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].

VLP Announces July and August Honor Roll

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation in July and August:

Marjorie A. Adams
Samuel Ames
Dick Bauer
Thomas Beauvais
Neil J. Berman
Stephanie Biggs
Sarah Boonin
Larry Booz
Alissa Brill
Laura Burnett
Rachel Bussey
Christopher M. Candon
Rosemarie Clinch
Heather Cohen
Patrick J. Daly
Mary DiMaiti
Anna R. DiMaria
Sean Donovan
James T. Downes
Matthew C. Ellison
Richard Evans
Deanna Flaherty
Lois Galluzzo
Andres Garron
Michael G. Giarrusso
David Goldman
Steven Greenzang
Maegan Hurley
Maya Jachimowicz
Sharon V. Jones
Veronica Kane
Philip Kolb
Steven Kornstein
Candace Labbe
Joseph M. Lally
Ian Lane
Mitchell Langman
Steve Levine
Jacqueline Levy
Tyler B. Lewis
Corrine Lusic
Michael MacDonald
Stephanie Mandell
James Matthews
Marc Migliazzo
Caryn Mitchell-Munevar
William Moore
Evelyn Venables Moreno
Victoria Moreno-Jackson
Madelyn Morris
Greg Moscatel
Joanne Moses
Dalkis Muir
Ryann Morgan Muir
Kristofer C. Munroe
Lynne Myhre
Fernanda H. Naspolini
Muska Nassery
Yavor Nechev
Vanessa A. O’Connor
Judy O’Neil
Sofia Owen
William Parks
William Patton
Julia C. Peyton
Nicholas Planty
Steven D. Pohl
John C. Polley
Leah Porter
Stephen Provazza
David L. Rubin
Lou D. Saban
Donna Saber
Ryan Takeo Sakoda
David Schwartz
Evan R. Segal
Elizabeth Julia Smith
Jordan Smith
Stephen Smith
Sharyn T. Sooho
Steven R. Striffler
Sharon L. Toffler
Kelly Towns
Olivia Uitto
William Valletta
Andrew Varshavsky
Judith Vassilovski
Tia Wallach
Leann Walsh
Michael Wang
Neil Warrenbrand
Jennifer Williams
Sean Wilson
Lawrence A. Wind
Charles M. Wyzanski
Ajay Zutshi

Pro Bono Preparation for Boston’s Citizenship Day

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On Monday, September 12th, the BBA hosted its first pro bono training of the 2016-2017 program year. The training, run by Veronica Serrato of Project Citizenship and Joy DePina from the City of Boston, was designed to help prepare volunteer law students and attorneys for Citizenship Day in Boston, which will take place on Saturday, September 17th at the James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.

Joy DePina began by expressing the commitment the City of Boston has to assisting the nearly 48,000 permanent legal residents currently living in the city. She also spoke about Mayor Marty Walsh’s own history regarding the naturalization of his parents, as well as the obligation he personally feels in assisting all immigrant residents in Boston.

Veronica Serrato then provided an extensive overview of the US naturalization process, from the general requirements which must be met by applicants, to the intricacies of the 20 page application itself. She also explained what the Department of Homeland Security looks for in these applications, and how to make sure they are being properly filed. The applications will be filled out with the assistance of a volunteer attorney and checked for quality to ensure applicants are not turned away due to errors that commonly occur when filing without legal assistance.
The BBA would like to thank all of those who attended the training, the speakers, and the many volunteers who will be assisting applicants during Citizenship Day.

If you would like to volunteer for Citizenship Day, please click here to sign-up.

“Citizenship Day in Boston” is an event where legal permanent residents across the state are able to receive free legal assistance and guidance in filling out the N-400 citizenship application. Project Citizenship, in unison with The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and Goodwin Procter, is expecting to assist over 300 people apply for citizenship at this year’s event. Project Citizenship has been working year round since 2011 to provide assistance to those wishing to become citizens of the United States, and has so far assisted 8,100 applicants, with 3,194 last year alone. This year’s event will be the third yearly Citizenship Day so far, hopefully with many more to come.

