While our readers always hear us talking about the benefits of summer employment for local Boston teens, the conversation is much more widespread. Take a look at this article that appeared in the Atlantic that advocates for the importance of summer jobs for high schoolers and highlights our partner for the BBA Summer Jobs Program, the Boston Private Industry Council. While Boston is lucky to have the PIC and its dedicated employers fighting the high teen unemployment rate to secure summer jobs for teens, there is still work to be done to ensure that Boston public high school students have the opportunity to gain professional experience and earn a pay check each summer. The BBA has secured 63 student positions—more than ever before—but we are still working hard to recruit additional firms to hire students. Would you like to support the future workforce of our city? Click here to learn more about the BBA Summer Jobs Program.
If you’re interested in hearing more about our partnership with the PIC, come to the BBA’s upcoming Law Day Dinner where we will honor the PIC for the 21 year relationship that has helped place more than 700 Boston public high school students in meaningful legal summer jobs since 1993. Click here for more information.
While PILP 10 wraps up their Court Service Center Project, the BBA is already planning for the next class of attorneys to participate in the Public Interest Leadership Program. Take a look at the roster for the PILP 11 class here. If you want additional background on this impressive group, take a look at their full bios.
Beyond the Billable reached out to a couple of members of PILP 11 to hear why they chose to participate in the Program. Here’s what they had to say:
“I was motivated to become a lawyer so that I could effectively assist vulnerable populations, and after being siloed in a large corporation for a couple of years I was looking for a way to get back to that mindset. The Public Interest Leadership Program looked like a great opportunity to volunteer in a legal capacity while also developing my leadership and communications skills.”
—Rochelle Meddoff, State Street Corporation
“PILP offers younger lawyers the opportunity to improve their leadership skills and engage in a meaningful way with the Boston legal community. I am excited to work with other PILP members to develop a legacy project that I hope will have a positive impact for years to come.” —Elizabeth Mooney, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
“A huge incentive for me to participate in PILP was the opportunity to meet and be inspired by other attorneys who are making a difference – the attorneys in my PILP class, the PILP alums, and the BBA leadership and other community leaders we will meet through the PILP program. Additionally, as a prosecutor I feel compelled to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about the needs of the community we serve and to give back. I’m excited to do so through work on the PILP 11 service project.” —Elianna Nuzum, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
“Having recently moved to the Boston area I was looking for a way to get more involved in the community. PILP seemed like the perfect way not only to get to know my peers, but also to meaningfully give back. While one-off volunteering is important, I also liked the idea of developing a project over time and bringing it to fruition.” —Nita Kumaraswami - Sullivan & Worcester, LLP
Stay tuned for more on PILP 11 as they begin their Program next month.
In its 10th year, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program taught students from 15 Greater Boston schools about the importance of making informed financial decisions. However, none of this would be possible without the help of our wonderful volunteers. Thanks in large part to our dedicated volunteers; the Financial Literacy Program was able to reach more classrooms than ever before! Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the 142 attorneys, legal staff, and law students who volunteer their time to teach students how to make sound financial decisions.
You may also remember this post about the Financial Literacy Program, which ran in Western Massachusetts this fall. Are you interested in getting involved? Please watch for opportunities to volunteer for the Financial Literacy Program this summer as part of the enrichment seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students.
Thank you to the following volunteers:
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Susan Anderson, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Honorable Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Andrea Balsamo, Liberty Mutual Group
Scott Bell, Liberty Mutual Group
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody LLP
Amanda Blaskey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Honorable Henry Boroff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Christopher Brine, Culik Law P.C.
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA
Joanne Carleton, Liberty Mutual Group
Jennifer Catenacci, Liberty Mutual Group
Pamela Cates, New England Law Boston
Allison Chamberlin, Liberty Mutual Group
Fred Chase, Liberty Mutual Group
Stephen M Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Tara Colby, Liberty Mutual Group
Michele Collins, MetLife
Christopher Condon, Murphy & King, P.C.
Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps
Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Caryn Daum, Liberty Mutual Group
Scott Davis, Sun Life Financial
Patrick Dinardo, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Adrienne Drew, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Elizabeth Duffy, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Lisa Evangelista, Liberty Mutual Group
Andrew Fagenholz, Liberty Mutual Group
Anne Farina, Sun Life Financial
Honorable Joan Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Megan Felter, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Eric Forni, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Toni Frain, Liberty Mutual Group
Brendan Furey, American Student Assistance
Jesse Garfinkle, Brown Rudnick LLP
Matthew Gendron, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Sean Gilligan, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Barbara Gilmore, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Sarah Grandfield, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial
Nancy Gregory, BlumShapiro
Ross Hamlin, Dalton & Finegold, LLP
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
William Harrington, Office of the U.S. Trustee
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Christine Heshion, Liberty Mutual Group
Honorable Melvin Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Sofia Hussain, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Nicole Jackson, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
John Kacoyannakis, Liberty Mutual Group
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Geraldine Karonis, U.S. Department of Justice-NH
Elizabeth Katz, Ostrander Law Office
Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson, PC
Justin Kesselman, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King, P.C.
John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Benjamin Loveland, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Bill Lynch, Liberty Mutual Group
Joyce Mahoney, Liberty Mutual Group
Lauren McCarthy, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Kristin McDonough, Riemer & Braunstein LLP
Kevin McGee, Seder & Chandler, LLP
Kathleen McGrath, Liberty Mutual Group
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Richard Mikels, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Rose Miller, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Maura Murphy, Sun Life Financial
Thomas Murray , Sun Life Financial
Patrick Noone, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Carolyn O’Brien, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Kim O’Connell, Liberty Mutual Group
Catherine O’Donnell, Liberty Mutual Group
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
Laura Otenti, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Amy Palmer, Sun Life Financial
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
James Pugh, Liberty Mutual Group
Jesse Redlener, Dalton & Finegold, LLP
Erika Reis, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Lynne Riley, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Michael Riley, Goulston & Storrs, PC
Alex Rodolakis, Gilman McLaughlin & Hanrahan LLP
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs, PC
Jonathon Roth, Jones Day
Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP
Patricia Saint James, Looney & Grossman LLP
A. Hugh Scott, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Naomi Sevilla, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Mary Sharon, Pro Se Debtors Bankruptcy Clinic
Mackenzie Shea, K&L Gates LLP
Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Kiersten Taylor, Brown Rudnick LLP
Eric Teasdale, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Lisa Tingue, Office of the U.S. Trustee-Worcester
Macken Toussaint, Riemer & Braunstein LLP
Janice Townsend, Liberty Mutual Group
David Travers,Todd & Weld LLP
Jacob Walker, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Ann Walsh, Liberty Mutual Group
Karen Wright, Liberty Mutual Group
Demand for the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program has skyrocketed this year with 1340 students from nine Boston public high schools signed up to learn “Why Every Vote Matters” on May 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 7th. Volunteers have stepped up to meet the demand and volunteer spots are filling up quickly – so click here to view the available sessions.
Why volunteer? The Law Day in the Schools Program is a great way for attorneys to engage in their community and teach students of all ages important lessons in civics – with a minimal time commitment. The sessions last no more than an hour and the BBA provides volunteers with all of the necessary materials.
Volunteers can choose the classrooms and age groups they volunteer for, so don’t delay in signing up here.
BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program Celebrates 15 Years of Helping Pro Se Litigants
Last Thursday, volunteers, court employees, and program leadership gathered at 16 Beacon to celebrate the success of the Lawyer for the Day Program in the Boston Housing Court Program at the 15th anniversary celebration of the Program. Since the Program’s inception in 1999, over 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 15,000 landlords and tenants navigate through the Boston Housing Court. In addition to the opportunity to network and enjoy food and drink, the evening was filled with a number of volunteer appreciation awards to longtime volunteers who are essential to its longevity. First Justice of the Boston Housing Court Jeffrey Winik presented awards to Sharon Jones (The Law Office of Sharon V. Jones), Andy Cohn (WilmerHale), and Housing Court Specialists Michael Neville, Alex Valderrama, Hector Jenkins, Delia Mathes, and Catarina Andrade.
Check out more highlights from the evening below:
The program is a collaboration between the Boston Housing Court, Boston Bar Association, Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, and is supported by the Wiley Vaughan Fund of the Boston Bar Foundation.
