLE, events and news.
As an MBA member, we encourage you to both post items of
interest to you, and the greater legal community, on these pages
and comment on items already posted.
Put your name out there
The goal of section councils is to offer members opportunities
for professional growth and development through participation in
section activities. One opportunity available to section members is
publishing articles which are of interest to fellow practitioners.
The MBA provides several forums for articles by section members -
Lawyers Journal and the Massachusetts Law Review.
If you are interested in writing an article for any of these
publications or if you have seen articles which you think may be of
interest to other Access to Justice Section members, please contact
Jean Stevens for more information regarding this