For Immediate Release - May 28, 2013

Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services Seeks Nominations for 2013 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards

To recognize outstanding and exceptional commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged, the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services is seeking nominations for the 2013 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards. The deadline for nominations is July 1, 2013.

Named in honor of Attorneys John Adams and John Quincy Adams, the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services annually presents the Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to honor those Massachusetts lawyers, law students, small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments, law schools or other institutions in the legal profession that have improved the lives of poor and disadvantaged clients by committing an extraordinary amount of their time and energies to provide volunteer legal services.

The Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services will select awardees from among those who have excelled in providing volunteer services in one or more of the following ways:

  • participated in an activity or pro bono program which resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs or in extending services to underserved segments of the population;
  • successfully litigated pro bono cases that favorably affected the provision of other services to the poor; and/or
  • successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor.

Nominations should be submitted to: Robert C. Sacco, Esq., The 2013 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP, 14 Bobala Road, 4th Floor, Holyoke, MA 01040, or by email at rsacco@lyonfitzpatrick.com. Contact Carol Lev at (617) 557 - 1074, or email carol.lev@sjc.state.ma.us with questions. Nominations submitted in 2012 remain active for consideration in the 2013 awards program provided that the nominating party submits a letter restating the intent to nominate the candidate and updating the narrative with any relevant information. Eligibility for the awards was expanded last year to include law schools and law students.

This year the prestigious Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on October 23, 2013, in conjunction with the American Bar Association's recognition of National Pro Bono Week.

In addition to the awards program, the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services also administers the Pro Bono Honor Roll, a voluntary program that recognizes those law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government attorneys offices, non-profit organizations and law school faculties which certify that, in the relevant time period, they have performed a certain number of hours of pro bono legal work. Certifications are still being accepted for pro bono worked performed in calendar year 2012.

Established in 1999, the Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means who are in need of legal representation, in accordance with SJC Rule 6.1. Attorney Susan Finegan of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. chairs the Committee.