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.
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:
The two Boston public high school students interning in at the BBA’s 16 Beacon Street headquarters through the BBA Summer Jobs Program have been in high demand this summer. In between their long list of projects, office duties, enrichment seminars, and field trips, Alejandra and Harmoun have also been receiving legal lessons from members of the BBA Lawyer Referral Service on various areas of law.
Beyond the Billable checked in with Alejandra and Harmoun to hear more about the trainings. Here’s what they had to say:
“I honestly loved all of them because I learned so many new things that I’ve never heard of. I feel grateful because I am going to leave this internship having a lot of knowledge about law, especially the family law one and the public benefits one. I found a little bit of my passion in these trainings.”- Alejandra Bautista, rising junior at Boston Community Leadership Academy
“All of the LRS trainings were extremely helpful. I learned a variety of different laws that I have never heard of before. I also had the pleasure to meet different attorneys from local law firms. The LRS trainings gave me a better understanding of different areas of law and the type of law I would like to pursue as a career. My favorite training was on immigration law. I emigrated from another country and I would like to help other immigrants because I think they need to have a second chance.” – Hermuna Taib, rising senior at East Boston High School
The BBA Summer Jobs students continued their summer adventures with a stop at the Adams Courthouse for VIP tour and crash course on the history of the Massachusetts legal system. After touring the building and taking turns posing in the Justices’ seats, the students met with Justice Cynthia Cohen to learn more about her career path and her role as an associate justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Take a look below for more highlights from the field trip:
Our dedicated readers may remember this recent post about inequalities in the current summer jobs market for teens. If you’re interested in learning more the unemployment among minorities under the age of 25, this recent NPR piece is a must listen. The piece highlights the long-term career implications of the lack of summer job opportunities, particularly for minority teens.
Here’s what William Spriggs, an economist from Howard University, had to say about the value of a summer job in the interview:
“It’s very important, and again it’s that network. It’s getting to know other people who work. It’s getting an employer who can vouch for you when you go to get another job. It’s having on your resume that you have that experience. And it’s understanding an industry and understanding what the opportunities are within that industry.”
This is why programs, such as the BBA Summer Jobs Program, play such a critical role in shaping the future of many of our Boston teens. Our students walk away with a network of professional contacts and skills that lay the groundwork for a successful career and future opportunities. Learn more about our program, which set a record high of employing 64 Boston teens this summer, here.
Image source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, courtesy of NPR
Our loyal Beyond the Billable readers are well aware of the plethora of long-term benefits of offering Boston public high school students professional experience. The short-term benefit (and a major plus for the students) is, of course, the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Now that the students have already earned their first summer paycheck, they are beginning to make decisions about how to spend it. Should they buy new clothes, see a movie, or save for their first semester of college? The BBA Summer Jobs Program enrichment seminars are offering the students guidance on educated decisions about their money via the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. So far, the students have learned how to create a budget, the importance of paying yourself first, how interest on credit cards work, and the difference between a debit and credit card. Over the next few weeks, the students will continue to acquire tools through additional sessions on buying a car and learning about the consequences of making poor financial decision at Bankruptcy Court.
Beyond the Billable checked in with two BBF-funded students working at the Volunteer Lawyers Project this summer to hear what they’ve learned so far. Here’s what they had to say:
“I thought the sessions were pretty good because I already have a debit card. I tell myself all of the time now that I shouldn’t go over a certain amount on my debit card because I want to save money. If I know I have enough money in my account, I’ll save my paycheck for something like school. [The volunteers] really taught me to budget.”
Liraniz Colon, a rising senior at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“In [the Using Credit and Credit Cards] seminar, I learned that you have to be really careful with your credit and how you spend your money and what company you choose. You have to choose wisely and you have to make good decisions about what you spend. You have to ask yourself do I need this or not; can I wait or can I not. You have to be very responsible.”
Mackaila Garcia, a rising senior at Charlestown High School
Yesterday morning, Boston City Council Chambers was filled with sounds of students debating the pros and cons of a law which would create a 9 pm curfew for people under the age of 17. Through the annual Mock City Council enrichment seminar, the BBA Summer Jobs students had the opportunity to test out their acting skills as they learned about the legislative process in the City of Boston.
With the help of former Boston City Council President Larry DiCara (Nixon Peabody), students took on a variety of roles. Some students served as representatives of the Boston Senior Alliance and the Pediatricians for Peace who advocated on behalf of the law, while other students acted as members of the Boston Teen Council and Neighborhood Merchants Association who opposed the law. The students put their debate skills to work in an effort to convince their peers, who served as City Council members, to vote in their favor. Not surprisingly, the student-led council voted again a curfew, which was viewed as too restrictive on the rights of teens.
Jose Maria, a rising senior at New Mission High School and an intern at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, argued on behalf of the Boston Teen Council. Here’s what he had to say about the Mock City Council hearing:
“I really enjoyed [the Mock hearing] and it’s a really good opportunity to learn what happens in the City…It was nice to know that we were dealing with real life situations.”
We also checked in with Rusheika Gordon, an intern at Pierce Atwood LLP, who served as the spokesperson for the Neighborhood Merchants Association. Beyond the Billable asked Rusheika why she volunteered to speak for her group and what she learned from the experience. Here’s what she had to say:
“I felt like it was time for me to step up and do something out of my comfort zone and try to present my ideas. I enjoyed having questions posed and being prepared to respond back. I learned to think on my feet. “
Take a look below for more images from the morning:
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 Thursday, 16 Beacon bustling with its usual activity. What set this particular Thursday apart was that it wasn’t lawyers packing the BBA’s conference rooms for networking and legal education events, but 64 Boston public high school students. The BBA Summer Jobs students started their morning in the Conference Center getting to know one another and getting the low down on what to expect, not only on their first day of work, but throughout the entire summer. Career Specialist Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) and former Summer Jobs student Emmanuelle Renelique (WilmerHale) helped calm the students’ first office job nerves by offering helpful tips to prepare them, including appropriate dress code for an office setting and suggestions on how to interact with their coworkers.
Take a look below for highlights from the morning:
Stay tuned for more on our Summer Jobs students as they get situated in their offices.
With the start date of the BBA Summer Jobs Program fast approaching, the students’ supervisors from the various law firms and offices gathered at 16 Beacon yesterday morning to prep for a great summer. With the help of Boston Private Industry Council Career Specialists Teresa Alleyne and Rose Delorme, attendees learned more about the variety of the students’ backgrounds (which we addressed in this post) and how to help high school students excel in their first professional job. Veteran Summer Jobs employers Matt McTygue (Edwards Wildman Palmer), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Elaine Carmichael (DLA Piper) also presented, offering suggestions on potential projects and enrichment opportunities so employers can help students maximize their summer.
Interested in learning more about the exciting opportunities that our employers provide to their interns? Check out a few highlights below. This summer, students will:
- Research a Supreme Court case and present the key facts to partners at their firm.
- Learn to network by striving to collect 100 business cards from legal professionals throughout the summer.
- Summarize cases and write legal memos.
- Work with their employer to fill out the Common Application for college.
Don’t worry. We’ll be keeping our loyal readers updated on all of the exciting projects our students will be working on this summer.