MBF honors Sue Finegan; elects officers & trustees at Annual Meeting

President Harvey Weiner presents Sue Finegan with the 2019 Great Friend of Justice Award

President Harvey Weiner presents Sue Finegan with the 2019 Great Friend of Justice Award

At the Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s recent Annual Meeting, Attorney Susan M. Finegan, who as chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee leads groundbreaking cases and manages pro bono matters for the firm, was honored with the Great Friend of Justice Award. Over 140 MBF Fellows, grantees and friends attended the event, held on March 5, at the Federal Reserve Building in Boston.

The MBF’s Great Friend of Justice Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to justice, consistent with the MBF’s values and mission of increasing access to justice in the state. Sue Finegan’s commitment and dedication to access to justice exemplifies the spirit of this award.

Finegan is a nationally recognized pro bono pioneer with a passion for helping underserved. She helped to defeat President Trump’s first immigration travel ban in early 2017, to engineer the passage of a Massachusetts restraining order law for sexual assault survivors, and to create several innovative statewide model pro bono programs in Massachusetts.

As member and current co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission for several years, Sue has been a tireless and innovative advocate for low income people in Massachusetts and beyond. She has spearheaded creative funding mechanisms to support legal aid organizations and developed the statewide civil appellate pro bono program for self-represented litigants. Five years ago, she co-founded the Access to Justice Fellows program, in which over 100 retired and retiring lawyers have devoted over 70,000 pro bono hours at legal services organizations, nonprofits, and the courts.

2019 MBF Board of Trustees

2019 MBF Board of Trustees

Also at the event, the MBF honored fifteen lawyers and judges who recently completed philanthropic pledges to the MBF Society of Fellows, and listened to remarks by MBF grant recipient Alexandra Peredo Carroll, interim managing attorney for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), who shared about her work assisting unaccompanied immigrant children.

Elections were held for the coming year, and the MBF elected the following officers and trustees:


President Harvey Weiner, Peabody & Arnold, LLP, Boston
Vice President Richard J. Grahn, Law Office of Richard J. Grahn, Mattapoisett
Treasurer Angela C. McConney Scheepers, Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Boston
Secretary David C. Henderson, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, Boston


Corey M. Carvalho, Hampshire Probate & Family Court, Northampton
John T. Lynch, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine PC, Boston
Hon. Scott D. Peterson, Mass. District Court, Hingham
Kimberly E. Winter, McLaughlin, Richards, Biller, Schindel & Winter LLP, Natick
G. Perry Wu, Law Office of G. Perry Wu, Wellesley
Iris Taymore Schnitzer, Law Office of Iris Taymore Schnitzer, Boston

MBF celebrates grantees and honors two with President's Awards

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) recently hosted two receptions, in Boston and Springfield, to celebrate and honor its current grant recipients and recognize leading supporters of the foundation. MBF donors, friends, and representatives from many of the 90 programs currently funded by the MBF were in attendance.

This year, the MBF awarded $2.3 million in grants through its annual Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Grants Program. These programs help thousands of individuals and families in Massachusetts who have legal issues relating to domestic violence, housing, access to special education services, healthcare, discrimination, and many more.

 Anna Richardson, Esq., co-director and chief counsel of Veteran’s Legal Services, and Nora Grais-Clements, Esq., staff attorney at the Victim Rights Law Center and former MBF Legal Intern Fellowship recipient, served as this year’s grantee speakers.


 Also at the receptions, the MBF presented President’s Awards to Albert Zabin, Esq., of Greater Boston Legal Services in Boston, and to Larry Farber, of Farber and Lindley in Amherst. Given annually, the MBF President’s Award recognizes exceptional MBF supporters for their commitment to increasing access to justice for the most vulnerable in our state.

 At the Boston reception, which was held at the Mass. Bar Association, MBF President Harvey Weiner, of Peabody & Arnold, highlighted Zabin’s extensive pro bono work and long-time support and dedication to the mission and work of the MBF.  Zabin has volunteered to serve on MBF grant application review committees for more than twenty years. Following his retirement after 54 years of private practice, Zabin began volunteering as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services.

 In his remarks, Zabin praised his fellow legal services colleagues noting, “You make it possible for the poor and the abused to have a shot at justice…[regardless of case outcome] we’ve given those litigants some measure of self respect that they know they are important, that a lawyer really devotes time to their problems and listens to them and works for them.”

At the Springfield reception, which was held at Bulkley Richardson, both Weiner and MBF Trustee Hon. Robert Fields lauded Farber’s many years of service to the MBF, including service on the Board of Trustees, as well as on the MBF grant application review committee for the region. They also applauded his long career as a housing attorney practicing in Western Mass.

 In presenting the award, Judge Fields said, “It is a sincere pleasure for me, and I bet for all of here, to pause and recognize you for your wonderful and plentiful contributions to our community.”

