The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF), the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, announced today that it will provide $1,172,500 in grants to 25 organizations that provide critical legal services and advocacy for members of the Greater Boston community in need. This funding is composed of proceeds from the BBF’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit and Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA).
The legal support provided by BBF grantee organizations ensures that our most vulnerable community members can obtain equitable access to life-altering support during these challenging times. These organizations assist clients that include: those seeking access to unemployment and food assistance benefits, communities of color facing unjust discrimination, low-income landlords and tenants facing housing insecurity, incarcerated individuals, survivors of domestic violence seeking safety from their abusers, and immigrants and asylum-seekers hoping to make a new life in the United States.
“The vital work done by these incredible organizations helps to ensure access to justice – particularly during these difficult times when the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our community are facing unprecedented hardship,” stated BBF President Diana K. Lloyd. “This year we are pleased to increase the number of grantees and expand the critical work in the community for direct legal services, and to support impact litigation and administration of justice matters. These grants would not be possible without the lawyers, law firms and area businesses who support the work of the Boston Bar Foundation throughout the year.”
The 2020 grant recipients are:
Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston: The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston supports artists in our community with a variety of integrated services. Its Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Project provide artists and arts organizations—vital yet traditionally indigent populations—with equal access to legal resources, via direct legal representation, referrals to pro bono and low-fee counsel, and educational programming.
Casa Myrna Vazquez: Casa Myrna is Boston’s largest provider of domestic violence awareness efforts and of shelter and supportive services to survivors. The Legal Advocacy Program seeks to address the unmet legal needs of victims of domestic violence and commercial sexual exploitation.
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts: The mission of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts is to promote and secure equal justice and to maximize opportunity for low-income children and youth by providing quality advocacy and legal services.
City Life/Vida Urbana: City Life/Vida Urbana is a bilingual, community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power through direct action, coalition building, education and advocacy.
De Novo: De Novo provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people, offering services that combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing.
DOVE Inc.: DOVE’s Legal Advocacy Program supports underserved members of our community by providing legal services to domestic violence survivors. It promotes hope, healing, safety, and social change by providing a broad range of preventive and responsive services.
Greater Boston Legal Services The oldest and largest legal services program in New England, Greater Boston Legal Services provides free legal assistance to as many low-income families as possible, helping them to secure some of the most basic necessities of life.
Kids in Need of Defense: Kids in Need of Defense serves unaccompanied immigrant children through a holistic approach that addresses both their legal and social needs. By providing pro bono legal services to children who enter the immigration system alone, it strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation.
Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness: The Lawyers Clearinghouse harnesses the power of Massachusetts legal professionals to strengthen communities by connecting Massachusetts nonprofits and the homeless with pro bono lawyers.
Lawyers for Civil Rights: Lawyers for Civil Rights fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants, engaging in creative and courageous legal action, education, and advocacy in collaboration with law firms and community partners.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s mission is to remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth by advocating for and partnering with students and families; transforming school cultures to be inclusive, safe and supportive; and creating systemic change so all children and youth can learn, reach their potential, and thrive.
Massachusetts Appleseed Center: The mission of Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues; by researching the ways that the most vulnerable are impacted by the justice system, it helps identify solutions to systemic problems.
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health: MassCOSH unites workers, unions and community groups with environmental and health activists to end dangerous work conditions, to organize for safe, secure jobs, and to advocate for healthy communities.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: Massachusetts Law Reform Institute provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities.
MetroWest Legal Services: The mission of MetroWest Legal Services is to provide legal advocacy to protect and advance the rights of the poor, elderly, disabled and other disenfranchised people and to assist them in obtaining legal, social and economic justice.
Northeast Legal Aid: Northeast Legal Aid’s mission is to offer free high quality civil legal services to the poor and elderly in Northeastern Massachusetts.
Pine Street Inn: The Homeless Court Program at Pine Street Inn serves homeless individuals who have open default warrants for misdemeanor and low-level felonies in courts throughout the Commonwealth, with the aim of removing barriers to housing for homeless individuals. This year, the Homeless Court Program will be working on a virtual pilot project.
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project: The Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project provides free legal services to asylum seekers and promotes the rights of detained immigrants.
Prisoners’ Legal Services: Prisoners’ Legal Services promotes the safe, humane and lawful treatment of Massachusetts prisoners through civil rights litigation, administrative advocacy, client counseling, and outreach to policy makers and the public.
Project Citizenship: The mission of Project Citizenship is to increase the naturalization rate in Massachusetts by providing free legal services to help lawful permanent residents apply for and achieve U.S. citizenship.
Rian Immigrant Center: Formerly know as the Irish International Immigrant Center, Rian Immigrant Center welcomes and supports more than 3,500 immigrants and refugees from more than 120 countries every year, empowering newcomers with critical integration services so they can reach stability, contribute to their communities, and flourish.
Veterans Legal Services: Veterans Legal Services promotes self-sufficiency, stability, and financial security for veterans in Massachusetts through comprehensive and accessible legal services.
Volunteer Lawyers Project: The mission of the Volunteer Lawyers Project is to increase access to justice by delivering high quality pro bono civil legal services to eligible clients in the Greater Boston area.
Women’s Bar Foundation: The Women’s Bar Foundation is dedicated to ensuring access to justice for low-income individuals. The Family Law Project for Domestic Abuse Survivors empowers domestic violence survivors by giving them a voice in their abuse prevention hearings and family law cases.
Youth Advocacy Foundation: The Youth Advocacy Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Massachusetts juvenile public defender agency: the Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The EdLaw Project provides education advocacy for Massachusetts’ highest-risk youth.
As the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Bar Foundation’s mission is inspired by the values of professionalism, service, compassion and responsibility. The mission of the BBF is to promote justice by funding and promoting innovation in legal services, enhancing access to justice for the underserved, and supporting the public interest activities of the bar.
The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large, and promote diversity and inclusion.