Advocating for Youth Employment

Youth employment opportunities, like the BBA Summer Jobs positions, provide valuable professional experience to prepare students for their future.

Youth employment opportunities, like the BBA Summer Jobs positions, provide valuable professional experience to prepare students for their future academic and career endeavors.

Over 700 Boston teens took to the streets last Thursday to advocate for an increase in state funding for youth employment. According to this Boston Globe article, teens are worried that the increase in minimum wage and proposed budget cuts will results in at least 1,000 less jobs this year.

The decrease in the overall number of jobs for Boston teens presents an even greater need for the legal community to take the lead and to support Mayor Walsh’s efforts to provide over 10,000 Boston teens with summer employment by hiring a student (or more than one!) through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.

The good news is that the legal community has already stepped up to continue to provide quality summer internships for Boston youth through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. We already have 48 student positions secured, which puts us well on our way to passing last year’s 64 positions

Are you interested in getting involved? Contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] for more information on how to hire a student.

New Lawyers Volunteer for Prison Book Program

Attorneys volunteered at the Prison Book Program with the New Lawyers Public Service Committee.

Attorneys volunteered at the Prison Book Program with the New Lawyers Public Service Committee.

The red line issues didn’t deter a group of New Lawyers from traveling to Quincy this weekend to volunteer at the Prison Book Program. The Prison Book Program sends thousands of free books to prisoners every year, and the books offer escape, entertainment, and practical information. Throughout the morning, the volunteers read the prisoner’s request, found the appropriate book for each prisoner, and prepared the books for mailing.

Lianne Henderson, a 3L at New England Law School, organized the volunteer event on behalf of the New Lawyers Public Service Committee. Here’s what she had to say about why new attorneys and law students should take advantage of these volunteer events:

“I think new lawyers and law students should participate in the BBA’s weekend volunteer opportunities because they allow you to see the community in which you work in a different light with people you may not usually work with. It is fun to do some good work while meeting new people, and doing service is a good way to reflect on your life and career and all of the opportunities you have had. “

Are you interested in weekend volunteer opportunities? Don’t miss the opportunity to volunteer at Greater Boston Food Bank on March 21st. Click here to learn more.

Calling All Legal Services Organizations–The BBF Is Now Accepting 2015 Grants Applications

The Volunteer Lawyers Project is a 2014 BBF Grantee. The BBA also supports grantees in other capacities including holding pro bono trainings and recruiting volunteers for their efforts. In the photo above, staff from the Volunteer Lawyers Project discuss volunteer opportunities with interested law students at the Suffolk Pro Bono Fair in October.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project is a 2014 BBF Grantee. The BBA also supports grantees in other capacities including holding pro bono trainings and recruiting volunteers for their efforts. In the photo above, staff from the Volunteer Lawyers Project discuss volunteer opportunities with interested law students at the Suffolk Pro Bono Fair in October.

The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) has released its application for the 2015 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. Last year the BBF’s contributions were almost half of the total funds granted.

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 $825,500 to 23 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 [email protected] if you have any questions about the BBF grant process.

VLP Announces Honor Roll for November and December

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program.

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program.

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 in November and December:

Sam Ames
David Bean
Gary Bloom
Renee Burgher
Lisa Callahan
Esther Cho
Chloe Coravos
Michael Diener, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
James Fauci, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Robert Friedman, Burns & Levinson LLP
Bonnie Heiple, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Sharon Jones
Stephanie Lin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Patrick Long
Erica Mastrangelo, Burns & Levinson LLP
Keith McCarthy
Marc Migliazzo, Ropes & Gray LLP
Jansulu Nurpeisova
Irina Oberman
Christopher Pavlow, McCarter & English, LLP
John Polley, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
John Prendergast
Thomas Reith, Burns & Levinson LLP
Gretchen Roin, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Christopher Schmitt, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
David Schnock
Kelly Soltis
Katy Ward, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Lawrence Wind
Kevin Yurkerwich, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

PILP 11 Supports BMC – Roxbury CHOICE Program

PILP 11 is partnering with the BBA’s Reentry Education Program to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at the Boston Municipal Courthouse in Roxbury.

PILP 11 is partnering with the BBA’s Reentry Education Program to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at the Boston Municipal Courthouse in Roxbury.

