AG Coakley, honored by MBF, highlights shared goals

Issue February 2011 By Bill Archambeault

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley lauded the Massachusetts Bar Foundation for the role it plays in helping the state's most vulnerable.

"Certainly, what you do with the money you have, you remind us of how special it is to be a lawyer," said Coakley, who received the MBF's 2011 Great Friend of Justice Award at the 2011 Annual Meeting. The event was held Jan. 25 at the Social Law Library in Boston's John Adams Courthouse.

Coakley noted how her office and MBF funding help address a variety of issues, including: housing, health care, education, children's needs, sexual abuse, predatory lending, civil rights, hunger and human trafficking. Her office will prosecute cases and attempt to make systemic changes, she said, and MBF funding is crucial in starting and sustaining organizations that help people directly.

The Attorney General's office and the MBF are working toward the same goal, she said, "to help people who can't speak for themselves or don't know how to."

After awarding $6.3 million in grants for 2008-09, IOLTA funding dropped 66 percent, and the MBF had to spend money from its reserves in order to distribute $5 million in 2009-10 and $4.5 million for 2010-11.