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Curtin Wins Prestigious Award

his public service record cited


Jack Curtin

BC Law has long been aware of John “Jack” Curtin Jr.’s dedication to public service. So it’s no surprise that The American Lawyer honored Curtin ’57 with its Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

The award, bestowed at a dinner at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria in March, recognizes exceptional lawyers who have consistently made significant contributions to public life. “What sets these lifetime achievers apart has been their ability and willingness to perform public service at the highest levels even while they have tended to their careers and practices,” reads the event program. Curtin, a partner in the Boston firm Bingham McCutchen and former American Bar Association president, was one of eight recipients. Jay Zimmerman, Curtin’s partner at Bingham McCutchen, introduced his colleague at the awards ceremony.

With all of Jack’s many accomplishments, I recently asked him what made him most proud. He said without hesitation, ‘First, my wife, my five children, and my twelve grandchildren. Second, my Jesuit education, which taught me that service to others—particularly to the poor—is an important part of whatever you do. Third, teaching trial practice for more than forty years at Boston College Law School. And finally, establishing the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and creating the [Mary Daly Curtin and John J. Curtin Jr.] Center for Public Interest Law at Boston College Law School.’”

In addition to founding the center, Curtin and his wife established a fund to support public interest activities at the Law School. “Working in the public interest is a professional privilege,” said Curtin upon accepting the award. “Not everyone is fortunate enough to have such an opportunity during their career. Jesuit trained as I was, service for others was given to us as a lifetime goal.”

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