Volunteers are wrapping up the classroom-based portion of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program in the Greater Boston area. On Friday, volunteer Attorneys Steve Cohen and Eric Teasdale from Choate Hall & Stewart LLP visited Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers to teach students about the hidden costs of buying a car. Take a look below for a glimpse at the third module in the Program:
So what’s next? Students will head to the Worcester or Boston Bankruptcy Court at the end of the month for the final module in the Program called Consequences.
The BBA New Lawyers and Intellectual Property Sections teamed up with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts to train attorneys on ways that they can help art and cultural organizations. The event was a primer on topics such as common art law issues, understanding the legal needs of artists and how to build a client base.
After the training, Beyond the Billable checked in with Ken Parker (Parker Keough LLP), who organized the training, to learn more. Here’s what he had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned at the training?
“Megan Low did a fantastic job of describing the wide range of legal services needed by the arts community and some of the particular challenges of representing artists. I hope that attendees learned about these needs and challenges, as well as about how their legal expertise matches up with the needs of the arts community.”
Why should attorneys get involved in efforts to provide pro bono assistance to arts and cultural organizations?
“Providing pro bono legal assistance to artists and cultural organizations is a great way to get experience solving interesting legal problems while giving back to the community. It can be fun and inspiring to work with creative professionals and it is an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
On Friday, students in Jerry Howland’s law class at Another Course to College in Brighton had a crash course in credit cards. With the help of Attorneys Adam Ruttenberg (Looney & Grossman LLP) and Patricia Saint James (Looney & Grossman LLP), the students learned the basics of credit and how to build credit while making smart choices about their finances. This is the second session in the four-part M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program (you may remember this post about the personal finance and budgeting session).
Take a look below for more on the session:
Next up for the students is the ever popular “Buying a Car” session, which will be followed by the “Consequences” session at the US Bankruptcy Court. Stay tuned for more!
At last week’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, guests got to enjoy a unique experience, seeing the effects of the Program in front of their eyes. Ben Haideri, one of the 4,000 students who have participated in M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program since the program began, agreed shared his experience in the Program with party attendees. You may remember Ben (who is a senior at Boston Latin Academy and 2013 Summer Jobs student) from this article or this article—he’s a bit of a legend at the BBA. He took part in the Program during the 2013 Summer Jobs Program, when it was offered as a series of enrichment seminars.
Take a firsthand look at what he had to say:
Beyond the Billable also sat down with him to gain a deeper understanding of what he took away from the Program. Here’s what he had to say:
How have you applied what you learned from the program?
“There are very few programs from which the participants are able to literally walk right out and apply what they learned that very day. The financial literacy program through the BBA, however, stands out as being extremely effective in that regard. Between the day that I participated in the first seminar and now, I have opened a checking and savings account and, more recently, got my first credit card. I don’t believe that I would have been so confident yet careful with such tools that I had at my disposal had it not been for the program.”
What did you like best about the program?
“This program very much epitomizes the learning experience of a student in that it offers the perfect balance between reality and practice. The guest workshop leaders were all professionals who had experience in whatever field they were teaching about, and the financial literacy workbook was just that, a workbook. It combined practice problems that we will most likely face in real life with explanations that are thorough and extensive, attributes that are perfect for those who are learning about financial literacy.”
What do you think was the most important thing you learned?
“The one lesson that stood out the most to me was the one about using credit cards. It may be because I have grown up during a time of general distrust when it comes to dealing with large banks, but I went into the lesson thinking (probably like most people) that credit cards always came with a catch, and in terms of society, seem to have a very negative connotation. Although the credit card companies can be tricky, what I got out of the lesson was just simply to not bite off more than you can chew when dealing with credit cards. The second someone does that he/she is already headed down a slippery slope. The fact is that very few people are able to use cash to buy a car, a house, or even a couch, so, when used responsibly, a credit card, I learned, is a tool that can do a lot of good.“
Is there anything you found particularly useful?
“I very much enjoyed visiting the Bankruptcy Court through the program. While visiting the court, we heard from lawyers and a judge, and it was an amazing experience to be in the presence of people who I look up to. Apart from the experience itself, I would say that since my goal is to become a lawyer, being able to see such people in action is something that I will always find useful.”
On Thursday, the Environmental Law Public Service Committee and the Health Law Social Action Committee sponsored a panel discussion on “Cultivating Local, Healthy Food: Urban Agriculture Initiatives & Pro Bono Opportunities.” Despite the recent cold snap, it’s not too early to plan on making your spring more sustainable. Here are four volunteer opportunities to check out.
- The Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) Pro Bono Legal Services Food Hub: CLF is launching a pro bono legal services network for farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-related organizations. The focus will be in cases involving transactional issues, land acquisition/transfers, contracts, taxes, and corporate formation, among others. For more information, contact Jenny Rushlow, Director of CLF’s Farm & Food Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Green Bro Bono: Through Green Pro Bono, lawyers can help environmental non-profits, and social enterprises access legal services. For more information, visit their website.
