The BBA Summer Jobs students continued their summer adventures with a stop at the Adams Courthouse for VIP tour and crash course on the history of the Massachusetts legal system. After touring the building and taking turns posing in the Justices’ seats, the students met with Justice Cynthia Cohen to learn more about her career path and her role as an associate justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Take a look below for more highlights from the field trip:
Our dedicated readers may remember this recent post about inequalities in the current summer jobs market for teens. If you’re interested in learning more the unemployment among minorities under the age of 25, this recent NPR piece is a must listen. The piece highlights the long-term career implications of the lack of summer job opportunities, particularly for minority teens.
Here’s what William Spriggs, an economist from Howard University, had to say about the value of a summer job in the interview:
“It’s very important, and again it’s that network. It’s getting to know other people who work. It’s getting an employer who can vouch for you when you go to get another job. It’s having on your resume that you have that experience. And it’s understanding an industry and understanding what the opportunities are within that industry.”
This is why programs, such as the BBA Summer Jobs Program, play such a critical role in shaping the future of many of our Boston teens. Our students walk away with a network of professional contacts and skills that lay the groundwork for a successful career and future opportunities. Learn more about our program, which set a record high of employing 64 Boston teens this summer, here.
Image source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, courtesy of NPR
Our loyal Beyond the Billable readers are well aware of the plethora of long-term benefits of offering Boston public high school students professional experience. The short-term benefit (and a major plus for the students) is, of course, the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Now that the students have already earned their first summer paycheck, they are beginning to make decisions about how to spend it. Should they buy new clothes, see a movie, or save for their first semester of college? The BBA Summer Jobs Program enrichment seminars are offering the students guidance on educated decisions about their money via the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. So far, the students have learned how to create a budget, the importance of paying yourself first, how interest on credit cards work, and the difference between a debit and credit card. Over the next few weeks, the students will continue to acquire tools through additional sessions on buying a car and learning about the consequences of making poor financial decision at Bankruptcy Court.
Beyond the Billable checked in with two BBF-funded students working at the Volunteer Lawyers Project this summer to hear what they’ve learned so far. Here’s what they had to say:
“I thought the sessions were pretty good because I already have a debit card. I tell myself all of the time now that I shouldn’t go over a certain amount on my debit card because I want to save money. If I know I have enough money in my account, I’ll save my paycheck for something like school. [The volunteers] really taught me to budget.”
Liraniz Colon, a rising senior at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“In [the Using Credit and Credit Cards] seminar, I learned that you have to be really careful with your credit and how you spend your money and what company you choose. You have to choose wisely and you have to make good decisions about what you spend. You have to ask yourself do I need this or not; can I wait or can I not. You have to be very responsible.”
Mackaila Garcia, a rising senior at Charlestown High School
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program or the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in May and June:
Lawyer for the Day Volunteers
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Jennifer Brown, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Alison Burr, Ropes & Gray LLP
Andrew Cohn, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Brent Davis, Roger Williams School of Law
Sally Davis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Jennifer Gorman, Ropes & Gray LLP
Esther Laine, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Justin Murphy, Law Office of Justin M. Murphy
Christopher Pavlow, McCarter & English, LLP
Daniel Sieck, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Stephen Thompson, Ropes & Gray LLP
Heather Ward, Law Office of Heather M. Ward
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program
David Baker, Law Office of David G. Baker
Eric Blythe, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Scott Hubbell, Hubbell Law
Marques Lipton, Law Office of Timothy Mauser
H. Luke Mitcheson, Mitcheson Viana LLP
Kristofer Munroe, Lallier Munroe P.C.
Nina Parker, Parker & Associates
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Kevin Walsh, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Neil Warrenbrand, Law Office of Neil Warrenbrand
Yesterday morning, Boston City Council Chambers was filled with sounds of students debating the pros and cons of a law which would create a 9 pm curfew for people under the age of 17. Through the annual Mock City Council enrichment seminar, the BBA Summer Jobs students had the opportunity to test out their acting skills as they learned about the legislative process in the City of Boston.
With the help of former Boston City Council President Larry DiCara (Nixon Peabody), students took on a variety of roles. Some students served as representatives of the Boston Senior Alliance and the Pediatricians for Peace who advocated on behalf of the law, while other students acted as members of the Boston Teen Council and Neighborhood Merchants Association who opposed the law. The students put their debate skills to work in an effort to convince their peers, who served as City Council members, to vote in their favor. Not surprisingly, the student-led council voted again a curfew, which was viewed as too restrictive on the rights of teens.
Jose Maria, a rising senior at New Mission High School and an intern at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, argued on behalf of the Boston Teen Council. Here’s what he had to say about the Mock City Council hearing:
“I really enjoyed [the Mock hearing] and it’s a really good opportunity to learn what happens in the City…It was nice to know that we were dealing with real life situations.”
We also checked in with Rusheika Gordon, an intern at Pierce Atwood LLP, who served as the spokesperson for the Neighborhood Merchants Association. Beyond the Billable asked Rusheika why she volunteered to speak for her group and what she learned from the experience. Here’s what she had to say:
“I felt like it was time for me to step up and do something out of my comfort zone and try to present my ideas. I enjoyed having questions posed and being prepared to respond back. I learned to think on my feet. “
Take a look below for more images from the morning:
Last week, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) launched a new Spanish-language website. The website provides all of the same features found on the main site, and has a fully responsive design to mobile and tablet technologies. The BBA LRS has been committed to connecting historically underserved populations with lawyers and legal resources for over 50 years. The LRS has a bilingual staff member and developed the site in response to the increase of Spanish callers over the years.
