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NABE - News of Interest: Public Outreach

Boston Bar helps in Marathon bombing aftermath

Wednesday, May 8, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dan Kittay
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In the moments and days after the Boston Marathon bombings, officials and commentators noted how many people responded to the crisis, whether immediately by running to help the bombing victims, or later by offering other assistance.

The Boston Bar Association was part of that response, both by assembling a list of attorneys who volunteered to help those who needed legal assistance in dealing with the aftermath, and by donating to a fund set up to help victims.

Staff members were “pretty shook up” on the Monday of the Marathon, said Bonnie Sashin, BBA director of communications & external relations. Fortunately, no staff or members were believed to be among those injured, although one staff member who was near the finish line and heard the explosions was “shaken up.” The bar cancelled all meetings on Tuesday, although the building remained open.

BBA decided to canvas local agencies to see what kinds of legal help might be needed, so they could offer proper assistance when the time came. Ultimately, the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development asked the BBA to provide a list of attorneys who could help some of the small, independent businesses located near the explosions, who faced economic issues related to the area being shut down for several days.

The bar ended up with 170 individual attorneys, 27 law firms, and 3 law schools offering to help. As of late April, they had responded to 16 requests for legal assistance, most related to insurance claims and loss of income, according to Sashin.

On Thursday of that week, the Boston Bar Foundation announced a $25,000 grant to the One Fund Boston, the agency set up to handle donations intended for victims of the attack. “We felt it was the right thing to do, given how hard the city was hit.”

Bar staff were also among those affected when the city and surrounding suburbs were shut down on Thursday and Friday, as the manhunt for the surviving suspect continued through the day. The bar offices were closed.

With all the confusion and disruption, Sashin said she is grateful for the response of the Boston Police Department and other agencies, and also thankful to live in an area with “world class medical care” facilities.

Update

The Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners adopted a resolution offering its sympathies and praising the citizens and officials of Boston for their actions in the wake of the incident. A copy was sent to the BBA, which posted it on its website.


National Association of Bar Executives
c/o ABA Division for Bar Services
321 N. Clark St., 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-5408

emma.buell@americanbar.org