Worcester attorney Francis A. Ford

Issue October 2010

Massachusetts Bar Foundation past president and Worcester attorney Francis A. Ford, a former Worcester county clerk of courts, has been practicing law for more than 30 years and currently runs a mediation practice at Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple.

Those who know him praise Ford as a "people person" who excels at developing relationships and consensus building.

"Fran is a compassionate, loyal and empathic person. No matter how busy he is, he makes the time to stop, talk and listen," says colleague and former MBA Past President Edward W. McIntyre. "He's genuinely concerned about people; asking about you, your practice and your family. He's on top of all the issues of the day, seeks your opinion of the issues, and is sincerely interested in the reply. Fran immediately puts people at ease with his warm nature, attentive disposition and great sense of humor."

Ford served on the board from 2002 through 2009 and as president for two of those years. During that time, he championed the mission of increasing legal aid to the poor across the state. He became a charter Oliver Wendell Holmes Fellow of the MBF and left an indelible mark on the Foundation, inspiring fellow trustees and staff alike with his passion for helping those who too often are overlooked.

In addition to his statewide advocacy with the MBF, Ford is dedicated to his Central Massachusetts community and has served on a long list of local nonprofit boards and committees. Most notably, in addition to being a Worcester County Bar Association member and past president, Ford serves on the board of directors of the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts (LACCM), the area's hub for legal aid services for low-income individuals and families.

"Fran is a mainstay of our board," says LACCM Executive Director Jonathan Mannina.

"He consistently goes the extra mile for the organization, and his insights and advice are always helpful. His support, especially during difficult times, has been so valuable to me and my entire staff."

Ford is also known for his level-headedness and judgment. "His great respect for the legal system is well known among those who know and work with him," said Robert Longden, a colleague from the Worcester law firm of Bowditch & Dewey. "Consequently, he tends to be very thoughtful and practical in making decisions or giving advice, and his focus is always on what is fair and reasonable. I think that's one of the things that makes him such a highly respected and admired figure in the legal community."