Massachusetts Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff
appeared as a guest on WBZ Radio's "NightSide with Dan Rea," where
he publicized the MBA and the positive work that lawyers do for the
Refuting the public misconception of lawyers as "takers," Sheff
cited a 2013 report by the American Bar Association, which found 80
percent of attorneys nationwide perform some kind of pro bono
during the year at an average of 56 hours per year.
Applying those figures to the close to 60,000 attorneys in
Massachusetts Sheff said, "That would mean in Massachusetts alone …
the legal community is giving back over 1,000 years of free legal
service to our underprivileged, to folks who can't afford a lawyer.
That's an amazing figure." He said the legal community stands out
as a model profession, noting that only 26 percent of the general
public does volunteer work, according to a 2012 study by the
Corporation for National Community Service.
Sheff touched on several topics during the hour-long discussion,
from his own background handling traumatic brain injury cases to
the MBA's Working Families, Consumer Advocacy and Justice for All
initiatives, which support Massachusetts communities. He also
recalled the MBA's involvement in the passage of the "Workers'
Right to Know" bill last year as an example of how the
association's legislative advocacy efforts have excelled at
bringing people with diverse interests together for the public's
Both Sheff and Rea took questions from callers, which opened
several opportunities to promote the MBA's Lawyer Referral Service.
By the end of the interview, Sheff told the "NightSide" host that
he hoped the listening audience no longer viewed lawyers by their
often negative stereotypes. "We're really caretakers," said Sheff.
"We really do care, and we do a lot of good things for the
communities in the commonwealth."