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Partner Mary Ryan to Receive First MLRI Catalyst for Change Award

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(Boston, MA) – Mary K. Ryan, a litigation partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, will be honored by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) on Thursday, May 21, 2015 as the recipient of its inaugural Catalyst for Change Award. MLRI is a statewide nonprofit poverty law and policy center whose mission is to foster economic, racial and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. Ryan, a former president of both the Boston Bar Association and Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, will be recognized for her achievements in helping advance MLRI’s mission.

“Mary Ryan is highly deserving of this important recognition by the MLRI. Her leadership and many pro bono contributions embody Nutter’s commitment to programs and services that remove barriers to opportunity and increase economic opportunities for low-income individuals and communities,” said Deborah J. Manus, managing partner of Nutter.

“I am particularly honored by this award in that many of the issues I have worked on over the years have been cutting edge – starting with the BBA report on self-represented litigants in 1998 and continuing with my work, in collaboration with many others, trying to establish a civil right to counsel,” said Mary Ryan.

Founded by Louis D. Brandeis, whose commitment to social justice and progressive social causes remains legendary, Nutter is a founding member and challenge participant in the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project. Nutter attorneys devote many hours of legal representation to pro bono clients in cases involving civil rights, immigration, housing, health care, unemployment, business, intellectual property, real estate and probate.

An active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) who chairs the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service, Ryan is a member of its House of Delegates, a past chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, as well as the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants. She was appointed in August 2014 to co-chair the Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants, created to address the crisis in our legal system caused by the thousands of children who crossed the southern U.S. border last year by promoting pro bono representation to assure due process in their removal proceedings. She chaired the Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1999-2011, and is the Clerk of the Environmental Business Council of New England.

A member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, she has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for over 25 years, is ranked among the leading environmental law attorneys in Chambers USA, and received the Boston Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 2011.

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