(April 14, 20016) BOSTON, Massachusetts – Boston Bar Association President Lisa Arrowood announced today that the Massachusetts Specialty Courts will be presented with the 2016 President’s Award at the BBA’s Law Day Dinner on May 12th. At the event, judges from all four courts will accept the award on behalf of the Specialty Court teams.
In addition to the Specialty Courts, the BBA is presenting awards to Justice Margot Botsford of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Professor Daniel Nagin of Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center, and Jack Regan of WilmerHale.
Specialty Courts – Drug Court, Homeless Court, Mental Health Court and Veterans Treatment Court – are problem-solving court sessions which provide supervised probation and mandated treatment for issues underlying criminal behavior, such as substance abuse, homelessness, or mental health disorders. The goal is to reduce recidivism and increase the effectiveness of the court system through individually-tailored support.
Boston Bar Association President Lisa Arrowood, after sitting in on the graduation sessions in Drug Court and Veterans Court – as well as visiting Homeless and Mental Health Courts – was inspired not only by the profound impact the programs have had on the lives of the participants, but on their potential to meaningfully tackle complex issues facing the state.
“The very fact that entire teams of professionals – judges, probation officers, substance abuse and mental health clinicians, public defenders, and assistant district attorneys – are working collaboratively for the betterment of our most vulnerable citizens was a powerful thing to witness,” said Arrowood, founding partner of Arrowood Peters LLP. “So powerful, in fact, that when my visits had concluded, I knew that I had to find a way to recognize their invaluable contributions to our system of justice.”
The Boston Bar Association’s Law Day Dinner is the largest annual bench-bar event in Massachusetts, bringing together lawyers, judges, and legislators to celebrate significant contributions to the profession, the justice system and the city of Boston. This year’s program includes a keynote address by Rebecca Love Kourlis , Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, who has dedicated her career to ensuring that the American legal system provides justice for all.