Lawyers Journal

Having benefited from support herself, Jones now helps others

The founder of the new Athena Legal Services Group, Kimberly Y. Jones wants to help businesses pursue a strategic framework of goals while keeping legal compliance in mind.

"I was encouraged by members of the business and law communities," said Jones, who also cited the support of existing clients who stayed with her. "They told me, 'Go for it; do it; and we're here to support you.'"

As a proud member of that supportive Boston legal community, Jones donates much of her own time to supporting others. In recent years, she has served on Governor Deval Patrick's anti-discrimination advisory board, promoted continuing legal education and worked on the board of editors for the Boston Bar Journal.

But most of all, her volunteer efforts with the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program have made Jones shine - and earned her the MBA Public Service Award on June 16. MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus commended Jones as a "phenomenal mentor to the next generation of legal professionals."

Jones joined the mentoring program at the request of Norfolk Probate & Family Court Judge Angela Ordoñez, who wanted to take a different approach from the traditional one-on-one mentoring she had seen elsewhere in the legal community.

"Judge Ordoñez brought up a new model, which took the idea of joining one attorney mentor with students in law school, college and high school," explained Jones. "I told her, 'You have your core group of people right here.'" Though Jones became a mentor to be a resource to young people who have decided on a legal career, she quickly saw that the mentees found other benefits from the group as well.

"It became an opportunity for the participants to meet and learn from each other," Jones explained. "I facilitated the conversation and let them use their critical thinking and analytical processes with one another."

These leadership skills have also gained attention from her peers in other arenas. Marc D'Antonio, senior program manager at the MBA, praises Jones' work as the co-chair of the MBA's Civil Litigation Section.

"She gives people a lot of freedom to do their own thing, while still leading toward the group's purpose." He added, "Kimberly's a good lawyer - and a really good person."

D'Antonio also lauded her ability to balance volunteer efforts with her many other commitments.

Jones manages to dedicate so much time to service using time management "and a healthy dose of fun along the way." Her recent appointment to the board of directors of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras allows the classically trained pianist to devote time to interests outside the legal community as well. Jones explained that most of all, she wants to give back to those who have helped her.

"Along the journey, no one does it alone. I have had people offer assistance, guidance, introductions, resources. And all of those people - known or unknown, named or unnamed - have contributed to my success."

The Albany Law School alumna tries to instill the same thoughts in her mentees. When she gave the keynote speech at the regional Girl Scouts "Girl-to-Girl" Conference at Simmons University, Jones brought her mentees along "to demonstrate that being a good lawyer extends beyond the courtroom."

Jones wants to encourage prospective lawyers to recognize the support that attorneys and other connections can yield. She offered three key suggestions for aspiring lawyers.

"Own your excellence. Embrace success. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and will work to make sure the best comes to you."

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association