Supreme Judicial Court building

Supreme Judicial Court to Present Pro Bono Committee Awards to Four Attorneys and a Recent Law School Graduate

Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly S. Budd will present the annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to four attorneys and a recent law school graduate in recognition of their outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services for those in need. Two of the awards recognize lawyers working with Community Legal Aid.

The awards are named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

The SJC’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services has selected the following attorneys to receive awards:

Rhonda L. Bachrach, for her exemplary record as a volunteer attorney for the family law, small claims, and housing lawyer-for-the-day programs administered by Community Legal Aid (CLA) and the Worcester County Bar Association, for CLA’s medical-legal partnership with UMass Memorial Health Care, and for taking private pro bono cases from these agencies as well.

Douglas L. Fox and Lawrence E. Cohen, for their extraordinary dedication to providing pro bono legal services for more than 30 years to the residents of Jeremiah’s Inn, a residential recovery program in Worcester, on a wide range of issues — from bankruptcy to driver’s license reinstatements to housing and unemployment compensation. Attorneys Fox and Cohen provide these services in collaboration with the Honorable Harry Zarrow Homeless Advocacy Project, a special program of Community Legal Aid, which receives funding from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

Robert P. Sherman, for his exceptional commitment to pro bono service, devoting nearly 500 hours of volunteer legal work in 2018 alone on a variety of legal projects such as reuniting immigrant families, and providing leadership and support for DLA Piper’s pro bono partnerships with the Lenny Zakim Fund and the National Center for State Courts.

And for the Adams law student award, the Committee has selected:

Lauren Victoria Rossman, a 2019 graduate of Boston College Law School, for dedicating hundreds of hours to volunteer work over the course of her law school career, including most significantly her extensive and successful efforts with the Boston College Innocence Program to win reversal of the murder conviction of Christopher “Omar” Martinez, leading to his release from prison after nearly 20 years of incarceration.

Certificates will also be presented to those listed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll. 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 they have performed a minimum number of hours of approved pro bono legal services during the previous calendar year, and law students who have done so during their law school careers.

The SJC 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 Rule 6.1 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. The awards ceremony is one of many activities celebrating and building support for pro bono legal work in Massachusetts during the month of October. The American Bar Association has declared October 20 to 26 as Pro Bono Week.

Thursday, October 24, 2019
3:30 p.m. — Pro Bono Honor Roll Ceremony for Law Students
4:00 p.m. — Adams Awards and Pro Bono Honor Roll Ceremony for Attorneys

Seven Justice Courtroom
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108