The firm was recognized by nonprofit Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) for its continuous and exemplary legal representation of the organization and commitment to empowering youth during RYI's 30th Anniversary Gala held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston on April 7.
Partners John Burgess and Wendell Taylor, Counsel Donald Deng, Senior Associate Melanie Goins, Associate Nimit Patel and Talent Personnel Coordinator Lara Freishtat attended the event. Former WilmerHale associate Joel Kemp, who serves on the RYI Board of Directors as clerk, presented the Julian T. Houston Award to Burgess, who accepted on behalf of the firm. WilmerHale also received certificates of congratulations from the Massachusetts House and Senate, which were presented by Rep. Gloria Fox.
RYI is a community-based organization focused on creating healthy families and strong communities; inspiring young men and women to recognize and develop their strengths; and preparing youth to lead independent and self-sufficient lives. The organization serves youth in Boston's juvenile justice and child welfare systems through innovative support programs.
The firm has a long history with RYI, which was established in 1981 with legal assistance from Burgess. Today, a number of WilmerHale attorneys, including Taylor, Deng, Goins and Senior Associate Shahzia Rahman, continue to provide pro bono legal services, attend RYI board meetings and advise the organization on corporate governance.
“It is both extraordinary and wonderful that a community service organization of this nature could thrive over the course of 30 years,” says Burgess. “That means three decades of serving young people who otherwise have no support and no resources to find a way out of the criminal justice system.”