As you learned from this article last week, the BBF funded Summer Jobs students have gained essential skills and also served as valuable assets to their organizations this summer. While the students wrap up their summer jobs tomorrow, we wanted to bring you another look at what three additional BBF funded students have been up to this summer.
Student: Sarah Vuong
Employer: Massachusetts IOLTA Committee
Job Responsibilities: Sarah has been working on a number of projects with the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, including updating the organization’s manuals and handling incoming calls from the public. Her largest project has been to assemble a historical legal services timeline by scanning press articles and documenting all media coverage of the organization from 2000 to 2006.
Sarah says: “I’ve gained an abundant amount of skills in my internship. One that is the most important was updating information for attorneys, community representatives, and a lot other individuals using the website salesforce.”
Student: Marley Goncalves
Employer: Executive Office of Health & Human Services
Job Responsibilities: At the Executive Office of Health & Human Services Marley has handled key responsibilities including archiving tort litigation files, researching cases, preparing files for court, and handling the front desk. She has also been working on a project dealing with ‘ancient’ files in order to move forward old cases.
Marley says: “Overall I like working here because I am learning about issues that I never even thought about before. Every Friday we have someone who comes to talk about their experiences, what they do, and how they came to their profession. One Friday, our guest speaker was Angela McConney Scheepers, an Administrative Magistrate for the Division of Administrative Law Appeals and former General Counsel for the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission. She talked about the challenges of her position, yet she was also inspiring.”
Student: Noime Alves
Employer: Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC)
Job Responsibilities: At LARC, Noime works with the intake team where she handles tasks such as inputting information into the organization’s database, preparing documents and forms, and making calls to senior citizen clients. Noime has also provided invaluable benefits to the intake team as a result of her impressive multi-lingual abilities, by translating English to Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Noime says: “My favorite part of my work is translating English to Portuguese, English to Spanish, and English to Cape Verdean Creole. This summer, I also enjoyed the finance enrichment seminar we took that discussed financial aid and how to use your credit card”.
With the end of summer in sight, we are taking the opportunity to catch up with Summer Jobs students funded by the Boston Bar Foundation. You’ve already heard where the 14 BBF students are working this summer, but we wanted to offer our loyal readers a closer look at what they have been working on this summer. Take a look below to hear about three of the interns’ current projects and their takeaways from their internships so far.
Student: Alexandra Suazo
Employer: Massachusetts Department of Labor
Job Responsibilities: While working at the Department of Labor Alexandra has concentrated on several different projects. One of her first projects was to identify and sort records in accordance with the Statewide Record Retention Schedule. She has also been focused on improving the agency’s webpage by updating information and adding links to resources. Her most recent project included making the website more accessible to reading-impaired constituents. At her internship, Alexandra also got to witness Massachusetts history when she witnessed the Governor signing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Alexandra says: “This has been a great experience, something that I won’t hesitate to do again if I was given the option. Seeing the Governor sign a bill was something that I never thought would have happened. I found it very interesting how he signed the bill with about 20 different pens then he handed them out!”
Student: Cesaltina Barros
Employer: Committee for Public Counsel Services – Palmer Street Roxbury
Job Responsibilities: Cesaltina’s experience at the Committee for Public Counsel Services has centered on criminal cases. She has been responsible for opening and closing criminal cases, handling database work, drafting subpoenas, scanning police reports, operating the switchboard, and much more. Tina has also had the opportunity to attend court sessions, and observe criminal justice in action.
Cesaltina says: “I like learning about the criminal cases. I like to talk to people and get to know new cases and new things that I never thought people would do. I also go to court and I love that. It’s exciting because of the way they speak to each other and the way they try to express things.”
Student: Hannah Givertz
Employer: U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Job Responsibilities: At the U.S. District Court, Hannah has been observing court cases, cataloging and organizing files, and editing memos. Hannah is also the coordinator for the Ward Fellowship where she is in charge of projects, such as scheduling and confirming meetings with various public servants and organizing an annual trip to Washington D.C. In addition, she assists the Honorable Judge Mark L. Wolf by editing memos and working with law clerks.
Hannah says: “Getting to know how the courthouse runs has definitely been the highlight of my work this summer. Doing the behind-the-scenes work with the law clerks has helped me to better understand the work of a lawyer, while observing court sessions and watching the judge preside over cases has helped me to better understand the justice system.”
Stay tuned to meet the other BBF funded students.
As you may remember from this article, the Boston Bar Foundation funded 14 Boston public high school students to work in legal service and government agencies through the BBA Summer Jobs Program with the help of Boston law firms. In addition to money allocated from the Foundation itself, local firms donated to the BBF to help support a summer job. This morning, the sponsoring firms had the opportunity to hear first-hand from the students at the BBF Summer Jobs Breakfast, where the students shared stories of their experiences going to court and helping with large office projects.
