b'COLLABORATING TO EXPAND ACCESS TO BOSTONS EXAM SCHOOLSIn the city of Boston, three highly selective publicother intervenors and was looking for a partner schools, known as Bostons exam schools, havelaw firm. Ultimately, Mintz served as co-counsel offeredgenerationsofmiddleandhighschoolwith LCR, Greater Boston Legal Services, and theWe are grateful studentswithtopgradesandstandardizedlaw firm Sidley Austin in representing a diversefor the invaluable entrance exam scores the opportunity to obtaingroup of intervenors. These included the Boston an education on par with that of private schools.NAACP, the Greater Boston Latino Network, andguidance we Althoughtheschoolsarelaudedfortheirthe Asian Pacific Islander Civic Action Network,received from excellence,criticsclaimtheentranceprocessalong with a parent and an unnamed student. the Mintz team has, over time, deepened inequities in the schoolIt was a true honor for Mintz to collaborate with system and the local community. this group of co-counsel, and to ensure that otherin support of our The entrance process had relied on a combinationfamilies and communities impacted by the Schoolintervention in the of grades and scores on an entrance exam. Yet,Committees plan had their voices heard by thefederal court case when COVID-19 cases surged in the city in thecourt, Mathilda said.fall of 2020, students could not take the entranceThroughout the case, Sue and Mathilda advised onregarding exam exam. The Boston School Committee suspendedstrategy and worked quickly to help draft filingsschool access. the exam for the 20212022 school year, institutingand prepare talking points for the oral arguments,The sound legal atemporaryselectionprocessbasedongradewhichwereheldlessthansixweeksafterthe pointaverage,andutilizingstudentzipcodescasefiling.AttorneysJasonBurrell,Amandaanalysis, strategy, todeterminetheorderinwhichadmissionsClairmont, Audrey McQuade, and Laura Martinand arguments offerswouldbeextended.Thefirst20%ofassisted with research, including looking into the examschoolseatswouldbeearmarkedforthelegal grounds their clients could use to intervene.of our legal team top students based on GPA, and the remainderJason, who also gathered facts to provide the courthelped lay the would be distributed proportionally among high- withhistoricalinformationabouttheBoston performing students in each zip code in the cityfoundation for based on its share of the school-age population. school system, said it was a privilege to work on a case that impacted thousands of students whogreater access and Shortlybeforeinvitationsweretobesenttomight have the ability to go to an exam school.opportunity within students,acoalitionrepresenting14whiteandInmid-April,thejudgeheldtheplantobethe Boston Public AsianAmericanstudentsandtheirparentsarace-neutralsystem,notmotivatedbythe soughtacourtordertostoptheplan.TheirSchoolCommitteesgoalforamoreraciallySchools forFebruary2021lawsuitclaimedtheplanwasrepresentativestudentbody. Whentheplaintiffall children.racially discriminatory, in violation of both the USappealed,attorneyAndyNathansonstepped Constitution and state law, because of its reliancein to help counter the motion to stop the plansTANISHA M. SULLIVAN, on zip codes in admissions decisions. implementation during the appeal process. TheESQ.Seeking to intervene in the case in support of theFirst Circuit Court of Appeals decisive denial ofPresidentplan,theNAACPBostonBranchturnedtoSuethe motion to stay the implementation pendingNAACP Boston BranchFinegan, the Chair of Mintzs Pro Bono Committee,appeal later that month was an important victory for assistance. Attorney Mathilda McGee-Tubb alsofor low-income children, he said.learned that Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), whereIt was a vindication of a process creating greater she serves on the board, would be representingdiversity in the school system, Andy said.TRANSCENDING // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 7'