Lawyers Clearinghouse awarded $100,000 grant

Clearinghouse staff hold the poster announcing their grant from Cummings Foundation. L to R: Communications Coordinator Hilary Vaught, Access to Justice Fellows Program Director Mia Friedman, and Executive Director Maribeth Perry.

Clearinghouse staff hold the poster announcing their grant from Cummings Foundation.

BOSTON – Lawyers Clearinghouse is pleased to announce that it has been named as a recipient of a $100,000 grant through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. One-hundred local nonprofits were chosen out of a total of 479 applicants, after a competitive review process.

Founded in 1988, Lawyers Clearinghouse connects pro bono lawyers with nonprofits and those in need to promote access to justice, strengthen communities, and end homelessness.

The Cummings grant will support the expansion of the Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless, a program launched by the Clearinghouse in 1994 to address the unmet legal needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in Greater Boston. Through the clinic, people using services at four Boston-based homeless shelters are connected with volunteer attorneys from ten law firms and four in-house legal departments.

“We are beyond excited about this grant,” said Maribeth Perry, Executive Director of the Clearinghouse. “Nearly two-thirds of those who qualify for free legal services in Massachusetts are turned away due to a lack of resources, often leaving them homeless and trapped in a cycle of poverty. This grant will enable us to expand services and bring additional pro bono legal help to those in need.”

George Mykulak, a partner at WilmerHale and president of the Clearinghouse Board of Directors, and Mia Friedman, Director of the Clearinghouse’s Access to Justice Fellows Program, represented Lawyers Clearinghouse at a June 9 reception at Trade Center 128 in Woburn, where approximately 300 guests gathered to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $140 million to local nonprofits alone.

The $100K for 100 program primarily supports nonprofits based in and serving Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program is benefiting 41 different cities and towns within the Commonwealth.

“We admire and very much appreciate the important work that nonprofit organizations like Lawyers Clearinghouse are doing in the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to support their efforts.”

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including education, homelessness prevention, elder services, healthcare, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

About Lawyers Clearinghouse

The Lawyers Clearinghouse was founded in 1988 by the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association to provide legal support to nonprofit organizations working to promote affordable housing and alleviate homelessness. The Clearinghouse founders believed they could harness the skills of the private bar to address legal issues keeping nonprofits from reaching their full potential, allowing them to impact more lives and communities. Since then, the Clearinghouse has expanded the scope of its services to include educational workshops for nonprofits, legal clinics for the homeless at shelters in the Boston area, and a program to engage retired lawyers and judges in pro bono pursuits.

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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