The leadership and staff of the Boston Bar would like to thank our growing list of partners for their unwavering leadership and generous support throughout the year.
The Boston Bar Association has always had a strong record of rising above division, finding common ground with those who hold opposing views, and inspiring diverse groups to overcome disagreement in order to advance justice. We are consistent and determined in pursuit of the principles we stand for: access to justice, diversity & inclusion, and excellence in the practice of law, to name a few. We are, and will continue to be, a solutions-oriented convener that welcomes all stakeholders to exchange ideas and
build positive and productive relationships. Above all, we aim to offer our best efforts in supporting our community of members, the wider legal community, and our fellow citizens of Boston and throughout the Commonwealth. We promise to be ever watchful and vigilant in ensuring that individual and due process rights remain valued and protected as bedrock principles in the administration of justice.

Our Progress & Our Promise

Combating the

Our Progress

Through the Boston Bar Foundation, we directly supported 21 legal services organizations throughout the year. With the help of BBF partners, we’ve collectively granted $1,000,000 to local legal services organizations. These grantees, in turn, administered legal aid to the most vulnerable and underprivileged members in our communities, such as homeless individuals & families, domestic violence survivors, at-risk youth, and military veterans.

In addition to partnering with legal services organizations in support of the greater community, the Boston Bar Association also supplies direct legal assistance in Boston Housing Courts. Throughout 2016, the BBA connected 995 pro se litigants with effective attorneys. As a result, the litigants not only received the legal advice they needed but the courts were not burdened with the unique challenges of unrepresented litigants.

In 2016, we collectively granted
to local legal services organizations.

Our Promise

In 2017, the BBA will continue to be a voice and mobilizing force, advocating for legislation that would protect civil legal aid resources and organizations from efforts to defund or dismantle their programs. The Boston Bar Foundation will be holding fundraising events throughout the year to support the civil legal aid organizations who provide access to justice for individuals and families with limited means.

Driving a More

Our Progress

This year, the Boston Bar Association announced its strong support for the American Bar Association’s Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. Our endorsement is the first in the nation by a metropolitan bar association, and we are determined not to be last. We view this initiative as one that supports change through collaboration and we're extremely proud to be advancing the discussion. To date, 55 chief legal officers of Fortune 1000 companies – several of whom are based in the Boston area – signed on to a letter of support of the resolution, and are working to build further support for it in the legal community.

Additionally, the Boston Bar Association provides coaching support for law students who struggle with the bar exam. Some legal professionals suggest that a disproportionate number of minority students fail to pass the bar exam on the first attempt. Regardless of the cause, the BBA tackles the issue head-on with our Bar Exam Coaching Program, which pairs second-time exam-takers with knowledgeable bar exam coaches.

We Announced Strong Support For
Resolution 000
An Initiative To Increase Diversity In the Legal Profession.

Our Promise

There are already some exciting diversity initiatives at law firms and institutions throughout our city, and we strongly believe that one of the most significant benefits of this initiative is that it will facilitate an even broader dialogue between law firms and corporations concerning diversity and inclusion within our profession. To build on this renewed energy and purpose, in 2017 the BBA will play a leading – and convening – role in transforming Resolution 113 into strategic and attainable goals and measures that advance diversity in across the Greater Boston legal community.

Empowering The

Our Progress

Through the Boston Bar Association's Law Day in the Schools program, volunteer attorneys taught nearly 1,500 Boston Public School students about their Miranda Rights. The Miranda warning has permeated popular consciousness through countless recitations in films and television shows and we wanted to impress upon students that this isn’t just TV dialogue. The goal was to help them realize that these are their rights and that the criminal justice system must treat all citizens, regardless of race, religion, or income, in a fair and equitable manner.

In addition to developing curriculum in partnership with Boston Public School teachers, we’ve also supported high school students in pursuit of their ambition to enter the legal profession. Through our Summer Jobs program, the BBA connected 58 students with internships at law firms, government agencies, courts, and legal services organizations this year.

BBA attorneys taught nearly
Their miranda rights.

Our Promise

Through our ongoing Know Your Rights campaign, the Boston Bar Association will continue to champion individual rights and remain an informational resource for students and their teachers. In spring of 2017, our annual Law Day in the Schools program will help Boston-area youth to more fully understand their Constitutional rights by emphasizing how due process provides equal protection of those rights in the eyes of the law.

The Summer Jobs program will match at least 60 law students with rewarding internships, meeting the record set the previous year. With so many eager students, we’re hoping that Boston-area legal firms and program sponsors will help us exceed our goals.


Our Progress

In the fall of 2016, the Boston Bar Association advocated for a global remedy for defendants impacted by state drug lab chemist, Annie Dookhan's, systematic misconduct, asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to vacate all remaining convictions without prejudice. Allowing these adverse criminal dispositions to stand is inconsistent with due process and undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system. What’s more, the risk that any of these individuals might face deportation proceedings or other collateral consequences on the basis of a conviction supported by tainted drug-lab evidence is a problem that is too great to ignore.

Earlier in the year, the SJC released its decision in Commonwealth v. Wade; which was in line with the amicus brief filed by the BBA, arguing that the lower court misinterpreted the new post-conviction DNA testing law and erred in forcing the trial attorney to violate attorney-client privilege. This case holds special significance for a couple reasons; one, the BBA was able to lead the fight for enactment of the law, and two, we've defended attorney-client privilege in seven cases, dating back to 2000.

the BBA advocated for a global remedy for the
Dookhan Defendants
asking the SJC to vacate all remaining convictions without prejudice.

Our Promise

The Boston Bar Association is committed to protection of due process rights for all, as enumerated in the United States Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, and our Massachusetts Constitution, with its Declaration of Rights. Yet it is not enough for us to simply remain watchful. With immigration top of mind for many Massachusetts families, the BBA will work closely with the Attorney General’s office and other partner organizations to be a resource for people in need of legal advice and services on immigration issues.

Due process is a fundamental mechanism that supports justice in our legal system. As such, it is held as a bedrock principle for the Boston Bar Association and one that the organization and our members will continue to champion and protect in the work we undertake together.