Monthly Archives: May 2013

24 Law Students Are Judicial Interns Thanks to BBA Program

The BBA’s Pipeline & Recruitment Committee of the Diversity & Inclusion Section welcomed 24 diverse law students to the Summer Judicial Internship Program at last night’s orientation meeting. Judge Tochka and Judge Ronquillo, both of the Boston Municipal Court, who have spearheaded this initiative at the BBA offered students tips for working in the court system and making the most of their summer internship. Pipeline & Recruitment Committee Co-Chairs Angela Gomes (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates) and Mia Friedman (Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service Suffolk University Law School) shared information on the Diversity & Inclusion Section and its programming.

These Judicial Interns students will work alongside judges in the Boston Municipal Courts, District Courts and Probate & Family Courts. In addition, interns are invited to engage in weekly professional networking meetings held at the BBA.

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Judicial interns attended an orientation last night at the BBA. The interns will be working in the Boston Municipal Courts, District Courts and Probate & Family Courts this summer.

Contact Susan Helm at shelm@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1984 for more information on the program

BBA Hosts Roundtable on Family Law Pro Bono Work and Opportunities

Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) discussed how their commitment to pro bono and public service work has shaped their careers.

Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.), Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), and Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) discussed how their commitment to pro bono and public service work has shaped their careers.

Last night, the BBA’s Family Law section held a roundtable discussion at the 16 Beacon Street discussing ways pro bono work can shape your legal career. Three pro bono connoisseurs, Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) served as panelists and shared their personal experiences with the audience and discussed ways for others to get involved.

Reflection from 2012-2013 Public Interest Leaders

The months of May and June mark the overlap of the incoming and outgoing PILP classes. We wanted to use this time to reflect on the good work done by the members of PILP class of 2012-2013 and hear what they enjoyed most about the program.

Here’s what they have to say:

Emily Hodge, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Hodge, Emily“Our class had the opportunity to devise and implement a project for participants in the federal reentry programs, CARE and RESTART. From the outset, we received support and encouragement from every professional involved in these programs – from the judges themselves, to the probation officers, AUSAs, public defenders and service providers. To witness this vast network of individuals come together in support of a common goal, in pursuit of success for the program participants, was inspirational, and to do it alongside such dedicated and talented peers was motivating and rewarding.”

 

Jacqueline Silva Anchondo, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

Anchondo, Jacqueline

“I most enjoyed getting to know the other members of the Program, both professionally and personally.”

 

 

 

 

Meghan D. Hely Walsh, Holland & Knight LLP

Walsh, Meghan

“The program introduced us to exceptional leaders of Boston and allowed us to meet with them in an intimate setting. We were able to learn from and connect with the Chair of The Boston Foundation, the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston, the Chief Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the CEO of Greater Boston Legal Services, and many other generous pillars of our community.”

 

 

Stay tuned for feedback from other members of the class.

For more information on the Public Interest Leadership Program, please contact Susan Helm, Member Programs Coordinator, at shelm@bostonbar.org.

BBA Co-op Students in the Field—A Visit to the Boston Housing Court

Last Thursday, the BBA’s Northeastern Co-op students visited the Lawyer for the Day at the Boston Housing Court project to see the volunteers in action. Since the programs inception in May 1999, volunteers have assistant more than 15,000 landlords and tenants. Here’s what the co-op students had to say about their experience:

BBA Co-op students Alixandra Powers and Gaciru Matathia visited the Boston Housing Court last Thursday.

BBA Co-op students Alixandra Powers and Gaciru Matathia visited the Boston Housing Court last Thursday.

“Attending proceedings at the housing court was an interesting experience for me. I would have to say that the most fascinating aspect of the visit was the sheer volume of cases that the housing court deals with on a regular basis. During my visit, the clerk announced over 100 cases that were scheduled to be handled on that day alone. With such a huge number of cases, it is no surprise that the courtroom was packed to capacity with landlords, tenants and attorneys waiting patiently for their case number to be called. However, even with all the people in the room, there still managed to be a basic sense of order and structure which allowed for the proceedings to move along relatively quickly.”

Gaciru Matathia is working in the BBA Lawyer Referral Service until the end of June. Gaciru studies International Affairs, and is pursuing a minor in Social Entrepreneurship.

“Going to the housing court as an intern was a really interesting and educational experience. I learned a lot about how high volume legal issues are addressed in a court room setting and enjoyed being able to see court proceedings first hand. It was also nice to see so many lawyers volunteering their time to people in need.”

