2016 President’s Award Recipients Announced: James T. Van Buren and Robert S. Molloy

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

  • James T. Van Buren, Law Office of James T. Van Buren, in Fitchburg
  • Robert S. Molloy, Destination XL Group, Inc., in Canton

Van Buren, an MBF Louis D. Brandeis Life Fellow and Justice Circle member who practices in Fitchburg, has been a stalwart advocate for access to justice from the earliest days of his legal career. Jim joined the MBF Society of Fellows in 1991, and has participated in the MBF grant review process annually, serving on both regional and statewide grant committees. Beyond the MBF, Jim has been a long-time supporter of civil legal aid both locally and statewide, serving as a member of the MA Access to Justice Commission since its inception, and a leader of many bar-related organizations including the Mass. Bar Association and the Worcester County Bar Association. Jim will receive his award at the Central & Western Mass. Grantee Reception, in Worcester, on October 19.

Molloy, an Oliver Wendell Holmes Life Fellow, is being honored for his longstanding support of the MBF and its mission to increase access to justice. He is the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Destination XL Group, a publically held company in Canton.  A dedicated volunteer and generous donor, Bob has volunteered annually to assist the MBF in its grant making process. His dedication and commitment to increasing the availability of services to those in need has made him a true asset to the MBF’s grant making program. Bob is also a long-time volunteer for MetroWest Legal Services in Framingham, and he received the Nancy King Award in 2011 in recognition of his service as co-chair of the MWLS Fundraising Committee, a post he has held since 1999. Bob will receive his award at the Eastern Mass. Grantee Reception, in Boston, on October 26.

The MBF hosts grantee receptions annually to show its appreciation to the MBF grantees and supporters. For more information or to RSVP, please click here

MBF Awards $2.6 Million in Grants for Legal Aid Programs Across Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) recently awarded over $2.6 million to 92 programs conducted by 60 nonprofit organizations through its annual IOLTA grants program. For the first time since the recession, the MBF was able to award a significantly higher amount of funding to its grantees.

“Thanks to funding the MBF received from a nationwide settlement with Bank of America, we were able to increase funding for grants by almost $700,000 over last year,” said MBF President Janet F. Aserkoff of Boston’s Rappaport Aserkoff & Gelles. “MBF grantees are working every day to meet an enormous demand for civil legal assistance. We are proud to be able to support these critically needed programs throughout the state.”

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 include efforts such as court-connected mediation and lawyer of the day programs.

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. Funds from the Bank of America settlement were distributed to IOLTA programs all over the United States.

A complete listing of the 2016/2017 IOLTA grant recipients is available here.

MBF awards $24,000 to law students for public interest internships

The MBF Trustees proudly announce that four exceptional law students were recently selected to receive a stipend of $6,000 each for their unpaid summer internships at non-profit legal aid organizations in Massachusetts. The grants are provided through the MBF’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program, which is funded by the MBF Fellows Fund and the Smith Family Fund and has two concurrent goals: to give talented students the experience and encouragement they need to continue in the public interest law sector and to provide legal aid organizations with much-needed additional staff capacity for the summer.

This year’s award recipients are:

Mario Paredes
Boston University School of Law
Kids in Need of Defense
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund)


Candace Pierre
New England Law │ Boston
Harvard Legal Aid Bureau: Family Law Unit
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund)



James van Wagtendonk
Boston University School of Law
Greater Boston Legal Services: Employment Law Unit
(Supported by MBF Fellows Fund)


Rachel Bier
Boston University School of Law
Northeast Legal Aid: Family and Housing Law Unit
(Supported by the Smith Family Fund)

 

 

Click here for more information about the MBF's Legal Intern Fellowship Program.

The MBF welcomes new President Janet F. Aserkoff

MBF immediate past President Robert J. Ambrogi passed the gavel to Janet F. Aserkoff at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

MBF immediate past President Robert J. Ambrogi passed the gavel to Janet F. Aserkoff at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation has elected as its new president Janet F. Aserkoff, managing partner of New Boston Fund Inc.’s affiliated law firm, Rappaport, Aserkoff & Gelles.  Aserkoff will lead a board of twenty-one members, made up of lawyers and judges from across the commonwealth, all dedicated to increasing access to justice in Massachusetts, particularly for low-income and vulnerable individuals and families.

“The MBF is very lucky to have Janet Aserkoff as its new president,” said immediate past President Robert J. Ambrogi of Rockport. “She is not only a talented lawyer, but also a dynamite nonprofit leader.”

Aserkoff first became a Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation in 1980, and she’s 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.  She was also recently appointed to serve on the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee.

In addition to her work with the MBF, Aserkoff has been an active volunteer on behalf of her Alma Mater, Mount Holyoke College. She served on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2011, on the Board of Directors of the Alumnae Association, and is the recipient of its medal of honor.  Aserkoff has also served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Rashi School in Newton, Massachusetts, and is a founding member of the Boston Jewish Community Women's Fund.

 

2016 Officers and Trustees Announced

On March 15, the Fellows of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation gathered for their Annual Meeting at the Social Law Library in the John Adams Courthouse.  Following the recommendations of the Nominating Committee chaired by Francis Ford and including Jerry Cohen and Laurence Johnson, the MBF Fellows unanimously elected the following:

Officers

  • President Janet F. Aserkoff, Rappaport, Aserkoff & Gelles, Boston
  • Vice President Harvey Weiner, Peabody & Arnold, LLP, Boston
  • Treasurer Richard J. Grahn, National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., Mattapoisett
  • Secretary Angela C. McConney Scheepers, Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Boston
  • Past President Robert J. Ambrogi, Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi, Gloucester
2016 Officers (from left) Treasurer Richard J. Grahn, Past President Robert J. Ambrogi, President Janet F. Aserkoff, Vice president Harvey Weiner, and Secretary Angela C. McConney Scheepers

2016 Officers (from left) Treasurer Richard J. Grahn, Past President Robert J. Ambrogi, President Janet F. Aserkoff, Vice president Harvey Weiner, and Secretary Angela C. McConney Scheepers

New Trustees

  • Richard J. Grahn, National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., Mattapoisett
  • Katherine A. Hesse, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, Quincy
  • David C. Henderson, Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP, Boston
  • Hon. Maynard M. Kirpalani, Superior Court of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Robert S. Mangiaratti, Office of the City Solicitor, Attleboro

MBF officers will serve a one year term and trustees will serve a four year term.

For more information about the newly elected Officers and Full Board of Trustees, click here.