Recognizing Excellence: Meet the Law Day Dinner Honorees

An important part of the BBA’s tradition of celebrating Law Day includes celebrating the leaders that work to better the legal system and increase access to justice for the underserved. We are so pleased to welcome our friends in the legal community to help us recognize the following individuals for their outstanding work:

Professor Daniel Nagin

Justice Margot Botsford

Jack Regan

The Boston Bar Association is pleased to announce it will present the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to Harvard Law School’s Professor Daniel Nagin during its annual Law Day Dinner on Thursday, May 12.

Prof. Nagin is the Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education and serves as the Faculty Director of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center & Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School.

The John G. Brooks Legal Services Award was established to recognize professional legal services attorneys for their outstanding work on behalf of indigent clients in greater Boston, and Prof. Nagin’s work has embodied the spirit of the award, on both the local and national level.

In 2012, Prof. Nagin founded the Veterans Legal Clinic, where students gain hands-on experience while representing veterans and the families of veterans who would not have access to legal representation otherwise. Prof. Nagin has also written articles and sat on panels discussing legal issues of particular concern to veterans, including access to benefits.  Most recently, Prof. Nagin started the Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) at the Legal Services Center, supported in part by the Boston Bar Foundation.

Prof. Nagin has been an active member and currently co-chairs the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members & Veterans Committee. He has also planned a number of pro bono trainings to assist veterans with discharge appeals and to support the pro bono panel of the new LITC.

Prior to his work in Massachusetts, Prof. Nagin founded and directed a public benefits clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law and taught in the clinical program at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Prof. Nagin has also directed a social service and legal advocacy program for homeless New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

“I am deeply honored to receive the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award.  I have the good fortune to work every day with so many wonderful people in the legal services community,” Prof. Nagin said. “I am continually inspired by these incredible colleagues—and by the clients on whose behalf we advocate.  I share this award with everyone who seeks justice for the indigent.” 

The Boston Bar Association is pleased to announce it will present this year’s President’s Award to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Hon. Margot Botsford.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood has chosen Justice Botsford as this year’s honoree due to her many contributions to the judiciary and legal profession over the course of nearly three decades on the bench. She was appointed to the Superior Court in 1989 and the Supreme Judicial Court in 2007. Justice Botsford will accept the award at the BBA’s Annual Law Day Dinner on May 12.

“When she was on the Superior Court, Justice Botsford was always known as one of the most thoughtful judges who rendered extremely careful, well-written, well thought out decisions,” President Arrowood said. “Of course, that is partly what earned her a position on the SJC where she has continued to demonstrate the same abilities. As a member of that court, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty, not only in writing her opinions, but in her involvement with the supervisory aspects of the court.”

Along with Supreme Judicial Court Justice Hon. Robert Cordy, Justice Botsford currently co-chairs the Committee to Examine the Uniform Bar Examination, whose charge is to make recommendations to the Court as to whether Massachusetts should consider joining the group of states that has adopted the Uniform Bar Examination.

Prior to her service on that committee, Justice Botsford was involved with many educational programs and initiatives for judges. In the past, she has chaired a Working Group on Professional Development for the Judicial Institute. In addition, Justice Botsford has spearheaded many efforts to increase access to justice for the underserved and supported programs designed to help young people get the most out of their education.

 “Since clerking for Justice Francis Quirico on the SJC right after law school, I knew I wanted to be a Massachusetts judge, and still have trouble believing how incredibly lucky I am to have had the chance to serve in that capacity for the last twenty-six years,” Justice Botsford said. “One of the great pleasures and sources of inspiration for me as a judge has been the opportunity to work with the Boston Bar Association, its staff and the lawyers who have led and been part of it over the years are so consistently committed to improving our justice system in the Commonwealth and innovative and effective in their efforts to do so. I am very grateful to President Lisa Arrowood and the Boston Bar Association for honoring me with the President's Award this year.”

The Boston Bar Association will present this year’s Thurgood Marshall Award to Jack Regan of WilmerHale for his work to improve access to justice for veterans and other vulnerable populations. The award will be presented at the BBA’s annual Law Day Dinner on May 12.

The Thurgood Marshall award was established to recognize attorneys in private practice in greater Boston whose extraordinary efforts have enhanced the human dignity of others through improving or delivering civil or criminal legal services to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s low-income population. Mr. Regan has been practicing for nearly four decades, and during that time, he has shown a deep commitment to delivering pro bono services to veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families.

“Having started my career at Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale) where Jack has worked for all these years, I am aware of his career-long commitment to pro bono and public service initiatives,” BBA President Lisa Arrowood said. “Jack has been a true friend to the veterans in Massachusetts and we are presenting this award to commend him for his continuing efforts to increase access to justice for all.”

During his term as BBA President, Mr. Regan created the Task Force on Legal Services for Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families. The task force oversaw the creation of BBA’s Military & Veterans Committee, which founded the Military and Veterans Legal Helpline, now housed at the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service, with assistance from the Legal Services Center and Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the BBA, Veterans Legal Services, and the Legal Advocacy Resource Center. Mr. Regan also co-chairs WilmerHale’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, which oversees the firm’s extensive pro bono and community service programs, as well as its relationship with the Legal Services Center at Harvard.

“As a veteran, I understand that the challenges faced by this population are complex, and it takes teams of dedicated lawyers to respond to their needs,” Regan said. “I am so grateful to everyone who has joined me in the effort to provide those who have served our country, those still serving, and their loved ones, with the legal representation they deserve.”

For more information on Law Day Dinner, click here or contact Erica Southerland at or (617) 778-1930.