Victim Rights Law Center Recognizes Foley Hoag's Pro Bono Program at Annual Shining Star Awards

June 5, 2009

Lawyers in Foley Hoag LLP’s pro bono program were honored last night by the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) at their annual Shining Star Awards.

Each year, the VRLC recognizes a select group of individuals whose stellar contributions have improved the lives of sexual assault survivors.  In 2007, the coordinator of Foley Hoag’s program, Rebecca Cazabon, received the award.  For the first time this year, the VLRC chose to recognize the collective efforts of Foley Hoag’s team along with individual contributors.

In addition to the firm recognition, the VRLC also lauded individual contributions from Tony Mirenda, Ara Gershengorn, and Jennifer Cardello for their hard work in submitting an amicus brief on a sexual assault case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2008.

Foley Hoag’s pro bono program has been a pride of the firm since its representation of the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit to desegregate the Boston public schools. Almost two decades ago, the firm established a pioneering program in the field of domestic violence that makes ongoing and important contributions. Today this program is a signature piece of the firm’s pro bono efforts and its success is the result of decades of focus and commitment to the issue of domestic violence and more recently on the issue of sexual assault.  Lawyers are encouraged to engage in pro bono work and other community activities. In a typical year the firm handles approximately 100 matters and contributes approximately 20,000 hours to pro bono causes.

Founded in 2000, the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) is the first in the nation dedicated solely to protecting the legal rights of sexual assault victims within the civil, academic and criminal justice systems. Through its three major activities (free legal services, legal training and community partnerships), the VRLC not only provides individual representation to survivors, but also works to improve the legal system for sexual assault victims both in the state of Massachusetts and nationwide. Since its inception, the VRLC has provided direct services to more than 2,100 clients in Massachusetts and training and technical assistance to approximately 240 nonprofit law centers across all 50 states.

About Foley Hoag LLP

Foley Hoag provides innovative, strategic legal services to public, private and government clients across the globe. We have premier capabilities in the life sciences, healthcare, technology, energy, professional services and private funds fields, and in cross-border disputes. The diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of our lawyers and business services professionals contribute to the exceptional service we deliver to clients ranging from startups to multinational companies to sovereign states. For more information, visit or follow @FoleyHoag on Twitter.