The BBF would like to thank the following firms for their generous contribution to the BBA Summer Jobs Program:
Take a look below for more highlights from the morning:
While our readers know about the Boston Bar Foundation’s impact in our community, you may be less familiar with the group of people who make this work possible—the BBF’s Society of Fellows Program. The Fellows are a community of philanthropic lawyers dedicated to advancing the BBF’s mission of increasing the availability of legal help to those in need, supporting innovative legal services projects and programs, and providing meaningful ways for lawyers to connect with our community. We’ve noticed amazing growth from the Fellows Program since the beginning of this year, so we crunched some numbers to calculate how the Society of Fellows impacts the BBF.
As of today, 45 Fellows have either joined or upgraded their memberships for this year alone, pledging a total of $335,000. This support has allowed us to use fundraising revenues for specific causes. For example:
- This year, 100 percent of the proceeds from Casino Night will be dedicated to the BBA’s Summer Jobs program, helping to provide paid summer employment for Boston teens. In addition, the upcoming Passport to Pairings event (formerly Justice is Sweet) will be dedicated to funding the full portfolio of BBA public service programs.
- The BBF devoted $300,000 in Adams Benefit proceeds this year to legal service grants that advance access to justice for those in need, including immigrants, victims of domestic violence and low income children and families – a need that continues to grow as IOLTA funding continues to decline.
- The BBF is only $1.4 million away from its long-term goal of $5 million for the endowment, which will provide invaluable long term support for the BBF’s efforts.
Don’t just take it from us. Hear firsthand from some of the individuals who have joined this year on why they made the decision to pledge as a Fellow:
“The BBF’s mission to support pro bono work and access to justice for Boston’s needy is so critical to us as lawyers and citizens, and I am really grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with the BBF and the Society.” – Karen M. O’Toole, Fidelity Investments
“Each day, too many of our fellow citizens must face serious legal issues – from the loss of disability benefits to eviction – while being unable to afford having a lawyer at their side. I am proud to support the Boston Bar Foundation’s mission of expanding legal service, assistance and access to all in our communities.” – Scott A. Roberts, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
“All lawyers have a professional responsibility to assist those with limited means. I admire the work of the Boston Bar Foundation and the tangible, positive impact of the Foundation in the lives of those who most need its help. I am proud and thankful to be a Junior Fellow and to assist in this work.”—Kimberly Butler-Rainen, Tamkin & Hochberg, LLP
Don’t miss out on the Boston Bar Foundation’s newest event, Passport to Pairings, next Thursday! Not only will the event be fun and delicious, but 100% of the proceeds are going to a great cause all of the—BBA public service programs!
It goes without saying (as the BBA’s Public Service Blog) that Beyond the Billable is pretty excited about this event. Here’s a sneak peek at what guests can expect on June 26th:
- The event will feature gourmet food and beverage pairing stations celebrating the BBF’s partnership with the BBA.
- Some of the Pairings stations include sushi & Saki, craft beer & gourmet hot dogs, artisanal donuts & specialty coffee, and much more.
- Each ticket gets you access to deluxe food & beverage stations, beer & wine, live music and our raffle, so don’t miss out on all of the fun!
BBF Events like Passport to Pairings make it possible for the BBA to continue to strengthen and expand our public service efforts, including the Marathon Assistance Project, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, the BBA Summer Jobs Program, and the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program. Thanks in large part to the support of the BBF (our partner in public service) this year marked a very successful year for the BBA’s programs. The numbers below are all the proof you need:
- 23 pro bono trainings trained nearly 600 attorneys to take cases ranging from special education appeals to veterans benefits.
- 64 Boston public high school students were placed in summer internships in local Boston law firms and offices through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.
- 1,300 Boston public school students learned about the importance of voting through our annual Law Day in Schools program.
- 18 schools state wide received Financial Literacy Training in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program’s 10th year.
- 275 calls were fielded from active duty military members and veterans since the BBA began hosting the Veterans helpline in September.
- Continued to assist individuals and businesses that were affected by the tragic events on Marathon Monday in areas, including employment and tax issues. Since the program began last year, 84 attorneys have helped over 70 individuals and small businesses owners.
Convinced? The event will take place on Thursday, June 26th at 6pm at 16 Beacon Street. Buy your ticket today to the maiden voyage of this event and help us continue to grow our public service programs!
Our longtime readers are very familiar with the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. They know all about this year’s 64 students and the amazing diversity they represent in our city. They’ve followed past students through their first day of work, weekly enrichment seminars and graduation. One thing we haven’t talked as much about is the impact Boston Bar Foundation funds have on the program.
This year, 14 students will benefit from paid summer internships at legal service and government agencies across Boston thanks to the BBF. In the past, these students have had some pretty incredible experiences.
We thought Beyond the Billable was the perfect place to clarify the BBA/BBF Summer Jobs relationship as we get ready to kick off an amazing summer. We’ll keep it pretty simple. The BBA runs the program, which includes organizing enrichment seminars, the Kickoff and graduation, working with the PIC and Boston Public Schools to select the students, and recruiting law firms and offices to fund positions for the students. The BBF funds additional job placements in legal service and government agencies thanks to the generosity of area law firms, businesses and individuals, as well as the support of the sponsors and attendees from the BBF’s Casino Night fundraiser.
