Beyond the Billable has noticed there has been a lot going on at the BBA when it comes to Public Service, so we tried to make it easy for you by compiling a list of recent articles on public service initiatives that have appeared in BBA Week, the BBA website, blogs, facebook and more. Take a look below to see what’s been going on:
- Did you get a chance to meet Danny? If not, take a look at this article about a 13-year old boy with special education needs who received pro bono help from the BBF grantee organization, the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts. Once you read the article, we’re sure that you will want to sign up for the upcoming Advocating for At-Risk Youth Training so that you can help children like Danny. Click here for more information on the training.
- You probably remember this post about the 2014 Principal for a Day Program. For a more personal look at the morning at Charlestown High School, check out this article featured on the BBA President’s blog, Dacier’s Take.
- Learn the business case for hiring more than one Boston Public High School student through the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program in Matt McTygue’s op-ed in the Boston Bar Journal. Please note: a subscription is required to access the full article.
Last Friday, family law practitioners filled the BBA’s Claflin Center for the second annual BBA/MBA Conciliation Training. The training was open to attorneys with at least five years of domestic relations experience and offered them the opportunity to become certified as a conciliator. Attorneys learned how to mediate and successfully intervene early on in family law cases in order to obtain a quick and fair resolution.
Beyond the Billable reached out to Timothy Linnehan, an ADR Coordinator for the Trial Court and a trainer for the session, to hear why this training was so important. Here’s what he had to say:
“The training benefits the SERV program in Suffolk Probate Court by providing a training program for volunteers to assist the Court in serving unrepresented parties in resolving their case. The program also benefits the use and expansion of conciliation services to help parties resolve cases. This training program complies with the SJC 8-hour training requirement to be a conciliator for court-connected programs. Currently, nine local bar associations have conciliation programs in the Probate and Family Court Department.”
In exchange for a free training, attendees will volunteer as a conciliator at the Probate and Family Court.
This year’s conference, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center featured keynote addresses and breakout sessions led by more than one hundred experts in the fields of business, philanthropy, finance, media and professional development. The theme the conference was “The Power of Us,” and gave conference attendees many opportunities for business networking, professional development and personal growth.
Hundreds of attendees stopped by the BBA’s booth, inquiring as to how they could receive referrals through the Lawyer Referral Service, and about the BBA’s Mission and role in the community.
The Massachusetts Conference for Women is the largest outreach and marketing event of the year for the BBA LRS, who participates in approximately 10 outreach events yearly. Next on the calendar is the 26th Annual Quincy Lunar New Year Festival in February. Stay tuned for more details!
As many of our readers know, the Boston Bar has an ongoing partnership with the Boston Debate League (BDL) to help teach Boston Public High School students critical thinking, persuasive writing and effective communication skills. Part of our partnership means finding volunteers generous enough to spend their time volunteering as judges and mentors for the urban debate teams. On behalf of the BBA and BDL, we thank our volunteers who donated their time during October and November to help close the achievement gap in Boston.
Teniola Adeyemi, New England Law Student
Leonard Audaer, Rankin & Sultan
Erica Carroll, Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP
Nicole Del Monte, State Street
Jose Gonsalez, City of Boston Law Department
Kathleen Micciche, Clark Lau LLC
Sean Nehill, City of Boston Law Department
If you are interested in volunteering for BDL, you are in luck! BDL has two tournaments this month. Click here for more information on how to volunteer.
Last Friday night BBA President Paul Dacier and BBA Executive Director Rich Page joined Mayor Thomas Menino along with the current representatives and alumni of the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) at the 20th Anniversary Celebration. As you may know, the BBA is a longstanding partner of the MYC, combining efforts with the City of Boston and Northeastern University.
Here’s what BBA President Paul Dacier had to say about the event:
“It was such an honor to be part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Mayor’s Youth Council. The students selected for the program are an incredibly impressive group. I couldn’t believe what they have accomplished throughout our city in just the past year – connecting with hundreds of teens on important issues, getting the word out in every community about education and growth opportunities and working with local leaders on expanding youth initiatives. It is programs like this that truly empower the young people in our city, and the BBA is proud to be a partner.”
In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of the MYC, the event paid special tribute to Mayor Menino, who created the Council in 1994 and remains committed to Boston youth throughout his term in office.
See below for more photos from the event:
Stay tuned for more information on the Mayor’s Youth Council.
As our readers know, the BBA’s Public Interest Leaders have been hard at work this year carrying out a pilot Community Reentry Readiness series for federal probationers at the US District Court. Last night, PILP 9 hosted a reception to thank program stakeholders, BBA leadership and committees, volunteers, and PILP alumni who helped get this unique collaboration between the BBA and the District Court of Massachusetts off the ground.
The BBA is especially thankful to the federal judges who oversee the CARE and RESTART programs and worked closely with PILP to ensure the success of this initiative. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman, Chief Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin and Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessey agree that the pilot program was a success for the court and the probationers alike. Here’s what they had to say about their partnership with the BBA:
The Court was very pleased with the first year of PILP’s Community Reentry Readiness program. Our participants benefited enormously from the workshops which were both relevant to their lives, and oriented towards building practical problem-solving skills. The participants rated the program highly, saying things like: ‘It really made you look at life differently,’ and ‘I loved that the program not only gave us a lot of useful information but they provided us with resources and packets to take home so we could go over for further review.’ The Court is looking forward to working with the BBA to ensure that future reentry court participants have access to this empowering and enriching program.” –U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman, Chief Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin and Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessey.
