Veterans Luncheon Highlights Educational Opportunities

Bill Ferguson, Veterans Upward Bound, explains how the program supports veterans in Massachusetts.

Bill Ferguson, Veterans Upward Bound, explains how the program supports veterans in Massachusetts.

At the BBA Veterans Meet and Greet Luncheon last week, William Ferguson, Academic and Career Advisor for Suffolk University Veterans Upward Bound (VUB), went over some factors that hold veterans back from obtaining a secondary education and how VUB can help.

Veterans Upward Bound provides counseling, mentoring, tutoring and academic instruction for veterans. In preparation for college, participants also learn about financial literacy and career planning. The steps that Veterans Upward Bound lays out allow prospective students to refine their goals and develop a specific plan for their education, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the specific benefits provided by the GI Bill.

Veterans eligible for VUB must be low-income or a first generation college student, must have served 180+ days of active duty military service, and must have a military discharge status other than dishonorable or have been discharged due to a disability connected to their service.

Ferguson encouraged attendees to spread the word about the program, which is housed at Suffolk University but run by the U.S. Department of Education. Since the program is federal, participants are not required to apply to a specific college or university. If you would like to read more on VUB at Suffolk University or apply for the program, please visit this page.

The luncheon was part of an ongoing series of events hosted by the BBA with the aim of connecting veterans and active duty military personnel in the legal profession. If you are interested in getting involved with the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members, and Veterans Committee, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Jonathan Hayden, Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster and Co-Chair of the BBA Military & Veterans Committee converses with luncheon attendees.

Jonathan Hayden (center), Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster and Co-Chair of the BBA Military & Veterans Committee speaks with luncheon attendees.

Pro Bono Work: Serving the Community, Advancing Your Career


Working for free isn’t exactly what many law school grads have in mind after graduation, especially with many facing high student debt. Some believe they can’t afford the time to volunteer for pro bono work in such a competitive legal environment, and many don’t realize how many opportunities there are to not only help those in need, but also to gain experience and build a professional network.

On Friday, October 14th, attorneys discussed the benefit of volunteering your time at the program “Pro Bono Work: Serving the Community, Advancing Your Career.” Rachel Biscardi (Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts), Vanessa Dillen ( Court Service Center), Brian McLaughlin (Brian McLaughlin Esq. LLC), and William Moore(Law Office of William Moore)shared their pro bono experiences with interested attorneys.

The speakers provided the audience with insider-knowledge on what it’s really like to work at a service organization and to volunteer for pro bono work. While all of the speakers agreed it can be tough, they also all spoke about how rewarding it is when you assist someone who otherwise would not be able to acquire legal help. In addition, pro bono work is an incredible way for new attorneys to get legal experience, especially in the courtroom, that otherwise would not be possible as a new attorney. McLaughlin may have put it best when he described his devotion to pro bono work as a combination of the tugging at his heartstrings and a passion to learn more, gain experience, and expand his legal network.

For new and seasoned lawyers, there are always volunteer opportunities available, and organizations like the Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts and the Court Service Center of the Massachusetts Trial Court are grateful for their volunteers.

If you’d like more information on available pro bono opportunities, please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Honors Pro Bono Work

On Thursday, October 6th, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts held its Fourth Annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony. The Bankruptcy Judges presented the Pro Bono Publico Awards, which are given for exceptional devotion to pro bono work in each of the state’s regions. The Boston Bar Association congratulates all of the awardees and distinguishes Janet Bostwick for receiving the District of Massachusetts Award.

While presenting the award to Bostwick, Judge Joan Feeney noted that the District of Massachusetts Award is not given every year, but Bostwick’s dedication to pro bono and the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program are deserving of the award. Bostwick was also recently honored at the Boston Bar Association for her work on the Financial Literacy program after she stepped down as Co-Chair of the Financial Literacy Committee after 12 years of service. You can read more on that honor here.

Following the Pro Bono Publico Awards, the 2016 Pro Bono Honor Roll certificates were presented to attorneys meeting the Honor Roll criteria outlined by the Court’s Pro Bono Legal Services Advisory Committee. The Boston Bar Association congratulates those awardees and thanks them for their service to the community.

Pro Bono Publico Awards:

Western Division Award – Henry E. Geberth, Jr.

