Monthly Archives: August 2013
The Diversity & Inclusion Section’s popular Group Mentoring Program is kicking off its 5th program year with an information session on Wednesday, September 18th at 5:30pm at the BBA. The meeting will connect interested participants with program co-chairs and past participants to answer questions and give them a sense of what the program has to offer. A meet-and-greet reception will follow the information session.
Mentoring groups meet monthly for discussions about career paths, work life balance and professional challenges, and participants also gather for program-wide seminars and networking events. Mentee applications will become available at the orientation meeting. The meeting is mandatory for anyone interested in applying to the program. Click here to RSVP or contact Susan Helm at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
At last Thursday’s Summer Jobs Program graduation ceremony, David Lozano, a rising senior at Boston Latin Academy and intern at Nixon Peabody, spoke to students, parents and firm representatives about his summer experience. David’s speech was so good, and embodies the spirit of the Summer Jobs Program so well, that Beyond the Billable felt compelled to run it in full.
Here’s what David had to say:
“When I went into this job at the beginning of the summer, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Part of me was hoping for some exciting criminal justice stuff, part of me was thinking about long hours of boring paperwork, and somewhere I knew that I wasn’t going to get anything I expected either. I was also really nervous at the prospect of working in a professional office setting for the first time, especially one as prestigious as that of my host firm, Nixon Peabody. It’s pretty safe to say I had a lot of questions – what do I wear? What kind of work will I be doing? How will I interact with my coworkers? What kinds of standards will I be held to, what kind of stuff will I be able to experience here?
Once I started work, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Once I got the hang of how to operate in this new environment, the actual work I got was another challenge in itself. There were some days where all I had to do was assemble a several-thousand page closing binder for a public works system. There were some days where I was able to head down to the Bulger trial itself with some of the summer associates at my firm and hear some of the funniest and most absolutely terrifying stories that you’d be hard-pressed to find the likes of in a work of fiction. That was the kind of stuff I was expecting. But, man, I did so much more.
The sheer variety of work involved in the legal profession absolutely captivated me, and I shortly found myself doing more work than I ever had inside of school and having more fun, to boot. Every assignment I got was a chance to discover something new. Even work coming out of the same department could be strikingly diverse – take the patent lawyers as an example. From dishwashers to x-ray machines from the 80’s, that place covers everything. I also spent time researching video games for an intellectual property case, I spent time revising and organizing trusts and wills dealing with more money than I’ve ever seen in my life. I rushed to put together sets of binders that would be used in a real courtroom that same evening, dealing with malpractice and real estate law, family trees, zoning policy and the fastest route from Downtown Crossing to the superior court. The amount of things I was exposed to this summer is nothing to sneeze at, and kept me constantly interested in the cases themselves, not just what I was doing with them. With this kind of work – especially research, which I’ve been doing a lot of – it is impossible not to learn something new every day, on anything and everything related to the topic at hand.
I’ve learned so much this year, and gained truly valuable experience of the legal field and what it’s really about. The work I’ve done over the past month or two will prove extremely useful to me in the future, whether I do end up pursuing a career in the legal field or not. Thanks to this job, I’ve had the opportunity to see what a typical workplace looks like and have time there well before I go to work for good. I’ve gained a better understanding of the legal process: how complex it is, how a firm works, how the court system works and some of the problems and brilliancies that come with it. I’ve learned why companies sue in an intellectual property case, in what ways a will needs to be updated as your position in life changes, and how fascinating and intense high-profile trials can become. Just as importantly, I’ve learned how to coexist with your co-workers, how to manage your time so you always come out ready and on top, and, y’know, how to tie a tie in under thirty seconds. From efficient alphabetization to the neighborhood politics of Back Bay, the things I’ve had a chance to learn about during my time in this program are going to stay with me for a long time in life – and some of them will be useful to me no matter where I choose to work, some of them even more useful to me as a future lawyer, and some not useful at all but still interesting and significant to my education as a whole.
Thanks to the Boston Bar Association and Nixon Peabody, and all the amazing, dedicated people I met there from the mail rooms to the corner offices, I’m going into my senior year with skills that some only acquire after college, experience that is usual for second-year law students, and I’m very grateful for that chance. I sincerely hope that this program can continue and keep giving kids like me and all my fellow students in the audience this kind of chance to make money, learn, and excel.”
Last Friday, 27 volunteer attorneys and four law students provided legal assistance to 122 homeless and at-risk veterans at the Massachusetts Stand Down at the Dorchester IBEW. Shelter Legal Services and members of the Boston Bar Association’s Military & Veterans Committee recruited volunteers to offer assistance in areas including state and federal benefits, family law, consumer debt and bankruptcy, housing, taxes, and criminal records.
“It is critical that we have attorneys from a variety of practice areas to assist these veterans who are some of the most vulnerable members of the community. By providing legal counseling, advice, and referrals, we are able to help veterans remove legal barriers to stable housing and self-sufficiency,” explained Anna Schleelein, Co-Executive Director of Shelter Legal Services and the coordinator of the event.
Stay tuned for more information on additional opportunities to assist veterans coming up in the fall. For more information about Shelter Legal Services, visit www.shelterlegalservices.org.
Last Thursday, the Summer Jobs students, their families, and employers gathered at the Adams Courthouse to celebrate the accomplishments of the 58 students participating in the program this summer. Keynote speaker Rachael Rollins, General Counsel at the MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation, spoke to the students about her own background and gave them advice on how to continue building a successful career. David Lozano, a rising senior at Boston Latin Academy, shared what he learned this summer at Nixon Peabody, and BBA President J.D. Smeallie distributed certificates to the students.
