The Boston Bar Association knows that in times of crisis, lawyers are
uniquely positioned to provide assistance to those in need. In the wake of the
Boston Marathon tragedy, the Mayor’s Office reached out to the BBA to help
provide legal assistance to those small businesses in the Back Bay affected by
the bombing. Our members jumped at the opportunity to volunteer their time and
talent to their community.
With nearly 200 individual volunteers, 26 law
firms and 3 law schools offering assistance, members of the bar have sprung into
action and taken dozens of pro bono cases, with more coming in every day. We
asked our volunteers about their experiences providing pro bono legal assistance
to those affected:
"I wanted an opportunity to give back to the community
in a time of need, providing any expertise I could to help those adversely
affected by the events," said Richard Heller, Senior Vice President and General
Counsel at Legal Seafood. "I believe I provided guidance in directing the client
with a roadmap through the insurance maze."
"We believe in the power of
the community to rally in difficult times and to support each other,” said
Suzanne King, Partner at Schwartz Hannum.
"Schwartz Hannum was thrilled to see the BBA step up and take a leadership role
in organizing the many law firms who were interested in helping the businesses
affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. We are proud of the generosity of
the Boston legal community and were happy to do our part."
Along with our
members, organizations across Boston heard the BBA’s call to action, including
the Mayor’s Office, the One Fund, the Massachusetts Office of Victims Assistance
and the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety. These organizations have
listed the BBA as a resource for small businesses and individuals affected by
the bombings, from offering legal assistance to help filing One Fund claims. For
more information regarding those agencies with whom the BBA is working to aid
victims and businesses, click
Some of the cases accepted by BBA volunteers deal with
insurance claims, business continuity, relocation and employee matters, while
more complex ones include individuals with whom the FBI has requested to speak
and businesses who felt unfairly represented by marathon coverage. As the BBA
continues to receive calls for assistance from individuals and businesses
affected by the tragedy, we realize that the range of cases is more complex and
nuanced than anticipated. We value the willingness of the bar to step up to
serve the city, its businesses and its people as we recover from this tragedy.
The BBA would like to thank its members for their dedication to our Greater
Boston community and for their work to ensure access to justice for those
affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. To offer your assistance in this time
of need, contact Katie D’Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org.