Daily Archives: Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Judicial Interns Get Schooled in Criminal Law

In addition to working in the courts, the Summer Judicial Interns have had the opportunity to attend a number of enrichment events.

In addition to working in the courts, the Summer Judicial Interns have had the opportunity to attend a number of enrichment events.

The BBA’s Summer Judicial Interns have started off their summers strong, not only putting in the hours in the courtroom but also getting first-hand knowledge of the profession thanks to BBA enrichment programs. Earlier this month they got their first taste of the BBA’s Summer Career Series, designed to give the interns a better sense of what lies ahead for them after graduation. In addition to volunteering at least 15 hours per week in the courts, they are taking part in numerous enrichment activities put on by the BBA.  A particularly engaging day of enrichment activities for these law students took place early this month to expose the students to the practice of criminal law.

The series kicked off with “What’s It Like to Practice Criminal Law,” featuring speakers Christina Miller (Chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions at the Suffolk County DA’s Office) and Lisa Medeiros (Committee for Public Counsel Services Supervising Attorney for Roxbury, Dorchester and West Roxbury), sharing stories about their respective career paths and cases they had worked on “while in the trenches.”

Beyond the Billable wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t check in with our interns to see how the session was, so we asked Boston University School of Law student Chris York  for some feedback on the talk:

“It was interesting to hear their humorous, candid, and differing views on the judicial process and their respective roles in it.”

We have more judicial intern takeaways from the talk here.

While others might have called it a day after that session, our interns did the opposite – they took a walk to the John Adams Courthouse   to observe and also serve as jurists for the 2014 Advanced Trial Training Program’s final competition. Initiated by Judge Robert N. Tochka, the Program pairs newer prosecutors and defense attorneys from across Massachusetts with seasoned mentors for a trial advocacy skills competition (it’s friendly, we promise). Essex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and Worcester County with seasoned mentors for friendly competition on trial advocacy skills.

Our interns observed and judged opening statements through direct and cross examinations, the two-person advocacy teams argued the mock case, “Commonwealth v. Green” with students from the Another Course to College charter school making a guest appearance as witnesses.

Silvia Stockman, a law student at Boston University, gave Beyond the Billable her impressions of the experience:

“The event was an entertaining way to observe real lawyers engaging in a colorfully written case, followed by a very moving reception that honored two fallen members of the legal community. It was a great way to bond with our fellow interns and do some networking with the competitors and audience members!”

As you can see, our Summer Judicial interns have a packed summer ahead of them, so be sure to check Beyond the Billable regularly for updates!

Raising Awareness on the Impact of Background Checks

 

Persis Yu, National Consumer Law Center, James Ianiri, Ianiri Law LLC, and Renay Franel, Committee for Public Counsel Services-Somerville, spoke to atendees about the impact of criminal cases and DCF records on job applications.

Persis Yu, National Consumer Law Center, James Ianiri, Ianiri Law LLC, and Renay Frankel, Committee for Public Counsel Services-Somerville, spoke to attendees about the impact of criminal cases and DCF records on job applications.

On Monday, three of the BBA’s Sections, Delivery of Legal Services, Criminal Law and Employment Law, teamed up to sponsor a panel discussion on  background checks and DFC records. Attorney James Ianiri (Ianiri Law LLC) and Persis Yu (National Consumer Law Center) shared critical information with attendees both on the importance of background checks and (perhaps most importantly) how clients can be affected by them, especially when applying for employment.

Beyond the Billable attended the program and thought our readers should take in a few key facts we found particularly notable:

  • 93 percent of companies and organizations use background checks and DCF records as tools to decide who is welcome to become a member of their staff and who is not.
  • The issue arises when companies use external third party industries to access background checks and past records.  These third party industries act as facilitators making records easily available to anyone. Over the years it has become more difficult to regulate these third party industries and ensure that they are actually doing the job right.
  • Records are often misplaced, incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate, making it very difficult for an applicant to trust the system to protect him or her from being rejected on this basis.

Special thanks to Samantha Odreman who attended the session on Beyond the Billable’s behalf.