Blog Archives

A Healthy Dose of Green Pro Bono Opportunities

Attorneys learned about recent changes in Boston zoning code which impact urban agriculture at a recent brown bag.

Attorneys learned about recent changes in Boston zoning codes, which impact urban agriculture at a recent brown bag.

On Thursday, the Environmental Law Public Service Committee and the Health Law Social Action Committee sponsored a panel discussion on “Cultivating Local, Healthy Food: Urban Agriculture Initiatives & Pro Bono Opportunities.” Despite the recent cold snap, it’s not too early to plan on making your spring more sustainable. Here are four volunteer opportunities to check out.

  1.  The Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) Pro Bono Legal Services Food Hub: CLF is launching a pro bono legal services network for farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-related organizations. The focus will be in cases involving transactional issues, land acquisition/transfers, contracts, taxes, and corporate formation, among others. For more information, contact Jenny Rushlow, Director of CLF’s Farm & Food Initiative at jrushlow@clf.org.
  2. Green Bro Bono: Through Green Pro Bono, lawyers can help environmental non-profits, and social enterprises access legal services. For more information, visit their website.
  3.  The Food Project Serve & Grow Program:Join your BBA colleagues on April 8th for a morning outdoors working on the farm and supporting The Food Project, a non-profit devoted to promoting sustainable food systems. For more details, please visit the event page on the BBA’s website.
  4.  MA Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN): Find an opportunity to provide corporate and real estate support to community groups working on urban agriculture. For more details, contact Staci Rubin, Esq, Alternatives for Community & Environment, Inc. at staci@ace-ej.org.
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Lawyers Clean Up Franklin Park

A group of the volunteers who helped clean up Franklin Park on Saturday morning.

A group of the volunteers who helped clean up Franklin Park on Saturday morning.

More than 25 volunteers joined the New Lawyers and Environmental Public Service Committees for their annual Franklin Park Clean Up on Saturday morning.  Volunteers collected trash and helped remove buckthorn, an invasive species that deprives surrounding plants and trees of nutrients and contributes to erosion.

Beyond the Billable checked in with Environmental Public Service Committee Co-Chair Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) to find out why attorneys should take advantage of these community service opportunities.

Volunteers helped clean up trash and remove invasive species.

Volunteers helped clean up trash and remove invasive species.

“One-day public service activities contribute to environmental restoration, assist organizations that depend on volunteers, allow you to spend time outdoors, and provide an opportunity to meet and build relationships with other Boston-area attorneys.”

Are you interested in getting outside and giving back? Volunteer at the Food Project with the Environmental and New Lawyers Public Service Committees on November 2nd. Click here for more information.

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.

BBA Volunteers Help Clean Up the Charles

On Saturday, April 21st, 25 volunteers organized by the BBA’s New Lawyers Section joined in an effort to clean up the banks of the Charles River.    This event ties in with the BBA’s Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, a group charged with expanding the BBA’s public service capacity to include volunteer opportunities that benefit the environment. To read more about the work of the Task Force, please visit The Sustainable Lawyer, the BBA’s blog dedicated to issues of environmental sustainability.

The event, coordinated by the Charles River Watershed Association, marked the 13th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup.  It’s estimated that some 4,000 volunteers from Milford to Boston removed 15-20 tons of rubbish from alongside the River and the surrounding areas. 

BBA Members Gather to Volunteer for the 13th AnnualCharles River Clean Up.

BBA Council member, Christina Miller hard at work