MBF Fellow Spotlight

Issue January 2013

Charles J. DiMare, Esq., director of the Student Legal Services Office
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
MBF Fellow since 1995

Attorney Charles DiMare has been the director of the student legal services office at UMass Amherst since 1980. In this capacity, as well as in his private practice Antonino & DiMare, Attorney DiMare has developed an expertise in a wide range of topics including labor and employment law, civil rights, personal injury, property rights, family law, and higher education. He has also been a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1980, teaching courses on Law and Higher Education. DiMare has also lectured at many other colleges and universities and co-authored a chapter on intentional torts for the American Association for Justice'sLitigating Tort Casesseries. In addition to DiMare's extensive litigation experience, he is also a skilled mediator and ADR trainer.

Why did you decide to become a fellow?
When I was nominated to be a Massachusetts Bar Foundation Fellow in the 1990s, I reviewed the organization's mission statement. I was primarily motivated by the MBF's commitment to improving the administration of justice and ensuring equal access to the legal system, especially for those who are most underprivileged due to lack of financial resources. I have continued to be impressed by the MBF Fellows' strong commitment to reversing the trend of increasing unmet civil legal need. I also welcomed the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that allows me to help people and help the profession at the same time.

What would you say to members of the legal community who are concerned that the MBF is a statewide organization in name only?
I would suggest that they talk with any of the more than 125 Fellows who each year participate in reviewing grant applications to ensure that grant funds are distributed effectively and judiciously to programs throughout Massachusetts. These attorney volunteers help the bar connect with pro bono and other civic organizations and also enable multiple programs to provide critical assistance to those who do not have sufficient resources to address legal issues, including domestic violence, housing, immigration status, child advocacy, elder law, family law and health care.

What has been your favorite part about being involved with the MBF?
Almost every year since 2001, I have participated in the grant review process (with dozens of other MBF Fellows) by reviewing and assessing the many organizations that apply to the MBF for grants. This has been a very rewarding experience. I have also participated in other MBF events including the Annual Meeting, Grantee Receptions, and other networking opportunities that have been offered. The opportunity to network with many outstanding MBF attorneys has also been a favorite part of my involvement with the MBF.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the MBF?
Since I believe that MBF Fellows set the highest standard among their peers, I would strongly encourage members of the Massachusetts Bar to consider becoming a Fellow of the MBF. Since the MBF is a charitable, nonprofit organization under IRS code 501(c)3, all contributions are tax-deductible, in accordance with federal and Massachusetts state law. Working with other MBF Fellows has been very satisfying and rewarding.

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