Boston Bar Recognizes Liberty Mutual’s Legal Department with Thurgood Marshall AwardPress Release
The Boston Bar Association will honor Liberty Mutual’s legal department with the Thurgood Marshall Award at its Annual Meeting Luncheon on September 27, 2013. The award is designed to highlight extraordinary pro bono work by members of the private bar.
Liberty Mutual’s legal department is known as the preeminent in-house department in pro bono work, sending the message that Liberty Mutual takes access to justice seriously. Additionally, the Liberty Mutual legal department has followed up on their pro bono work with committed community engagement and numerous public service projects.
Here are some of the facts about Liberty Mutual’s pro bono efforts and community initiatives…
• The legal department at Liberty Mutual was one of the first in Massachusetts to develop a formal pro bono program, and Liberty Mutual attorneys are now engaged in a broad array of pro bono matters, handling cases related to housing, unemployment compensation, Social Security, and domestic violence. The pro bono program has more than 50 attorneys involved.
• Kathleen McGrath, Senior Counsel of Liberty Mutual and winner of the 2010 Adams Pro Bono Publico Award, oversees Liberty Mutual’s pro bono work in the Boston office. She emphasizes the importance of creating a firm-wide policy, encouraging all levels of the legal department to pursue pro bono work, and offering a variety of programs to align with their interests. She is a member of the SJC Pro Bono Committee and also advises other in-house departments about getting involved with pro bono.
• Partnering with Mintz, the company’s attorneys also participate in a legal clinic for the homeless run by the Lawyers Clearinghouse. The program has been in operation 20 years and has served over 2,600 homeless and low-income clients. Liberty Mutual lawyers have participated in 8 legal clinics since 2009 and have helped to serve 107 clients of Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House.
• Starting in November 2002, Liberty Mutual made a commitment to send volunteers to the BBA Lawyer for the Day in Boston Housing Court to staff its information table for all the Thursdays in a month every quarter, for a total of 16-17 weeks. In 2010, they switched their role and began to take cases referred through the program.
• Liberty Mutual works with Citizen Schools, a Boston-based nonprofit organization that creates meaningful after-school activities for Boston school children by helping them learn real-world skills, and Discovering Justice, a civic and justice education nonprofit that teaches elementary and middle school students, to implement an afterschool program that educates Boston school children about the legal system.
• Liberty Mutual attorneys have been involved in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, a collaborative effort of the BBA and U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over the past several years. In 2013, Liberty Mutual adopted a classroom at Boston Community Leadership Academy, where they taught the financial literacy program to about 22 seniors through three separate sessions.