News Releases
January 26, 2017

Boston Bar Association to Present Past ABA President Paulette Brown with the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Press Release

Locke Lord Partner Made Diversity a Signature Focus of Presidency

The Boston Bar Association (BBA) announced today that past ABA President Paulette Brown will receive the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion for driving the profession – both nationally and here in Massachusetts – to renew their focus on taking concrete steps to increase diversity in the legal profession.

Motivated by Bureau of Labor statistics showing the legal profession to be among the least diverse in the country, Brown convened the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission, which gathered thought leaders across the country to focus on a comprehensive plan for diversity. She took that plan – and that focus – to all 50 states as ABA President. During her visit to Massachusetts in March of 2016, Brown moderated a panel at the BBA with other professionals who hold diversity in the legal profession as a high priority.

One result of the Commission’s work was the passage at the ABA of Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. The Resolution urges all legal services providers to expand and create opportunities at all levels of responsibility for diverse attorneys, and urges clients to direct a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase to diverse attorneys. A report on the Resolution includes a model survey for providers of legal services to complete, which would allow prospective clients to view current levels of diversity among providers.

In November of last year, the BBA announced its strong support for the Resolution and is working with other partners in Boston on the implementation of the model survey.

“We applaud the American Bar Association for advancing Resolution 113,” BBA President Carol Starkey said. “We are grateful to the ABA for their leadership on this important issue, and we look forward to learning of this initiative’s progress in the coming years. We strongly believe that one of the most significant benefits of this initiative is that it will facilitate an ongoing constructive dialogue between law firms and corporations concerning diversity and inclusion within our profession. We view this initiative as one that affirmatively supports change through collaboration, and we are excited to be part of that discussion.” 

Since 2010, the Beacon Award has brought together the legal community to celebrate, inspire and learn from those who have made a true and measurable difference. Past honorees include six Massachusetts affinity bars, Northeastern University School of Law and former Governor Deval Patrick.

The event will take place on March 30th at 6:00pm. Please watch our website for more details on the ceremony.