Attorney Claudia Gregoire speaks to LRS staff and interns about immigration law.
The BBA Lawyer Referral Service is the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, dedicated to helping members of the public in need of assistance connect with attorneys. Each year the LRS connects about 10,000 callers from a diverse client base to qualified attorneys who speak many languages and can serve clients with a variety of legal issues. The BBA LRS is the only ABA-approved lawyer referral service in the greater Boston area.
In order to ensure that the BBA LRS is providing the public with the highest level of service, twice a year BBA attorneys volunteer their time to conduct training sessions for the LRS staff on a wide range of legal topics. These topics range from Criminal Law and Bankruptcy to legal aid resources available in greater Boston. The trainings help to make sure accurate referrals are being made so that the callers are reaching the help that they need.
Beyond the Billable wanted to find what the LRS staff learned by attending these training sessions.
LRS Intake Coordinator
“Working on the telephones all day, I encounter legal situations from a diverse group of callers, so it is important that I find appropriate resources specific to their needs. Learning which questions to ask, what documents callers may be referring to, and the basics of the law helps me to ensure the callers will be well-served by the BBA LRS. More importantly however, the trainings reminded me to analyze the caller’s situation from their perspective. They are calling us in a stressful and vulnerable time period, and are often using our service because they have never needed or spoke to an attorney before. My role also requires me to be sympathetic and patient, especially when callers might be difficult to understand or communicate with, as these are the clients that often need our help the most. Participating in the trainings conducted by the volunteer attorneys reinforced the importance of what we do at the BBA LRS by increasing access to justice. I am able to do my job more effectively and refer callers to the most appropriate resources.”
Northeastern University Co-op Student 2012, Northeastern University Class of 2013
“It was clear that a main concern of each of the attorneys was that there be access to legal services for anyone who may be in need. This was reiterated with comments regarding the great service that was being provided to the public and how important it is that we at the Boston Bar Association continue giving quality assistance. In addition, the attorneys emphasized the importance of always remaining patient and kind to the callers because you never know what type of situation they are in. After this great advice and information, I can go into each call confidently and finish it feeling accomplished.”
The Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service would like to thank the following attorneys who volunteered their time to conduct training sessions for the BBA’s new interns:
Roger Bertling (Law Offices of Roger Bertling) – Bankruptcy
Dan Biagiotti (Legal Advocacy & Resource Center) – LARC & Legal Services Overview
Vilas Dhar (Dhar Law, LLP) – Business Law & Consumer Law
Robin Gorenberg (Law Office of Robin Gorenberg) – Trusts & Estate Planning
Claudia Gregoire (George J. West & Associates) – Immigration Law
William Korman (Korman & Associates, LLC) – Criminal Law
William McLeod (United States Bankruptcy Court) – Bankruptcy
Chik Mone (Pierce, Davis & Perritano, LLP) – Torts
Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) – Environmental Law
Dino Santangelo (Law Office of Dino R. Santangelo) – Public Benefits & Health Law
Ryan Sullivan (Sullivan Legal) – Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant Law
Francis Teague (Frank J. Teague & Associates ) – Employment Law
Laura Unflat (The Law Office of Laura M. Unflat) – Family Law
If you are interested in joining the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, or becoming involved in training sessions in the future, please contact Solana Goss, the LRS Intake Coordinator, at email@example.com.
To reach the BBA Lawyer Referral Service please call (617)742 0625 or (800)552-7046 Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. You can also email us at LRS@bostonbar.org or visit us on the web at www.bostonbarlawyer.org.