Monthly Archives: March 2014
Last Thursday, 250 attorneys came to 16 Beacon for a night of gambling and socializing for the 5th Annual Casino Night for Summer Jobs fundraiser. While the event has always supported the Boston Bar Foundation, this year all of the funds will specifically support the BBA Summer Jobs Program. As you may remember, the BBF funds Boston public high school students to work in legal service and government agencies each summer. The BBF-funded students not only get the opportunity to receive hands on experience in the legal field, but the legal service and government agencies benefit from the student’s enthusiastic help in a busy office environment. Take a look at the experiences of last year’s students here.
Between sponsors, ticket sales and our silent auction the BBF raised nearly $40,000 last night to support the Summer Jobs program and put 12 students to work this summer. Twenty companies demonstrated their commitment to Boston’s youth through sponsorship of the event, contributing over $25,000 to the BBF (enough to put eight teens to work this summer).
Do you want to see more highlights from the night? Click here.
As our readers know, the BBA Summer Jobs Program has recently set a program record, securing 59 paid internships at law firms and legal organizations across Boston (previous record was 58). This milestone is thanks to Boston area law firms’ dedication to community and underscores the BBA’s commitment to providing professional and educational opportunity to Boston’s youth.
This year a number of legal offices, including Edwards Wildman Palmer, Goodwin Procter, Burns & Levinson and the City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel, are making an even larger commitment to the BBA Program and Boston’s youth by hiring multiple students.
We checked in with representatives from two of these firms to see what spurred their decision to take additional students, and the ways having more than one student benefits the office.
Here’s what they had to say:
“In this challenging business climate, budgets are tight and staff generally has to do more with less. By hiring cost-effective and highly motivated high school students through the BBA Summer Jobs Program, our firm has been able to help take some of the day-to-day pressure off of busy full-time staff so they have the opportunity to pursue longer-term and strategic projects. We also recognize the immense importance of providing meaningful job opportunities to Boston public high school students, many of whom are diverse and the first college-bound members of their families. Our firm has had terrific success hiring interns through this program, and as a result, we now hire multiple interns each summer. Last year we hired four interns through the BBA program, and we were quickly able to fill all of their calendars with projects involving business development, IT and internet research, marketing and records management. We’re looking forward to welcoming our 4 new interns this summer!”–Matt McTygue (Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP)
“Burns & Levinson began hiring two summer interns, a rising junior and a senior, several years ago. The BBA summer jobs program and the mentoring that the students receive from the PIC throughout the year are clearly great opportunities for the students who participate in the program. Burns & Levinson has always been supportive of these programs and has made an effort to do its part to help these students develop marketable skills to help them successfully navigate the demands of college and the working world. The other reason we decided to bring on a second student was to set up a succession plan. The rising senior acted as a mentor to the junior who was newly hired, letting the first year student learn from the second year student. This system fostered a great sense of teamwork between the two interns, and gave the more experienced student the opportunity to act as a leader and teacher. We have also found this format to work well in terms of maintaining ongoing interest in utilizing intern support from our staff and attorneys. They are comfortable that the students possess the skills necessary to do an excellent job on each project that is assigned.”–Rachel Krasowski (Burns & Levinson)
So there you have it, taking multiple students benefits both your firm and the Boston community. The BBA also takes multiple students, so if you have any questions about hiring more than one student, or are looking for suggestions about ways to engage your interns, we have plenty of experience. Please contact BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in January and February:
Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz Levin
Christine Dieter, Goodwin Procter LLP
Dahlia Fetouh, Goodwin Procter
Martsyl Joseph, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Jennifer Kent, Goodwin Procter
Corrine Lusic, Goodwin Procter
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Sarah Solomon, Goodwin Procter
Leann Walsh, Goodwin Procter
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin
James Xu, Goodwin Procter
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program
Richard Baldwin, Foley Hoag
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody
Peter Bilowz, Goulston Storrs
Jeremy Coffey, Brown Rudnick
Kenneth Parker, Parker Keough LLP
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick
Kiersten Taylor, Brown Rudnick
As our readers know, the City of Boston has always strived to secure summer jobs for Boston’s teens. In a recent Boston Globe article, Mayor Walsh stressed a new high water mark for the City’s Summer Jobs Program – to provide Boston youth with 12,000 jobs in the summer of 2014, a significant increase of the previous goal of 10,000 jobs. As a longtime partner of the City, the BBA and the sponsors of our Summer Jobs Program have stepped up to answer the call by hitting a record 59 positions and counting for Boston public high school students at law firms and legal agencies this summer, surpassing the program record of 58.
