For Immediate Release - October 21, 2013

Supreme Judicial Court to Present Adams Awards to Attorneys, Law Firm for Pro Bono Work


Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ralph D. Gants, a member of the Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, will present the twelfth annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to attorneys, a recent law school graduate  and a law firm in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding commitment in providing legal services for those in need. The prestigious awards are named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

The below law firm and attorneys have been selected by the Standing Committee to receive awards:

Carolyn Scott-Howe, Chicopee, MA:  For her tireless efforts on behalf of the Massachusetts Justice Project in the Hampden County Probate and Family Court, overseeing and supervising its uncontested divorce project and representing low income litigants in their divorces;

Michele Garvin, Ropes & Gray, Boston:  For her leadership of and outstanding pro bono service to Ropes & Gray's Medical-Legal Partnerships, both at the legal clinic at the Dorchester House Multi-Services Center and the legal clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;

Victoria Rothbaum, Lexington, and the law firm of Verrill Dana LLP, Boston, along with its attorneys Regina Hurley and Robin Murphy:  For their   ground-breaking work in creating, supporting and running the Settlement and Early Resolution Volunteer project to conciliate family law cases for impoverished and unrepresented litigants in the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court;

With a special award presented to a recent law school graduate:
Benjamin Jones, 2013 Graduate, New England Law|Boston:  For his tremendous dedication to pro bono work while a student in law school, including his leadership and management of the CORI Initiative which assists indigent persons in sealing old criminal records.

Certificates will also be presented to the lawyers and law firms that voluntarily participated in the Court's Pro Bono Honor Roll for calendar year 2012. The Honor Roll each year recognizes law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government legal offices, non-profit organizations and law school faculties that certify that their attorneys have dedicated a minimum number of hours to approved pro bono legal services during a specified time period. Their names are listed on the Court's website at:

The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means in need of legal representation, in accordance with SJC Rule 6.1.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
4 p.m.

John Adams Courthouse -- Seven-Justice Courtroom
One Pemberton Square