Attorney William F. Kennedy of Dorchester received the Catholic Charities 2017 Justice and Compassion Award last week for his inspirational leadership and solidarity with the most at-risk and underserved members of the Greater Boston community. Kennedy was honored at a Catholic Charities event at the John F. Kennedy Library before an audience of over 500 people, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Governor Charlie Baker, former Senator Paul Kirk, and Deb Rambo, president of Catholic Charities.
Kennedy, who is a partner at the Nutter law firm in Boston’s Seaport district, is a native of Meetinghouse Hill and a graduate of Holy Cross College and Suffolk University. He formerly served as chief of staff and chief legal counsel to Speaker of the House Thomas M. Finneran and as an assistant clerk to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
“I am truly honored and humbled to receive the Justice and Compassion Award from Catholic Charities, which serves people in our community with compassion, respect, and dignity,” said Kennedy. “I am grateful to my family, friends, and colleagues who have been so generous, kind, and supportive of me. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a friend to others in some way as others have been to me.
“At Nutter, I have great respect and admiration for my partners, associates, and staff who work so hard for clients and are committed to the community. The firm has been supportive of me and my practice,” he said.
Kennedy added: “Nutter has a great culture where people are committed to one another and are encouraged to be engaged in our community. Nutter has a very active pro bono program providing legal services to those who need access to our legal system. The firm’s commitment to clients and community is unmatched.”
According to Catholic Charities, the award recognizes Bill Kennedy’s extensive philanthropic contributions and social impact on the Greater Boston community, which he has worked tirelessly to serve for over 40 years. Currently, Kennedy is a trustee of Emmanuel College, Project Bread, and Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. He is a member of the Mass Taxpayers Foundation, the Mass Business Roundtable, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, and the New England Council. He is a former member of the Judicial Nominating Committee and the former chair of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners.
Catholic Charities provides nearly 100 programs and services throughout Eastern Massachusetts, in response to the needs of the poor and working poor and assists refugees and immigrants as they become active participants in their communities. Last year, the agency served more than 200,000 people in need, regardless of faith.