This year, the Boston Bar Association is proud to work with its eleventh Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP 11) class. Throughout the fall, PILP 11 met with members of the legal community to learn about the legal needs in Boston and how they could make a difference. After several meetings, PILP 11 decided to partner with the BBA Reentry Education Program, in which volunteer attorneys deliver civil legal education workshops to federal probationers in the CARE/RESTART Program on issues that they may face upon reentry in an effort to reduce the risk of recidivism. With support from the Reentry Education Committee, PILP 11 adapted the committee’s modules to fit the needs of probationers in state court.

As Beyond the Billable readers may know, the PILP 9 class developed what is now the Reentry Education Program. In an effort to expand the work of previous PILP classes, PILP 11 will give monthly presentations to participants in the CHOICE program at the Boston Municipal Courthouse in Roxbury. Formed in 2009, the CHOICE program utilizes a court-supervised programmatic approach to help young probationers get their lives on track through a rigorous four-pronged approach:

  1.  intensive probation supervision with an in-court component;
  2. education and tutorial services;
  3. job training and placement; and
  4. mentorship

PILP 11 is honored to do its part to provide education programs on important civil legal education topics like employment rights, driver’s license reinstatement, financial literacy and responsibility, CORI sealing, and affordable housing.

On Friday, February 6, 2015, three PILPers made their way to Roxbury in the cold to discuss Financial Literacy and Responsibility with CHOICE participants. David Lieberman (Day Pitney LLP), Carrie Benedon (Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General), and Jenevieve Maerker (Foley Hoag LLP) covered topics from how to open a bank account to how to manage credit. Attendees asked questions and provided feedback for next month’s program.

After the presentation, Beyond the Billable caught up with PILP 11 presenter David Lieberman (Day Pitney LLP). Here’s what he had to say about presenting to the CHOICE participants:

“Presenting on Financial Literacy for the Roxbury CHOICE program was a great experience.  We spoke with a number of noted experts about the topic to refine our presentation and addressed the CHOICE participants before the court session.  It was a great opportunity to present an important topic in front of a group that I do not get many opportunities to address.  The presentation was well received and I look forward to working with the CHOICE participants and program management going forward.”

Stay tuned for next month’s update when PILP 11 discusses housing rights and affordable housing.

Questions about PILP? Please contact Galen Byrne, Member Relationship Coordinator, at [email protected].

 

Mark Your Calendars: Casino Night for Summer Jobs

The Boston Bar Foundation's annual Casino Night helps fund positions for Boston teens at legal service and government agencies.

The Boston Bar Foundation’s annual Casino Night helps fund positions for Boston teens at legal service and government agencies.

Don’t miss the chance to show off your poker skills and support a good cause at the Boston Bar Foundation’s Casino Night on March 12th. The offices of the BBA will be transformed into a two-story casino, complete with real game tables, professional dealers, a silent auction, live entertainment, and complimentary refreshments. More importantly, the proceeds from the event will fund internships for Boston public high school students working at legal service and government agencies through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. In addition to providing Boston teens with professional experience and a paycheck, the BBF funded students offer office assistance to organizations that need extra help but can’t afford to hire a student on their own.  To get a first-hand account of our BBF funded students’ experiences, click here.

We hope to see you on March 12th!

Reentry Program Teaches Landlord Tenant Law 101

Attorney Chris Saccardi (The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi) walked attendees through the basics of landlord tenant law during this month's BBA Reentry Education Program workshop at Moakley Courthouse

Attorney Chris Saccardi (The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi) walked attendees through the basics of landlord tenant law during this month’s BBA Reentry Education Program workshop at Moakley Courthouse

Courtroom 16 at the Moakley Courthouse was packed last Wednesday for the monthly civil legal workshop through the BBA Reentry Education Program. This month’s session—on landlord and tenant law—drew a large and engaged crowd. During the session, Attorney Chris Saccardi (The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi) walked participants through their rights and responsibilities as either a landlord or tenant.

