For Immediate Release - May 26, 2016

Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee Now Accepting 2016 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards Nominations

BOSTON, MA -- The Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services is seeking nominations for the 2016 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, which recognize those in the legal community who have shown outstanding and exceptional commitment to providing unpaid legal services to those in need. The deadline for nominations is July 1, 2016.

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 clients in need 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 those in need; and/or
  •  successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially to legal services for the disadvantaged

Nominations should be submitted by mail to: E. Abim Thomas, Esq., The 2016 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o Goodwin Procter, 53 State Street, Boston, MA 02109, or by email to Please contact Pamela Lyons at the Supreme Judicial Court with questions at (617) 557-1071, or by email Nominations submitted in 2015 remain active for consideration in the 2016 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. For more information about how to submit a nomination, please visit the Court's Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards web page.

The 2016 Pro Bono Publico Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on October 26, 2016, 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, law school faculties, and law students 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 2015.

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 Kathleen McGrath of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company chairs the Committee.