Beyond the Billable thanks PILP 9 for their leadership in successfully launching the Community Reentry Readiness program and helping the BBA expand our reach. Contact Susan Helm at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about PILP.
Last Thursday, the BBA hosted the final training in the CLE series on Representing Military Personnel and Families. Even though this training series has concluded, the BBA’s commitment to helping veterans and military personnel with the legal challenges that they face is far from over. With the adoption of the Military Legal Help Line and the BBA’s involvement in the Yellow Ribbon Project and the Massachusetts “Stand Down” event, the BBA’s support of this initiative will continue.
To encapsulate why it is important for the BBA and lawyers as a community to give back to veterans, military personnel and their families, check last week’s responses to Voices of the Bar.
Michelle Wolf (Veterans’ Disability Benefits), a panelist on last week’s training on Veterans Benefits, stated,
“We all owe a duty to those who have volunteered to serve and protect our country, especially with the growing recognition of the toll military service takes on our soldiers, veterans and their families. Lawyers can truly make a difference in the lives of these individuals and families by assisting with legal issues that might otherwise distract soldiers currently serving.”
Keep an eye on the BBA calendar for additional training opportunities this winter and into the spring. If you would like to know more about joining the Military and Veterans’ Panels for the Military Legal Help Line, please contact Solana Goss at email@example.com.
Yesterday morning, BBA President Paul T. Dacier joined over 150 of Boston’s leaders in visiting Boston Public Schools (BPS) to gain a firsthand look at the successes and challenges of the city’s school system as part of the BPS Principal for a Day Program. Paul shadowed William Thomas, the headmaster of Charlestown High School, for the morning.
Here are a few facts about Charlestown High School so that you have a better idea of what he saw:
- With 954 students, Charlestown is one of Boston’s largest high schools.
- 39% of its student body is Limited English Proficient.
- 46% of students qualify for free or reduced-priced school meals.
As you know, the BBA works closely with the BPS on a number of our public service programs, including the M. Ellen Financial Literacy Program, the BBA Summer Jobs Program, Law Day in the Schools, and the Boston Debate League. Principal for a Day allows the BBA President to gain a better understanding of the school system and how our programs fit in.
Here’s what Paul had to say about his experience:
“It was eye-opening to see how hard the students and teachers are working in the face of budget constraints and a large English Language Learner population at Charlestown High School. The students have a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to learn and the teachers and school administration are dedicated to changing the students’ lives with less than adequate resources.”
Take a look below for photos from the morning:
Keep an eye out for future articles about Paul’s experience.
Guest Post: William Fitzpatrick is the Assistant General Counsel of Litigation at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
If you are anything like me and you look forward to stepping away from a busy litigation practice on weekends to run a 5K for a charity or hit the gym then you know how these tune-ups can recalibrate your heart and mind. But what about your soul? Well, I’ve got an invitation for you.
Two years ago, the BBA joined in a partnership with an amazing program that has taken flight in the public schools of our capital city called the Boston Debate League. As lawyers we all know a thing or two about a healthy intellectual exchange and you will never feel more engaged than you will working with these remarkable students who are just thirsting to tap into your talent and bursting with enthusiasm. The students put in long hours over months methodically preparing to debate a topical issue which is played out under your direction in a series of competitive rounds in which you will share your own unique gifts of structure, guidance and inspiration.
When you share your time and wisdom you are “giving back” in theory but the reality is that your own personal “take away” is something that warms your soul for a long time forward. The students learn and enhance skills that you can see will raise their long term game by giant steps and you will be astonished at their work product, respect and cooperative immersion in this brilliant program.
The BDL staff including Shannon Watson and Sarah Amaral are fabulous and they will assist you in choosing to work one or more rounds as the competition moves toward the championship finals. You will surely feel great doing good on a level you seldom experience. A small investment of as little as three hours on a Friday evening or Saturday will undoubtedly produce a high yield return for participants on both sides of the students and lawyer equation.
Please consider contacting Sarah Amaral, BDL Volunteer Coordinator at [firstname.lastname@example.org] with any questions or our own Katie D’Angelo, BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator at [mailto:email@example.com] to seize your opportunity to help the students shine bright.
You may also sign up online to participate by visiting: www.bostondebate.org/signup
Students looking to add another layer to their law school experience next semester should look no further than the BBA’s Judicial Internship Program. The program is an unpaid, non-credit internship where law students work directly with a judge, observe courtroom proceedings and enhance their legal research and writing skills. In addition, interns are invited to engage in professional development seminars and meetings held at the BBA. Participating courts include Boston Municipal Court, District Courts, Probate & Family Court & the US Bankruptcy Court.
Don’t just take it from us. Heather Sit, a 2L at New England Law | Boston and alum of the Judicial Internship program, had this to say:
“My everyday experiences talking with the judges at the conclusion of the various trials and hearings I saw over the summer were fascinating. I felt incredibly lucky to see the humanity and keen insight each of the judges I worked with brought to their decision-making. In class, it’s easy to get caught up in the technical legal issues because of the appellate cases we read, but working with the Roxbury court judges this summer really brought together the legal aspects with their practical, real-life impacts.”
If you are thinking about applying, here’s what you need to know about the process:
- Interested students should submit applications with a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation from a law school professor by December 13th.
- Students who have completed their first year of law school and are able to work at least 15 hours per week will be considered.
- Diverse students are strongly encouraged to apply.
- The spring internship program begins in early February and runs through the end of the semester.
- Applications will be collected on a rolling basis with priority placement given to early applicants, so the sooner you get you application in the better.
- Send completed applications to Susan Helm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have any more questions, click here here.