Alixandra Powers is working in the BBA Membership Department until the end of May. Alixandra is a History major, and is a cadet in the school’s ROTC program. She hopes to attend law school after graduation, and is interested in becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Military.

Volunteers provide legal advice to landlords and tenants as part of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Volunteers provide legal advice to landlords and tenants as part of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

For more information on the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

Law Day Volunteers Step Up – Reach Record Number of Students

With the help of 41 volunteers, the Law Day in the Schools Program taught 782 Boston public school students about the issue of equality. Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the attorneys who volunteer their time to make this program possible.

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O'Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

Daryl Abbas, The Law Office of Daryl Abbas
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Laurie Alexander-Krom, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
Jeffrey Becker, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Susan Bernstein, Susan Bernstein Attorney of Law
Peter Berry, Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis & Holland, P.C.
Kristin Casavant, Jones Day
Kyle Childers, Boston University Law School
Veronica Contreras, Biogen Idec Inc.
Zeke Davisson, Pierce Atwood LLP
Timmery Donahue
Peter Durning, Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC
Jeremy Eisemann, Liberty Mutual Group
Matthew Fitzsimmons, Law Office of Matthew P. Fitzsimmons
Adam Foss, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Jamie Frank, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Patrick Hanley, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Kathleen Henry, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Matt Iler, Law Office of W. Matthew Iler, Jr.
Kate Isley, Pierce Atwood LLP
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Michelle Kalas, Riemer & Braunstein LLP
Joe Keeney, Biogen Idec Inc.
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Deborah Levine
E. Chouteau Levine, Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC
Anthony Low
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Igor Novikov, Law Office of Igor Novikov, P.C.
Michelle O’Brien, Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC
Erika Reis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Staci Rubin, Alternatives for Community & Environment
Kristen Scioli White, Boston Bar Association
Nancy Shilepsky, Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP
Jennifer Sieczkiewicz, Biogen Idec Inc.
Caroline Simons, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP-Boston
Gary Smith
Ilene Sunshine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Amy Zahler, Biogen Idec Inc.
For more information on the Law Day in the Schools Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

BBA Welcomes 15 New Public Interest Leaders

Last night, the BBA welcomed 15 highly qualified new leaders to the Public Interest Leadership Program class of 2013. This year’s class comes from a variety of backgrounds, including government, law firm, in-house legal departments, academia, and legal services. At the orientation, new class members were introduced to BBA leadership and staff, as well as members of the outgoing PILP class at a roundtable discussion about leadership and public service programming opportunities available through the program.

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The new PILP class attended orientation last night to learn more about what to expect in the upcoming program year.

After the program, past and current “PILP’ers” had a chance to connect with classmates and network with PILP alums. The nine previous PILP classes have produced an alumni network of over 100 leading lawyers.

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The PILP programs brings together a group of lawyers from various backgrounds who share an interest in public service and leadership development.

Stay tuned to hear more about what this PILP class has in store for the year ahead.

For more information on the Public Interest Leadership Program, please contact Susan Helm, Member Programs Coordinator, at shelm@bostonbar.org.

BBA’s Marathon Monday Project Update

The BBA is offering legal assistance to individuals and small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

The BBA is offering pro bono legal assistance to individuals and small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

As you may have heard, the BBA has taken an active role in moving Boston forward after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon by offering legal assistance to small businesses on Boylston and Newbury street affected by the bombing. Our members responded in force, with over 200 individuals offering assistance when we asked them to help. Nearly a month later, here’s an update:

  • Thanks to the commitment of our members, the BBA has offered legal assistance to 26 small business owners and individuals who were affected by the Boston Marathon attacks.
  • Through a collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, the BBA is continuing to get the word out about the available legal services and adapting to the needs of the victims and small businesses in order to effectively refer callers.

Do you know a small business owner or a victim in need of assistance? The Boston Bar Association is connecting those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing to lawyers that can provide pro bono legal assistance for issues such as insurance, labor and employment, relocation, health, and other issues. To access these services, please call the Lawyer Referral Service intake line at 617-742-0625, or Toll Free: (800) 552-7046, or submit an online request here.

Stay tuned for more information as the situation continues to develop.

