MBF Announces 2018 President's Award Recipients

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation proudly announces that two of its most dedicated volunteers will be honored with this year’s President's Awards at the upcoming MBF Grantee Receptions. Award recipients are:

  • Albert P. Zabin, Boston
  • Lawrence J. Farber, Amherst
Al-Zabin.jpeg

Albert P. Zabin, an MBF Life Fellow, has been one of the MBF’s most dedicated and generous supporters since he first joined the Society of Fellows in 1978.  Zabin has been a perennial presence on the MBF Grant Advisory Committees for Greater Boston.  He has conducted site visits to organizations all around the region, carefully evaluating their requests and making sound funding recommendations to the MBF Trustees.  He is dedicated and passionate about equal access to justice. Through his volunteer work with the MBF, he has helped strengthen the network of civil legal assistance available to individuals and families in need across the state.

After 54 years of private practice, Zabin retired in 2015 from Duane Morris LLP, where he was a partner and of counsel since 2003.  Shortly after that, Zabin volunteered to do an Access to Justice Fellowship at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). Even though the fellowship commitment is over, he continues to volunteer as a full-time staff attorney at GBLS. Zabin has been very active in legal and community organizations, including the Massachusetts and American Bar Associations, and has served as a Lecturer in Law, teaching trial practice at Northeastern University School of Law and Boston College Law School.  Zabin will receive his award at the Eastern Mass. Grantee Reception in Boston, on Sept. 27.

 Larry Farber (right), with the 2017 President's Award recipient, Robert C. Ware, at last year's Grantee Reception.

Larry Farber (right), with the 2017 President's Award recipient, Robert C. Ware, at last year's Grantee Reception.

Lawrence J. Farber, an MBF Oliver Wendell Holmes Life Fellow, has supported the MBF in many ways since he first joined the MBF Society of Fellows in 1994. In addition to being a generous contributor to the foundation, he served as an MBF officer and trustee from 2010 to 2017. He has served on the Western Mass. Grant Advisory Committee annually, both as chair and volunteer grant reviewer, and worked tirelessly to ensure MBF grant funds were allocated to where they were most needed in Western Mass. His knowledge of the region and legal services needs greatly contributed to the MBF’s ability to effectively support legal aid programs serving desperately needy clients.

A founding partner of Farber and Lindley in Amherst, Farber has been practicing law for over 30 years. He concentrates his practice on landlord-tenant law, discrimination, wrongful discharge from employment, personal injury, and general civil litigation. A member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Farber is a past president of the Hampshire County Bar Association and was the chair of the Western Division Housing Court Bench-Bar Committee from 2003-2008.  Farber will receive his award at the Central & Western Mass. Grantee Reception, in Springfield, on Oct. 4.

The MBF hosts grantee receptions annually to show its appreciation to the MBF grantees and supporters. Join us at this event to learn more about the MBF! For more information or to RSVP, click here.

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

AdobeStock_174661031.jpeg

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.

Saltzman ACLU.jpg

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.

Speer GBLS.jpg

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.

Sugino KIND.jpg

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.

MBF Annual Meeting; Powers honored and new trustees elected

GFOJ Award Weiner Powers.jpg

At the Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s recent Annual Meeting, Attorney Lonnie A. Powers, long-time executive director of the Mass. Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), was honored with the Great Friend of Justice Award. Over 60 MBF Fellows, grantees and friends braved the coming nor’easter to attend the event, held on March 7, 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. Lonnie Powers’ commitment and dedication to access to justice exemplifies the spirit of this award.

Powers has devoted the majority of his distinguished career establishing, building, sustaining, and revitalizing legal aid organizations.  Powers recently announced his plans to retire from the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, where he has served as executive director since its inception in 1983. In this role, he worked tirelessly to strengthen civil legal assistance programs for the poor throughout the Commonwealth.  Under his leadership, MLAC developed partnerships with the private bar, judiciary, legislature, and the public to maximize resources for these critical legal aid programs statewide. Today, MLAC is the largest single funder of civil legal programs in the state, having awarded $24 million in grants in 2017.

Powers is also active in numerous community and public service efforts, including serving on the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Pro Bono, as well as with the American, Mass., and Boston Bar Associations. He is an MBF Fellow and is a past president of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

At the business meeting held that same evening, the MBF also elected the following officers and trustees:

Officers

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

Trustees

  • Robert J. Ambrogi, Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi, Gloucester
  • Valerie C. Caldwell, Boston Municipal Court-Dorchester Division, Boston
  • Edward F. Dombroski, Jr., Travers | Dombroski PC, Boston
  • Hon. Robert G. Fields, Western Mass. Housing Court, Springfield
  • James F. Martin, Robinson Donovan, PC, Springfield
2018 MBF Board.jpg