October 10, 2019

MetroWest Legal Services is pleased to establish two new Pro Bono Service Awards to recognize outstanding contributions from our pro bono attorneys. The awards are named in memory of two distinguished attorneys, Alfred C. Phillips and Bancroft R. Wheeler, both of whom passed earlier this year. The awards will be presented at this year's Jazz for Justice benefit on October 16, 2019.

Alfred C. Phillips Pro Bono Service Award

Presented to the Boston Scientific Legal Department

Alfred C. PhilipsAlfred C. Phillips was a longtime volunteer of MetroWest Legal Services. His commitment to helping MWLS’ clients and ensuring access to justice went above and beyond the norm for most volunteers. For close to 10 years, Attorney Phillips, a retired attorney who worked at Raytheon for nearly 40 years, averaged almost 20 hours a week at MWLS assisting clients with bankruptcy petitions. We are pleased to honor Attorney Phillips with an award in his name.

Boston Scientific has been selected as the first recipient of the Alfred C. Phillips Pro Bono Service Award. MetroWest Legal Services established this new award to honor the truly exceptional work of a member of its pro bono panel or a corporate partner that exemplifies Attorney Phillips’ dedication and commitment to civil legal aid.

Boston Scientific Pro BonoThe numerous hours devoted by Boston Scientific attorneys and paralegals truly emulates the dedication and devotion that attorney Phillips showed to MWLS during his tenure here as a volunteer.  Since their team of attorneys and paralegals began their association with MWLS, they have drafted over 80 wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies for Marlborough seniors and have adopted the Marlborough Senior Center as their ongoing project.

Attorneys and Paralegals who have participated in the Pro Bono Initiative at MWLS include:

 

Attorneys

James Kinkela, Esq.

Mai-khoi Nguyen, Esq.

Robin Craig, Esq.

Darrne Lanza, Esq.

David Strauss, Esq.

Erin McMillan, Esq.

Patty Nolan, Esq.

Vincent Lai, Esq.

Mary Monovoukas, Esq.

Ruschi Shah, Esq.

Vered Tsarfaty, Esq.

Joseph Burns, Esq.

Desiree Ralls Morrison, Esq.

 

Paralegals

Raquel Howard

Cathleen Dyer

Tara Brewer

Kathy Simonelli

Caryn Artin

Linda Wilson

In the coming year, Boston Scientific will also help to staff the newly created Housing Court Lawyer for the Day project in Marlborough.

 

Bancroft R. Wheeler Pro Bono Service Award

Presented to Linda S. Minkoff, Esq.

Remembering BatsBancroft “Bats” Wheeler began his volunteer work at MWLS as an Access to Justice Fellow in 2013. When the Fellowship ended, Bancroft, who preferred to be called Bats by his friends and colleagues, continued to volunteer at MWLS for the next 5 years. Bats, a retired trust and estates attorney at Nutter, McClellan & Fish, dedicated 10-15 hours a week drafting wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney for MWLS’ clients. Bats quickly discovered that many of MWLS’ elder and disabled clients were homebound and unable to meet with him and take advantage of his services. To remedy the issue, Bats started making home visits for those clients who could not make it to the office. The program is now affectionately named Wills on Wheels after Bats’ novel approach to helping his clients.

MWLS has established the Bancroft R. Wheeler Pro Bono Service Award to honor a member of it pro bono panel, a firm or corporation that exemplifies the dedication that Bats Wheeler exhibited in ensuring access to legal services for all MWLS clients.

We are pleased to present the Bancroft R. Wheeler Pro Bono Service Award to Linda S. Minkoff, Esq.

Linda MinkoffLinda Minkoff has been a practicing attorney in Massachusetts since 1987 and currently has her own solo practice in Concord, MA specializing in divorce, custody, child support, divorce mediation, collaborative law, guardianship and conservatorship, and probate of estates. Prior to opening her own practice in 2009, she was employed at the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement Division as a staff attorney and then as Senior Counsel in the Special Litigation Bureau, representing the agency in complex lawsuits against the Commonwealth. Attorney Minkoff then served as Chief of the Bureau for several years and later became Chief of the Policy and Procedures Bureau specializing in developing and drafting agency policy and procedures, particularly in the area of automated enforcement, drafting legislation, as well as continuing her role as a Senior Counsel in the Special Litigation Bureau.

Linda received a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, Linda was a practicing mental health professional with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Attorney Minkoff joined the MetroWest Legal Services Private Bar Involvement Panel in 2016.   She has served as the Lawyer for the Day in the Marlboro Session of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court on a monthly basis and has also represented other MWLS clients in family law matters.  She has provided critical legal advice and representation to 82 MWLS clients since 2016, donating several hundred hours of her time and expertise.  Her dedication to equal justice for low-income clients emulates the dedication and devotion that Bats Wheeler showed during his time as a MWLS volunteer which makes her a fitting recipient of the first Bancroft R. Wheeler Pro Bono Service Award.

Linda Minkoff has been a practicing attorney in Massachusetts since 1987 and currently has her own solo practice in Concord, MA specializing in divorce, custody, child support, divorce mediation, collaborative law, guardianship and conservatorship, and probate of estates. Prior to opening her own practice in 2009, she was employed at the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement Division as a staff attorney and then as Senior Counsel in the Special Litigation Bureau, representing the agency in complex lawsuits against the Commonwealth. Attorney Minkoff then served as Chief of the Bureau for several years and later became Chief of the Policy and Procedures Bureau specializing in developing and drafting agency policy and procedures, particularly in the area of automated enforcement, drafting legislation, as well as continuing her role as a Senior Counsel in the Special Litigation Bureau.

Linda received a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, Linda was a practicing mental health professional with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Attorney Minkoff joined the MetroWest Legal Services Private Bar Involvement Panel in 2016.   She has served as the Lawyer for the Day in the Marlboro Session of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court on a monthly basis and has also represented other MWLS clients in family law matters.  She has provided critical legal advice and representation to 82 MWLS clients since 2016, donating several hundred hours of her time and expertise.  Her dedication to equal justice for low-income clients emulates the dedication and devotion that Bats Wheeler showed during his time as a MWLS volunteer which makes her a fitting recipient of the first Bancroft R. Wheeler Pro Bono Service Award.