Central Division Award – Judith Vassilovski

South Coast/Cape & Islands Division Award – David B. Madoff

Eastern Division Award – Neil D. Warrenbrand

District of Massachusetts Award – Janet E. Bostwick

Honor Roll:

Warren Agin

Kermine S. Akoglu

William R. Baldiga

Joseph H. Baldiga

Elaine M. Benkoski

Janet E. Bostwick

Christopher M. Candon

Nadine Champagne

David R. Chenelle

Michelle L. Cote

N. Lee Darst

John W. Davis

Michael P. Dube

Kellie W. Fisher

Jesse N. Garfinkle

Henry E. Geberth, Jr.

Jonathan R. Goldsmith

Maegan L. Hurley

Jeffrey L. Jonas

Elizabeth D. Katz

Gazion Kotoni

Donald Lassman

Sarah J. Long

John G. Loughnane

Carolyn Lynch

Heather J. Lynham

David Madoff

Jonathan D. Marshall

Wendy M. Mead

Richard E. Mikels

Kate E. Nicholson

Andrea M. O’Connor

Gina Barbieri O’Neil

William J. O’Neil

David W. Ostrander

Nina M. Parker

Carmenelisa Pérez‐Kudzma

Steven D. Pohl

David G. Prentiss

Richard S. Ravosa

Alex M. Rodolakis

Deborah G. Roher

Adam J. Ruttenberg

Mary Sharon

Denise M. Shear

Mary Jeanne Stone

Andrew P. Strehle

Leslie Su

Christina M. Turgeon

Adrienne K. Walker

Kevin J. Walsh

Neil D. Warrenbrand

Thomas N. Wilson

Keri L. Wintle

Pro Bono Spotlight: Nixon Peabody Associates Volunteer with PAIR Project


Nixon Peabody’s website boasts impressive pro bono numbers. In 2015, 84% of attorneys firm-wide participated in pro bono projects.  The firm logged 34,001 total pro bono hours in 2015 with participation from attorneys, paralegals, professional specialists and staff members.

But behind the numbers are the people. In recognition of Pro Bono Month, we spoke to two associates in Nixon Peabody’s Boston office who have devoted a considerable amount of their time and energy to the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) project in Boston.

The staff at PAIR match attorneys with immigrants who are seeking asylum or have been unjustly detained in Massachusetts. PAIR offers training and

mentorship, particularly to attorneys who may not regularly practice immigration law. That describes Hannah Bornstein and Troy Lieberman, who concentrate on white collar criminal defense and intellectual property litigation, respectively.

Some of their clients have survived horrors like abuse and torture, and are forced to leave family members behind when they flee their home country. Many do not speak English and do not have the funds to hire an attorney to help them navigate the complex process of applying for asylum.

“I have bornstein_hannahtwo little kids. Imagine having to leave overnight and go to a country where you don’t know anyone, you don’t speak the language, and the only reason you do it is because if you stay where you are, you’ll be killed,” Bornstein said. “You hear these stories, and everyone is in tears, and it’s really heartbreaking.”

Bornstein began volunteering with PAIR when she was in law school, and has stuck with it for the last 10 years. Her enthusiasm inspired Lieberman to get involved, and he said the work has been appealing and inspiring on many levels.

Attorneys who take part in Nixon Peabody’s various pro bono projects are not only improving the lives of their clients, they are sharpening their professional skills in practice areas that might differ significantly from their own. In these types of immigration and asylum cases, where clients have been through trauma, becoming extremely familiar with documents is important, Bornstein said. Sometimes building their case revolves around telling a story that moves from point A to point B coherently.

Lieberman echoed these comments, and also said working with PAIR clients helps him to gain perspective on his work.
“Clients come in so upbeat and optimistic in spite of everything, and it makes you realize how fortunate we are,” he said.


Volunteering with PAIR does not require expertise in a specific practice area. Bornstein and Lieberman both praised the staff at PAIR for their seemingly endless capacity to work through issues and make themselves available to help. But it does require patience and immense sensitivity.

“The level of trust it takes for these clients to confide in you and talk about these things they’ve been through is what really stays with me. It doesn’t happen in the first, second,
or even third meeting, usually. It takes a high level of trust and a lot of listening. There’s a huge human element to the process,” he said.

Bornstein said working with PAIR clients inspires her to be grateful, particularly for the freedoms Americans have that people in other parts of the world are denied.

“My clients show up with a smile on their face and they are happy and grateful for our help. It speaks to resiliency and how people can overcome a lot. I think it’s the clients that are the heroes of these stories,” she said.

The Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) project is a grantee organization of the Boston Bar Foundation. To find out more about their work, please visit


New BBA Veterans Committee Co-Chair Appointed          


The BBA is excited to welcome Jonathan Hayden, a veteran who served for four years as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, to his new post as a co-chair of the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members, and Veterans Committee.

Hayden joined Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster as an associate last year. He concentrates his practice in real estate law, representing commercial mortgage lenders and assisting clients with development and permitting matters. He will serve alongside Harvard Law School Professor Daniel Nagin, who serves as Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education and Faculty Director of the Veterans Legal Clinic of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center.

The committee’s charge is of personal importance to Hayden based on his military experience and his work as board member at Veterans Legal Services in Boston.  As a co-chair, he hopes to expand the BBA’s existing work to connect veterans with legal assistance and support veterans in the legal profession.

“There are so many veterans in the legal community, and many have vastly different military experiences,” he said. “There are attorneys who enlisted in the military before they went to college and law school. We also have people more like me, who finished school, spent time in the military, and then moved to Boston for the next phase of their legal careers.  Regardless of the differences in our military experiences, one thing I think we all share is a desire to help other veterans who have not been as fortunate.  Studies show unmet legal needs are one of the root causes of veteran homelessness, and the committee’s work can do a lot for the local veteran population.”

From February of 2010 to March of 2014, Hayden served first on the staff at West Point and then as a prosecutor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. By taking this unique path, Hayden said he was able to gain a lot of experience handling criminal cases straight out of school, an opportunity most attorneys don’t get.

“In my first four years as an attorney, I did a lot of things that my friends from law school did not get to do,” he said. “I’ve lost count of the number of jury trials I handled as a prosecutor. I advised high-ranking military officers. The confidence and attention to detail necessary for my work as a JAG attorney were great preparation for my legal career in Boston.  I am lucky that I got to do it.”

Two years ago, Hayden discovered the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members and Veterans Committee and was pleased to have the chance to network with other attorneys with military backgrounds.  Hayden said for attorneys entering the legal field after serving in the military, the chance to speak with other veterans about how to best transition to a career in Boston can be a significant asset.  At BBA luncheons veterans have the opportunity to reminisce about their military experiences, discuss challenges in the legal field, and learn about opportunities to serve the local veteran population.

“For those of us who are now settled into our careers in Boston, the opportunity to network with fellow veterans can be incredibly helpful as we move forward in our careers,” he said.

The BBA’s next Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon is this Friday, and will feature remarks from guest speaker William Ferguson, Academic and Career Advisor for Suffolk University’s Veterans Upward Bound program.

Thank You to Our 2016 Financial Literacy Volunteers

With the end of the BBA Summer Jobs Program comes the end of another successful year for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Because of the attorneys who volunteer their time to this unique educational experience, students all over Massachusetts are able to better understand how to manage their finances.

Thank you to Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Hon. Frank J. Bailey, Hon. Henry J. Boroff (Ret.), Hon. Joan N. Feeney, and Hon. Christopher J. Panos for their support of this program.

We would also like to thank our partners at the Hampden County Bar Association and Hampshire County Bar Association for bringing the Carpenter Financial Literacy Program to students throughout the Commonwealth.

Thank you to all of this year’s volunteers!

Amane Abdel Jaben

Karen Adamski, O’Brien & Adamski

Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC

Jesse Angeley, McLane Middleton, Professional Association

Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office

Amanda Blaske

Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC

Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green- NH

Jeffrey Cedrone, Sun Life Financial

Stephen M Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Michele Collins, MetLife

Christopher Condon, Murphy & King

Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps

Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.

Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Danielle D’Onfro, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Deborah Dong

Max Ferullo, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Kellie Fisher, Brown Rudnick LLP

Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office

Harrison Freeman

David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC

Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC

Talia Gee

Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law

Jonathan Goldsmith, Law Office of Jonathan R. Goldsmith

Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial

Nancy Gregory, BlumShapiro

Nicholas Grimaldi, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP

Lisa Halbert, Bacon & Wilson, PC

David Hansen, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA

Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Lee Harrington, Nixon Peabody LLP

Benjamin Higgins, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

D. Ethan Jeffery, Murphy & King

Kevin Kam, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office

Geraldine Karonis, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Elizabeth Katz, Rescia & Katz, LLP

Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson, PC

Ryan Kelley, Pierce Atwood, LLP

Justin Kesselman, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Eric Kornblum

Peter Lane

Deborah Levine

Amy Lipman-White, Lipman & White

Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King

John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Cornelio Lozada

David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP

Janice Marsh

Wendy Mead, Kressler & Ehrhard PC

Dragica Mijailovic, Sun Life Financial

Rose Miller, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Rebecca Mitchell, Brown Rudnick LLP

Vanessa Moody, Goulston & Storrs PC

John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP

Karen Murphy, Pioneer Valley Legal Associates, LLP

Sean Nehill, Boston Redevelopment Authority

Andrea O’Connor, Hendel & Collins, PC

Laura Otenti, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance

Jessica Pettit, Sun Life Financial

Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP

Jesse Redlener, Dalton & Finegold, LLP

Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC

David Rozenson

Adam Ruttenberg, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Patricia Saint James, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, PC

Megan Schaubhut

Mary Sharon, Pro Se Debtors Bankruptcy Clinic

Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office

Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office

Deborah Sonnenschein

Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang

Jennifer Spavins Holme

Leslie Su, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Ryan Swartz, McLane Middleton, Professional Association

Lisa Tingue, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Tali Tomsic, Feinman Law Offices

Christina Turgeon

Jacob Walker, Block & Leviton LLP

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

Gary Weiner, Weiner Law Firm, PC

Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson

Toby Wilson

Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP

Amy Zuccarello, Sullivan & Worcester LLP


Peabody HS at Bankruptcy Court

Students from Peabody High School visited Judge Feeney’s chambers at the Bankruptcy Court in April to learn the consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

Janet Bostwick Honored for Financial Literacy Work


Hon. Joan N. Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Bankruptcy Section Co-Chair D. Ethan Jeffery, Janet Bostwick and Bankruptcy Section Co-Chair Lee Harrington

After ten years, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program is still going strong at the BBA. That is in no small part due to the hard work of Janet Bostwick (Bostwick Law), an experienced bankruptcy attorney who believes passionately in the importance of educating high school students about financial responsibility.

This week, the BBA’s Bankruptcy Law Section, together with the judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, honored Bostwick for her dedicated work on the program.  For twelve years, Bostwick co-chaired the Financial Literacy Committee, but stepped down at the end of the spring. John Loughnane (Nutter, McClennen & Fish) will join Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs) as the attorney co-chairs of the committee.

Hon. Joan N. Feeney, who has also co-chaired the program since its inception and will continue to do so alongside Loughnane and Rosner, praised Bostwick for her efforts to rally BBA members to volunteer and support the program. Judge Feeney said Bostwick “does not know how to say ‘no,’” which is how she came to be the Financial Literacy Program’s champion.


The program is named for the late M. Ellen Carpenter, a bankruptcy attorney who knew Bostwick and Judge Feeney well. Carpenter was the BBA president in 2004 and   appointed the Joint Task Force on Financial Literacy for Students, charged with identifying the underlying reasons for financial problems among young adults and the need for financial literacy education. As a result of the task force’s work, Carpenter, Bostwick and Judge Feeney helped outline a course to teach financial literacy to high school students. At the time, there were no similar programs in nearby districts, Judge Feeney said.

“She created something out of nothing,” Judge Feeney said of Bostwick.

The room was filled with Bankruptcy Section members who warmly congratulated Bostwick. The Boston Bar Association is extremely thankful for her many years of dedicated service to the program.


Janet Bostwick and Hon. Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts

BBA is Sixth on Boston PIC’s List of Top Student Employers

At tcs5xu27vmaakkt0he Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) Annual Meeting last week, attendees heard Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston John Barros and GE Foundation President Ann Klee express the importance of connecting young people with employment opportunities.

The BBA is proud to have partnered with Boston PIC for the past 23 years on the mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign. In our copy of PIC’s annual report, we were pleased to find that the BBA is sixth on the list of PIC’s top employers.

