MBF IOLTA grant reviewers share reasons for volunteering

Issue June 2010

During the spring, more than 125 Massachusetts Bar Foundation Fellows from all over the state have lent a hand in the 2010 review of Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) grants. By volunteering on grant advisory committees, reviewing applications and making recommendations to the board of trustees, MBF IOLTA volunteers play a huge role in the distribution of IOLTA funds to nonprofits in Massachusetts.

MBF Fellows represent attorneys from all types of practices - from large firm to solo, from nonprofit to corporate counsel - and their reasons for volunteering are just as diverse.

The following IOLTA grant reviewers shared their reasons for volunteering:

Richard J. Grahn
Managing partner, Looney & Grossman LLP

"I have been reviewing grant requests for about 10 years. Initially, I was attracted to the MBF because of my involvement and continuing interest in the delivery of legal services to those in need. Although I thought I was familiar with most of the agencies that provide these services, as I became involved in the MBF grant review process, I soon learned otherwise.

It is truly a testament to the heritage and commitment of our legal community that so many professionals have dedicated their lives to this cause. Not only is that dedication evident in the passion with which they serve this segment of our community, but also in the way they coordinate grant requests to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts and leverage the limited funds available through MBF grants.

I take great joy in conducting my site visits because I gain a clear view from those who work in the trenches. My only regret is that the MBF can't fully fund each and every grant request for these worthy causes."

P. Keyburn Hollister
Partner, Gobel & Hollister

"Each year, I find it so interesting to review the excellent and innovative legal programs right in my area that are supported by the MBF IOLTA grants."

Angela C. McConney
General counsel, Massachusetts Civil Service Commission

"I am a great believer in serving the community at large. By volunteering for the MBF IOLTA grant review, I get to participate 'hands on' by reviewing the organizations, their purpose and how they help others. It's always a thrill to meet the awardees or the recipients of their assistance later."

Michael B. Weinberg
Shareholder, LeClair Ryan

"As a resident of Dorchester, I consider Greater Boston to be my community. When I serve on a Greater Boston Grant Committee, I am ultimately helping people in my own neighborhood. And I am supporting initiatives that reflect the diversity of the City of Boston."