MassMutual Law Division Participates in Springfield Pro Bono Housing Court Project
(Springfield, Mass.) - MassMutual Financial Group announced today its participation in a local pro bono program in which attorneys in the company’s Law Division offer free legal services to income eligible tenants and landlords in Hampden County Housing Court located in Springfield, Massachusetts.
More than 20 attorneys in the Law Division at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), including Executive Vice President and General Counsel Mark Roellig, are participating in the Hampden County Pro Bono Housing Court Project, a program founded by local members of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Foundation that provides free legal services for litigants who are facing either eviction or loss of their home and who do not have financial means to retain the services of an attorney. Pro bono publico (often shortened to pro bono) is a phrase derived from Latin meaning “for the public good,” and is often used to describe the provision of free legal services to those who cannot afford it.
The Hampden County Housing Court project illustrates the ongoing commitment to pro bono work by MassMutual’s Law Division. In addition to this project, MassMutual attorneys are also doing pro bono work for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) in the Springfield area, which offers free tax preparation help to low- and moderate-income individuals.
“MassMutual has long been committed to helping to make our community a vibrant place to do business and for our employees to live. That commitment to Springfield is strong and persistent in various areas throughout our company, including the Law Division,” said Mr. Roellig. “We’re proud to lend the counsel and expertise of our attorneys to Springfield residents in need. For any attorney, helping others in this manner is an experience that is deeply rewarding.”
More than 60 attorneys throughout the region have participated in the Hampden County Housing Court Pro Bono Project since it was founded in 2005. Volunteers represent tenants or landlords each Thursday, the day when eviction cases are generally heard in Hampden County Housing Court.
“MassMutual’s involvement in this important program will enhance the court’s ability to ensure that all individuals – regardless of income – have equal access to justice,” says Judge Dina E. Fein, Associate Justice, Western Division Housing Court. “In turn, the attorneys who volunteer will have the gratification of knowing that they truly helped an individual in need.”
“We’re delighted that MassMutual has committed to joining this initiative to provide pro bono legal services to those who need it most,” says Suzanne Garrow of Heisler, Feldman, McCormick & Garrow, P.C. “MassMutual’s commitment to helping others in need sets an outstanding example for other companies and law firms in our region, and we hope others follow their lead.”
If area attorneys are interested in participating in the Hampden County Pro Bono Housing Court Program, contact Ms. Garrow at 413-739-7094.
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