Our loyal readers may remember Ben Haideri, who interned at the Suffolk DA’s Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program during the past two summers and served on the Mayor’s Youth Council (see article here and here). With all his BBA experience and impressive resume, we selected Ben to speak to students, their families and employers at the BBA’s Summer Jobs Celebration. Ben’s remarks were great (no surprise there) so we felt compelled to share Ben’s takeaways from his two summers in the program. Read Ben’s speech in full, below:
“Thomas Hobbes once stated that “The law is the public conscience.” The law in general is an amazing enigma because it morphs to reflect society while at the same time being one of the few places to turn towards for an unwavering base in an ever-changing world. I personally have had the great pleasure of seeing law in live action while working with the District Attorney’s office at the Dorchester Court. Almost every day, I was able to watch all sorts of legal events from civil disputes to full trials during my time. I read through and summarized cases, ordered evidence, and much more. I also had the pleasure of seeing some of the brightest legal minds from both sides at work. Not only did I get to see the gears of the legal world turning, but I also faced the calming realization that those behind the gears at the District Attorney’s office are some of the kindest, hardest working, and most motivated people I have ever met. An example being Christina Miller, who has been a mentor of mine for the past two and a half years, since my time on the Mayor’s Youth Council. A woman whose job is about as far away from a 9-5 as possible, Ms. Miller is an Assistant District Attorney, but it does not end there. She is a leader in the Boston legal community, and dedicates much of her free time to giving back to the community as a whole in many different ways. She is a prime example of how the law doesn’t begin or end in a courtroom, rather, many times, is dictated by the temperature of a community. Because of this and through what I witnessed day in and day out at the court, I have been reminded both not to take for granted the laws that we have in place while also to keep my eyes open to the changes that are necessary for the betterment of society.
Building off of the words of Thomas Hobbes; the law is in fact dictated by the decisions that we make as a collective group, and we, in this room today, hold the future of the law in our hands and it will be our job to make sure it grows with the time while maintaining its base. We have taken our first steps thanks to the Boston Bar Association, and I know that we will maintain this upward trajectory in the years to come.”
Hat’s off to Ben for a great two years (and an excellent speech) and all the students who participated in this year’s program!
The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program enrichment seminars continued this week with an exciting take on “speed dating,” which rapidly introduced students to a variety of legal careers. At “Exploring Legal Careers,” the Summer Jobs’ students formed small groups for sessions with three different attorneys: Manisha Bhatt, a Senior Attorney working at the Family Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services, Adam Foss, Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and Colin Van Dyke, an Associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
This enrichment seminar gave Summer Jobs students an opportunity to hear firsthand what it’s like working in a big law firm, at a legal services agency, and as a prosecutor. Armed with bios and sample questions, the students had 15 minutes to grill the attorneys about their careers and lives. Manisha Bhatt spoke to the students about how it is important to find a career you’re passionate about, such as her work in family law at Greater Boston Legal Services. Adam Foss captivated the students with his explanation of his work as a prosecutor and the importance of understanding why people commit crimes, and Colin Van Dyke explained what it is like to work for a large law firm in Boston, answered questions about his environmental law work, and also entertained the students with stories about his chickens.
We reached out to a few of the summer job’s students and asked them what they thought of today’s seminar, here’s what they had to say:
“I thought today’s enrichment seminar was really good. We got different perspectives from people who work in different fields of law. I thought the most interesting part of today’s seminar was when we talked about working with juveniles. Adam talked about how our mind works and how our brains aren’t really done developing and how that affects the minds of people who commit crimes. “– Kylie Webster-Cazeau, a rising junior at Boston Latin School , working at the Federal District Court this summer.
“I thought that today’s enrichment seminar was really informative and really interesting. We got a perspective of different types of law, which we haven’t gotten from our law firms. The most interesting thing I learned today is that actually there are two different types of prosecutors, and I found that really interesting because I always thought of a prosecutor as just someone that puts people in Jail.” Jerry Rodriguez, a rising junior at Boston Latin Academy, working at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP this summer.
Please see below for more images from the morning:
Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) explained what it means to be a legal services attorney and encouraged the students to find work that they are passionate about.
Colin Van Dyke (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) had the students laughing with stories about his chickens after he told them about his environmental law work and careers at large law firm.