Pro Bono Opportunities This Fall

As the weather cools down and the leaves change color, the BBA is getting excited for the best month of the year: Pro Bono Month! While October is officially designated Pro Bono Month, we’d like to make sure you’re aware of all Pro Bono events throughout the fall. See below for programs happening at the BBA and in our community.


September:

Legal Clinic for the Homeless (St. Francis House)
Friday, September 9, 2016, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lawyers Clearinghouse – St. Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02111
Work with homeless clients seeking legal assistance.

What You Need to Know About Naturalization: Pro Bono Preparation for Boston’s Citizenship Day
Monday, September 12, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
The training will include an overview of citizenship, eligibility, the impact of a criminal history for an applicant, as well as important issues and red flags.

Bankruptcy Roundtable for Pro Bono Lawyers in Massachusetts
Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy St, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Join us for a question and answer session with experienced consumer bankruptcy attorneys. It will be a forum for discussing case and practice issues with each other and a place where newer attorneys can get advice from experienced practitioners.

Landlord-Tenant Law 101
Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Join us for a one-session training on working with tenants and landlords facing eviction.

Citizenship Day
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Project Citizenship – 205 Roxbury Street, Roxbury, MA 02119
Volunteer through Project Citizenship to help over 300 applicants complete their paperwork and start their journey to US citizenship.

Mass Legal Answers Online – An Innovative New Way to Do Pro Bono
Monday, September 26, 2016, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
At this program, attorneys will learn more about this innovative pro bono opportunity and how participating in this “bite size pro bono” project can make a real difference for people in need.

Wage and Hour Training
Monday, September 26, 2016, 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – Mass. Attorney General’s Office – Suffolk Law School: Faculty Meeting Room
120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108
This one-session training will give you the basics on initiating a wage and hour claim for your client.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Basics
Monday, September 26, 2016, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
This training will give VLP volunteers the information they need to handle a pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy case using Best Case software.

Unemployment Insurance Appeals
Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
This training is designed for attorneys who are seeking to represent on a pro bono basis clients who are pursuing unemployment benefits.

Family Law 101
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Attend an introductory training on Domestic Relations Law. This one-session training will give you the basics on initiating a divorce. It will cover filing the Complaint and all the accompanying documents, and serving the opposing party.

Legal Clinic for the Homeless (Pine Street Inn)
Friday, September 30, 2016, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lawyers Clearinghouse – Pine Street Inn: 444 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
Work with homeless clients seeking legal assistance.


October:

Landlord-Tenant Law 101
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Attend this one-session training on working with tenants and landlords facing eviction.

Family Law 102
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Family Law 102 covers Temporary Orders, Pre-Trial Conferences, and how to finalize a divorce or other family law matter.

Pro Bono Work: Serving the Community, Advancing Your Career
Friday, October 14, 2016, 12:30 – 2:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
Join us to hear about how public service and pro bono work shaped the careers of our panel of attorneys and how the work they performed has impacted the community.

Legal Clinic for the Homeless (Medeiros Center)
Friday, October 14, 2016, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lawyers Clearinghouse – Cardinal Medeiros Center, 25 Isabella Street, Boston, MA 02116
Work with homeless clients seeking legal assistance.

Family Law 103
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Family Law 102 covers joint petition for divorce, Complaint for Modification, Complaint for Contempt, and more!

Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, Representing Asylum Seekers
Friday, October 21, 2016, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
PAIR – Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 10 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108
This Asylum 101 training will cover asylum law and procedure, packaging the I-589 application, how to work with traumatized clients, tips for immigration court practice, and perspectives from the bench.

Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House at Suffolk Law
Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association & Suffolk Law School – 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108
This event introduces attorneys and law students with a range of pro bono opportunities.

Family Law 104
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
Family Law 103 covers establishing paternity, separate support, and adoption.

Legal Clinic for the Homeless (Southampton Shelter)
Friday, October 28, 2016, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lawyers Clearinghouse – Southampton Shelter, 112 Southampton St. , Boston, MA 02118
Work with homeless clients seeking legal assistance.

Unemployment Insurance: Helping Out-of-Work Clients Navigate the Unemployment System
Friday, October 28, 2016, 1:00 – 4:30 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 10 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108
This seminar provides you with the expertise you need to understand the UI system and to help your clients get the UI benefits they are legally entitled.


