The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services has selected Counsel Seth Orkand to receive this year's Adams Pro Bono Publico Award, named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and meant to honor distinguished service and outstanding commitment to providing legal services for those in need. Orkand is recognized for his leadership in creating, publishing and promoting the first-ever Massachusetts guide for attorneys working to deliver legal services to victims of human trafficking—Representing Victims of Human Trafficking in Massachusetts, A Guide for Attorneys—along with his commitment to providing pro bono legal services to Boston's homeless population.
"Attorney Orkand's efforts have gone beyond representation and [included creating] a tool that will allow us to build a larger capacity of attorneys available to effectively serve more victims," said Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance Executive Director Liam Lowney. "It will support our combined efforts to engage a wide breadth of pro bono legal assistance to help the men, women, and children impacted by trafficking and further it will ensure that those attorneys have essential information available to them to ensure success."
The guide provides attorneys with a foundation concerning federal and state law, a general overview of human trafficking law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and references to other comprehensive resources. It was written by Associates Dara Goodman, Stephanie Neely and Michaela Sewall in response to the recent passage of An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People, and to recommendations to the Massachusetts legislature by the Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force. Orkand and the authors collaborated with state and national experts to ensure a high-quality and dependable resource that has become a national model. Orkand's collaborative and strategic leadership style was the backbone to this effort.
Orkand and other honorees will be celebrated during the 13th annual awards ceremony on October 21 at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.