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.

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 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