Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007

MBA tapped by the ABA to receive the prestigious Harrison Tweed Award

The Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association have been selected as joint recipients of the 2007 Harrison Tweed Award. Both associations are being recognized for their long standing commitment to the funding and provision of quality legal services to the poor in Massachusetts in both criminal and civil matters.

Both associations have worked tirelessly to expand the Massachusetts Equal Justice Coalition (EJC) and its efforts to secure adequate funding for Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation to support civil legal aid. In addition, the MBA and BBA share a long history of encouraging efforts by the Committee for Public Counsel Services to establish and maintain effective quality controls related to the provision of indigent defense services. The bar associations have also been strong advocates of adequate compensation for both public defenders and assigned counsel.

The award, given annually by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, will be presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 10, at a joint luncheon of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, National Association of Bar Executives and National Conference of Bar Foundations.

MBA President Mark D Mason will accept the award on behalf of the MBA. He said, “We are deeply honored to share in the award with our friends and colleagues at the BBA. The award demonstrates the power and synergy in coalitions such as the Equal Justice Coalition. Without the dedication and commitment of the BBA and the nearly 200 members of the EJC, our voice would be singular. Together, we have made a difference and we will continue to strive to ensure equal access to justice for all.”

The Harrison Tweed Award was created in 1956 to recognize the extraordinary achievements of state and local bar associations that develop or significantly expand projects or programs to increase access to civil legal services for poor persons or criminal defense services for indigents.

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