Harrison Tweed Current Award Winner
The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
& The National Legal Aid and Defender Association
Congratulate the Winner of the 2017 Harrison Tweed Award!
The Essex County Bar Association Advocates, Inc.
The Essex County Bar Association Advocates, Inc. (ECBAA) is the recipient of this year’s award for the exceptional criminal and delinquency defense representation that its members provide to people living in poverty. The bar was founded over 50 years ago for this sole purpose. Its 200 members provide counsel at first appearance and vertical representation in all delinquency, misdemeanor and felony charges other than murder to indigent defendants in the courts of Essex County, Massachusetts.
The ECBAA provides extensive training and mentoring to attorneys who are new to the program. This includes receiving assistance in interviewing clients and visiting crime scenes, as well as having an experienced attorney second chair evidentiary hearings. All attorneys are required to attend 12 live CLE events each year organized by the ECBAA and supported by the statewide public defender agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Service. As a result of the training and mentoring that is provided, clients receive excellent representation. As the Presiding Judge of the Lynn District Court stated in describing these attorneys: “(they) are the unsung heroes of the profession: they do difficult and necessary work, at less than optimum remuneration, under less than optimum conditions, and do it extraordinary well every single day.” Given this achievement, the ECBAA is a most worthy recipient of this year’s Harrison Tweed Award.