This year’s BBF students will gain experience in a professional setting and participate in enrichment seminars on professional development, financial literacy, and student loans. Check out where the BBF funded students will be working below:
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Palmer Roxbury
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Roxbury
Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts
Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
United States Bankruptcy Court
United States District Court
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
We’ll be following the BBF students closely this summer, so make sure to keep checking Beyond the Billable for more. To learn more about how the BBF supports the Summer Jobs Program, please visit the BBF’s website here.
The BBF would like to thank Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, Hemenway & Barnes, Arrowood Peters LLP and Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Weist & Garner, P.C. for their generous donations to the BBF to fund Summer Jobs positions.
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.
The BBA continued the trend of hosting pro bono trainings with BBF grantees by partnering with Lutheran Social Services for a training on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. While it was the first time we hosted the training at the BBA, it was a hit among attendees. Beyond the Billable reached out to Christina M. Borysthen-Tkacz (Lutheran Social Services), who ran the training with Tilman Jacobs (Lutheran Social Services), to hear more about the training.
Take a look at what she had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“We hope that our training provided a good introduction to pro bono opportunities in immigration law, and to the challenges that unaccompanied immigrant children face, as well as the legal relief available to them.”
Why should attorneys volunteer to take these types of cases?
“All of our cases, and Special Immigrant Juvenile cases especially, offer attorneys an opportunity to gain valuable litigation experience. Most importantly, attorneys should take these types of cases pro bono because they are a great opportunity to make a lasting impact on a child’s life and to give that child a chance at a successful and happy life in the United States.”
On February 4th, the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) released its application for the 2014 grants cycle. As you probably know, the BBF grants support programs and organizations that advance access to legal services, improve fair administration of justice, and help expand public understanding of the law. Combined with money raised from events such as the John & Abigail Adams Benefit, the BBF grants its portion of Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) funds to legal service organizations. However, in response to the decline in IOLTA funding, the BBF has stepped up and increased its commitment to funding legal services by granting a greater portion of its own fundraising. Within the past ten years, the BBF’s contributions to the total funds granted to legal services organizations has increased by more than 35 percent.
So how does the grant making process work? Beyond the Billable is bringing you a firsthand look at how the grant decisions are made. Take a look below:
The members of the BBF Grants Committee spend countless hours reviewing each application, discussing the current needs within legal services and the Greater Boston area, and examining emerging issues affecting low-income individuals in our community. While reviewing applications, the BBF Grants Committee looks for organizations that:
- Provide civil legal services to low-income people and/or underserved populations, especially organizations and programs that address an unmet legal need.
- Develop or strengthen pro bono programs through which the private bar delivers substantial voluntary legal services to low-income and underserved populations.
- Demonstrably enhance the administration of justice in Massachusetts (i.e. improve the courts’ effectiveness, address systemic problems in the court system or provide information to low-income, underserved or special needs populations regarding their legal rights and/or accessibility to the courts).
Last year, the BBF granted $900,000 to 28 community legal service providers. Among the grantees are organizations working to assist low-income families and individuals who face problems relating to immigration, domestic violence, and homelessness, as well as increasingly prevalent issues such as human trafficking and environmental justice. To learn more about last year’s grantees, please check out our website.
Please contact the BBA/BBF Public Service Manager Sonia Shah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the BBF grant process.
When BBA President Paul Dacier and Executive Director Rich Page attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC), they saw a familiar face introducing Mayor Thomas Menino. That face was Ben Haideri’s, who represents his community of Roslindale on the MYC and interned at the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program last summer.
Beyond the Billable sat down with Ben to talk to him about his experiences with the MYC and BBA Summer Jobs Program.
We started by discussing Ben’s experience at the Dorchester District Court Branch of the Suffolk DA’s Office — where he spent most of his summer (you may remember him from this article). As an aspiring lawyer, he felt that the courtroom experience would be particularly valuable:
“I spent a lot of time in the courtroom watching trials. One of the trials lasted two days, and I decided that I would write a closing statement just for fun. I gave it to the prosecutor to review and she ended up using a chunk of it in her closing statements.”
While finishing up his senior year at Boston Latin Academy, Ben is also enjoying his second year serving on the MYC. As a representative, Ben participates in two meetings each month, identifies issues affecting his community, such as integration, and works with other representatives to brainstorm solutions. When we asked him to tell us a highlight from his time on the MYC, he mentioned his speech about the important of getting youth involved in government. It’s probably worth mentioning that the speech was given in front of 3,000 people, including mayors from across the country, at the National League of Cities Conference.
Ben is waiting to hear back from colleges and hopes to study political science before going on to attend law school. “I came into the BBA Summer Jobs Program knowing that I wanted to be a lawyer and the experience solidified it. Through the Mayor’s Youth Council, I gained experience with outreach, writing, and giving speeches. These skills are important because you need to be a good communicator to be an effective lawyer.”
It’s also worth noting that Ben’s position was funded thanks to contributions to the Boston Bar Foundation, which provided funding for 13 positions for Boston Public High School students to work at nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and courts last summer.