The American Bar Association honored the Massachusetts Bar
Association's Tiered Community Mentoring Program with the 2011 ABA
Partnership Award at an Aug. 5 awards luncheon in Toronto. The
program was selected because of its commitment to diversity.
"The MBA is thrilled to be selected for such a prestigious honor
that recognizes this unique program," MBA Past President Denise
Squillante said. "Tiered Community Mentoring aims to build a more
diverse legal profession by empowering young people to consider
careers in the law."
The program -- a collaboration among the MBA, Suffolk University
Law School, Boston University Law School, Roxbury Community
College, UMASS Boston and New Mission High School -- aims to reach
urban high school students by building a diverse mentoring network.
The program matches tiered groups, comprising a high school
student, an undergraduate student, a law student and an
The program began in October 2009 and was the brainchild of
Norfolk and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, who said
the innovative mentoring structure creates opportunities that would
not otherwise exist.
"Many students write themselves out of a career in law because
they have never met a lawyer," Ordoñez said. "This program not only
acquaints students with lawyers, but it provides mentor
relationships that open up the doors of possibility. Once these
students learn the details of careers in the law, it becomes an
The ABA Partnership Awards Program salutes bar association
projects that seek to increase the participation and advancement of
underrepresented constituents, including attorneys who are women,
ethnic minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or
disabled -- and to attract students from these groups to the legal
The MBA is one of three award honorees. The other recipients are
the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the Mecklenburg County Bar