Check out the highlights from the event below:
The students wrap up their summer internships this Thursday before heading back to school or off to college.
As the BBA prepares to graduate 58 summer jobs students, Beyond the Billable wanted to take the opportunity to look back at some of our past graduates to see where they are now. Fortunately for us, we had a chance run in with Sam Faisal, who interned at the BBA last summer through the Summer Jobs Program. During our chance encounter with Sam we found out he is spending the summer working for William Roa, a public defender in Boston. He has been going to court, interviewing clients, and preparing for the start of a new case next week.
Beyond the Billable asked Sam how the BBA Summer Jobs Program prepared him for his current summer internship. Here’s what he had to say:
“It prepared me for the office environment. I also realized that some days may not be what you expect, but you have to make the best of it. The more experience you get, the better prepared you will be. “
Sam is a rising sophomore at Johnson & Wales University where he studies criminal justice.
As 25 Summer Judicial Interns finish up their busy summers, the Boston Bar Association is already looking forwards its fall program, where it will provide semester-long internships in Boston Municipal, District and Probate & Family Courts. The program offers diverse law students the opportunity to work directly with a judge, observe courtroom proceedings, enhance their legal research and writing skills and building meaningful connections within the legal community.
Take it from program founder Judge Robert Tochka of the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court:
“The positive impact the Internship program has made on the participants has surpassed all our expectations. These diverse groups of students have demonstrated their determination to enhance their lawyering skills by working diligently on their assignments. Additionally, they have eagerly jumped at the opportunity to soak up real life experiences from such diverse venues as the Bulger trial and a conference in a judge’s lobby to lunch meetings at the BBA to hear personal stories of the career trajectories of various bar members. It has been a very rewarding and enriching experience for everyone.”
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. A flexible schedule is available to accommodate other commitments. The internship program begins in early September and runs through the end of the semester.
Interested students should complete the application and submit it along with a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation from a law school professor. Enrollment is limited so early applications are strongly encouraged. Applications will be collected on a rolling basis with priority placement given to early applicants. The application deadline is September 6, 2013. Interested students should send completed applications to Susan Helm at email@example.com. More information is available here.
This month, you heard from seven attorneys who volunteered their time to teach BBA interns about a wide range of legal topics. The attorneys discussed their experiences training interns, and why they were motivated to participate. Check out what they had to say in Part One and Part Two of this three-part feature.
The trainings were organized by the Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, dedicated to helping members of the public in need of assistance connect with attorneys.
We would like to thank all of the attorneys who volunteered their time to conduct training sessions for the BBA’s new interns:
Roger Bertling (Law Offices of Roger Bertling) – Bankruptcy
Dan Biagiotti (Legal Advocacy & Resource Center) – LARC & Legal Services Overview
Lauren Brown (Mikowski & Leonard) – Business Law and Intellectual Property
Kyle Crossley (Audax Group) – Torts
Rachel Engdahl (Law Office of Rachel L. Engdahl) – Family Law
Joseph Gregory (Joseph Gregory Esq.) – Immigration Law
Ilir Kavaja – (Kavaja Law) – Criminal Law
Mary Lee (Mary K.Y. Lee P.C.) – Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant Law
William McLeod (United States Bankruptcy Court) – Bankruptcy
Chik Mone (Pierce, Davis & Perritano, LLP) – Torts
Dino Santangelo (Law Office of Dino R. Santangelo) – Public Benefits & Health Law
Joseph Sommer (Sommer & Associates) – Trusts & Estate Planning
Pamela Thomure – Employment Law
If you are interested in becoming involved in future training sessions, please contact Solana Goss, the LRS Intake Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the last session of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, the Summer Jobs students received firsthand lessons about the consequences of poor financial decision-making directly from the source — the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. With the help of Judge Joan Feeney and a number of volunteer bankruptcy attorneys, the students witnessed a mock Meeting of Creditors and mock Chapter 13 hearing. The session finished with a brief presentation by Beatriz Mejia, a BBF-funded students who interned at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this summer. She outlined the different chapters of bankruptcy and reiterated the importance of saving and planning your finances for college, especially because students loans are nondischargeable in bankruptcy.
Here’s a look at the morning:
This morning, the BBA’s Claflin Center was abuzz with Summer Jobs students exchanging stories about their summer positions, including interesting office projects and recent courtroom experiences at the BBF Summer Jobs breakfast. Thanks to donations from a number of local law firms, the BBF increased its support of the Summer Jobs Program by funding 13 positions at nonprofit and government agencies this year. In order to celebrate this record-breaking year and the hard work of the students, the BBF hosted a celebratory breakfast to thank the firms for their donations and congratulated the students on their hard work this summer. Last week BBF students shared their favorite experience of the summer with BBA Week, and this morning they had the chance to share with those who made their summer experience possible.
The BBF would like to thank the following firms for their generous contribution to the Summer Jobs Program:
Dain Torpy, P.C.
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Jackson Lewis LLP
Morrison Mahoney LLP
Here are a few highlights from the morning:
Throughout the summer, Beyond the Billable has updated readers on the Summer Jobs Program, including the enrichment seminars and kickoff event. Last Thursday’s BBA Week featured two great articles that show a closer look at the day-to-day experiences of the students in their job placements. In the first article we hear from the 13 Boston Public High School students funded by the Boston Bar Foundation on their work this summer at local nonprofit organizations and government agencies. The second piece is the first in a series of articles showcasing students and their summer internships, including feedback from their supervisors. The BBA Summer Jobs Program wrapping up in the coming weeks, so check back soon to hear what students have to say about their summers.