Boston Bar Annual Meeting
Educate. Engage. Empower.
Friday, September 28, 2018
7:30 a.m. Registration, Coffee & Networking
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Program
The 2018 Annual Meeting breakfast will bring together Boston Bar members, their friends & colleagues, as well as leaders from non-profits, government agencies, corporations and a variety of professional sectors throughout the Commonwealth for a morning of inspiration and thought leadership focused on engaging the legal community in disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
Join us for this inspirational and engaging event as we recognize and hear from leaders in this area who have made significant strides in helping children and families impacted by this issue, and learn more about how the bar can continue to have an impact.
Former public defender and current Yale Law School Professor James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. His book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. He is the co-founder of the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who have previously been arrested, which is now inside D.C.’s juvenile prison. At Yale, Professor Forman teaches courses on constitutional law, educational opportunity, juvenile justice, and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Learn more.
Meet the Honorees
John G. Brooks Legal Services Award
The Boston Bar Association is proud to announce Matt Cregor will receive the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award at our Annual Meeting Breakfast on September 28. Since 2006, he has worked tirelessly on educational rights and school discipline issues all over the country.
Most recently, Matt has worked as the Education Project Director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, taking on racial harassment at Boston Latin School, student deportation in East Boston, teacher diversity, and school discipline, representing Black twin girls who were disciplined for wearing braids in their hair, among others. Matt also worked with high school students to create a school discipline toolkit to ensure that Massachusetts’ new school discipline laws are properly explained to parents, students and educators and adhered to by school staff.
Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Cregor was the coordinator of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Dismantling the School-to-Prison-Pipeline Initiative and a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The work I’m proudest of has been done in direct partnership with community allies who are leading the charge for racial and educational justice,” Cregor said. “Massachusetts may not suspend like Mississippi, but when we look at who gets kicked out of school, it’s students of color and students with disabilities. If we have any hope of solving the “achievement gap,” it starts by keeping all our students in school.”
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
The Education Law Task Force (ELTF) is a statewide group of legal services and public interest attorneys and advocates which meets bi-monthly to address many of the education issues that face low-income children.
School discipline and the effects of zero tolerance policies and practices have been a major priority of the group. Disparities that affect low-income students, students of color, ELL students, and students with disabilities are also a special focus of this group.
The Education Law Task Force is one of the major initiatives of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to acting as an independent and effective voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities.
The members of ELTF worked to get Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012 enacted into law and is following through on that work as the law is implemented. Chapter 222, which took effect in 2014, holds schools to more stringent standards relating to school discipline. Through stricter data reporting and due process requirements, the goal of the school discipline law is to reserve suspension or expulsion from school for only the worst of offenses. The law also requires that parents and guardians receive notice about disciplinary hearings.
“School discipline remains a top priority area for the ELTF. We are looking at school discipline across the state, addressing issues that are adversely impacting students, and shaping policy solutions. Whether the response is legislative or working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to find a solution, we are working toward a change in mindset. We want to reduce reliance on school exclusion and keeping the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable students in school and learning,” Janine Solomon, Managing Attorney/Senior Project Director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and co-chair of the ELTF, said.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Boston Bar Association is deeply honored to bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award on former BBA and BBF President Richard A. Soden. Soden is a former partner and is currently Of Counsel at Goodwin.
Soden served as President of the Boston Bar Association from 1994 to 1995 and President of the Boston Bar Foundation from 2004 to 2006. He was also president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association from 1980 to 1981. He currently serves as the Budget Officer of the Executive Committee of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice of the American Bar Association.
Soden was a partner at Goodwin from 1979 until 2006, where he has focused on corporate and securities law. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated consistent commitment to bettering the legal profession, specifically in the areas of diversity and inclusion and public service. The ABA recognized him with its Spirit of Excellence Award in 2009, which honors the achievements of diverse lawyers who excel in their professional settings, personify excellence on the national, state, or local level and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. He has held leadership positions with a variety of civic and charitable organizations, including the Judge Baker Children’s Center and United South End Settlements. He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of Boston University.
Soden also served as Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Oversight Committee. He has been a trustee of the Social Law Library, a member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, and chair of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee.
“We don’t do what we do to get awards, we do what we do because it makes us feel good to help other people. It feeds our souls and gives us a reason for living by putting the tools we use to do business to work toward the betterment of society,” Soden said.
Meet the Co-Chairs
Damon P. Hart
Senior Vice President,
Deputy General Counsel
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Damon P. Hart‘s practices focuses on labor and employment matters. Mr. Hart has strong experience in a variety of complex business disputes before federal, state and local administrative agencies, at arbitration and in state and federal court on matters arising out of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal, state and local anti-discrimination and employment statutes. Mr. Hart also has experience with Wage and Hour Class Action matters. In addition to his litigation work, he also provides business advice on contract, benefits, real estate and development matters.
Hannah L. Kilson concentrates her practice on real estate transactions, particularly in the area of affordable housing and community development. She represents nonprofit and for-profit developers, borrowers, equity investors, syndicators and lenders in transactions involving various financing sources. Hannah is experienced in commercial real estate transactions, including land acquisition and disposition matters, leasing and permitting.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Manning Gross + Massenburg
Burns & Levinson
Anderson & Kreiger
Latham & Watkins
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Affiliated Monitors, Inc.
Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC
Anderson & Kreiger
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
Barrett & Singal
Beck Reed Riden LLP
Berkeley Research Group
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Boston College Law School
Brown Rudnick LLP
Burns & Levinson
Casner & Edwards
Charles River Associates
Constangy, Brooks and Smith, LLP
Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
Davison Law, LLC
(DGC) DiCicco, Gulman & Company LLP
Fiduciary Trust Company, Boston
Fitch Law Partners LLP
Foley Hoag LLP
Goulston & Storrs
Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Inc.
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hingham Institution for Savings
Holland & Knight
John Hancock Financial Services
Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Laredo & Smith, LLP
Liberty Mutual Group
Locke Lord LLP
Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
McDermott Will & Emery
Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C.
Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
Morrison Mahoney LLP
New England Innocence Project
Nolan Sheehan Patten LLP
O’Connor, Carnathan, and Mack LLC
Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Partners Healthcare Systems, Inc.
Peabody & Arnold
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Pierce Atwood LLP
Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster
Robins Kaplan LLP
Ropes & Gray
Rose, Chinitz & Rose
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Sherin & Lodgen
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Sullivan & Worcester
Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
Todd & Weld LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson