Foley Hoag Honored with Keeper of the Flame Award by Lawyers for Civil Rights

October 30, 2018

Foley Hoag LLP has received this year’s distinguished Keeper of the Flame Award from Lawyers for Civil Rights (formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice). The award, presented at the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration on October 18, 2018, honors Foley Hoag for courage and visionary leadership in helping launch the Lawyers’ Committee in 1968. 

The Keeper of the Flame Award commemorates the legacy of Rosa Parks and is given to modern day contemporaries that campaign to fight civil right injustices. 

“Since its founding 75 years ago, Foley Hoag has supported countless efforts to protect civil rights and address inequality in its many forms, including our landmark case in the 1970s that helped bring desegregation to Boston Public Schools,” said Foley Hoag Co-Managing Partner Jeffrey Collins. “In today’s era where the protection of civil rights is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Foley Hoag remains committed to addressing racial, ethnic and social injustices. We are honored to be recognized for this work, and to receive the Keeper of the Flame Award from Lawyers for Civil Rights.”

Foley Hoag has consistently been recognized for its pro bono commitment. Currently, the firm’s Pro Bono Program helps individuals and communities in matters involving domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, immigration rights, housing, disability rights, healthcare, prisoners’ rights, voting rights, and education, and also provides advice to nonprofit organizations, small for-profit businesses providing services to inner-city communities, and artists.

At the request of President John F. Kennedy, the Lawyers’ Committee was formed at the height of the civil rights movement. In the late 1960s, Boston was experiencing an elevated degree of racial unrest. The city had entered into the era of “Urban Riots” and supported the Kerner Commission’s Report, which found that the United States was moving to two “separate and unequal” societies. With a grant from the Ford Foundation and contributions from Foley Hoag and other Boston law firms, the Lawyers’ Committee was established. It was the first of eight local affiliates of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law that would assemble to provide resources in advocating for civil rights. 

Leading this effort at Foley Hoag was Hans Loeser, a staunch advocate for civil rights, whose involvement with the Lawyers Committee earned him in 1973 a place on President Richard Nixon’s notorious “Enemies List.” Loeser practiced at the firm from 1950 to 1995, serving as Managing Partner from 1981 through mid-1985. He passed away in 2010. Loeser’s friend and colleague, Foley Hoag partner Michael Keating, accepted the Keeper of the Flame Award on his and the firm’s behalf.

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 staff contribute to the exceptional senior level service we deliver to clients ranging from startups to multinational companies to sovereign states. For more information, visit www.foleyhoag.com or follow @FoleyHoag on Twitter.