Trio of Firm Attorneys Receive 2021 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award for Partnership with Lawyers Clearinghouse to Establish Criminal Record Sealing Clinic
Mintz is pleased to announce that firm attorneys Nicholas Armington, Nadia Do Canto, and Rithika Kulathila have received the 2021 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award, which is presented annually on behalf of the firm by Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee to attorneys who demonstrate exemplary commitment to pro bono work. The trio of honorees was recognized for their efforts with legal services nonprofit and the firm’s longstanding pro bono partner Lawyers Clearinghouse to establish a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) sealing clinic. The attorneys were celebrated virtually during the firm’s 30th annual Pro Bono Award reception held on July 12.
Mr. Armington, Mrs. Do Canto, and Ms. Kulathila initiated a successful partnership with Lawyers Clearinghouse and the City of Boston to establish a virtual clinic that helps low-income residents seal or expunge criminal records. This groundbreaking program is especially important in addressing the disproportionate impact the criminal justice system has had on Black men and other communities of color in Boston. By collaborating with Mintz’s partners on this clinic, Mr. Armington, Mrs. Do Canto, Ms. Kulathila, and other firm attorneys have helped individuals throughout Greater Boston remove significant barriers that would have made it difficult for them to pursue future employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
The virtual Pro Bono Award reception was punctuated by congratulatory remarks from firm leaders including Member and Chairman of the firm Robert Popeo, Managing Member Bob Bodian, and Member and Chair of the Pro Bono Committee Susan Finegan. In addition, Susan Gedrick, Executive Director of Lawyers Clearinghouse, and Crispin Birnbaum, a Lawyers Clearinghouse Access to Justice Fellow, joined to reflect on Mintz’s pro bono partnership over the past 27+ years and the impact of this latest collaboration to serve individuals in need through the CORI sealing clinic.
“This has been a challenging year for many, and in particular for our pro bono clients in vulnerable and low-income communities,” said Ms. Finegan. “The Pro Bono Committee has been greatly impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of this group – Nick, Nadia, and Rithika – to tackle systemic racism through the CORI sealing clinic. Due to their leadership, the project has been a huge success at Mintz, with 32 attorneys and professional staff helping over 30 individuals to seal their criminal records throughout the last year.”
During the event, all three Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award honorees shared their experience and impressions of the CORI sealing clinic and encouraged their colleagues to volunteer a relatively small amount of their time to make a lasting difference in someone’s life.
The Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award is named in honor of Richard Mintz, the son of one of the firm’s founders, who in many ways embodied the generous spirit of Mintz and was a strong supporter of the firm’s pro bono contributions.
Pro bono service is at the heart of Mintz’s culture and identity. The firm partners with nonprofits, legal services organizations, in-house legal departments, and other law firms to provide life-changing assistance for individuals in need. Significantly, in the past year, more than 400 Mintz attorneys contributed to over 300 unique pro bono matters. To learn more about the firm’s pro bono work, please click here.