This year, we placed 58 students with more than 40 employers for the summer. They picked up many new skills in the offices of law firms, legal services organizations, and even here at the BBA. Thanks to funding from the Boston Bar Foundation, 10 organizations were able to employ a student at no cost to them, a benefit to some of our employers that are legal services organizations, government agencies, or courts.

In order to adequately prepare teens for the kinds of jobs that are available and desirable today, the team at the PIC has broadened the training students complete before they apply for a summer job, School-to-Career Director Josh Bruno said.

Before, career specialists focused on getting students through the interview process with flying colors – conducting mock interviews and building resumes. Now, students also receive a crash course in using common computer programs like Microsoft Office. The PIC also does an assessment of each student to determine his or her interests and strengths. For example, bilingual students in the BBA’s Summer Jobs program were able to assist with translating documents and promotional materials.

Bruno said one of the biggest benefits of the BBA’s program is that students are exposed not only to an office environment, but to enrichment seminars meant to promote career exploration and critical thinking.

“The orientation, morning meetings with attorneys, and field trips to places like the State House and the courthouses show students that the BBA is not just made up of lawyers. There are a lot of other jobs that keep the legal system running. All of that builds a student up and gets him or her thinking about their choices for their future career,” he said.

For more information on the BBA Summer Jobs Program or the work of the Boston Private Industry Council, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

Newest Pro Bono Opportunity: Mass Legal Answers Online


Mass Legal Answers Online (MLAO) is a brand new way for busy attorneys to do pro bono in Massachusetts. Through Mass Legal Answers Online, low-income  Massachusetts residents can ask civil legal questions on the web at This program, administered by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute with help from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, will function like a “virtual legal clinic,” providing attorneys with a 21st-century platform to give free legal advice.

Eligible site users can post legal questions, and volunteer attorneys can choose which questions they would like to answer.  MLAO helps alleviate the time and place constraints that clients and attorneys sometimes face in a traditional legal clinic or on the phone.

On Monday, Rochelle Hahn from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Barbara Siegel from the Volunteer Lawyers Project spoke at  a BBA program about this innovative project and how to participate.   If you missed the program, here are some things you should know:

  • Mass Legal Answers Online is part of a national initiative sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • The ABA provides malpractice insurance to cover any activity that occurs through the secure site.
  • Volunteer sign-up is easy! Attorneys just need to provide basic contact information and certify that they are in good standing with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by providing their BBO number.
  • Attorneys can subscribe to receive alerts when new questions are posted in their specific practice area
  • As a volunteer, the Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.5 applies to conflicts, because of the pro bono nature and limited scope of the advice provided through MLAO. The only conflicts of interest that would preclude an attorney from answering questions are conflicts that are known at the time the client’s question is reviewed.

This project embodies the idea of “bite-sized pro bono” and, according to Rochelle Hahn, “is an ideal opportunity for busy attorneys who want to help, but have limited time. It allows you to virtually share your expertise with people struggling to navigate the legal system — without committing to ongoing representation or a set schedule. Answering even just one question a month can make a real difference to people in need. Sign up and give it a try!”

Curious and want to find out more?  For more information about the program and all aspects of participation, please email [email protected] or contact Rochelle Hahn at [email protected].

Thank You to Our Reentry Education Volunteers

We’d like to thank our 2016 BBA Reentry Education Program volunteers for donating their time to educate probationers on how to navigate various civil-legal issues faced when reentering society. This year, volunteers addressed over 150 probationers on issues related to employment law, obtaining housing, reinstating a driver’s license, CORI sealing, public benefits, finances, and family law. The BBA partnered with the Court Assisted Recovery Effort (CARE) and Reentry: Empowering Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows (RESTART) programs of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, the CHOICE program in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court, and Hope House and Coolidge House, community partners serving the probation population.

We’re thankful for our volunteers:

Michael Birch, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP

Lizbeth Ginsburg, Greater Boston Legal Services

Julie Heinzelman, Prince Lobel Tye LLP

Anuj Khetarpal, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

David Lieberman, Day Pitney LLP

Brian McLaughlin, Brian McLaughlin Esq. LLC

Kavya Naini, Harvard Law School

Ryan Sakoda, Committee for Public Counsel Services

Phong Tran, Harvard Law School


Click here to read more about the program and if you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].