The PBEye and access to justice community mourn the loss of John G. Brooks this week after the “champion for access to legal services for the poor died Sunday at his home.” Brooks, who was the past president of the Boston Bar Association and partner at Peabody & Arnold, spent his career advocating on behalf of access to legal services.
In a tribute to Brooks on its website, the Boston Bar Association notes:
In the 1950s, he began a lifetime commitment to pro bono work to improve the delivery of legal assistance for the poor. He became intimately involved in the evolution of those services from “legal aid” to “legal services,” in 1955 joining the board of the Boston Legal Aid Society, which later became Greater Boston Legal Services. He served as a board member until 1993 and as president from 1971 to 1973.
Brooks also served on the board of the national Legal Services Corporation, as well as the National Consumer Law Center which named its fellowship in his honor, and as managing partner of his firm from 1945 to 1980. PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent summed up Brooks’ impact on legal services saying, “I began my work in pro bono with John Brooks’ guidance and mentorship. He was a giant of our profession — unafraid to take a principled stand, quiet and unassuming yet relentless in his insistence on justice, and a role model for all who knew him.”