Is your employer on the list? Don’t miss the opportunity to support Boston’s future workforce by providing high schools students with an opportunity to gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field. Take a look below at the firms and legal departments that have already committed to hiring one or more students through the BBA Summer Jobs Program:
Anderson & Kreiger LLP
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Boston Bar Association*
Boston Bar Foundation++
Burns & Levinson LLP*
Choate Hall & Stewart
Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP
City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel *
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP***
Ferriter Scobbo & Rodophele
Fish & Richardson P.C.
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP
Goodwin Procter LLP
Hemenway & Barnes LLP**
Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Margolis & Bloom LLP
Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Nixon Peabody LLP
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP*
Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, P.C.
Rubin & Rudman LLP
Shaevel & Krems
Sherin & Lodgen LLP
Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
Todd & Weld LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
*Firm has committed to taking more than one student
**Firm has funded position for government or nonprofit legal office
***Firm has committed to taking four students
++This year the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund will be funding summer jobs for 10 Boston Public Highs School students at public agencies and nonprofits this summer. Learn more about the fund here.
Though the 2013-2014 debate season is wrapping up, the fun isn’t over just yet. The Boston Debate League still has what might be two of the best events of the year on the horizon. Don’t miss a great opportunity to see the students in action and recognize their hard work this year.
(1) Celebrate the debaters at the Spring Award at the Spring Award Ceremony on Thursday, March 27th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Join over 500 BPS students, parents, teachers, and BPS administrators as we celebrate a record-breaking year. Click here to learn more.
(2) The fun doesn’t end there— join Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey for the 2nd Annual Boston City Council Debate on April 1st from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on April 1st, 2014. This is a unique opportunity to meet your Boston City Council members and see talented BPS students engage in a riveting argument over the merits of raising the minimum wage in Massachusetts. You can find more here.
With May fast approaching, PILP alumni are hard at work developing the elementary school and middle school/high school curriculum for the annual Law Day in the Schools Program. This year, volunteer attorneys will teach students about voting rights under the American Bar Association theme “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”
Beyond the Billable checked in with Sheryl Howard (Krokidas & Bluestein LLP), a former PILPer who is developing on the high school and middle school curriculum, to get the inside scoop on what to expect this year.
Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you volunteer to help develop the curriculum?
“I taught high school in Oklahoma for a brief period of time, so working on the curriculum is a chance to get back to my teaching roots. This year’s topic – voting rights – has such an important history and will likely be an important issue for years to come. During a meeting of the group working on the high school curriculum, one member mentioned that, at other points in time, the entire working group would have been denied the vote. The challenge is to find a way to engage elementary to high school students on this issue in a way that is meaningful and interesting.”
Why should attorneys volunteer for the Law Day in the Schools Program?
“First, it is tremendous fun, and the students can really surprise you. A few years back, my class was discussing what rights should be in a constitution, and one student made a passionate case for greater property rights for 8 year olds. It’s a chance to talk about what we do as lawyers (and to perhaps inspire the next generation). Younger students may not have a clear picture of what lawyers do, and some students may have few positive contacts with the legal profession. This year’s topic – voting rights – is particularly timely. Last, the project involves a very short time commitment. There is virtually no prep time; the lesson plan will be provided. All you have to do is show up!”