- The Food Project Serve & Grow Program:Join your BBA colleagues on April 8th for a morning outdoors working on the farm and supporting The Food Project, a non-profit devoted to promoting sustainable food systems. For more details, please visit the event page on the BBA’s website.
- MA Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN): Find an opportunity to provide corporate and real estate support to community groups working on urban agriculture. For more details, contact Staci Rubin, Esq, Alternatives for Community & Environment, Inc. at email@example.com.
Last night, program leaders, volunteers, and teachers gathered in the Claflin Center to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. The evening focused on celebrating the success of the Program, which has reached more than 4,000 students statewide with the help of over 425 volunteers since 2005. Attendees also gained a firsthand account of the impact of the program from 2013 Summer Jobs Student Ben Haideri, who has put his financial literacy into practice, opening a savings, checking and credit account since experiencing the Program.
Did you miss the event? Don’t worry, here’s a look at the evening:
Stay tuned for more on the event.
This winter is flying by and we are already halfway through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program in the Greater Boston area. BBA Week thought it would be a great idea to reach out to the volunteers who have already participated in the program to see what they enjoyed most about their experience. The response was overwhelming, which is why we couldn’t help sharing it with our readers. If you haven’t volunteered yet, see what you are missing out on here.
Are you interested in getting involved? It’s not too late to volunteer! Click here to view available sessions.
Each year, our friends (and partners of the BBA Summer Jobs Program) at the Boston Private Industry Council coordinate a Job Shadow Day for Boston public high school students. This year, we are pleased to report that seven local law firms hosted twenty students from Boston Community Leadership Academy, Josiah Quincy Upper High School and Charlestown High School.
Beyond the Billable touched base with School-to-Career and Employer Engagement Director Josh Bruno (Boston Private Industry Council) and Summer Jobs Co-Chair Matt McTygue (Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP) to hear more about the day.
Take a look at what Josh had to say about the importance of Job Shadow Day:
“For many students, Job Shadow is the first school-to-career activity that they participate in. It’s a unique introduction to the workplace and an opportunity for these students to imagine themselves in a professional career. Supervisors get the chance to meet students one-on-one as they consider hiring teens for summer employment. The experience is beneficial for everyone and so successful that every year, a number of students are offered full time summer employment on the spot.”
Here’s what Matt had to say about why his firm participates in the program:
“First, our firm is committed to increasing the diversity of the legal profession in Boston, so we enthusiastically support programs like the Job Shadow Day that help build a pipeline of diverse future attorneys in our community. Second, the Job Shadow Day program allows us to screen potential applicants for the Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program. Edwards Wildman anticipates hiring at least two summer interns through this program, and we hope our Job Shadow Day students will apply for these positions.”
Is your firm or office looking for an opportunity to support Boston public high school students? While Job Shadow Day has already passed, there’s another opportunity around the corner. Hire a student to work at your office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. Join this growing list of firms and offices who have already committed to providing a Boston public high school student with an opportunity to gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field. Click here for more information.
Below are the firms who participated Job Shadow Day:
While the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is only halfway done in the Greater Boston area, volunteers spent the fall and early winter delivery the program to students in Western Massachusetts. Each year the Hampden County Bar Association and Hampshire County Bar Association team up with the BBA and U.S. Bankruptcy Court to teach 100 students at Holyoke High School, Northampton High School, and Easthampton High School about the importance of making informed financial decisions.
Beyond the Billable would like to thank the volunteers who donated their time and expertise to the Program:
Honorable Henry Boroff, United States Bankruptcy Court
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Jennifer Butler, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.
Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC
Alex Hogan, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
Elizabeth Katz, Law Office of Elizabeth D. Katz
Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson, PC
Eric Kornblum, The Law Office of Eric Kornblum
Joseph Lange, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
Andrea O’Connor, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office
Spencer Stone, Hendel & Collins, PC
Christina Turgeon, The Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
Gary Weiner, Weiner Law Firm, PC
Make sure you don’t miss Western Mass co-chair Liz Katz’s response to this week’s Voices of the Bar, asking volunteers why they participate in the Financial Literacy Program
This past Sunday, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff joined 8,000 guests at North Quincy High School to celebrate the Quincy Lunar Festival as part of its ongoing community outreach. This marked the 26th year for the event hosted by the Quincy Asian Resources, Inc, and the 4th year the BBA LRS attended.
Joining LRS staff was bilingual LRS panel member Attorney Mary Lee (Mary K.Y. Lee, P.C), who answered questions and explained to attendees how to they could obtain legal representation from the BBA Lawyer Referral Service.
In addition to speaking with individuals, the LRS staff enjoyed the festivities, including cultural performances and vendors selling Asian foods and goods to celebrate the year of the Horse.
To access the BBA Lawyer Referral Service please call (617)742-0625 or (800)552-7046 Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. You can also email us at LRS@bostonbar.org or visit us on our newly re-designed website at www.bostonbarlawyer.org.