The Boston Bar Association (BBA) will present the 2021 Empowerment Award to The COVID Relief Coalition, a group of law firms (including Brown Rudnick), nonprofits, and government agencies dedicated to providing legal services to nonprofit organizations and small businesses impacted by the pandemic and in need of emergency relief. The Coalition will receive the honor at the BBA’s 28th Annual Beacon Awards, a virtual ceremony on Jan. 28, 2021. The BBA Beacon Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and corporations that are forging innovative paths toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession and the greater community. The Empowerment Award is presented to a powerful advocate that works to create systemic change in the wider community by amplifying voices of underrepresented groups and advancing civil rights, access to justice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The COVID Relief Coalition was launched to provide relief and legal aid to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. Lawyers from more than 20 law firms and other institutions devoted their efforts to the project. A team of Brown Rudnick attorneys and staff advised numerous nonprofits and small businesses (particularly women- and minority-owned businesses) on COVID emergency loans, rent relief options, and other mission-critical matters. The impact of this project is far reaching and speaks to Brown Rudnick’s tradition of creating lasting change through pro bono work.