Press Release

Press Release Supreme Judicial Court's Pro Bono Committee Honors Attorneys, Law Firm, and Student for Work Assisting Domestic Violence Survivors and Immigrants

For immediate release:
10/19/2017
  • Supreme Judicial Court
  • Massachusetts Court System

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Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MA — At a ceremony yesterday in the Seven Justice Courtroom of the John Adams Courthouse, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly S. Budd hosted the annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, where two attorneys, a law firm, and a recent law school graduate received awards from the Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services to those in need.

The awards are named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The awards ceremony is one of many activities celebrating and building support for pro bono legal work in Massachusetts during the month of October, a month officially proclaimed as Pro Bono Month by Governor Charlie Baker. The American Bar Association has declared October 22 to 28 as Pro Bono Week.

The recipients who were honored at yesterday's ceremony include:

  • Christine Butler, for her four decades of pro bono work on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, not only representing them, but developing comprehensive strategies to protect them, advocating for increased legislative safeguards, and training attorneys, judges, clerks, probation officers, and other advocates;
  • Susan Church, for her tireless efforts and leadership in defending the rights of disadvantaged immigrants, providing pro bono assistance to obtain asylum, special visas for victims of crime, and other relief on their behalf, often in expedited cases and under the most difficult circumstances; and
  • Goodwin, for its extraordinary dedication to representing unaccompanied immigrant minors, logging more than 17,000 hours in the last eight years, and its innovative pro bono partnership with in-house lawyers at Gillette to serve the needs of these children;

with a special student award to:

  • Claudia Quintero, 2017 graduate, Western New England School of Law, for spearheading initiatives to engage her fellow students in public interest activities, including programs to address housing and employment discrimination and to assist lawful permanent residents in applying for citizenship, and for her pro bono work during law school on behalf of immigrants and low-income families.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants made brief remarks recognizing those listed on the SJC's Pro Bono Honor Roll for calendar year 2016. The Honor Roll each year recognizes law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government legal offices, non-profit organizations, law school faculties and law students that certify that they have performed a minimum number of hours of approved pro bono legal services during a specified time period. This year, over a hundred were listed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll.

The SJC'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.

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Supreme Judicial Court 

The SJC is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court.

Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

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