BBA Past President J.D. Smeallie launched the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts during his Presidency in 2012-2013. Under his leadership, the task force examined the unmet need for civil legal aid across the state and determined the most cost effective way to meet that need. Among those serving on the task force are the general counsels of five major Massachusetts based companies, a former president of one of our major universities, our attorney general, the governor’s chief legal counsel, the managing partner of one of our largest law firms, and the President of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

View the press release announcing the Task Force here.



  1. J.D. Smeallie- Partner, Holland & Knight; President, Boston Bar Association


  1. Susan Alexander- Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Biogen Idec Inc.
  2. Lawrence Bacow- President Emeritus, Tufts University 
  3. Christopher Barry-Smith- Deputy Attorney General of Massachusetts
  4. Manisha Bhatt- Senior Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services
  5. Jonathan Chiel- Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Fidelity Management and Research Corporation Legal Department
  6. Martha Coakley- Attorney General of Massachusetts
  7. Katherine Cook- Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor
  8. Paul Dacier- Executive Vice President and General Counsel, EMC Corporation; President-Elect, Boston Bar Association
  9. Lawrence DiCara- Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
  10. Russell Engler- Professor of Law, New England Law | Boston
  11. Representative John V. Fernandes- State Representative, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  12. Robert Holloway- President, Massachusetts Bar Association
  13. Sheila Hubbard- Executive Director, Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
  14. James C. Kennedy- Chief Legal Counsel, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  15. Joan Lukey- Partner, Ropes & Gray
  16. Judge Richard McMahon- Associate Justice, Probate and Family Court, Bristol County
  17. Martha Minow- Dean, Harvard Law School
  18. Alice Moore-Counsel , Massachusetts Senate
  19. Susan Murley- Co-Managing Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  20. Joseph Nauman- Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Acushnet Company
  21. Lon Povich- General Counsel, BJ’s Wholesale Club
  22. Lonnie Powers- Executive Director, Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC)
  23. Mary Puma- Chief Executive Officer, Axcelis Technologies
  24. Faye Rachlin- Deputy Director, Community Legal Aid
  25. Elizabeth Soule- Executive Director, MetroWest Legal Services
  26. Veronica Turner- Executive Vice President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East in Massachusetts
  27. Judge David Weingarten- First Justice, Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury Division 
  28. James T. Welch- State Senator (D), West Springfield

Please contact Michael Avitzur at if you have any questions related to the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts.