Thank You to Those Who Made our Summer Jobs Program Possible

We would like to thank all of the offices and individuals who made the 2016 BBA Summer Jobs program possible.

Thank you for employing a student:

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Brown Rudnick LLP

Burns & Levinson LLP

Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP

Collora LLP

Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP

DLA Piper LLP

Foley Hoag LLP

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Goodwin Procter LLP

Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

Holland & Knight LLP

Locke Lord LLP

LPL Financial LLP

Margolis & Bloom, LLP

McCarter & English LLP

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris,
Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP Nixon Peabody LLP

Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston

Peabody & Arnold LLP

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pierce Atwood LLP

Prince Lobel Tye LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP

Shaevel & Krems LLP

Sherin and Lodgen LLP

Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, LLP

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP

Thornton Law Firm LLP

Verrill Dana LLP

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Thank you for generously donating to the program: 

Arrowood Peters LLP

Anderson & Krieger LLP

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.

Donovan Hatem LLP

Eastern Bank

EMC Corporation

Evidox Corporation

Fidelity Investments

Floyd Advisory

FTI Consulting

Hemenway & Barnes LLP

Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP

LeClairRyan

Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C

Morgan Brown & Joy

Morningside Translations

Schwartz Hannum PC

Thank you for hosting a student whose position was funded by the Boston Bar Foundation: 

Boston Bar Association

Committee for Public Counsel Services – Roxbury/Dorchester District Court Office

Massachusetts Executive Office of  Health & Human Services

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation

Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

United States District Court

United States Bankruptcy Court

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

Thank you to our partners:

City of Boston Mayor’s Office

Boston Private Industry Council

Celebrating Success for our Summer Jobs Students

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Hon. Serge Georges Jr. (Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division) once again helped us commemorate another successful season of the BBA Summer Jobs Program. In his keynote speech to our Summer Jobs Students at a celebration for them last week, Judge Georges clued them in on traits that are essential to being successful in the legal profession.

“The two things that I hope you all develop are empathy and resilience,” he said.

The students will need empathy in order to understand the challenges other people are facing, Judge Georges said. Lawyers and other professionals are often tasked with helping other people, but Judge Georges emphasized the importance of compassion beyond professional obligations.

Resilience is required, he said, because other people will not always show the same compassion. But Judge Georges reassured students that they will be successful if they hold true to their values.

“You will realize that what you accomplish just doesn’t matter if you don’t care about each other,” he said.

BBA President-elect Carol Starkey, who assumes the presidency next week, emceed the ceremony addressing attorneys and other personnel from the law firms who hired students this year.

Ben Tayag, the Celebration’s Student Speaker, said that he learned that “all jobs are what you make of them.” He said the Summer Jobs Program taught him that even small tasks represent opportunities to learn more and hone your skills.

“Moving forward, I will be more prepared for other internships and jobs I may have,” he said.

He also thanked his office at Holland & Knight for making him feel welcome and always taking the time to explain something new.

Starkey summed up another amazing year of the Summer Jobs Program when, at the end of her speech, she said, “Our future looks bright, don’t you think?”

Summer Jobs Students Tour Adams Courthouse, State House

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For their last enrichment seminar of the summer, the students in the BBA Summer Jobs Program got to tour the three branches of government by going behind the scenes at the Massachusetts State House and the John Adams Courthouse, which houses the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The students had a few favorite oddities about which they asked many questions – including the “sacred cod” in the House of Representatives’ chambers, a large fish that hangs from the ceiling. But they also asked many insightful questions about the process of passing a bill through the Legislature and signing it into law. At the courthouse, students got to try out the chairs used by the Supreme Judicial Court Justices.

The students demonstrated the knowledge they have gained about the legal system in their summer positions. When asked about the function of the appeals court, one student replied that its function is to “go back over cases and look for a mistake.”

At the State House, students enjoyed the Great Hall, where flags from cities and towns in Massachusetts hang. At the courthouse, they showed a lot of interest in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, which resulted in two Italian immigrants being convicted for a murder they may or may not have committed. The two men were put to death.

When one student asked why the court would choose to commemorate that trial in spite of its negative implications for the justice system, she started a conversation between students and the tour guide about what lessons could be gleaned from the infamous case.

This group of Summer Jobs students was the first to take a combined tour of both buildings, and they said it was a worthwhile experience. We will definitely be back next summer!

“My First Office Job:” Learning Professionalism at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers

IMG_9754If you ask the staff at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers what stands out about Fatima Adam, their Summer Jobs student, they will talk about her sense of humor.

But over the past two months, Fatima has done more than just come out of her shell around her supervisors. She says she has learned to be more professional, efficient and organized.

