Financial Literacy Volunteer Registration Open

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re looking for a new volunteer opportunity, this may be the perfect fit for you. After participating in a training, you’ll be equipped to educate high school students about the importance of making smart financial decisions. As a volunteer, you’ll work in pairs to lead a one-hour session in the classroom. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

Click here to sign up for a volunteer slot and click here to register for the program training on Wednesday, January 17th at 5:00 PM at the Boston Bar Association (16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108). If you cannot attend the training in person, a video recording will be sent to each volunteer.

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2017

From teaching a record 1,700 students through Law Day in the Schools to releasing a compelling report on criminal justice reform, 2017 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public service initiatives over the past year.

The 2017 Public Service Award presented at the Boston Bar Foundation’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit Ball honored Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall in January. Chief Justice Marshall addresses the crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts, reminding every one of the importance of being good and just in their work.

MIT Bhangra, an award-winning dance group, entertained the crowd at the Adams Benefit. 2017’s Ball raised over $650,000 in support for local legal services organizations providing civil legal services to those in need. In June, the Foundation granted $960,000 to 20 such organizations.

Each January, hundreds of attorneys travel to the State House to Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The Equal Justice Coalition coordinates this annual event to call on our legislators to adequately fund the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation through the state budget. Carol Starkey, 2016-2017 BBA President, highlights the importance of civil legal aid as noted in the BBA’s Investing in Justice report, which details that 2 out of 3 income eligible clients are turned away from legal services due to a lack of resources.

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, then BBA President Carol Starkey reaffirmed the BBA’s aim to “support the rule of law, as well as the core values of access to justice and diversity and inclusion, which help keep the fundamental promise that all of us will enjoy due process and equal protection under the law.” Over the course of the year, the BBA worked with many legal services organizations to connect attorneys to volunteer opportunities. Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project presented a number of Know Your Rights trainings for attorneys wishing to present to community groups about their immigration rights. Here, attorneys William Graves (Graves & Doyle) and Seth Purcell (PAIR Project) welcome over 60 attorneys to the first training at the BBA.

Paulette Brown (left, Locke Lord) accepts the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion for her work as president of the American Bar Association convening the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. One result of the Commission’s work was the passage at the ABA of Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. In November of 2016, the BBA announced its strong support for the Resolution and is working with other partners in Boston on its implementation.

Raquel Webster (right, National Grid) introduces presenter Brian McLaughlin (McLaughlin Law) to a group of probationers at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA’s Reentry Education Program, which was developed by the Public Interest Leadership Program, engages with dozens of probationers annually on useful topics related to community reentry, including family law, reinstating a driver’s license, public benefits, and more.

Secretary Francisco A. Ureña (Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services) addresses the crowd at a Memorial Day reception hosted by the BBA’s Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum. The reception was held after the annual pro bono training for attorneys representing veterans in discharge upgrade cases. Since 2015, the BBA has worked with the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School to hose these trainings to support their Veterans Legal Clinic.

One night a year, the BBA is transformed from a meeting space to a casino floor. Seventeen organizations sponsored this year’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs, the proceeds of which support the Summer Jobs Program and support internships for high school students at legal services organizations, government agencies, and courts. Attendees at Casino Night celebrate beating the house and eagerly await the mystifying reveal of a magic trick.

Law Day in the Schools, one of the BBA’s most popular volunteer opportunities, introduces Boston Public School students to the legal profession and particular areas of the law. This year, volunteers including Jill Brenner Meixel (left) and Allison Belanger (right) of Krokidas & Bluestein introduced students to due process and the importance of having fair rules and laws for all. There were a record 15 schools and over 1700 students in the program this year.

Throughout the year, the New Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee coordinates volunteer events with organizations throughout the city. In addition to serving food at the Pine Street Inn, attorneys also helped sort donations at Cradles to Crayons, keep the esplanade clear at the Charles River Clean-up, and other important volunteer initiatives in the area.

High school students convene with Chief Justice Melvin S. Hoffman (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) after listing to a mock hearing in bankruptcy court. This session, which teaches students about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy is part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which began in 2005. Since it began, over 5800 students statewide have been introduced to the importance of budgeting, understanding credit, and financing a large purchase.

Over 1,000 attorneys came together for this year’s Law Day Dinner in Back Bay. Congressman Seth Moulton provided keynote remarks and highlighted the importance of lawyers and upholding the rule of law now more than ever.

This year’s Thurgood Marshall Award, honoring an attorney in private practice in Greater Boston for their extraordinary efforts in enhancing the human dignity of others by providing legal services to Massachusetts’ low income population, went to Elaine Blais (Goodwin). Blais volunteers with both the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) representing both children and adults in various immigration cases.

Anne Mackin (Greater Boston Legal Services) accepts the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award, an award presented to professional legal services attorneys for their outstanding work on behalf of indigent people in the Boston area. Mackin has worked in legal services for nearly 30 years, and joined GBLS’s Immigration Unit in 2013. Since then, she has helped people from all over the world who have witnessed or experienced unspeakable tragedies and faced severe persecutions. Her efforts have ensured that many who are fleeing extreme discrimination and danger are able to seek justice and safe harbor.

Members of the Society of Fellows experience a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts’ summer exhibit, Matisse in the Studio. Each Fellows pledge supports the work of the Boston Bar Foundation’s many public service initiatives. The growing number of Fellows, now over 400, learn about the work their gifts support, including programs supporting Boston’s youth and grants to legal services organizations, at events throughout the year.

Boston Public High School students stand with Natashia Tidwell (center left, Collora) and Mark Smith (center right, BBA President, Laredo & Smith) on the morning of the first day of work with the Summer Jobs Program. The program, a partnership with the City of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council, employs students in internships at legal offices across the city. In 2017, 52 students gained valuable office experience and were given insight into the legal profession.

Attorneys network surrounding the chocolate fountain, a staple at this year’s Boston Bar Foundation Summer Fundraiser. Guests at the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the public service programs their contribution supports.

The Public Interest Leadership Program’s class of 2016-2017 hosted their symposium, Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape, earlier this year. The event’s speakers addressed a number of issues recently in the national spotlight, both in the media and the courts. Nearly 100 attorneys and interested members of the community packed the BBA to hear insights from the panels of experts.

This fall, the 14th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) started their term. Twenty attorneys were selected for the program based on their experience and dedication to public service and civic engagement. The program now includes nearly 200 alumni who’ve gone on to serve the BBA in other capacities and carry their passion for serving the public interest into the community.

Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, addressed the audience at the BBA’s Annual Meeting. Kerman, a former prisoner, discussed her work bringing prison issues to the forefront of national conversation. She also acknowledged the BBA’s report No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System, which was released this fall. The report commends the reforms proposed earlier this year by Massachusetts leaders based on research by the Council of State Governments (CSG), but strongly urges lawmakers to enact broader reforms designed to further reduce recidivism, and make the criminal justice system fairer and more cost-efficient.

Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women to introduce the public to the services it offers. Thousands of requests come through each year and referrals are made out to experienced attorneys practicing nearly 350 areas of law. The LRS also houses a dedicated Military Legal Help Line, which connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources appropriate to their needs.

The three award recipients at November’s Beacon Award for Diversity & Inclusion stand with members of the Beacon Award Selection Committee. Brent Henry received the Voice of Change Award for his work recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent while at Partners Healthcare. The Empowerment Award went to Iván Espinoza-Madrigal for his work on civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality, as the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Susan Alexander accepted the Corporate Champion Award on behalf of Biogen. Biogen’s legal department has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel.
Above, left to right: Brent Henry (Mintz Levin), Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (Lawyers’ Committee), Susan Alexander (Biogen), Sarah Kim (Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts), Kate Cook (Sugarman Rogers), Stephen Hall (Holland & Knight), and Damon Hart (Liberty Mutual).

Hosted at Suffolk University Law School, the annual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair and Open House connects law students and attorneys to volunteer opportunities across the state. Over 25 organizations recruited at the fair this year.

BBA President Mark Smith (right) met with Principal Danladi Bobbitt of the John D. Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale. As a participant in the Principal Partners event, hosted by Boston Public Schools, Boston Plan for Excellence, and Bank of America, the BBA President has the opportunity to visit a school and engage in meaningful conversations about the role of education in our society.

BBA President Mark Smith Visits Philbrick School in Roslindale

BBA President Mark Smith, founding partner of Laredo & Smith, shared the below reflection on his recent visit to the John D. Philbrick School in Roslindale as part of the Principal Partners Program:

The John D. Philbrick School in Roslindale is one of the smallest in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system, but its staff and student body provided a big welcome when I visited the Monday after Thanksgiving as part of the Boston Plan for Excellence Principal Partners program.

I knew that the BBA president has the good fortune to shadow a BPS principal every year, and as a former teacher myself, I was excited to learn more about elementary education at the Philbrick and what makes the school tick. The answer, it turns out, is the same as when I taught: a dedicated and openhearted staff working extremely hard to ensure the best possible learning experience for each student all year long.

Principal Danladi Bobbitt, who stepped into the role just this year, leads this staff gracefully. During a tour of each classroom, Bobbitt shared as much as he could about each teacher’s background, demonstrating an appreciation of each instructor’s unique talents and expertise. I was especially impressed by the way these teachers commanded the attention of their students, who were sharply focused and on-task during the entirety of my visit. For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, that is no small feat.

I was impressed to learn that students in each grade level take specialty classes in science, music, physical education and art, giving them opportunities to engage in a variety of hands-on activities throughout the day and become well-rounded learners. A music class made up of kindergarteners rehearsed “Jingle Bells” in preparation for the Philbrick’s holiday pageant for us, which was one of the highlights of the day.

Once the tour concluded, alongside Discovering Justice Executive Director Jon Spack, Bobbitt told us more about the ins and outs of running a school. He said one of the best parts of helming the Philbrick is the high level engagement from the school community, including parents. A constant challenge, he said, is finding meaningful ways to talk to students about bullying. Their approach at the Philbrick focuses on encouraging students to express themselves in productive ways, rather than lashing out at classmates.

The Principal Partners event, a collaboration between Bank of America, BPS and Boston Plan for Excellence, is intended to foster a meaningful conversation about the critical role education plays in the quality of our society and the future of our economy. I am grateful to have had this experience, deepening my understanding of the great people in our schools and the incredible work they do.

Inspiration and Encouragement at the Bar Exam Coaching Kickoff Reception

On November 29th, over 20 bar applicants and volunteer coaches gathered to kick off the Bar Exam Coaching Program ahead of the February Massachusetts bar exam. The BBA’s Coaching Program matches volunteer coaches with bar applicants to provide encouragement and accountability in the weeks leading up to the exam. Over 90% of the bar applicants participating in the program this winter are repeat applicants. At the Kickoff, applicants heard from two successful lawyers who provided their advice for tackling the exam again. Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez (Massachusetts Probate & Family Court), who was instrumental in starting this program and who has been dedicated to mentorship initiatives throughout her career, shared her insight into the bar exam and urged the applicants to stay positive and diligent over the next few months. The Kickoff attendees also heard from Eunice Aikins-Afful, a recent bar admittee who participated in the program with her coach, Kate Cook (BBA Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Section Co-Chair). Eunice described her experience studying while also working full-time and the steps she took to successfully prepare for the July exam. We wish all of the February bar applicants good luck as they begin to prepare for the exam.

For anyone taking the February 2018 bar exam who wishes to sign up for the program, please complete this online information form.

Transgender Rights in Massachusetts: A Conversation Between PILP and Freedom For All Massachusetts

For the month of November 2017, the PILP class turned its focus to the topic of transgender rights. Kicking off that discussion, the PILP class met on November 8 with David Topping, the Field Director for Freedom for All Massachusetts, the campaign to preserve Massachusetts’s transgender-inclusive public accommodation laws, which is currently the subject of a repeal effort scheduled to be voted on during the November 2018 elections.

Topping described the recent history of the transgender rights movement, focusing particularly on recent electoral and legislative campaigns across the country concerning the extension of nondiscrimination protections to transgender people in places of public accommodation, which include a wide range of businesses and facilities such as stores, restaurants, public parks, and public restrooms and locker rooms. In October 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Baker acted to amend the Commonwealth’s public accommodation laws (see G. L. c. 272, §§ 92A and 99) to extend nondiscrimination protections to transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Shortly after that amendment went into effect, those opposed to the amendment gathered enough signatures to place a repeal measure on the Massachusetts ballot for November 2018. That effort represents the first statewide ballot question concerning transgender nondiscrimination.

Topping described Freedom for All Massachusetts’s efforts to counter false and damaging messages from opponents of transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. Topping explained the group’s strategy, which focuses on educating voters about the experiences of harassment and discrimination faced by transgender individuals. In making the case for extending protection to transgender individuals in public restrooms, the group points the broad base of support for the policy among law enforcement, women’s rights organizations, and groups that advocate for survivors of sexual violence. The PILP class also learned about opportunities to volunteer with Freedom for All Massachusetts, including door-to-door voter-education canvassing.

For more information about Freedom for All Massachusetts, please visit http://www.freedommassachusetts.org. To learn about the BBA’s support for transgender rights in 2016, click here, and to hear about how the new public accommodations law is working in practice, listen to our Issue Spot podcast on the subject, featuring Jill Zellmer of Tufts University, Mason Dunn of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and Catherine Reuben of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein.

Meeting recap provided by PILP Members Joshua M. Daniels (Solo Practice) and Mark Zglobicki (Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office).

Meet the Active Duty Military & Veterans Committee Co-Chairs

Jonathan Hayden

Jon, an associate at Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster, is entering his second year co-chairing the committee and currently focuses his practice on real estate law. Prior to joining Rackemann, he was an associate with a Boston commercial litigation and real estate firm. After law school, Jon served four years on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, serving as a criminal prosecutor for the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., and as an administrative law and legal assistance attorney for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Jon received the Army Commendation Medal twice and the Army Achievement Medal while serving in the U.S. Army.

Jessica Hopton Youngberg

A staff attorney and Skadden Fellow at Veterans Legal Services (VLS), Jessica assists low-income veterans through the VLS clinics at the Bedford VA Medical Center, the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, and the New England Center & Home for Veterans. She assists clients with a variety of civil matters, including landlord/tenant, public benefits, consumer debt, and family law. Before joining VLS, she served as a law clerk to Magistrate Judge Charles B. Goodwin in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Jessica previously worked with VLS as a summer intern during law school and worked with the Red Cross while living in Korea during her husband’s service in the Army. This will be Jessica’s first year as committee co-chair.

To learn about the work of the committee and to become involved, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

Annual Society of Fellows Fall Open House Kicks Off the Program Year

Just before Veterans Day, the Society of Fellows and their guests gathered at 16 Beacon Street to kick off the program year at the annual Fall Open House.

Boston Bar Foundation President-Elect and Fellow Diana Lloyd began the evening by sharing the Foundation’s goals for the coming year, including continuing to expand opportunities for Boston’s youth with the Summer Jobs program, making strides in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and engaging volunteers to help serve our community in ways the only lawyers can.

Peter Moser (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein), C. Max Perlman (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein), Diana Lloyd (Choate, Hall & Stewart) and William Sinnott (Donoghue Barrett & Singal)

The group also heard from former BBA President Jack Regan of WilmerHale and Bill Sinnott of Donoghue, Barrett & Singal, P.C. to speak to the group about their experience on the Active Duty and Military Veterans Committee of the BBA.

