Daily Archives: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Examining the Impact – PILP Meets with Probationers to Reflect on Community Reentry Program

PILP gathers feedback from CARE and RESTART participants at Moakley Courthouse on Wednesday night.

PILP gathers feedback from CARE and RESTART participants at Moakley Courthouse on Wednesday night.

Last night, the BBA’s Public Interest Leaders hosted a candid feedback session at the US District Court  to learn how the pilot Community Reentry Readiness series has been received by the CARE and RESTART program participants.  The pilot program utilized the expertise of the BBA and its Public Interest Leaders to benefit an underserved population and the courts. Beginning in March, these PILPers hosted a series of 7 seminars covering topics intended to arm the probationers with skills to improve their chances of long term success:

  • Driver’s Licenses/Professional Licenses
  • Employment
  • Credit Reports and Credit Scores
  • Housing
  • Family Law
  • Benefits Available to Low-Income Individuals in Massachusetts

PILPers Julia Devanthéry, Chris Saccardi, Eric Haskell and Emily Hodge sat down with the participants over a pizza dinner to give them the opportunity to speak openly their ability to apply the information gained from these sessions to their daily lives and asked for tips on how the program can be improved. Attendees were provided with a written questionnaire for anonymous written comments as well.

Beyond the Billable congratulates PILP 9 for a job well done and encourages readers to stay tuned for more updates on this initiative. Contact Susan Helm at shelm@bostonbar.org with questions on PILP.

BBA Lawyer Referral Service: 50 Years and Growing Strong

Conference attendees have a panel discussion about how to run an effective Lawyer Referral Service.

Conference attendees have a panel discussion about how to run an effective Lawyer Referral Service. Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Bar Association.

If Beyond the Billable asked you what the BBA’s largest public service program is, what would you say? The Financial Literacy Program which reached over 1,300 students this past year? The Summer Jobs Program, which was one of the ten largest providers of Summer Jobs in the City of Boston? The Lawyer for a Day in the Housing Court Program, where 12,000 volunteers have assisted 15,000 unrepresented tenants and landlords since the program began? Any of them would be a good guess, but surprise, they would all be wrong. The BBA’s largest public service program is its Lawyer Referral Service (LRS).

Even though the LRS has been around for more than 50 years, it’s still looking for the best and most efficient ways to connect callers to lawyers who can help them with their legal needs. That’s why LRS Intake Coordinator Solana Goss attended the ABA National Lawyer Referral Workshop in Atlanta Georgia.  Nearly 100 participants from across the country met to discuss ideas and share information about running a Lawyer Referral Service Program.  Topics included panel management, website and marketing tools, protocol for new panel members, the role of a review committee, and more.

Beyond the Billable reached out to Solana to see what she took from attending the conference, and here’s what she had to say:

“As the intake coordinator of the LRS, I am always looking for ways that we can do more, and have a larger impact in the community. The conference offered programs to help improve marketing, lawyer-client relationships, and operations, all of which are valuable tools to help the BBA LRS expand our reach. Meeting bar staff and seeing how their services operate provided insight to our referral service as we look to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.”

The Boston Bar Lawyer Referral Service is the only referral service in Greater Boston approved by the American Bar Association.  To find out more about joining the LRS, please contact Solana Goss at sgoss@bostonbar.org.

Reflections on an Internship at the US Bankruptcy Court

This semester, the BBA’s Judicial Internship Program welcomed a new partnership with the US Bankruptcy Court to place one deserving student in a semester-long internship with Chief Judge Frank Bailey. Suffolk Law 3L Roxana Babaei was selected after a competitive application process. Beyond the Billable reached out to Roxana to see how her semester is going so far. Here’s what she had to say:

“I discovered the Judicial Internship program while exploring the BBA’s website over the summer.  I submitted my application in hopes of finding an internship position which was in line with my interests and potential practice areas of law.  I was thrilled when the BBA contacted me regarding the opportunity with Chief Judge Frank J. Bailey at the US Bankruptcy Court here in Boston.

It’s such a privilege to be working with Judge Bailey and the other members of his chambers.  The internship has added a dynamic layer of learning to my law school experience.  As a 3L at Suffolk University Law School with a professional background in banking and business, the internship is providing me with an interesting new view of debtor/creditor relationships and greater insight into both consumer and corporate finance issues.  I look forward to working with Judge Bailey through the end of the semester and remain very optimistic regarding my future professional opportunities as a result of this placement.”

The Judicial Internship Program is sponsored by the BBA’s Pipeline & Recruitment Committee of the Diversity & Inclusion Section. The program places diverse Boston area law students in part-time internships in Boston Municipal Courts, District Courts and now the US Bankruptcy Court during the fall and spring semesters as well as during the summer. Students interested in participating in the program for the spring semester should contact Susan Helm at shelm@bostonbar.org for details. More information on the program is available here.