On October 29, 2020, Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) awarded Samuel Dinning and Anderson & Kreiger LLP the Pro Bono Champion Award. The Pro Bono Champion Award recognizes attorneys who are champions for pro bono within their firms, and firms with policies and practices in place that champion pro bono.
This year, Anderson & Kreiger attorneys volunteered at the GBLS CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) Sealing Clinic Pilot Project, which was held monthly at Boston Municipal Court. A&K attorneys helped low-income clients obtain their CORI, understand any criminal history it showed, and file a petition to seal or expunge their record. Even if charges are old or questionable, a criminal record can make it hard to get a job or find housing. However, a criminal record may contain charges that can be sealed or expunged so that potential employers, landlords, and others cannot see those charges, helping the client make a fresh start.
In addition, Sam Dinning, Austin Anderson, Scott Lewis, David Lyons, Mina Makarious, Christina Marshall, Annie Lee, and Lily Ricci volunteered with the GBLS Unemployment Insurance Clinic in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where they helped area workers apply for benefits, troubleshoot delayed applications, and obtain back benefits.
Sam initiated and coordinated Anderson & Kreiger’s work with the GBLS Unemployment Insurance Clinic. As Sam explained, “The work that GBLS does is critical for the justice system. GBLS meets a need that few other organizations can meet–at least on the same scale. And yet it’s impossible for GBLS alone to meet the need in the community, which is why so many Anderson & Kreiger attorneys stepped up.” The firm is grateful to have the opportunity to work with the dedicated and talented attorneys at GBLS whose efforts to meet the legal needs of low-income residents have doubled in the face of the pandemic.
Anderson & Kreiger has always been committed to providing pro bono legal services to those most in need and in cases that make a wide impact. In addition to the firm’s work with GBLS. A&K attorneys have taken on a wide variety of pro bono work ranging from civil rights cases to political asylum to environmental protection. “Providing pro bono legal services is an integral part of the firm’s mission and culture. We therefore were delighted to partner with GBLS,” said Tamara Wolfson, co-chair of the firm’s pro bono committee.