Boston Bar | Law Day

Thank You for Celebrating BBA Law Day!

July 30, 2020 | Zoom
This event has taken place.

Thank you to everyone that joined us in celebrating the strength and resilience of our City at the Boston Bar Association’s first virtual Law Day Celebration which took place on Thursday, July 30, 2020.

Boston Bar President, Christine Netski, kicked off the special event by recognizing our distinguished honorees and then leading a thought-provoking panel discussion among Boston city leaders, Chief of Economic Development, John Barros, Boston City Councilor, Lydia Edwards, and Emerson College President, Lee Pelton. The discussion highlighted the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the necessary nationwide dialogue on racial injustice and inequality in our society, and the role the legal community can play in this time of necessary seismic change for the City of Boston and our country.

A special thank you to our generous sponsors and Supporter ticket holders for their invaluable support. Thanks to donations like yours, the Boston Bar Association can continue our vital work in providing innovative educational programming, advancing the rule of law and access to justice initiatives in the community, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within our profession, and supporting our City through crucial public service initiatives.

Missed the Law Day Celebration? Want to see it again? No problem! Click the link below to watch this special event in the Boston legal community.


Keynote Panel

John Barros
Chief of Economic Development | City of Boston

John F. Barros has served as Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Chief of Economic Development since 2014. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Barros served 13 years as Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, the largest urban community land trust in the country. He successfully led neighborhood revitalization efforts, focusing on community wealth creation, and producing permanent affordable housing. Mr. Barros has also held positions at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, providing insurance for initial public offerings for dot-com startups, including Mr. Barros is a leader in Boston’s community development, and has served as a member of the Boston School Committee, the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change, and Co-Chairperson of the Center for Community Builders.

Mr. Barros earned a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University and a B.A in Economics and African/African-American Studies from Dartmouth College. Mr. Barros is also the recipient of a Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Suffolk University.

Lydia Edwards
Boston City Councilor

Councilor Edwards has spent her entire career as an advocate, activist, and as a voice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable. She served as the deputy director within the Mayor’s Office of Housing Stability where she was responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to fight displacement and brought together all stakeholders: landlords, management companies, housing authorities, and tenants.

Councilor Edwards worked as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services focusing on labor issues such as fighting for access to unemployment insurance, back wages, fair treatment for domestic workers, and combating human trafficking. She served as the statewide campaign coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, which advocated for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In 2015, she was named Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe.

Her mother is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and current union worker with the Veterans Administration. She raised both Councilor Edwards and her twin sister. Councilor Edwards graduated from American University Washington College of Law and received a LLM in taxation from Boston University School of Law.

Lee Pelton headshot

Lee Pelton
President | Emerson College

Lee Pelton is the 12th president of Emerson College in Boston. He is a nationally and internationally known speaker and writer on the value of a liberal education and the importance of leadership development, civic engagement, and diversity in higher education. He came to Emerson on July 1, 2011, after serving for 13 years as the president of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boston Chamber of Commerce; Boston Arts Academy Foundation Board; the Boston Municipal Research Bureau; Facing History and Ourselves; WGBH; and the Barr Foundation.

Since arriving at Emerson, Pelton has outlined a bold vision for Emerson as the global hub for arts, communication, and liberal arts. The College has begun to expand its academic footprint beyond its campuses in Boston, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands by establishing Global Portals on several continents. Recently, he has established an ambitious plan to redevelop downtown Boston and strengthen Emerson’s sense of place and identity by animating the streetscape in the downtown core in order to inspire, embrace, and celebrate our Boston’s emerging diversity.

Pelton began his academic career at Harvard University, where he earned a PhD in English literature with an academic focus on 19th-century British prose and poetry. He taught English and American literature at Harvard and served as senior tutor at Winthrop House. He later served on the Harvard Board of Overseers and as a vice-chair of its executive committee. After Harvard, Pelton served as dean of the college at Colgate University and Dartmouth College.

Law Day Honorees

Ropes & Gray
Thurgood Marshall Award

For their work with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights on the groundbreaking Voting Rights suit in Lowell, Massachusetts.

In 2017 a diverse coalition of Latino and Asian-American voters filed a groundbreaking federal voting rights suit against the City of Lowell alleging that the municipal election system illegally diluted the vote of communities of color. In 2019 the coalition, represented by pro bono attorneys from Ropes & Gray and Lawyers for Civil Rights, reached a favorable resolution to the lawsuit. The resulting landmark consent decree requires Lowell to change its municipal electoral system to ensure a fairer and more equitable election process that empowers voters of all backgrounds.

Jayne Tyrrell headshot

Jayne Tyrrell
Presidential Citation

Jayne Tyrrell is retiring this year after serving for more than 30 years as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee.

A longstanding BBA contributor, especially in the areas of civil legal aid funding and right to counsel in civil cases, Jayne has been a fixture in the Massachusetts legal community for a generation.

Champion Sponsors

Advocate Sponsors

EY  | Brown Rudnick | Davis Malm | DGC | Feldman | Greenberg Traurig | Nolan Sheehan Patten | RSM | Thomson Reuters | Xact Data Discovery

Questions? Contact Mariah Hanlon at

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