The Boston Bar Association has announced that Holland & Knight LLP is the recipient of the BBA's 2004 Thurgood Marshall Award in recognition of the firm's extraordinary pro bono contributions.
BBA President M. Ellen Carpenter presented the award at the BBA Annual Meeting Luncheon on September 22. J.D. Smeallie, the firm's pro bono partner, accepted the award on behalf of the entire firm.
This award underscores Holland & Knight's commitment to ensuring the availability of high-quality legal services to low-income clients. Holland & Knight's Community Services Team, a group of attorneys including partners, handles pro bono matters and nothing else. The Community Services Team addresses broad injustice through impact litigation.
Recently, the Community Services Team filed a petition in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court challenging the current indigent defense system on the ground that it fails to provide adequate representation to indigent criminal defendants, mental health clients, and children.
In addition, the firm features the Chesterfield Smith Fellowship program, which attracts highly-talented law school graduates to work at the firm exclusively on pro bono cases for two years before transitioning into a traditional practice.