Beyond the Billable reached out to him to learn more. Here’s why he thinks this topic was particularly important for the attendees:

“Most people in and around Boston are either landlords or tenants at some point in their lives. Many of the people in Wednesday’s audience indicated that they were currently homeless, and it is likely that their next step would be finding an apartment to rent. During that process, it is important for them to understand their rights as potential tenants so as to ensure that their security deposits are properly handled, their apartments are safe and sanitary, and that they know what to do should they experience a discriminatory landlord. Individuals who are struggling to reenter society after sometimes lengthy prison sentences tend to be less educated and have lower incomes than the general population – this is the sort of population that could be taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords. Knowing their rights as tenants in Massachusetts will hopefully be a small step toward leveling that playing field.”

Pro Bono from Your Desk

Phone Edited

Are you looking for a new opportunity to make an impact? Join the BBA’s newest pro bono project and you can do it in 3-4 hours right from your desk!

Volunteers will help talk people through some very basics on the foreclosure process. The BBA will provide a 1.5 hour training video and access to an attorney experienced in the area to answer any unforeseen questions.

Although it is a short commitment, you will be ensuring that people are informed about their rights in foreclosure proceedings arising from failure to pay taxes. As you can see in this article, it isn’t always clear to the homeowners that they will lose possession of their homes.

So, if you have a phone and a few hours to commit, you can help educate people about their rights and perhaps prevent someone from losing their home.

Please note: Attorneys will be asked for proof of malpractice insurance prior to signing up for volunteer sessions.

Please contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] to get involved. 

BBF Honors John Hancock with 2015 Public Service Award

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer James Gallagher, accepted the BBF's 2015 Public Service Award on behalf of his company for John Hancock’s commitment to the Boston community at Saturday's John and Abigail Adams Benefit.

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer James Gallagher, accepted the BBF’s 2015 Public Service Award on behalf John Hancock at Saturday’s John and Abigail Adams Benefit.

If you were one of the 1,000 attorneys who got dressed up and came out to the Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday night for the John and Abigail Adam’s Benefit, you probably saw John Hancock receive the 2015 Boston Bar Foundation Public Service Award. The award, which was accepted by Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer James Gallagher, honored John Hancock’s commitment to the Boston community. This year will mark the 30th year of John Hancock’s well known and landmark sponsorship of the Boston Marathon.  As part of that sponsorship, they donate hundreds of entries to area non-profits to help them raise money for causes ranging from state of the art medical care to homelessness.  Perhaps not as well-known are the company’s efforts to support and empower Boston youth through the MLK Summer Scholars Program– a cause shared by the Boston Bar Association and Foundation.

Every year, the BBA and our participating employers join hundreds of other employers throughout the city who are committed to Boston future by providing summer jobs to Boston teens through the Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Program.  John Hancock is another all-star employer. Through the MLK Summer Scholars Program, John Hancock provides grants to local non-profits to hire over 650 Boston teens every summer!

If you’re feeling inspired by John Hancock’s generosity, don’t forget that your legal office has an opportunity to support Boston teens through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. Click here to learn more and to view the 29 employers who have already committed to hiring 43 Boston teens this summer.

PILP Info Session Draws Future Leaders

Emerging legal leaders gathered at the BBA last to learn about applying for PILP.

Emerging legal leaders gathered at the BBA last week to learn more about PILP and the application process.

Last Thursday, more than two dozen hopeful applicants for the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) attended an information session at 16 Beacon Street, where they heard from four successful PILP alumni. The panelists offered insight into the application process, their personal PILP experience, and how they’ve remained involved at the BBA after completing the program.

Panelists included:

  • Moderator, Jen Doran – Partner, Hinckley Allen, PILP 06-07
  • Eric Haskell – Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, PILP 12-13
  • Katherine Schulte – Staff Attorney, Casa Myrna Vasquez, PILP 13-14
  • Daniel Routh – Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP, PILP 12-13

Attendees left the information session with  four key PILP takeaways:

  1. PILP is one of the most valuable tools for networking and meeting people in the profession.
  2. Members of PILP class are exposed to and integrated into BBA leadership.
  3. PILP combines leadership and professional development with service to the community.
  4. Program participants meet leaders within the legal community and greater Boston community.

The BBA will be accepting applications to PILP through Friday, February 13th for the class beginning in May 2015. More information on PILP and the application process is available here. Please email Galen Byrne, Member Relationship Coordinator, at [email protected] with any questions on PILP.