Lawyers were not the first responders. They were not the police and safety personnel who protected the Commonwealth. They were not the doctors and nurses whose expertise saved dozens of lives. However, lawyers responded to the Marathon bombing the best way they knew how – by offering to provide pro bono legal assistance for individuals and small businesses affected by the bombing through the BBA Marathon Assistance Project. Over the course of this year, our volunteers have traveled to homes to complete One Fund applications, assisted small business owners in filing insurance claims, and helped both business owners and individuals navigate a range of other legal issues as a result of the bombings. Here is a snapshot of the Project to date:
- After the BBA’s initial press release calling for pro bono volunteers, over 200 individual volunteers, 26 law firms, and 3 law schools offered their assistance.
- To date, the Marathon Assistance Project has helped 45 individuals and 20 small businesses with their claims & legal issues.
- 72 attorneys have taken cases through the Marathon Assistance Project.
- These cases have included helping to complete 14 One Fund claim applications, which have included multiple home visits across New England.
If you would like to hear personal accounts of the impact of the volunteer’s work, we’ve gathered a few stories for you. To learn more about the work of our volunteers for small businesses click here. You can learn more about legal assistance for individuals in this recent mailer or the spring edition of the Boston Bar Journal.
However, the work is not yet done. As the city continues to heal, members of the Bar stand ready to assist with the second distribution of the One Fund and continue to offer legal assistance to those affected.
Last week, Beyond the Billable shared highlights from two legal offices’ experiences “adopting a classroom” through M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. While Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual participated in the model in the past, two new legal offices also stepped up to the plate to provide volunteers for the three classroom-based sessions at two Boston public high schools. The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission adopted a classroom at Snowden International High School and Choate Hall & Stewart adopted a classroom at Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers.
Beyond the Billable checked in with attorneys from Choate Hall & Stewart to hear more about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
Why did Choate Hall & Stewart choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?
“Attorneys at Choate are long-time participants in and supporters of the Financial Literacy Program. When the opportunity arose for the Firm to adopt a classroom this year, we jumped at the chance to expand our work with the Program. Choate is pleased to serve the youth in our community by teaching them practical lessons in effective personal financial management.” – Meg McKenzie Feist, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
What was the highlight of the Program for your volunteers?
“As a volunteer, I was very impressed with the knowledge the students already possessed, as well as their eagerness to learn more about budgeting, saving, and credit. My group of students was engaged throughout the presentation and asked me pointed questions. It was a joy to work with the students and I look forward to engaging with a new group next year.” – Tyler Masse, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
On Monday evening we kicked off a week of Boston Housing Court events at 16 Beacon with “Trying a Case in Housing Court.” The BBA partnered with the Volunteer Lawyers Project to teach attorneys the ins and outs of trying a Housing Court case from opening to closing – with a special presentation on evidence rules as they pertain to eviction cases. In exchange for the free training, attorneys are expected to volunteer with the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program – which brings us to our next event.
As our readers may remember from this post, we will be celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program this Thursday at 5 pm. Be sure to join us and salute the amazing accomplishments of this program (more than 15,000 pro se litigants helped!) and thank our hard working volunteers. Be there!
Monday’s training was a great success, with more than 35 attorneys in attendance. To learn more about the experience, Beyond the Billable sat down with event panelist and seasoned veteran of the housing court Chris Saccardi (The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi) to hear more about the training. Here’s what he had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“I hope that attorneys who are considering taking their first pro bono housing case feel a little bit more confident appearing in front of the Housing Court judges and potentially taking their case to trial. Our goal was to give attendees some tips on how to conduct a trial in the Housing Court and to give them the opportunity to hear from Judge Winik, who has been a big supporter of the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s pro bono programs. “
Why should attorneys get involved in pro bono efforts in the Housing Court? How can pro bono experience help attorneys build a practice?
“First, regardless of one’s practice area, taking cases at the Housing Court is an excellent way to gain valuable litigation experience. Because the vast majority of litigants are unrepresented, there are ample opportunities to appear for various motion hearings and, if participants wish, to conduct trials. Second, if an attorney is interested in taking housing cases as part of their private practice, I can’t think of a better way to gain the procedural and substantive knowledge necessary to successfully pursue such cases. Third, while these are pro bono cases and attorneys should not necessarily expect to be paid, there is the potential for an award of attorney’s fees if one wins under a statute that includes a fee shifting provision. Finally, the most important reason to volunteer is because there is a large, unmet need for representation, particularly among the low- and middle-income population that VLP typically serves. These individuals often face an attorney on the other side and the involvement of a volunteer attorney can often make a huge difference in the outcome of the case, sometimes resulting, for example, in a preserved tenancy where an unrepresented tenant might otherwise have ended up homeless.”