“This is my first office job,” she said. “I find that I am interacting with adults much more. You learn quickly to be professional and friendly, and say ‘good morning.’ There is a level of professionalism in any office that isn’t there at other kinds of summer jobs,” she said.

In the past, Fatima has volunteered overseas for the Meseret Humanitarian Organization, an initiative to reduce vulnerability among children and women in Ethiopia. She believes she wants to focus on business and international relations in her future career, and she is considering going to law school after college.

“When I first heard about the program, I wanted to participate because it sounded really interesting and I wanted to see if I really wanted to do law,” she said.

Fatima said she has also discovered other interests during the weekly enrichment seminars offered to the students. During a mock city council hearing earlier in the summer, she was excited to learn that eligibility to run for Boston’s city council begins at age 18. Someday, she might want to serve as an elected official, she said.

“I love the enrichment seminars because some of the office work can be more administrative but the seminars give us the chance to learn about something different,” she said.

Fatima plans to study international relations at Bunker Hill Community College in the fall.

BRA’s First Summer Jobs Student ‘In Love’ with the Work

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When the summer began, Sherley Muscade didn’t know much about urban planning.

Now, she can rattle off a series of buildings the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) had a hand in erecting. She has reviewed real estate documents dating back to the 1980s, reorganized the BRA’s archives and gained a new perspective on old neighborhoods. She has even drafted important legal documents, such as mortgage discharge papers and land use agreements, to help the staff on the 9th floor of City Hall.

“I’m in love with the BRA,” Sherley said of her summer job.

This is the first year the BRA has participated in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program, and the team working with Sherley had a lot of good things to say about her performance. She is an asset both in the office and on the playing field, having joined the BRA’s softball team shortly after starting there.

Kate Sullivan, a receptionist at the BRA, said Sherley is “kind, professional and poised,” which Sullivan found especially impressive for someone Sherley’s age.

Though Sherley is not yet done with high school, she is seriously reviewing her college options, and said one of the best parts of talking with her coworkers at the BRA is learning more about their experience in their undergraduate studies and in law school.

“Everybody is a resource to me. They are unbelievably friendly and helpful, and always ready to share their stories with me,” she said.

While Sherley said she does not anticipate pursuing a career in real estate law, she thinks her work at the BRA could be helpful years down the line when she gears up to take the bar exam.

“Before I started working here, I didn’t know the bar exam covered all of the different types of law, so it’s helpful to hear these new terms and learn how to apply them,” she said.

In her application for the program, Sherley said she was looking for a way to make her summer more active and productive. Since she started, Sherley said the Summer Jobs program has helped her think “in more realistic terms” about her goals for her future schooling and career.

“The people here are so amazing and I had no idea how lucky I would be to get into this program,” she said.

Exploring Legal Careers: Future and Current Attorneys Share Valuable Insight with Summer Jobs Students

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With the end of their summer internships on the horizon, students of the BBA’s Summer Jobs program spent Wednesday morning with legal professionals involved in a diverse range of legal fields.  Through this event, Exploring Legal Careers, students heard firsthand descriptions of each guest’s chosen career path, asked any questions they had, and discussed a wide variety of legal topics.

Family law attorney Enjoli Alexander shared her unique experiences as a solo practitioner, emphasizing the flexibility her position provides. While it is essential to carefully manage her work and personal time, Alexander described her freedom with excitement, stating, “I can watch a movie in the middle of the day if I want to!” She also emphasized the fact that students can major in whatever subject interests them and still pursue law, allowing many legally-curious students to breathe a sigh of relief.

Kodie Richardson, a paralegal at Robins Kaplan LLP, offered insight into the whirlwind of challenges and opportunities one experiences as a paralegal. “There are times where you may get home, take a shower, put on clean clothes, and be out the door and on your way back to the office,” Richardson described. “But it’s exciting, and I find myself learning something new every day.” Many students were also unaware what a paralegal was; Richardson happily explained that a paralegal is trained in an area of law, but not a fully qualified attorney.

Law students Courtney Person and Richard Jean Baptiste attending New England School Law presented a depiction of the law school lifestyle. When asked why they left their Florida and South Carolina homes for Boston, both agreed that they wanted to “compete with the best.” They mentioned that the most important skill they have learned is how to effectively tailor an argument to its audience. “Even if you get the right answer, it won’t mean anything if you don’t know how to get your point across,” remarked Baptiste. Person and Baptiste gave Summer Jobs students a valuable opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of law school, their next step should they decide to pursue a legal career.