Monday morning marked the start of the 21st year of the BBA Summer Jobs Program with the annual Kickoff Event. This star-studded event, featuring Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association President Doreen Rachal, and Chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo (also a former BBA Summer Jobs student), celebrated the start of the program and pumped students up for their first day of work. Both Doreen and Mayor Walsh encourage the students to take advantage of their summer internship. When Mayor Walsh addressed the students, he explained, “You can start to build you career this summer and you can start to build your dreams.” With these words of encouragement fresh in their minds, the 64 students headed out to their law offices for their first day of work.
If you missed the excitement, Beyond the Billable has you covered. Take a look below for highlights from the morning:
Last week, Beyond the Billable shared some amazing responses from three of our future Summer Jobs students on why they wanted to participate in the program. Those weren’t the only student we heard from, but the responses we so good that one Beyond the Billable post couldn’t contain them. In part 2 of “Straight from the Students,” we’re sharing three more responses from this year’s students.
Take a look below:
“I am considering a career in the legal profession because I know that as a Lawyer, I would be able to confront many unjust actions and help maintain a balance in society. I am an immigrant from a country called Bangladesh. From my experiences in Bangladesh, I remember all the wrongs in society I have witnessed…In Bangladesh, I used to think such chaos was normal, but being in the USA, I have changed that perspective, and I want to help others to recognize it too. The laws and rules keep a balance in society which inspires me to consider a profession in the field of law.”– Romana Hussain, rising junior, Boston Latin Academy
“I think my experience so far in life has really shown me how important a legal professional can be in someone’s life. I was not born in the United States. I was born in a Sudanese refugee camp. But, my family is from another country in Africa called Eritrea. My family left Eritrea because of the violence and political problems. Sudan is also a place that has a lot of issues and instability. In both of these places I have seen a lot of hate and violence against people because they have different ethnicities, religions, and races…And, this all has happened because there was no law to protect the people from such injustice. One day, I want to work with the law to be able to help people from my country and communities have peace, justice, and a better life.”— Hermuna Taib, rising senior, East Boston High School
“This Summer Job opportunity would provide me not only with the chance to experience what working in a legal office may be like, but also with the chance of discovering what truly interests me and to discover the means of getting myself here. It will also give me insight on what I would like to focus on: do I want to be a lawyer for a transactional firm or a civil litigation firm?”— Margaret Peña, rising senior, Boston Latin School
Stay tuned for more on the 64 Boston public high school students participating in the program this year.
As all of our Beyond the Billable readers know by now, the BBA Summer Jobs Program places Boston public high school students at law firms and offices throughout the city. With over 100 qualified applicants vying for 64 positions, the application process is a competitive one. Each student must submit an application, resume, recommendations, and a written an essay detailing why they want to participate in the BBA’s program. We’ve received some very impressive responses, and are delighted to share what some of our accepted students had to say in their essays about spending their summer interning at law firms and legal offices.
Here’s a look at what the students had to say:
“I wish to participate in the Boston Bar Association’s program because I want to gain experience working in a law firm. In addition, this program offers the opportunity to attend law-related seminars, which I would love to experience… I know that this opportunity will help me sharpen my reasoning, analytical and critical thinking skills and help me become the passionate and dedicated lawyer I know I can be.”– Joyce Huang, rising senior, Fenway High School
“I would love to participate in the summer jobs program because it will give me great insight into a day in the life of a legal professional. The amount of experience that the program will provide me with is priceless. I will be very grateful to be gaining such plentiful experience in high school so that I can have a head start on my law career.”– Fatima Doumbia, rising junior, Boston Community Leadership Academy
“I would like to specialize in cases such as divorce, child or elder abuse, domestic violence, and confidentiality. I believe that paying attention to these problems will reduce the amount of the times it happens…This internship will be helpful because it would not only begin preparing me for the career, but it will also be preparing me for college and life.”– Janelys Pimentel, rising senior, West Roxbury Academy
Impressed? So were we. But that’s not all – we got so many great responses that we had to break this post into two parts. Stay tuned next week for part 2 and throughout the summer to hear more about the students’ once they begin work on June 30th.
As the start of the BBA Summer Jobs Program approaches (Kickoff is scheduled for June 30th), we are hard at work finalizing job placements for the 64 Boston public high school students who will be interning at various law firms and offices throughout the city. One thing that stuck out to us was the incredible diversity of this year’s students. Check this out — this year’s students hail from
- 12 of Boston’s neighborhoods,
- 19 different Boston Public Schools,
- and perhaps most incredibly, speak 15 different languages.