Last Friday, a group of students from New Mission High School in Hyde Park took a field trip to Boston Bankruptcy Court to meet “Sally Spender” and learn what happened to “Sally” when she failed to budget appropriately and accumulated high amounts of credit card debt. This lesson, Consequences, was fourth and final module of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. The experience wasn’t all about Sally’s mistakes, though. Students got a first-hand look inside a courtroom and had the opportunity to ask lawyers, Judges and court staff questions about what Bankruptcy Court is like.
The Program wraps up in Greater Boston area next Friday after two additional Consequences sessions once students from Woburn High School, Greater New Bedford Technical School, Snowden International High School, Peabody High School, and John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science make the trip to Post Office Square. Take a look below from highlights of the fieldtrip:
While students are still traveling the Boston and Worcester Bankruptcy Courts, the classroom based sessions of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program have wrapped up in the Greater Boston area. This year, four legal offices stepped up and “adopted a classroom” to help meet the growing demand for the program in fifteen schools. In this model, legal offices commit to providing 3-6 volunteers to cover each of the three classroom based sessions. In return, the legal offices were able to provide their employees with an opportunity to give back while partnering with a fellow colleague.
Beyond the Billable reached out to the legal departments of Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual, both of whom participated in the “adopt a classroom” model last year as well, to hear more about the experience. Sun Life Financial adopted a classroom at Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham and Liberty Mutual adopted four classrooms at Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park.
Here’s what they had to say:
Why did your legal office choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?
“As in house counsel and compliance professionals in the financial services industry, supporting a financial literacy program has been a great way for us to give back to the community and utilize our skills. We selected the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Program for a few reasons. First, volunteers don’t have to be attorneys and this allows us to make the opportunity available to more people in our department. We also like being able to sponsor the same school every year. We have found that consistency of the same teacher, class format and class size every year enhances the success of the program. Volunteers know what to expect and can build off of best practices from prior years to improve upon our delivery of the program for a technical high school. Lastly, the volunteer materials provided by the BBA are very comprehensive, which helps cut down on preparation time, and are designed such that the volunteers can be flexible about deciding how to select content of an organization for a particular session.” – Michelle Greco, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial
“The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program provides a unique opportunity for both the students and the Liberty Mutual Insurance volunteers. Students have the opportunity to learn about finance-related topics from volunteers who have significant real-world knowledge, which we think enables the students to continue to build practical skills as they enter young adulthood. The volunteers enjoy interacting with the high school students and having the chance to make a difference in their lives. In addition, the program gives some of our volunteers with backgrounds in finance a chance to make an impact and help students avoid financial pitfalls in advance, rather than merely helping after the fact.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual
What was the highlight of the program for your volunteers?
“Spending any amount of time in a high school is like taking a step back in time. As you think about the decisions that are on the horizon for the young adults who will soon be graduating, you realize that while you may have come to talk about the specifics of buying a car, what you are really there for is to impress upon the students the important differences between what they want, and what they really need and can afford. That theme runs through the various modules, and hopefully our discussion about the realities of owning a car helped the students understand the kind of tough financial decisions they will have to make when they are on their own. The students were interested and active, which made the session a lot of fun, and I hope I can participate in this program again in the future.” — Scott Davis, SVP & General Counsel, Sun Life Financial
“Without a doubt, the primary highlight for our volunteers was the chance to provide guidance to young adults through a live, interactive classroom session with a dynamic group of students. Most of our volunteers do not regularly teach high school classes, and they reported that the experience was energizing and exciting. They enjoyed the hands-on exposure and fielding questions from their classrooms both on the finance topic of the day and other matters the students might raise.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual
Our volunteers were so excited to share their experiences that we had to turn this into a two part statement! Stay tuned for part two when we hear from Choate Hall & Stewart and the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission volunteers about their experiences.