Two extraordinary Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) supporters
were honored for their commitment to increasing access to justice
for the most vulnerable and marginalized citizens of Massachusetts
at the MBF's 2013 Grantee Receptions.
Davis, Malm & D'Agostine PC received the 2013 MBF President's
Award at the Eastern Massachusetts grantee reception held in Boston
on Sept. 26. Hon. Robert G. Fields, an associate judge at the
Western Division of Massachusetts Housing Court in Springfield,
received the award at the Western Massachusetts grantee reception
held in Springfield on Oct. 3.
The MBF President's Award is given to individuals and
organizations who have demonstrated exemplary service to the
Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the Massachusetts legal community
through their leadership and commitment to increasing the
availability of legal services for low-income citizens of the
"Davis Malm's motto - 'Forward thinking, not just looking forward,
since 1979' - certainly extends to the firm's charitable endeavors
as much as it does to its professional ones," noted MBF President
Jerry Cohen in his introduction of the firm. Davis Malm was the
first to join the MBF's Law Firm and Corporate Partnership Program,
through which private companies contribute financially to support
the MBF's work, and they have continued their support each year
since the program's inception. In addition to firm-wide support,
many Davis Malm attorneys have also joined the MBF Society of
Fellows, donating their time, leadership skills and valuable
financial resources to the foundation. Most notable among them is
Davis Malm shareholder Laurence M. Johnson, who served as MBF
president from 2008-2009.
"The firm is honored to be recognized by the board of trustees,"
said Thomas S. Fitzpatrick, Davis Malm's managing partner, who
accepted the award on the firm's behalf. "We recognize that lawyers
have a special responsibility to see that equal access to the legal
system is available to all people, and we are proud that the firm
can be an influential part of the community through support of the
In the western part of the state, the MBF has a true ally in Hon.
Robert G. Fields. Judge Fields' commitment to public service began
long before he took the bench. Just out of law school, he began his
career at Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn. He continued his
public interest work by co-founding Heisler, Fields & Feldman
PC (currently Heisler, Feldman, McCormick & Garrow PC). The
Springfield firm is unusual in that it served, and continues to
serve, almost exclusively low-income clients. After much success at
the firm, Judge Fields was nominated to become clerk-magistrate at
the Housing Court and served in that position until he was
nominated for judgeship in 2009.
In addition to dedicating his professional life to addressing the
low-income community's legal needs, Fields has been an active
supporter of the MBF since he joined the Society of Fellows in
2002. A perennial presence on the foundation's annual grant review
committees, Fields' expertise and local knowledge helps the MBF
make strong grants each year.
"Judge Fields' entire professional life exemplifies the work this
award seeks to honor," said MBF Secretary Lawrence J. Farber, a
solo practitioner in Amherst, who introduced Fields. "From his days
as a legal services attorney, to founding a legal services law
firm, to his clerkship and judgeship, to his annual participation
in the MBF grant review, Judge Fields' steadfast commitment to
increasing access to justice is clear."
To see more photos from the event and complete list of 2013/2014
grants, please visit www.massbarfoundation.org