Maureen McDonagh illustrated her work at The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. She analogized her work to that of a licensed driver teaching a permit-holding learner; law students within her program are able to perform the functions of a full attorney, provided McDonagh is there to oversee and “take the wheel” at any time. “It’s really fun for the students to work on real cases while in law school,” said McDonagh, “and for many, it’s the most fulfilling aspect of their law school experience.” Students were awe struck by the opportunities described by McDonagh. For many, her account was another point in favor of attending law school.

Adrian Bispham, attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, gave an iteration of criminal law from the perspective of a government prosecutor. As a member of the District Attorney’s Office’s Gang Unit, Bispham helps run youth programs that prevent neighborhood violence, such as Soccer for Peace and Overcoming Violence. “Most of the people I work with who are accused of a crime are 18 to 25 years old, which can be frustrating to see,” stated Bispham. “It’s important to have people familiar with these neighborhoods involved in the justice process,” he highlighted when asked how he helps to minimize gang activity.

Formerly a judge’s clerk and currently an in-house attorney, Jennifer Watson shared a wide range of experiences with Summer Jobs students. “Being a clerk is a fun experience; you’re together with a bunch of law school graduates, consulting  each other about the law, tossing the football around, and talking to the judge about your conclusions,” said Watson. When confronted about the low pay expected during a clerkship, Watson argued, “The insight you gain into legal protocol and a judge’s way of thinking make you an invaluable asset for the rest of your career.” Most students had never spoken with someone with clerking experience, prompting a joyous onslaught of clerking-related questions.

Kevin Nolan, a business attorney focusing on private equity funds and institutional investment, gave the perspective of a large firm attorney. Upon being asked about the greatest challenges he experiences, Nolan referenced the constantly demanding nature of his job. “I sometimes don’t spend as much time with my family as I want, and competing client interests sometimes make it difficult to please everyone,” recounted Nolan. However, according to the attorney, the intellectual stimulation provided by his line of work makes the profession more than worthwhile.

Following the program, Summer Jobs students spoke highly of the experience. “I really like hearing from the attorneys and law students,” one student remarked. “It got me thinking about what I wanted to pursue.”

Another student described the event as an eye-opening experience. “The law students and attorneys gave great insight as to what legal paths I can pursue in my life.”

Summer Jobs Alumni: Where Are They Now?

With this year’s Summer Jobs students nearing the end of the program, we decided to check-in with a couple of last year’s participants. Read on to see how a summer with the BBA Summer Jobs Program influenced Enrique Pepen and Leslie Bala’s future:

Enrique Pepen
Enrique Pepen
Interned at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Suffolk University, Law and Public Policy

“Participating in the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program felt like an opportunity like no other. It exposed me to a world that I once believed was very hard to get into. I had the unique pleasure to work for Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP on State Street, and that firm immediately influenced my path towards my future career. The partnership that the BBA creates between the firms and the students allows inner city students to learn about the legal system in a way that no classroom will be able to do. Not only did the firm serve as an inspiration, but also the field trips to the courts, the guest speakers, and the workshops all together created a scenario that none of us could have imagined. Now I know what I am getting into. I know what I need to get taken care of before I want to enter the legal field. And I am certain that this is what I want to do.”

Leslie Leslie BalaBala
Interned at Locke Lord LLP
Suffolk University, Government and Public Policy

“The BBA Summer Jobs Program helped me prepare for my future in major ways. It is and always will be such an essential and memorable experience. It was a head start for me in the field I’m pursuing. Before BBA, I participated in the JYC program and decided to continue doing internships that would prepare me for having a real career, for understanding the work life after college, and would show me the importance of building my work ethic as well as my networking and communication skills. During my time at Locke Lord LLP, I worked with the records, and the marketing and IT departments. The internship helped me to comprehend the field of law much more and see what the right fit was for me. I shadowed different types of lawyers, saw how they do their work and heard what led them to choose the path they did. The BBA program opened my eyes and was also another reason I decided to attend Suffolk University. It is once again an experience that I will always be grateful for.”

For more information on the Summer Jobs Program, contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

“A Foot in the Door:” Peabody & Arnold Summer Jobs Student Shares Her Experience

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Alicia Zhang, a recent graduate of Boston Latin School, knew for sure last summer that her dream is to become an attorney. This summer, at Peabody & Arnold, she feels she is taking one step closer to that goal.

Whether the task at hand is observing a hearing in court or helping to rearrange the firm’s library, Alicia said spending time at Peabody & Arnold has helped her better understand workplace dynamics at an office job. While her previous experience working at a popular downtown café bustled with activity, this summer job has given her practical experience that she hopes to apply to her career someday, she said.

