Choate Receives Thurgood Marshall Award from the Boston Bar Association
Choate Press Release
| September 29, 2010
Choate has received the Boston Bar Association’s 2010 Thurgood Marshall Award for its pro bono "Education Law Project,” which was created in collaboration with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School and the Center for Law and Education. The award, which was presented to Choate at today’s annual BBA meeting, recognizes extraordinary pro bono service by members of the private bar.
Choate’s Education Law Project seeks to combat the “school to prison pipeline” problem in Massachusetts, which results in at-risk (predominantly) minority students ending up in prison after facing school disciplinary exclusions. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Choate has represented over 20 students from low-income families on a pro bono basis in educational law matters before state administrative bodies and in court. In early 2010, Choate and CLE attorneys were among the first lawyers in the country to successfully challenge a school district's “zero tolerance” weapons policy as constitutionally invalid.
In 2009, 25 Choate attorneys participated in the Education Law Project and dedicated more than 2,000 hours to this work.
“It is an honor to receive the BBA’s Thurgood Marshall Award for the important work we are doing through our Education Law Project,” said William Gelnaw and John Nadas, co-managing partners at Choate. “Every child deserves a quality education, and we are proud to participate in efforts aimed at ensuring this basic right.”
The Thurgood Marshall Award, which was established in 1991, recognizes private attorneys in the greater Boston area for their extraordinary efforts to enhance the human dignity of others through improving, developing or delivering civil or criminal legal services to low-income clients in Massachusetts.