April 7, 2016
Fish Pro Bono Manager Helps Launch Massachusetts COVID-19 Pro Bono Portal
Fish & Richardson's Pro Bono Manager, Mia Friedman, recently played a central role in launching the Massachusetts COVID-19 Pro Bono Portal, a collaborative, statewide tool connecting attorneys and law students to pandemic-related pro bono opportunities that serve low-income residents of the Commonwealth. The initiative is part of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission's COVID-19 Task Force, formed in March to foster collaboration and marshal resources to assist people with their pandemic-related legal needs statewide.
Friedman, as one of the tri-chairs of the Task Force's Pro Bono Committee, identified emerging legal needs by surveying dozens of legal aid organizations throughout the state to determine the most pressing pro bono needs, and providing individual outreach to develop pro bono projects. With significant assistance from Volunteer Lawyers Project, which houses the Portal at MassProBono.org, the Portal launched on June 22.
"During these uncertain times, the Pro Bono Committee felt it was critical to create a virtual space where pro bono attorneys and law students could easily access ways to help low-income residents grappling with COVID related legal needs," Friedman said. "The Committee's hope is that, going forward, the Portal will continue to be a robust way to bring pro bono legal services to those who need it. I am grateful to the Access to Justice Commission for allowing me the opportunity to work on this project, and to collaborate with so many important stakeholders working tirelessly to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in the pro bono community."
The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission is chaired by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and Susan Finegan, Pro Bono Partner at Mintz Levin. In addition to Friedman, the Pro Bono Committee is led by Elizabeth Ennen, Director of Northeastern University School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy and chair of the SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and Meredith Palmer, Pro Bono Director at Community Legal Aid.
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