Both Jack and Bill were instrumental in starting the committee, which helped to establish the Military & Veterans Legal Helpline within the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service. The helpline connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with reduced fee lawyers and other legal resources. Jack and Bill detailed the process that went into the committee’s formation in 2009 and how it has continued to service a group of people who otherwise do not have easy access to legal services.

Jack Regan (WilmerHale) and Ernest Haddad.

In 2017, the BBF will grant $960,000 to 20 legal services organizations in the greater Boston area including Veterans Legal Services. The various grantee organizations administer legal aid to the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of the population, such as the homeless, domestic violence survivors, at-risk children, and veterans.

Pledges made by the Society of Fellows are dedicated 100% to the permanent endowment, which provides a lasting and stable base of support for all of the BBF’s work.  Today, more than 400 leaders of the Boston legal community are members of this group.  For more information about the Society of Fellows, or if you know someone who may be interested in joining, please contact Carolyn Mitchell at [email protected]  or (617) 778-1932.

Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership Helps Those With Less-Than-Honorable Discharge Status

Over the past few years in the spring and early summer, the BBA hosts a pro bono training to teach attorneys to navigate the complex process of representing a veteran in a case related to the status of his or her discharge from the military.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan or during prior eras have been wrongfully separated from the military with less-than-honorable discharges, often preventing them from accessing much needed benefits. To correct these injustices and address the enormous need for legal representation in the discharge upgrade process, in 2015, the BBA Active Duty Military and Veterans Subcommittee supported the creation of the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership.

Through that program, the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School has presented three legal education programs in partnership with the BBA, trained more than 100 attorneys and matched them with veterans in need, and provided ongoing case guidance. We caught up with Veterans Legal Clinic’s Dana Montalto, who directs the Partnership, to see how participation in the clinic is going since the BBA began holding trainings.

“Thanks to the growing number of private attorneys who have chosen to dedicate their time to representing those who served our nation in uniform, many more veterans now have the opportunity to have their honor restored and their service recognized,” she said.

If you would like to access videos or materials from the trainings or if you’re interested in connecting with the Partnership, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Holland & Knight and “the Privilege to Serve”

Among the attorneys at Holland & Knight, veterans, reservists, and active-duty members of the U.S. military have a prominent place.

Nationally, the firm is deeply committed to internal and external initiatives that serve those who have served our country. Hiring attorneys who are veterans is an important part of the firm’s diversity program. These veterans also play a critical role at the helm of Holland & Knight’s pro bono efforts to assist current and former military members with the unique legal challenges they face.

Nicholas Hasenfus, an associate in Holland & Knight’s Boston office, is vice chair of the firm-wide Veterans Group. In his role, he oversees the firm’s pro bono efforts related to helping veterans – efforts that have engaged more than 140 professionals in contributing over $2.3 million in legal service time in 2017 alone.

Hasenfus is one of eighteen members of Holland & Knight’s Veterans Group from the Boston office, ten of whom are veterans.  Having served in the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, he said he feels “very fortunate to be in the position [he’s] in,” and feels privileged to help fellow veterans when it’s “easy to see veterans [his] age who are homeless or jobless.”

“It could have been me or a lot of friends I served with and a lot of these people just need a little help,” he said.

Hasenfus said many older veterans seek help from Holland & Knight attorneys as well, particularly on issues with disability claims, aid and attendance benefits and assistance with getting into and paying for nursing home care. Cases come from a variety of sources – some veterans and families reach out directly, while many find the firm through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, for which many lawyers at the firm volunteer, or Veterans Legal Services (where former Holland & Knight attorney Tim McLaughlin, now with Shaheen & Gordon, is a past Board Chair).

In Boston, Hasenfus said other common cases involve landlord/tenant disputes, where the tenant is a low-income veteran facing eviction. Hasenfus said in many cases, simply having an attorney present to navigate the process is enough to keep the client in his or her home.

