Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011
Image for ABA award
Photograph by A. Maharaj, The Canadian Press Images
From left to right: MBA Secretary Marsha V. Kazarosian, MBA President-elect Richard P. Campbell, Norfolk and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, MBA President Denise Squillante and Karol Corbin Walker of the National Council for Bar Presidents at an Aug. 5 luncheon held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, Canada.

MBA Tiered Community Mentoring Program honored with ABA partnership award

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Tiered Community Mentoring Program has been honored with the 2011 ABA Partnership Award from the American Bar Association. The program was selected because of its commitment to diversity.

The program -- a collaboration among the MBA, Suffolk University Law School, Boston University Law School, Roxbury Community College, UMASS Boston and New Mission High School -- aims to reach urban high school students by building a diverse mentoring network. The program matches tiered groups, comprised of a high school student, an undergraduate student, a law student and an attorney.

The program began in October 2009 and was the brainchild of Norfolk and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, who said the innovative mentoring structure creates opportunities that would not otherwise exist.

"Many students write themselves out of a career in law because they have never met a lawyer." Ordoñez said. "This program not only acquaints students with lawyers, but it provides mentor relationships that open up the doors of possibility. Once these students learn the details of careers in the law, it becomes an attainable goal."

The ABA Partnership Awards Program salutes bar association projects that seek to increase the participation and advancement of lawyers of color as well as other underrepresented constituents-attorneys with disabilities, women attorneys and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered-and to attract students from these groups to the legal profession.

The MBA was one of three award honorees. The other recipients are the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the Mecklenburg County Bar Association.

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