Welcome to the Winter 2018 Edition of Center Connections.
Each quarter, we share and celebrate our recent pro bono, charitable giving and community service work. We hope you enjoy reading about some of our latest community successes and connections from October – December 2018!
VLA Holiday Card Contest Winners Announced!
Winners of the Annual Holiday Card Contest for Boston Public School Students held by the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation have been announced.
The first-place winner was “The Night” by 10-year-old Ivan Chan, a 5th grader at Harvard-Kent Elementary School, (Teacher: Carla Marrero). Ivan’s artwork has been made into a holiday card which is sold by VLA-MA to raise funds for its work. Brown Rudnick purchases those cards to use as the Firm’s holiday card. Awards were also given for People’s Choice, Overall, High School, Middle School and Artistic Merritt.
On December 5, 2018, contestants, their teachers and families, and the Boston Public Schools Executive Director for the Arts Myran Parker-Brass gathered to celebrate this year’s winners at an awards reception hosted by contest sponsor, the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation at the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP. The contest was initiated with a grant from the Foundation and supported by the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, as well as by Boston Public Schools.
DCF Holiday Gift Drive
Brown Rudnick’s Boston office participated in the annual Department of Children and Families (DCF) Holiday gift drive, providing winter clothing and gifts for over 100 children in DCF care in the Boston area. (Photo above at left Center Coordinator Elizabeth McGeoy, at right, Help Desk/Application Analyst Glenda Acevedo).
Brown Rudnick NYC Associates Visit Relationship Grantee Generation Citizen
Brown Rudnick New York Associates Uchechi Egeonuigwe and Aja Sanneh visited a classroom at Global Learning Collaborative as part of the Generation Citizen program. Generation Citizen is 2018 Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Relationship Grantee who teaches and champions civic engagement in NY public schools.
Brown Rudnick Awarded the Inaugural Corporate Changemaker Award
On behalf of Brown Rudnick, Center Executive Director Al Wallis accepted an award in NYC from Relationship Grantee Generation Citizen, DeNora Getachew, Executive Director, New York City. Generation Citizen works to educate and empower the next generation of youth through in-class Action Civics education program.
Foundation Community Grants
The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation makes small monthly grants to tax exempt organizations to help with and immediate, one-time educational need. Recently Awarded Community Grants were made to:
DC International Public Charter School (Washington, DC) to help purchase print and digital books to expand the school library for middle and high school students.
Academy for Career Exploration (Providence, RI) to purchase approximately 275 college prep textbooks, as well as a bookcase, to help 60, 11th grade students improve their vocabulary and reading skills.
Classical Magnet School (Hartford, CT) to purchase and repair music equipment to be used to expand a marching drumline comprised of 6th – 12th grade students.
PRO BONO NEWS
The Center for the Public Interest recently presented Center for the Public Interest Accolades to the following Brown Rudnick attorneys for their outstanding work in pro bono legal representation and volunteerism.
(Photo #1 in Boston)
Far left Boston Pro Bono Committee Chair Andrew Strehle, center from left are awardees Elizabeth Ritvo, Tristan Axelrod and Susan Oldham and far right, Al Wallis, Center Executive Director) in recognition of the team’s outstanding leadership and expertise in the supervision and drafting of an Amicus Brief – with barely a week’s notice – to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Worman, et al v. Baker, et al, on behalf of JALSA and other faith-based organizations, in support of upholding the legality of a Massachusetts law banning assault weapons.
(Photo # 2 in NYC)
Denise Kaer, Office Manager, receives accolade from Al Wallis to acknowledge and applaud her impressive contributions to the mission of the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, in support of Communities and the Firm by her consistent organizing of successful annual visits by NY office volunteers to Fire Station #65 in New York City in appreciation of their service and dedication since the events of 9/11.
(Photo # 3 in Boston)
Andrew Strehle and Al Wallis present Lawrence Levy (middle left) and Thomas Phillips ( middle right) with accolade to acknowledge their years of steady leadership and contribution to Brown Rudnick’s longtime pro bono client, Facing History and Ourselves. The value of the firm’s pro bono legal time is has been over $3 million since 1987.
Worman, et. al. v. Healy, et. al.,
A challenge to the legality of Massachusetts law regulating assault weapons, brought in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, was rejected by the District Court on Motion for Summary Judgment. The matter was appealed to the First Circuit. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy asked numerous groups to file amicus briefs in support of the state law.
The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) asked Brown Rudnick to provide pro bono representation in submitting an amicus brief on behalf of the “Faith Based Community” in support of the state law. The Brown Rudnick legal team of Liz Ritvo, Tristan Axelrod and Al Wallis, with support from paralegal Susan Oldham prepared and filed the brief on November 12, 2018.
Please contact Al Wallis to discuss any matters regarding the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest. And finally, apologies for any errors or unintentional omissions, which may from time -to – time, occur in the Center Quarterly – maybe even this one. -Al Wallis