HISTORY AND MISSION
The Hellenic Bar Association of New England (HBA) was founded in 1998 by a group of Greek American attorneys inspired by the vision of the late Theodore Bakas, a prominent Massachusetts attorney and Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court. Judge Bakas advocated the formation of a cohesive professional network and organization of Greek American lawyers.
The HBA fulfills this vision by identifying, unifying and promoting attorneys of Hellenic ancestry who wish to play a leadership role in their communities and their profession.
Since its establishment, the HBA has grown steadily, attracting a diverse and dynamic cross-section of Greek American legal professionals from the private and public sectors. HBA members include judges, legislators, law firm partners and associates, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsels, law students, entrepreneurs and non-profit executives.
HBA INITIATIVES & EVENTS
The Hellenic Bar Association is committed to providing its members with individual networking and professional development opportunities. It also seeks to serve as an advocate for the Hellenic American legal community in general on issues to concern to the legal profession. As its membership expands, the HBA is becoming a powerful voice that can leverage its network to support and increase the visibility of this community in important areas, such as judicial nominations.
Throughout the year, the HBA hosts special professional and social events, networking receptions, legal forums and meetings. For example, in the fall (traditionally in November), the HBA holds its popular “View from the Hill”–a legislative forum featuring Greek Americans in the state legislature (or other elected office in Massachusetts) to discuss and debate timely and important policy issues. In the spring, the HBA organizes a lecture or forum to discuss timely issues affecting the legal, international and/or Greek American community. In 2006, the guest lecturer at the spring HBA forum was Dr. Dimitris Keridis, the Constantine Karamanlis Associate Professor in Hellenic & Southeastern European Studies Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
The HBA also honors and acknowledges members of the Greek American legal community who have achieved level of professional excellence and public service. During an annual reception hosted by the Greek Consulate of Boston, the HBA presents its Distinguished Jurist Award. This reception is open to all members of the Massachusetts legal community. The HBA’s Distinguished Jurist Award recognizes a Massachusetts jurist of Hellenic American descent who exemplifies the highest ideals of professionalism and judicial service. Recipients of this award have included the Honorable John M. Xifaras, Ret.; the Honorable Manuel Kyriakakis; the Honorable Bonnie H. MacLeod; and the Honorable Chris Byron, Ret.