Attorney Dorothy Varon, Lead Counsel of Corporate Law at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, is our Spotlight Member of the month. Dorothy has been active on the Hampden County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Advisory Committee since its inception and has been a leader in Pro Bono advocacy for over 15 years. She is a passionate supporter of the Hampden County Legal Clinic and an integral part of its continued success. Dorothy has become a mentor to our Pro Bono Director and is always available to lend a hand or give advice.
Attorney Varon was a Board of Director for the Massachusetts Women’ Bar Association from 2002-2007 and served as its Vice-President in 2006. She served as a Board of Trustee for the Women’s Bar Foundation from 2004-2007. Dorothy was appointed as a member of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission for eight consecutive terms from 2007-2014. Dorothy participated on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee for Pro Bono Matters from 2009-2019. Most recently, Attorney Varon joined the Hampden County Bar Foundation Board of Directors and is a Trustee of the MassMutual Foundation.
Dorothy is most notably known for her passion and dedication to access to justice for everyone through pro bono efforts. Dorothy was instrumental in establishing the Western Division Housing Court Lawyer for the Day program through the Women’s Bar Association in 2005. That program continues to thrive under the organization of the Hampden County Legal Clinic. In 2007, shortly after joining MassMutual, Attorney Varon started MassMutual’s internal pro bono program wherein she organized a group of attorneys and paralegals to participate in pro bono work.
Dorothy leads by example and can be seen volunteering throughout the year in our Lawyer for the Day Programs in the Western Division Housing Court and Springfield District Court. She has been instrumental in helping to launch our newest pro bono program, a Consumer Debt Initiative, funded through a grant from MassMutual Foundation. This initiative will address the high rates of debt and default in the small claims session of the Springfield District Court. Among other things, Attorney Varon helped recruit volunteers from MassMutual's data science department to participate in an alternative spring break benchmarking project to measure the impact of the program and has established a working group at MassMutual who will lend support to the initiative.
Attorney Varon has received many well deserving accolades for her service to the general community, some of which are:
Hero of the Fortune 500
John Adams Pro Bono Publico Award
Mass Bar Association’s Community Service Award
Mass Bar Association’s Centennial Award
Massachusetts Super Lawyer
Mass Lawyers Weekly Rising Star Award
Without dedicated members like Dorothy, the Hampden County Bar Association and our legal clinic would not be the successful organization we are today. We are so fortunate to have members like Dorothy!