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 the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program in May and June:
Lawyer for the Day Volunteers
Nicholas Bentley, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Jennifer Brown, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Alison Burr, Ropes & Gray LLP
Andrew Cohn, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Brent Davis, Roger Williams School of Law
Sally Davis, Ropes & Gray LLP
Jennifer Gorman, Ropes & Gray LLP
Esther Laine, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Justin Murphy, Law Office of Justin M. Murphy
Christopher Pavlow, McCarter & English, LLP
Daniel Sieck, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Stephen Thompson, Ropes & Gray LLP
Heather Ward, Law Office of Heather M. Ward
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Program
David Baker, Law Office of David G. Baker
Eric Blythe, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Scott Hubbell, Hubbell Law
Marques Lipton, Law Office of Timothy Mauser
H. Luke Mitcheson, Mitcheson Viana LLP
Kristofer Munroe, Lallier Munroe P.C.
Nina Parker, Parker & Associates
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Kevin Walsh, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Neil Warrenbrand, Law Office of Neil Warrenbrand
Last Saturday, the BBA’s New Lawyers Public Service Committee took time out of their busy weekend to spend some time at the Greater Boston Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. The lawyers inspected, sorted, and packed food and grocery products. The group’s efforts helped put together 4, 509 meals for local families. We reached out to some of the New Lawyers to get their take on this event and other public service events they participate in – here’s what they had to say:
“Under the strong leadership of Margaret Caulfield and Sara Shannon, the BBA New Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee has cemented its role as the preeminent vehicle for new and experienced attorneys alike to work together in serving the community in the Greater Boston area. The volunteer event at the Greater Boston Food Bank was one of many examples this BBA year where BBA members and their guests had the opportunity to interact in casual, collaborative settings while helping those in need.” – Paul Connors, Corporate Counsel, athenahealth
“Volunteering at the GBFB with the BBA is something we look forward to every year. It is always a fantastic event. However, it is just one of the many public service opportunities Margaret and I planned this past year. To name a few, we worked with the Environmental Law Section to clean up Franklin Park. We also volunteered at Cradles to Crayons, helping to put together book packets for kids around Boston. In December we teamed up with the Social Committee of the New Lawyers Section and promoted the Toys for Tots Program by gathering gifts for children for the holidays. We also volunteered with the Prison Book Program by sorting and sending books to various state prisons in the Commonwealth. We also continued our tradition in assisting with the Earth Day Cleanup by volunteering our time (rain or shine) to pick up trash on the Charles River organized by the Esplanade Association.
Not only are these public service events wonderful for networking with other attorneys, but they are also rewarding and a lot of fun.” – Sara Shannon, Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Crimes Strike Force
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!
Al Wallis (Brown Rudnick LLP), Barbara Siegel (Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association), and Michele Garvin (Ropes & Gray LLP) talked about their roles in redefining pro bono work and improving access to legal services at the Delivery of Legal Services’ Hot Topics in Pro Bono program on Monday.
Are you an attorney curious about how you can get involved with pro bono work or are you a legal service organization looking for volunteers? Check out the new MassProBono website, deemed the “Match.com” of pro bono services. The new website creates an all-encompassing legal resource and allows volunteer attorneys to search using many different criteria to find a project, case, or organization.
Attorneys had an opportunity to catch a sneak peek of the new website during the Delivery of Legal Services’ Hot Topics in Pro Bono program on Monday. Barbara Siegel (Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association) gave participants a virtual tour of the brand new MassProBono website and demonstrated how this new resource can provide matching services between organizations, projects and volunteers. Legal service organizations can post specialty projects, cases, and other opportunities, while interested volunteers can find cases and projects that meet their interests.
Fore more information on MassProBono, read the press release here.
BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program Celebrates 15 Years of Helping Pro Se Litigants
Last Thursday, volunteers, court employees, and program leadership gathered at 16 Beacon to celebrate the success of the Lawyer for the Day Program in the Boston Housing Court Program at the 15th anniversary celebration of the Program. Since the Program’s inception in 1999, over 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 15,000 landlords and tenants navigate through the Boston Housing Court. In addition to the opportunity to network and enjoy food and drink, the evening was filled with a number of volunteer appreciation awards to longtime volunteers who are essential to its longevity. First Justice of the Boston Housing Court Jeffrey Winik presented awards to Sharon Jones (The Law Office of Sharon V. Jones), Andy Cohn (WilmerHale), and Housing Court Specialists Michael Neville, Alex Valderrama, Hector Jenkins, Delia Mathes, and Catarina Andrade.
Check out more highlights from the evening below:
The program is a collaboration between the Boston Housing Court, Boston Bar Association, Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, and is supported by the Wiley Vaughan Fund of the Boston Bar Foundation.
Lawyers were not the first responders. They were not the police and safety personnel who protected the Commonwealth. They were not the doctors and nurses whose expertise saved dozens of lives. However, lawyers responded to the Marathon bombing the best way they knew how – by offering to provide pro bono legal assistance for individuals and small businesses affected by the bombing through the BBA Marathon Assistance Project. Over the course of this year, our volunteers have traveled to homes to complete One Fund applications, assisted small business owners in filing insurance claims, and helped both business owners and individuals navigate a range of other legal issues as a result of the bombings. Here is a snapshot of the Project to date:
- After the BBA’s initial press release calling for pro bono volunteers, over 200 individual volunteers, 26 law firms, and 3 law schools offered their assistance.