Click here to see the event photos

MBF Awards Over $2.3 Million in Grants for Legal Aid Programs Across Massachusetts


The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) recently awarded over $2.3 million to 90 programs conducted by 60 different nonprofit organizations through its annual IOLTA grants program.

“Our grant recipients provide the front line soldiers in the state-wide battle for the equal administration of civil justice,” said President Harvey Weiner of Boston’s Peabody & Arnold.  “The MBF is proud to have had a vital role for over 54 years in supporting these legal programs, particularly now during these trying times.”

MBF IOLTA grants support projects that either offer civil legal services to people who could not afford them, or improve the administration of justice in the Commonwealth. Grants providing direct legal services include support to domestic violence programs, special education advocacy, humanitarian immigration assistance, and homelessness prevention.  Grants to improve the administration of justice support efforts such as court-connected mediation and lawyer of the day programs.

Distribution of 2018/2019 IOLTA funds by region

Distribution of 2018/2019 IOLTA funds by region

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation is one of three charitable entities in Massachusetts that distributes funds from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program.

Additional information about the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and its IOLTA Grants Program, as well as a complete listing of the 2018/2019 IOLTA grant recipients is available here.

MBF Grants $24,000 to Law Students for Public Interest Internships

The MBF Trustees proudly announce the award recipients of the 2018 MBF Legal Intern Fellowship Program (LIFP).  This year, the program will provide four exemplary law students with a stipend of $6,000 each for a full-time, summer internship at a Massachusetts organization providing civil legal services to the poor.

The MBF’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program has two concurrent goals: to give talented students the experience and encouragement they need to pursue careers in the public interest law sector and to provide legal aid organizations with much-needed additional staff capacity for the summer. These awards are supported by generous contributions to the MBF from lawyers and judges statewide.

This year’s award recipients are:

David Romanow
Boston College Law School
MetroWest Legal Services
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund) 

"Though saddening to see clients walk in the door with a seemingly insurmountable number of problems, both legal and non-legal, it was even more inspiring to see the positive change in their situations after the attorneys at MWLS got involved," said Romanow.

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Veronica Saltzman
Harvard Law School
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund)

During her twelve weeks at the ACLU, Saltzman worked on a variety of cases and issues, including criminal justice reform, free speech, and raising public awareness of the importance of District Attorneys. Saltzman will use the valuable experience she gained during her internship to pursue a career that focuses on criminal justice reform.

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MacKenzie Speer
Northeastern School of Law
Greater Boston Legal Services
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund)

"MacKenzie built upon her existing strong knowledge of the SNAP program to advise several clients on SNAP eligibility, and in one of these cases, she developed and wrote a request for retroactive SNAP benefits of nearly $2,000 for a client who was wrongfully denied in the past," said Speer’s supervisor, Attorney Lizbeth Ginsburg of the Welfare Law Unit at GBLS.

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Chloe Sugino
Boston University School of Law
Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
(Supported by Smith Family Fund)

Having grown up in a family who originally emigrated from Japan, Sugino developed a passion early on for helping families with immigrant rights issues to ensure they didn’t struggle in the same ways her family had. Sugino chose to intern at KIND both to gain relevant experience and to help vulnerable unaccompanied minors. The immigration turmoil regarding family separations beginning in May, and coinciding with Sugino’s internship only strengthened her commitment to a career in this area.

Harvey Weiner of Peabody & Arnold elected president of the MBF

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation has elected as its new president Harvey Weiner, senior counsel to Peabody & Arnold, LLP, where he practiced civil litigation for over forty-seven years.  Weiner will lead a board of twenty-two members, made up of lawyers and judges from across the commonwealth, all dedicated to increasing access to justice in Massachusetts, especially for low-income and vulnerable individuals and families.

Weiner first became a Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation in 2005, and has been an active member in many ways, including participating in the Foundation’s annual grant application review process and serving in various officer roles for the Board of Trustees.

In addition to his distinguished career as a civil litigator, Weiner is extremely active in both bar and community organizations. Weiner is Past Co-President of the Boston Inn of Court and Past President of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association. He is President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and served two terms on the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee. He served as Millis Town Counsel in Norfolk County for over a decade. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and an Oliver Wendell Holmes Life Fellow of the MBF. He has been an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He has written and spoken on various law topics around the country for over forty years and has been a trial advisor for the Harvard Law School Advocacy Course for thirty years.

Weiner served as a U.S. Army Captain in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded the Bronze Star (m). He is a U.S. Department of Veterans Accredited Attorney and is admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is the National Judge Advocate for the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, the nation’s oldest veterans organization. He was a frequent participant in the MBA's Veterans' Dial-a-Lawyer program. He is a certified mediator, particularly for veterans’ issues.

A Boston native, Weiner is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard College, Columbia Law School, and the London School of Economics.