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The Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award

Professional Cropped Scruggs Alyssa Mintz

2023 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award Winner

Alyssa Scruggs has been a tireless advocate for human trafficking survivors throughout Massachusetts. For the last three years, she has spearheaded human trafficking legislative efforts — including proposed legislation that would decriminalize prostitution and another that would expand access to victim compensation. Alyssa has regularly attended legislative hearings on these bills and serves as the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association Human Trafficking Subcommittee. In addition to her legislative efforts, Alyssa served as part of a team that successfully vacated the convictions of a sex trafficking survivor, the first time that Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 265, Sec. 59 (the Vacatur Statute), a law that Mintz helped to pass, was applied to vacate a survivor’s convictions.

Alyssa's commitment surpasses merely assisting sex trafficking victims with legal complexities. She goes the extra mile in attending to their emotional challenges, understanding their probable fear and helplessness, and tackling obstacles that many survivors face. Her steadfast efforts to make an impact for all survivors, through her legislative efforts, is impressive and inspirational.


- Sue Finegan, Chair of the Pro Bono Committee

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Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award Winners

On behalf of the firm, the Pro Bono Committee presents an annual award to an attorney who demonstrates leadership and commitment in the area of pro bono. To date, recipients of the Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award include:  

  • Alyssa Scruggs (2023) – Sex trafficking advocacy and legislative efforts
  • Kerime Akoglu, Amanda Asaro, Sylvia Belardo, Taylor Carman, Kaitlyn Crowe, Carly Halpin, Nicole Henry, Narges Kakalia, Keri Judd, Doris Lopez, Joe Ort, Milan Sani, Nell Shea, David Siegal, and Robyn Stewart (2022) - won asylum for a Honduran Justice of the Peace and her family, securing a relatively rare stipulation from the government based entirely on pre-hearing written filings
  • Rithika Kulathila, Nick Armington, and Nadia Do Canto (2021) - establish a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) sealing clinic
  • Andrew DeVoogd (2020) - Amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 40 Law & History Professors, in coordination with GLAD and Freedom for All Americans; political asylum and domestic violence work
  • Mathilda McGee-Tubb (2019) - ACLU Census citizenship brief, political asylum, and domestic violence work
  • Lavinia M. Weizel (2018) - sex trafficking legislation and housing advocacy
  • Kerime S. Akoglu (2017) – asylum and bankruptcy work
  • Maryann Civitello (2016) - Elizabeth Stone House (Boston-based domestic violence shelter)
  • Katy E. Ward (2015) - pro bono clinics and model legal education classes for nonprofit leaders
  • Alec Zadek (2014) - sex trafficking and domestic violence
  • Ella Shenhav (2013) - immigration, domestic violence, and bankruptcy work
  • Anthony Hubbard (2012) - nonprofit assistance
  • Marisa Howe (2011) - political asylum
  • Jeff Goldman (2010) - immigration relief for victims of the earthquake in Haiti
  • Helen Guyton (2009) - domestic violence and sexual assault projects
  • Narges M. Kakalia (2008) - political asylum work and reinvigoration of the New York Pro Bono Program
  • Scott Moskel (2007) - Hurricane Katrina relief work
  • Martha J. Koster (2006) - Hurricane Katrina assistance initiative
  • Noah Shaw (2005) - Innocence Project and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Christian Hildebrand (2004) - Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
  • Lisa Glahn (2003) - Family Advocacy Program
  • Beth Boland and McLarey Team (2002) - protection of children from abuse 
  • DC Office (2001) - domestic violence and many other initiatives
  • Tracy Miner (2000) - Federal Defenders Program  
  • Grant Sovern (1999) - Volunteer Lawyers Project  
  • Susan M. Finegan (1998) - Lawyers Committee for Affordable Housing and Homelessness 
  • M. Daria Niewenhous (1997) - Domestic Violence Project 
  • Tony Varona (1996) - Human Rights Campaign
  • Richard Mintz and Stuart A. Offner (1995) - Vilna Center for Jewish Heritage
  • Kathleen Sheehan (1994) - Lawyers Committee for Affordable Housing and Homelessness
  • Paul Wilson (1993) - Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Susan J. Cohen (1992) - Political Asylum Immigrant Representation Project
  • Kathy Pawlowski and Navjeet Bal (1991) - Domestic Violence Project  


Other Mintz Pro Bono Awards

On a periodic basis, the Pro Bono Committee will also present additional awards and recognition to attorneys who have demonstrated exemplary commitment in the area of pro bono. These awards include:

  • John Quill, Danielle Lifrieri, and David Friedman (2022) - Special Award Recognition Award
  • Employment, Labor & Benefits Section (2020) - Special Recognition Award
  • John Regier (2019) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Ken Novack (2014) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • San Diego Office (2014) - Special Recognition Award
  • Paul Wilson (2012) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Immigration Section (2010) - Special Recognition Award
  • Fernando Laguarda (2008) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • First Year Associates (2008) - Special Recognition Award
  • John Markey (2007) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Navjeet Bal (2007) - Lifetime Achievement Award