The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts honored MBA Executive Management Board member Francis C. Morrissey with its Pro Bono Publico Award for the Eastern Division of Massachusetts at a celebration at the Donohue Federal Courthouse in Worcester on Oct. 17, 2019. Other regional awards were given to honor recipients in the Central and Western divisions of Massachusetts.
The Pro Bono Publico Award honors lawyers “who have gone above and beyond to ensure that individuals who face economic hardship (and often language barriers) are able to obtain legal services and navigate the bankruptcy process.”
In a statement, the Bankruptcy Court wrote: “Throughout his career, [Frank] has been among the first to volunteer to undertake various pro bono tasks. This year, Frank is recognized particularly for helping develop the Massachusetts Bar Association Student Loan Bankruptcy Assistance Program, which he currently co-chairs. Frank volunteered to be lead appellate counsel in a case in this program, which ultimately led to the discharge of the debtor’s student loans.”
Recognizing that unmanageable student debt is a growing social problem in the commonwealth and that the students most likely to be eligible for an “undue hardship” discharge in bankruptcy will not have the resources to hire a trial lawyer, the MBA's Student Loan Bankruptcy Assistance Project matches distressed student borrowers with attorneys and law firms willing to represent them on a pro bono basis in bankruptcy. Read the full award announcement here.
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