The Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) presented Attorney Hannah Tanabe of Malden with the MBA’s Access to Justice Rising Star Award at the MBA Access to Justice Awards Celebration on June 15. Presented annually by the MBA, the Access to Justice Awards recognize the efforts of attorneys and law firms who have made significant strides in enhancing access to justice. Award winners are chosen by the MBA’s Access to Justice Section Council after receiving nominations from MBA members and other attorneys.
This year there are 10 MBA Access to Justice Award winners. This year’s ceremony featured a keynote address from former Massachusetts Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III.
The Rising Star Award is given to an attorney employed by a legal services organization, a public defender organization or a state or federal prosecutor’s office, or an attorney who has engaged in significant pro bono activities, who has been a practicing attorney for seven years or less. The awardee has distinguished themself by a particular accomplishment or body of work that has made a significant and meaningful contribution to access to justice to an underserved population within Massachusetts.
Tanabe has distinguished herself through exceptional client advocacy at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she is a Senior Attorney in the Employment Law Unit. She previously worked in the CORI & Re-Entry Project; Elder, Health, and Disability Unit; and Family Law Unit. Tanabe has also taken on a leadership role in improving the delivery of legal services to clients with disabilities. In addition to managing an enormous workload of individual cases, she has skillfully raised and resolved systemic issues with the leadership of the Department of Unemployment Assistance. With the onset of COVID-19 and the massive increase in unemployment benefit claims, Tanabe codirected a rapid response Unemployment Claims Project that provided benefits to over 6,000 claimants during the pandemic. Noted for her fervent defense of clients and their interests, Tanabe is also highly regarded in professional circles as a spirited, creative and driven team member.
The MBA is proud to present Tanabe with the Rising Star Award for her initiative and leadership, through which she continues to help so many people in need.