He also said his colleagues are working on two cases where clients who served in Vietnam are seeking benefits based on long-term health complications from exposure to Agent Orange. The infamous herbicide was used by the U.S. military to kill plants in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971, and has been linked with many serious health problems, including some types of heart disease and cancer.

“We’re providing these veterans with legal services first and foremost, but we think, as a firm, it’s really important to welcome these veterans and get them the care they deserve, especially when some of them may not have received the welcome they deserved when they came home,” he said.

In addition to working with veterans on issues related to housing and benefits, the firm represents many veteran-owned businesses.  Hasenfus said he is grateful to Holland & Knight’s leadership, which has enabled the firm’s Veterans Group to have such a robust pro bono practice. In particular, he acknowledged Executive Partner Steven Wright and the Boston Veterans Group Leader Paul Lannon, whose support has given the Boston office an amazing platform for this work.

Nationally, the firm’s efforts involve about 200 attorneys across all 28 Holland & Knight offices.  The Chair of the Veterans Group, Daniel Sylvester, an associate in the firm’s Chicago office, coordinates these efforts throughout the firm, which has received the American Bar Association’s Military Pro Bono Project Outstanding Service Award for six straight years.

Sylvester served 11 years in the military. His wife served seven, and now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As an attorney overseeing Holland & Knight’s effort to help, and the caregiver of a disabled veteran himself, Sylvester said he is proud and grateful to have received so much support from the firm’s leadership.

“It’s the atmosphere and mentality of the firm to do good and take care of people, and it allows us to do so much to take care of veterans across the country. It’s really heartwarming,” he said.

Pro bono work with veterans, active-duty service members, and their families is a large and important part of Holland & Knight’s community commitment. But the firm’s public service projects represent a varied array of causes. The Public and Charitable Service Department of Holland & Knight strives to involve attorneys in many types of cases, and leads firmwide signature efforts in the areas of children and education, civil rights and human rights and social entrepreneurship.

In addition, it encourages its attorneys and professionals to volunteer together, often with clients, family and friends, on non-legal community service projects.  On the firm’s annual 9/11 Day of Service, attorneys are encouraged to get out and volunteer in the community, whether at a soup kitchen, a school or center for youth, or an elderly housing facility.

The 9/11 Day of Service was started on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in memory of Glenn Winuk, a Holland & Knight partner in the New York office and volunteer EMT and firefighter, who was killed on September 11, 2001 assisting New York City firefighters at Ground Zero.  Working with his brother, Jay, the firm started the nation-wide tradition to help harness the spirit of unity and volunteerism that arose on 9/11.

The aim, according to the Boston office’s Public and Charitable Service Partner Brett Carroll, is to engage attorneys in a fulfilling day-long project in hopes that they will become more deeply invested in representing disadvantaged populations.

“What we’re doing has an immediate impact for the groups that need assistance, but the goal is to get people talking to people in Boston community that might inspire them to do a little bit more to help,” Carroll said.

In Boston, there are between ten and sixteen different 9/11 Day of Service projects. The Boston office’s participation translates to well over 5,000 hours of community service since 2011, and has involved organizations like the Greater Boston Food Bank, the New England Homeless Veterans Center, and the Ronald McDonald House and corporate entities like Baupost, Boston Financial, JetBlue and Welch’s. In addition to the homeless and the hungry, attorneys have helped survivors of domestic violence and Paralympic athletes as part of the 9/11 Day of Service. Working together and with these partners, Carroll says the motto in the Boston office is “it is our privilege to serve.”

“One of the leaders of the firm, Holland & Knight founder and ABA President Chesterfield Smith, truly believed in service,” he said. “It all comes down to something he would encourage others to do, ‘Do good and be somebody.’”

Interested in Teaching Kids about Financial Literacy?

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re interested in volunteering, the session dates and times for 2018 will be released prior to the new year and will be available for sign-up online. As a volunteer, you will present at least one classroom session lasting about an hour and will receive training and resources prior to visiting the school. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

To be included on the program notification email list and to be alerted when sign-up has begun, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].