We broke down the amazing variety of schools, languages and neighborhoods for our readers below. Take a look:
Cape Verdean Creole
Another Course to College
Boston Community Leadership Academy
Boston International High School
Boston Latin Academy
Charlestown High School
Community Academy of Science and Health
Cristo Rey High school
East Boston High School
Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
English High School
Excel High School
Fenway High School
Jeremiah E. Burke High School
John D. O’Bryant High School of Math & Science
Josiah Quincy Upper School
New Mission High School
West Roxbury Academy
Stay tuned for more the students, we’ll be regularly updating our readers on the students’ progress this summer as they head off to work at the end of the month.
As many of you readers know, the BBA just finished up its Law Day in the Schools Program, and this year, thanks to the continuing strength of the program and the work put in by our volunteers, Law Day in the Schools reached more students than ever! This year, 87 volunteers brought the program to 50 classrooms in 9 different Boston Public Schools to teach over 1,300 students of all ages about “Why Every Vote Matters.”
Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the attorneys, legal staff, and law students who volunteered their time to be a part of Law Day! Without their time and effort this program would not be possible. Thank you to:
For more information about Law Day in the Schools, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday night, over 1,400 attorneys came out for the annual Law Day Dinner held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. At the Dinner, friends, colleagues, judges, and legislators joined together to welcome Boston’s new Mayor, honor achievements, and celebrate the strength of our city.
This year, awards were presented to the Marathon Assistance Project’s volunteers, whose quick response to a tragedy through legal assistance changed the lives of many who had been affected by the atrocities and helped them to recover.
Following the honoring of the Marathon Volunteers, the BBA recognized the tireless work of the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) for their dedication to providing educational and career opportunities to Boston youth, as well as their longstanding support of the BBA Summer Jobs program. This celebration of the PIC’s commitment to students comes as the BBA’s Summer Jobs 2014 Program is about to begin: currently the PIC and BBA are working to place over 60 Boston Public High School students in paid legal positions for the summer.
Last but definitely not least, the BBA honored Bonnie Sashin, the BBA’s former Director of Communications & External Relations, for her 26 years of outstanding service and her contributions to the organization and the legal community. Bonnie received a standing ovation from attendees, while guests and people not in attendance were able to tweet their congratulations to Bonnie at #thankyoubonnie, where the messages were broadcasted live on stage.
The ceremony concluded with a speech from Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, who spoke to attendees about his commitment to community and equality, and how the bar and legal professionals can play a role in his vision for the city of Boston. The Mayor began by thanking all of the volunteers of the Marathon Assistance Project, emphasizing the unique role that as attorneys they were able to play in helping the city recover.
Mayor Walsh also spoke to attendees about public service, and giving back the community in which we all live or work. The BBA’s Summer Jobs program was highlighted as one of the many parts of Mayor Walsh’s personal vision for diverse youth employment in Boston, stating that “in a time of growth, no one should be left behind.”
Along with Mayor Walsh, Beyond the Billable would like to thank the Boston Marathon Assistance Projects volunteers, PIC, and Bonnie for their tremendous contributions to making the Boston a stronger, happier, and more progressive city – thank you!
Every year, May 1st marks the official celebration of Law Day—a day to reflect upon the importance of law and the justice system in the United States and to educate young people about how law affects society. BBA President Paul Dacier headed back to Brighton Municipal Court again this year to take part in the annual Law Day celebrations with First Justice David Donnelly, Honorable Patricia Bernstein, and Brighton elementary school students. Students participated in a poster and essay contest on the Law Day theme of “Why Every Vote Matters.”
For a first-hand look at the day’s event from Paul’s perspective, check out Dacier’s Take on…Law Day Celebrations in Brighton’s Municipal Court.
What’s the best technique to get five year olds to quiet down? How do you get a group of 16 year olds to understand the difference between restrictive and expansive voter requirements? If you’re surprised to hear these types of questions coming from a program at 16 Beacon Street — don’t be — our lawyers were learning the ins and outs of conducting an effective Law Day in the Schools presentation to Boston public school students. The training, led by program vet Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP), walked volunteers through the curriculum and offered helpful tips and hints on keeping students focused and engaged with this year’s theme – “Why Every Vote Matters.” As part of the program, which begins today, more than 75 volunteers will present to more than 1,300 elementary, middle and high school classrooms across Boston – an all-time high.
Stay tuned for more.