- To date, the Marathon Assistance Project has helped 45 individuals and 20 small businesses with their claims & legal issues.
- 72 attorneys have taken cases through the Marathon Assistance Project.
- These cases have included helping to complete 14 One Fund claim applications, which have included multiple home visits across New England.
If you would like to hear personal accounts of the impact of the volunteer’s work, we’ve gathered a few stories for you. To learn more about the work of our volunteers for small businesses click here. You can learn more about legal assistance for individuals in this recent mailer or the spring edition of the Boston Bar Journal.
However, the work is not yet done. As the city continues to heal, members of the Bar stand ready to assist with the second distribution of the One Fund and continue to offer legal assistance to those affected.
Last week, Beyond the Billable shared highlights from two legal offices’ experiences “adopting a classroom” through M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. While Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual participated in the model in the past, two new legal offices also stepped up to the plate to provide volunteers for the three classroom-based sessions at two Boston public high schools. The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission adopted a classroom at Snowden International High School and Choate Hall & Stewart adopted a classroom at Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers.
Beyond the Billable checked in with attorneys from Choate Hall & Stewart to hear more about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
Why did Choate Hall & Stewart choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?
“Attorneys at Choate are long-time participants in and supporters of the Financial Literacy Program. When the opportunity arose for the Firm to adopt a classroom this year, we jumped at the chance to expand our work with the Program. Choate is pleased to serve the youth in our community by teaching them practical lessons in effective personal financial management.” – Meg McKenzie Feist, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
What was the highlight of the Program for your volunteers?
“As a volunteer, I was very impressed with the knowledge the students already possessed, as well as their eagerness to learn more about budgeting, saving, and credit. My group of students was engaged throughout the presentation and asked me pointed questions. It was a joy to work with the students and I look forward to engaging with a new group next year.” – Tyler Masse, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
While students are still traveling the Boston and Worcester Bankruptcy Courts, the classroom based sessions of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program have wrapped up in the Greater Boston area. This year, four legal offices stepped up and “adopted a classroom” to help meet the growing demand for the program in fifteen schools. In this model, legal offices commit to providing 3-6 volunteers to cover each of the three classroom based sessions. In return, the legal offices were able to provide their employees with an opportunity to give back while partnering with a fellow colleague.
Beyond the Billable reached out to the legal departments of Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual, both of whom participated in the “adopt a classroom” model last year as well, to hear more about the experience. Sun Life Financial adopted a classroom at Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham and Liberty Mutual adopted four classrooms at Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park.
Here’s what they had to say:
Why did your legal office choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?
“As in house counsel and compliance professionals in the financial services industry, supporting a financial literacy program has been a great way for us to give back to the community and utilize our skills. We selected the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Program for a few reasons. First, volunteers don’t have to be attorneys and this allows us to make the opportunity available to more people in our department. We also like being able to sponsor the same school every year. We have found that consistency of the same teacher, class format and class size every year enhances the success of the program. Volunteers know what to expect and can build off of best practices from prior years to improve upon our delivery of the program for a technical high school. Lastly, the volunteer materials provided by the BBA are very comprehensive, which helps cut down on preparation time, and are designed such that the volunteers can be flexible about deciding how to select content of an organization for a particular session.” – Michelle Greco, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial
“The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program provides a unique opportunity for both the students and the Liberty Mutual Insurance volunteers. Students have the opportunity to learn about finance-related topics from volunteers who have significant real-world knowledge, which we think enables the students to continue to build practical skills as they enter young adulthood. The volunteers enjoy interacting with the high school students and having the chance to make a difference in their lives. In addition, the program gives some of our volunteers with backgrounds in finance a chance to make an impact and help students avoid financial pitfalls in advance, rather than merely helping after the fact.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual
What was the highlight of the program for your volunteers?
“Spending any amount of time in a high school is like taking a step back in time. As you think about the decisions that are on the horizon for the young adults who will soon be graduating, you realize that while you may have come to talk about the specifics of buying a car, what you are really there for is to impress upon the students the important differences between what they want, and what they really need and can afford. That theme runs through the various modules, and hopefully our discussion about the realities of owning a car helped the students understand the kind of tough financial decisions they will have to make when they are on their own. The students were interested and active, which made the session a lot of fun, and I hope I can participate in this program again in the future.” — Scott Davis, SVP & General Counsel, Sun Life Financial
“Without a doubt, the primary highlight for our volunteers was the chance to provide guidance to young adults through a live, interactive classroom session with a dynamic group of students. Most of our volunteers do not regularly teach high school classes, and they reported that the experience was energizing and exciting. They enjoyed the hands-on exposure and fielding questions from their classrooms both on the finance topic of the day and other matters the students might raise.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual
Our volunteers were so excited to share their experiences that we had to turn this into a two part statement! Stay tuned for part two when we hear from Choate Hall & Stewart and the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission volunteers about their experiences.
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