“Being in court is really different from what you see on TV,” she said. “It’s not as dramatic as I thought it would be. But I really feel like I am getting to learn more about the field of law.”

Alicia said she has fun working with the legal secretaries because she enjoys learning more about cases, especially trials, by reading the notes. The area of law to which she has had the most exposure to so far – insurance law – is not where she wants to focus in her own career, but Alicia said she has enjoyed getting to see the workings of the firm from a variety of perspectives.

“I like how I get to work for a lot of different departments, like human resources and accounting,” she said. “I definitely feel more comfortable than when I started with talking to people and asking what I can do to help.”

Alicia is headed to Washington University in St. Louis in the Fall, where she is considering majoring in psychology and international relations. She hopes that this will put her on the path to law school, something she learned more about at the first Summer Jobs Program enrichment seminar she attended two weeks ago. The session focused on the steps students typically take on their journey to the bar exam.

“[The seminar] was great because it really helped me create a loose track in my mind of what I want to do in college,” she said.

In her application, Alicia talked about how much personal meaning it held for her when she volunteered to assist Somali refugees in Maine last summer. The stories they told her, along with her own family’s story of pursuing the “American dream,” make her want to be a lawyer.

“Striving to serve others and provide them justice is extremely important,” she wrote. “My work this summer will be just a foot in the door into my future career. I hope someday I will completely cross that threshold.”

Financial Literacy: Summer Jobs Students Learn to Keep Their Wallets Healthy

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While the BBA Summer Jobs Program is more than 50 students strong, on Wednesday, it felt like they each got one-on-one tips on budgeting, credit and how to manage their finances generally.

That’s because David Gabor (The Wagner Law Group) called on every student individually during this week’s enrichment seminar on financial literacy.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program teaches students how to make responsible decisions about money by using practical examples like balancing a checkbook and paying bills on time. It also introduces students to concepts they may not have encountered yet, such as a healthy credit score and buying a car. Finally, the program covers what happens when people fail to meet their financial obligations by outlining the basics of bankruptcy.

Gabor focused mostly on budgeting, asking students to give some examples of steps they take to watch their spending. One student said he carefully divides his paycheck between his savings account and expenses, like his cell phone bill. Other students asked about taxes coming out of their paycheck, how social security is distributed, why people refinance their homes, and how to report an error on their bank statement.

Gabor also discussed how a good credit score translates to better options for lending, especially for student loans.

In their evaluation of the program, our students said:

  • “This was very informative for my future budgeting.”
  • “This enrichment seminar was a useful seminar. I know it would benefit me in the future now that I’m going to college.”
  • “I think that this seminar taught me valuable information regarding finance and budgeting.”

Learning by Doing at MLRI

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MLRI Executive Director Georgia Katsoulomitis, Summer Jobs Student Katherine Urbaez and Sharon Armour, Manager of Human Resources and Administration at MLRI

Katherine Urbaez is still deciding on a career path, but one thing she’s sure of is her learning style.

As someone who retains information most effectively by observing and performing hands-on tasks, Katherine was excited to participate in the BBA Summer Jobs program. She knew it would give her the chance to learn by watching and doing.

At the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), a state-wide poverty law and policy center, Katherine has kept busy translating fliers from English to Spanish to help make Spanish-speaking clients aware of different programs. In doing this, she also learned about programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing assistance programs that benefit the elderly and the poor.

“Until I started doing this, I didn’t know there was something out there that would help them,” Urbaez said.

Having recently graduated from Boston International High School, Urbaez says the thought of going to law school has crossed her mind. But as she prepares to start at UMass Lowell in the fall, she may be more interested in pursuing a career in social work. MLRI’s work to help low-income families achieve economic stability has helped solidify her interest in doing the same thing, she said.

When we caught up with Katherine, she had only spent a week on the job, but she said she was already comfortable.

“I was nervous that working for lawyers would be hard, but now [MLRI] is like my second house,” she said. “The work I do is because I want to do it. I’m really interested in it.”

Katherine also said she has sharpened other skills that are essential in the workplace, such as using Microsoft Excel to help track data. At the front desk, she is a friendly face that greets visitors when they step into MLRI’s suite.

“I am exploring things that I can do, things that will turn into experiences, which will help to increase my knowledge of serving and helping not just my community but the world,” Urbaez said of the Summer Jobs Program.

Katherine’s position at MLRI is one of the 11 BBA Summer Jobs positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). The BBF funds these internships not only to open up opportunities for Boston’s youth, but to also provide an extra set of hands at no cost to the agencies, offices and nonprofits that need it most.