Congratulations to Massachusetts Bar Association member Rebecca Amdemariam, who was named the MBA’s 2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer! The annual award, chosen by the MBA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD), recognizes a young lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding character, leadership and legal achievement, and has contributed service to the community. Amdemariam, who serves on the MBA’s Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council, is an attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), Children and Family Law Division.
“The YLD is thrilled to select Attorney Amdemariam as the MBA’s Outstanding Young Lawyer this year,” said MBA YLD Chair Michelle M. Byers. “She was nominated by six of her peers, which is a testament to her character, leadership and community service. She is a model for young lawyers everywhere!”
At CPCS, Amdemariam represents children, parents, and young adults in care and protection proceedings initiated by the commonwealth to remove children from their homes, families and communities. She also represents youth who face challenges at home and school, along with their parents in child requiring assistance (CRA) cases. With her considerable litigation and trial skills, Amdemariam has earned a reputation as a zealous courtroom advocate who strives to achieve the best results for her clients during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Recently, she represented a client in one of the earliest termination-of parental-rights trials conducted over Zoom.
A proven leader within CPCS, Amdemariam plays an integral role in helping to develop CPCS attorney training on challenging racial inequities in the child welfare/family regulation system. She completed a two-year rotation to train new lawyers to represent clients in CRA cases, presented lectures, and facilitated numerous learning and coaching trial skills sessions. As co-chair of the CPCS Children and Family Law Racial Justice Task Force, she helps those impacted by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and is an advocate for system reforms within local and national child protective communities. She also provides outside training to the Family Resource Center of Boston, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Outside of her work with CPCS, Amdemariam is an active volunteer with organizations that work for social justice. At the MBA, in addition to serving on the MBA’s Juvenile and Child Welfare Section Council, she was a liaison volunteer for the MBA’s Homeless Youth Legal Network, which aimed to identify resources and support for the commonwealth’s most vulnerable youth. In 2021, she co-chaired the MBA’s Juvenile & Child Welfare Symposium.
Amdemariam also participates in the Homeless Youth Network and is a former board member of the National Lawyers Guild and committee member of the National Lawyers Guild’s United People of Color Caucus. Throughout her legal career, Amdemariam has volunteered for numerous organizations, including the Boston Coalition for Police Accountability, Chelsea Collaborative, City Live/Vida Urbana, and Lynn United for Change.