November:

Introduction to Guardianship of Minors
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
This nuts and bolts training will give participants the tools they need to handle simple guardianship of minor cases from the filing of the petition through the establishment of a permanent guardianship.

Landlord-Tenant Law 101
Thursday, November 8, 2016, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Project – 99 Chauncy Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111
A one-session training on working with tenants and landlords facing eviction.

Legal Clinic for the Homeless (Bridge Over Troubled Waters)
Sunday, November 18, 2016, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lawyers Clearinghouse – Bridge Over Troubled Waters, 47 West Street , Boston, MA 02111
Work with homeless clients seeking legal assistance.

Join us to Learn to Help Those Applying for Citizenship

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Citizenship Day 2015, where over 250 immigrants applied to become American citizens.

Our first Pro Bono training of the year is coming up in two weeks, and we can’t wait to get started.

On September 17, 2016, which is naturally recognized as Citizenship Day, volunteers led by Project Citizenship will help hundreds of immigrants apply to become American citizens. In connection with Project Citizenship, the BBA hosts a training to teach attorneys how to fill out the citizenship application and answer many of the questions about the process that applicants may have.

The training will take place on September 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Last year, more than 30 BBA attorneys came to 16 Beacon to learn how to file an application for American citizenship – as well as an application fee waiver – on behalf of a client. Just five days later, they took that information with them and joined more than 200 other volunteers at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury to assist those applying for naturalized American Citizenship.

It was a hectic, moving day, our volunteers told us. We hope that you will consider taking part this year!

Financial Literacy Program Wraps Up With Final Courthouse Session

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To begin one of their final enrichment seminars of the summer, our Summer Jobs students filed through security, rode the courthouse elevators and took their places in the courtroom to watch a bankruptcy case unfold.

The court session may have been a mock proceeding, but the goal was to teach the students real lessons about the consequences failing to meet financial obligations.

Janet Bostwick, a longtime co-chair of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, offered narration as other attorneys acted out the parts of a debtor, trustee and creditor in two hypothetical scenarios. Hon. Joan Feeney, who welcomes Financial Literacy participants into her courtroom multiple times throughout the year, walked students through a mock session in which a creditor repossessed a debtor’s car.

Both Bostwick and Judge Feeney emphasized that most debtors are law-abiding people who fall behind, and not criminals. During the play-acted scenarios, the debtors racked up interest on credit card bills or fell behind on car payments. Judge Feeney explained that bankruptcy exists so that people failing to make ends meet don’t have to spend time in prison.

“Bankruptcy is meant to be a fresh start for the honest but unfortunate debtor,” Judge Feeney said, quoting the decision in Grogan v. Garner.

Students asked insightful questions about the process. One student asked how a bankruptcy trustee acquires the money to pay back creditors if the person filing for bankruptcy has no money. When asked what the hypothetical debtors could have done differently, students observed that they could have done more to save, spent less money on frivolous items, and paid more than the minimum on their credit card statements.

Save the Date & Get Your Spot at the Suffolk University Law School Pro Bono Fair

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The hot weather may not have gotten the memo, but fall is almost here! That means it’s once again time for Suffolk University Law School’s Annual Pro Bono Fair – and we want to see as many organizations there as possible!

The BBA and Suffolk University Law School have teamed up for the sixth year in a row to sponsor the event, which will present legal services and other public interest organizations with an opportunity to connect with talented law students, recent graduates, and experienced attorneys about pro bono opportunities.

The fair is held as part of the National Pro Bono Celebration sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.  At last year’s fair, 30 public interest employers dedicated their time to attend the event and speak with individuals interested in doing pro bono work.  Over 250 students and attorneys participated in the highly successful fair.

The format of the event is similar to a career fair. Participating organizations are assigned tables and representatives from those organizations can distribute information to attendees at the fair. If you would like to reserve a table, please fill out this survey and contact Sarah Bookbinder by October 3. She can answer any questions you may have about the fair.

If you plan to attend the fair to browse the tables and hear from the fair’s organizations, please click this link to RSVP.

We look forward to seeing you next month!

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!