Thank you to the following PILP alumni who volunteered their time to help develop the interactive curriculum on voting rights:
Darren Braham, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sherley Rodriguez, Greater Boston Legal Services
Matt Welnicki, Melick & Porter, LLP
High School/Middle School
Ann Braga, City of Boston
Jane Harper, State Street Corporation
Sheryl Howard, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Bonnie McGuire, FINRA
Katie Milton, Casa Myrna Vazquez
Are you interested in volunteering? Contact Katie D’Angelo at email@example.com for more information.
As you may know from this announcement last week, the BBA will be honoring the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) at the annual Law Day Dinner in May. Through a 21 year partnership, the BBA and PIC have worked together to place over 640 Boston public high school students in paid legal internships since 1993.
Our program would not be possible without the support of the PIC. The PIC career specialists in each Boston public high school work tirelessly to select the best candidates for the program, help students with applications, and provide workshops to prepare students for their jobs. The BBA Summer Jobs Program, a significant effort in its own right, is only part of the PIC’s broader effort to open doors and give Boston teens valuable work experience. Last year, the PIC’s School-to-Career initiative placed over 3,000 students in a job or internship throughout the city.
Beyond the Billable sat down with Dan Cuddy, a senior career specialist at Brighton High School and Another Course to College, to give you a closer look how the PIC and BBA work together to ensure a successful Summer Jobs Program each year.
Here’s what he had to say:
Can you describe the process for applying for the BBA Summer Jobs Program?
“The PIC conducts summer job workshops after school starting in March to recruit students and advertise potential opportunities. As the Career Specialist for Brighton High School, I help the more than 200 students who typically attend the workshops by informing them of the summer job options and assisting in the registration process. Career Specialists also review the sign-up lists and pre-screen students who are interested in applying to the Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program. We look for students who have attention to detail, strong academic performance, a passion for learning new experiences, and understand professional etiquette. Students should also have an interest in law, criminal justice, or the judicial system.
What type of support does PIC offer the students to prepare them for the application process and their summer job?
“The PIC works with students throughout the year to prepare for the coming summer and offers weekly after-school workshops in the spring to engage potential applicants.
Summer job workshops include resume writing, interview skills, and professional etiquette. Career Specialists guide students through the application process and review all applications prior to submission. If the student is selected to be interviewed for the BBA, the Career Specialist advises candidates regarding dressing for success, interview preparation, and commuting.”
Why do you encourage your students to apply to the BBA Summer Jobs Program?
“The best way to describe the benefits of the Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program is to quote my Brighton High student who has been working for Burns & Levinson for the past nine months as the result of an extremely successful summer internship.
Brighton High School student, Lucy Pimental, started working at Burns & Levinson (a long-time supporter of the BBA Summer Jobs Program) last summer as a junior intern and describes the benefits of working at the firm as rewarding and challenging. She has to multi-task responsibilities in the Records department, Accounting department, and the Library. She has to be organized, detailed, and must communicate regularly with her supervisor. As a result of her internship at Burns & Levinson, Lucy is highly motived to become a lawyer and has maintained high honors to make that dream a reality. Lucy is thrilled to be working in a professional environment and works to impress her supervisor, Rachel Krasowski, who she loves working for during the summer and school year.
As Lucy describes it: ‘The Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program changes the lives of inner city students and demonstrates to them that academic achievement and a little motivation to learn new skills can dramatically influence their career path in an eight-week summer internship!’”
Did you know that approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords in the Boston Housing Court don’t have legal representation? Since 1999, the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program has acted as a lifeline for pro se landlords and tenants, with volunteers providing more than 15,000 pro se litigants with legal assistance.
This year, the Program has been able provide representation to over 450 tenants and 100 landlords. Last Wednesday, the Program also launched a monthly initiative with Burns & Levinson LLP that will assist Section 8 clients facing eviction. As our members know, a lawyer can make all the difference for families who are facing the loss of their homes and landlords who need to better understand their rights.