Beyond the Billable reached out to Solana Goss, the coordinator of the Lawyer Referral Service, to learn more about the website expansion. Here’s what she had to say: “We have recognized the language barrier gap for many Spanish speaking callers seeking legal assistance. Ensuring the Spanish-speaking population has access to our information on how to connect with legal resources is vital to our goal of increasing access to justice. I think it is important that we empower people from the public to stick up for their legal rights by making them aware of their options and how to access help.”
If you are a bilingual attorney interested in joining the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, please email LRS Intake Coordinator, Solana Goss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members from the public can call the LRS at 617-742-0625 or request an attorney online at any time through the website.
Beyond the Billable recently gave you the details on BBA’s Summer Career Series geared towards new lawyers, law students, and our Judicial Interns – but if you’re wondering how our Summer interns are faring in the courts, we’ve got you covered. We reached out to Boston College Law School student Kyle Litfin to hear more about his experience in his first two weeks working in the Boston Municipal Court’s Dorchester session with Judge James W. Coffey. Here’s what he had to say:
“It has only been two weeks and I feel like I have learned more about being a lawyer in my short time at the Dorchester Court than I have my entire first year in law school. Not only has the job provided interesting research and writing opportunities, but I have had the chance to witness pre-trial conferences, status conferences, and trials from start to finish. Watching an entire case, from jury selection to a verdict is truly remarkable. More importantly, watching lawyers give opening and closing statements, seeing different techniques for witness questioning, and observing when and how lawyers decide to object to statements and exhibits is both exciting and instructional.
Having the chance to work with Judge Coffey, the clerks, and my fellow interns allows for the experience to be extremely interactive. Not only does Judge Coffey always take the time to answer any and all of my questions, but the clerks, the court officers and all of the Dorchester Court staff are there to provide information and guidance whenever possible. Each day is something exciting and new, and I always look forward to going to work.”
Stay tuned throughout the summer as we check in with our Judicial Interns.
Monday morning marked the start of the 21st year of the BBA Summer Jobs Program with the annual Kickoff Event. This star-studded event, featuring Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association President Doreen Rachal, and Chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo (also a former BBA Summer Jobs student), celebrated the start of the program and pumped students up for their first day of work. Both Doreen and Mayor Walsh encourage the students to take advantage of their summer internship. When Mayor Walsh addressed the students, he explained, “You can start to build you career this summer and you can start to build your dreams.” With these words of encouragement fresh in their minds, the 64 students headed out to their law offices for their first day of work.
If you missed the excitement, Beyond the Billable has you covered. Take a look below for highlights from the morning:
Last Thursday, 16 Beacon bustling with its usual activity. What set this particular Thursday apart was that it wasn’t lawyers packing the BBA’s conference rooms for networking and legal education events, but 64 Boston public high school students. The BBA Summer Jobs students started their morning in the Conference Center getting to know one another and getting the low down on what to expect, not only on their first day of work, but throughout the entire summer. Career Specialist Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) and former Summer Jobs student Emmanuelle Renelique (WilmerHale) helped calm the students’ first office job nerves by offering helpful tips to prepare them, including appropriate dress code for an office setting and suggestions on how to interact with their coworkers.
Take a look below for highlights from the morning:
Stay tuned for more on our Summer Jobs students as they get situated in their offices.
The BBA’s Summer Judicial Interns have started off their summers strong, not only putting in the hours in the courtroom but also getting first-hand knowledge of the profession thanks to BBA enrichment programs. Earlier this month they got their first taste of the BBA’s Summer Career Series, designed to give the interns a better sense of what lies ahead for them after graduation. In addition to volunteering at least 15 hours per week in the courts, they are taking part in numerous enrichment activities put on by the BBA. A particularly engaging day of enrichment activities for these law students took place early this month to expose the students to the practice of criminal law.
The series kicked off with “What’s It Like to Practice Criminal Law,” featuring speakers Christina Miller (Chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions at the Suffolk County DA’s Office) and Lisa Medeiros (Committee for Public Counsel Services Supervising Attorney for Roxbury, Dorchester and West Roxbury), sharing stories about their respective career paths and cases they had worked on “while in the trenches.”
Beyond the Billable wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t check in with our interns to see how the session was, so we asked Boston University School of Law student Chris York for some feedback on the talk:
“It was interesting to hear their humorous, candid, and differing views on the judicial process and their respective roles in it.”
We have more judicial intern takeaways from the talk here.
While others might have called it a day after that session, our interns did the opposite – they took a walk to the John Adams Courthouse to observe and also serve as jurists for the 2014 Advanced Trial Training Program’s final competition. Initiated by Judge Robert N. Tochka, the Program pairs newer prosecutors and defense attorneys from across Massachusetts with seasoned mentors for a trial advocacy skills competition (it’s friendly, we promise). Essex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and Worcester County with seasoned mentors for friendly competition on trial advocacy skills.
Our interns observed and judged opening statements through direct and cross examinations, the two-person advocacy teams argued the mock case, “Commonwealth v. Green” with students from the Another Course to College charter school making a guest appearance as witnesses.
Silvia Stockman, a law student at Boston University, gave Beyond the Billable her impressions of the experience:
“The event was an entertaining way to observe real lawyers engaging in a colorfully written case, followed by a very moving reception that honored two fallen members of the legal community. It was a great way to bond with our fellow interns and do some networking with the competitors and audience members!”
As you can see, our Summer Judicial interns have a packed summer ahead of them, so be sure to check Beyond the Billable regularly for updates!