Law Day Dinner 2015

Keynote Speaker

Attorney General Maura Healey

The BBA is pleased to welcome Maura Healey, the first new attorney general of Massachusetts in eight years, as keynote speaker. A former prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General, Attorney General-Elect Healey served as Chief of the Civil Rights Division and directed the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and the Business & Labor Bureau. She is well known for her work in leading the nation’s first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Join us to hear her reflections on the state of the legal community and her thoughts on the future of the law in the Commonwealth at the 2015 Law Day Dinner.   


John G. Brooks Legal Services Award

Presented to Barbara Mitchell, Community Legal Services and Counseling Center for her enduring commitment to legal services, her leadership of CLSACC and her effectiveness as an advocate.

Ms. Mitchell leads the only volunteer-based agency of its kind in the area, combining legal assistance and mental health counseling. The Center serves 1,100 clients each year, and benefits an additional 2,400 children and family members. Prior to CLSACC, Mitchell served as the Managing Attorney of the Family Law Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services for 15 years. There, she dramatically expanded high quality family law representation for low-income survivors of domestic violence, increasing the size of the Unit from eight to 20 staff members and acting as a catalyst for groundbreaking domestic violence initiatives.

Thurgood Marshall Award

Presented to Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, for his extraordinary leadership in the public interest and corporate social responsibility communities.

When the law firm Brown Rudnick LLP created its Center for the Public Interest in 2001 to champion and coordinate the pro bono, charitable, community, and public interest activities of the Firm, Mr. Wallis was recruited as its first Executive Director. In this role, he also serves as the Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., which for over a decade has been providing support to organizations seeking to improve inner-city education. Wallis devoted the first dozen years of his legal career to legal services as an attorney and manager in several Massachusetts programs, and was subsequently appointed as the City of Boston’s Corporation Counsel under both Mayors Flynn and Menino. 

President’s Award

Presented to Jack Ward, Greater Boston Legal Services, for his leadership and guidance of Greater Boston Legal Services which ultimately helped ensure access to justice for people in our community.  

Mr. Ward joined GBLS in 1984. As part of the Senior Management team, Ward was responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of GBLS as well as its extensive fundraising efforts. Under his financial stewardship, GBLS was able to weather the difficult funding environment created by the downturn of IOLTA. In addition, he led GBLS in developing one of the most diversified funding bases of any legal services program. Ward helped found -- and continues to be involved in -- the annual conference for legal services development professionals. He is recognized nationally as the leading expert in fundraising for legal services.

About the Event

The BBA Law Day Dinner is the largest annual bench-bar event in Massachusetts. Each year, the event draws over 1,300 judges, policymakers and lawyers from all sectors of the bar.  The evening begins with a popular cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a keynote speech. 

The event takes place each May, and is a celebration of Law Day, which was proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958.

Firms, companies, law departments and offices can reserve tables of 10 for Law Day Dinner or purchase individual tickets.  There are also opportunities to support the BBA through the purchase of advertisements in the program book.  For more information, please contact Erica Southerland, Events & Fundraising Coordinator, at (617) 778-1930 or