Beyond the Billable checked in with Joanna Allison (Volunteer Lawyers Project) to learn more about the Program. Here’s what she had to say:
“The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program gives a voice to so many in need. This Program is a model not only for legal professionals and law firms, but for the nation as a whole. I am proud to be a part of a program that prioritizes increased access to justice and look forward to watching the program grow and expand its reach.”
The Boston Bar Foundation Vaughan Fund covers essential materials needed to run the program, such as updated signage and nametags to allow for volunteer attorneys to be easily identified. This year the BBF has already raised over $5,000 for the Vaughan Fund. Are you interested in supporting this Program? Learn more about making a contribution or how you can volunteer.
Join us in celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, on April 10th at 5:00 p.m. It will be an evening of food and drinks while we acknowledge the hard work of volunteers, Housing Court staff and the many others who make the program possible. R.S.V.P. online here.
It’s been a little over six months since the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service adopted the Military Legal Help Line . If you remember, this past fall we announced the expansion of our Veterans’ Initiative, by transferring the Help Line, launching our CLE series on Representing Military Members, Veterans & Their Families, and leveraging the efforts by our Active Duty, Family Members and Veterans Committee.
Here’s a glimpse of our impact so far:
- Since September 1st, we have received calls from more than 250 military personnel, veterans and family members.
- We successfully connected 65% more callers to lawyers and legal services than last year. Since developing a panel of qualified attorneys trained to assist with the unique legal issues facing this population, we have been able to help more clients.
- All of the attorneys on these Military & Veterans panels accept reduced-fee cases and are generally willing to provide brief advice at no cost to the veteran or military member.
- For more complex cases that members of our Military & Veterans panels are unable to help, we have been successful in finding other BBA members with specific expertise to provide assistance.
These successes come at the same time the state is expanding its outreach to veterans by launching the second Veterans Treatment Court, this one in Suffolk County. The court began holding sessions at the end of January and is staffed with specially trained judges, clinicians, probation officers and attorneys. The Veterans Treatment Court will hear certain criminal cases where a link has been established between trauma caused by military service and the defendant’s crime.
Can you help assist active duty military members with discharge cases? If you can or are an attorney who wants to help support the BBA’s Military Legal Help Line, contact Solana Goss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Post: Samantha Odreman is the current Lawyer Referral Service Co-op Intern at the BBA. Born in Venezuela, Samantha is finishing her sophomore year at Northeastern University where she studies International Affairs.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to Housing Court and found it a fascinating experience. I met with the attorneys who volunteer for the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program to help hundreds of landlords and tenants in need of a fair resolution. Over the course of the morning, I observed the people who entered the courthouse looking nervous and anxious begin to see the difference the volunteers were going to be able to make. After talking the attorneys, they seemed to calm down. Throughout the day, I watched landlords and tenants working with the volunteers to prepare their cases and get some answers. It was interesting to see that most landlords were big housing corporations with experienced attorneys, whereas tenants were mostly on their own. Inside the courtroom, most cases were sent to mediation and the rest were dismissed because one of the parties had defaulted. However, I was lucky enough to witness different hearings and see first hand the amazing work that volunteer attorneys do for their clients.
After a very busy morning, Judge Jeffrey Winik, First Justice of the Boston Housing Court, invited a small group of us to the front of the courtroom to ask questions. He explained why he cared so much about the people who came to Court and the importance of the work he does. He is very much aware of how much power and authority the Housing Court has and the responsibility that carries. He works hard to make sure both parties get the best outcome. I really admire his commitment to people and his passion for doing things right.
Going to Housing Court definitely made me see things from a different perspective. It is very hard to go through a situation where you could lose your home because you cannot pay or because someone did not pay you. However, it eases my mind to know that there are people who really want to make things work and are willing to make an effort, and I am glad there is a system in place for those who choose to do just that.