For more information on the Marathon Monday Project, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

A Few Hours Makes All the Difference — Volunteer in the Boston Housing Court

Last night, Judge Jeffrey Winik was honored with a Citation of Judicial Excellence for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court. In this role, Judge Winik has dedicated himself to advancing the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, which he describes as “access to justice in action.” Volunteer attorneys help provide legal advice and representation to landlords and tenants. Approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords are unrepresented. Since the program began 14 years ago, 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 14, 500 individuals. However, the sheer volume of cases—the housing court can see about 200 eviction cases on a single day—calls for additional volunteer attorneys.

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Here’s how Judge Winik described the volunteer experience:

I guarantee you, you will come away from the experience knowing you have done something important and have helped people who would have been far worse without your assistance.

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court is the epitome of a meaningful pro bono opportunity. Just a few hours on a Wednesday or Thursday can make the difference between a family losing their home or a landlord being foreclosed on.

Volunteers can participate individually or with their firm. Volunteers will be trained and supported by staff attorneys from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School during the volunteer session. Interested volunteers should contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org for more information about ways to get involved.

Volunteers Get Their Hands Dirty at Environmental Clean Up Events

The Environmental Law Pro Bono Committee and the New Lawyers Public Service Committee have been busy coordinating environmentally focused volunteer opportunities in honor of Earth Day last month. Twenty-one volunteers put on their work gloves to help remove debris and trash from the banks of the Charles River on April 27th for the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up. A week later, eight volunteers spent the morning of May 5th at the Gladeside Urban Wild, one of the largest undeveloped areas in Mattapan. Volunteers helped to maintain this open space by removing invasive plant species, preparing the land for future plantings, and performing spring cleaning.

Here’s a look at the two volunteer days:

Volunteers Sara Farnum (Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General), Smita Deshmukh (Sullivan & Worcester LLP), Stephanie Pan, and Margaret Caulfield (Partners HealthCare) helped remove litter and debris from the banks of the Charles River as part of the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up on April 27th.

Volunteers Sara Farnum (Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General), Smita Deshmukh (Sullivan & Worcester LLP), Stephanie Pan, and Margaret Caulfield (Partners HealthCare) helped remove litter and debris from the banks of the Charles River as part of the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up on April 27th.

Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) and Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) planted a tree in Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan.

Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) and Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) planted a tree in Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan.

Volunteers Jennifer Rushlow (Conservation Law Foundation), Danah Tench (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Pamela Harvey (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.), Ben Ericson (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) and his son, Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Michele Hunton (Lawson & Weitzen, LLP), and Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. )and her daughter helped clean up Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan on May 5th.

Volunteers Jennifer Rushlow (Conservation Law Foundation), Danah Tench (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Pamela Harvey (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.), Ben Ericson (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) and his son, Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Michele Hunton (Lawson & Weitzen, LLP), and Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. )and her daughter helped clean up Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan on May 5th.

For more upcoming weekend volunteer opportunities , please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

Law Day Volunteers Teach Record-Breaking Number of Students about Equality

Last week, 41 volunteer attorneys headed to Boston public elementary school and high school classrooms for the annual Law Day in the Schools Program on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The volunteers taught 782 students in seven Boston public schools about the issue of equality.

Beyond the Billable attended a few sessions to bring you a first-hand look at the program:

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O'Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

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Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company) leads Ms. Pearl-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School in Roslindale in a discussion about what equality means.

Beyond the Billable also tracked down the volunteers to see what they had to say about their experiences:

I would encourage everyone to volunteer for the Law Day in the Schools. Not only was it personally fulfilling, it was really fun to be in a class where the students were so engaged and excited just to have a “real” lawyer in the classroom – something that’s definitely not a commonplace experience for them. In the class I taught, we went from general themes of equality under the law to a very spirited debate about whether kids should have the right to vote. (Consensus – only if they learn about the issues and don’t just vote for their friends!) It’s a terrific opportunity to inspire the next generation and remind ourselves how lawyers have been and continue to be a positive force for change. – Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company), Volunteer Attorney for Kimberly Peart-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School.

Although some students were quiet at the beginning of the class, every one of them became passionately involved during the breakout sessions and presentations, which we organized as debates (a suggestion from one of the students). It was gratifying to hear all of the students sharing their ideas, suggestions, and viewpoints with each other. – Deborah Levine (SEC), Volunteer Attorney in Alan Humbert’s 11th & 12th grade class at West Roxbury Academy

I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in Law Day in the Schools. The fifth grade students were smart, engaged, and well behaved. It was a pleasure to hear their thoughts on what “equality” means and how they can help promote equality in their school and community. – Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC), Volunteer Attorney in Matthew Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School.

For more information on the Law Day in the Schools Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.