With honors at our next Adams Benefit going to Roca, and the state legislature discussing options for sentencing reform, reducing recidivism and mass incarceration has been top of mind at the BBA.
The BBA Reentry Education Program Committee wrapped another successful year teaching probationers about civil legal issues, and with the help of PILP11, it expanded to include the CHOICE program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury Division. Between the two programs, the program served over 100 probationers and presented 12 civil legal education workshops.
In March, Judge Leo Sorokin and Volunteer Adrienne Walker (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.) spoke with participants about financial literacy through the BBA Reentry Education Program.
With continuing co-chair Julia Devanthery (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) and new co-chair Sarah Schendel, the committee hopes to continue the great work in both federal and state court.
“This year the Re-Entry Education Committee will be working with the District Court of Massachusetts to refine our know-your-rights workshop offerings, and to make sure that our volunteers are reaching as many probationers as possible,” said Julia Devanthéry. “To that end, we’re looking into moving some of our more popular sessions from the court to community-based locations that are more easily accessible to probationers. We hope that this simple change may allow our volunteers to empower more probationers, and support their successful reentry into the community.”
“Since first working with incarcerated individuals and their families over 10 years ago, I’ve seen the challenges that await those released from prison,” added Sarah Schendel. “However, when we help our incarcerated friends, family members, and neighbors access the support, information, and opportunities they need, they are empowered and able to thrive. I’m excited to continue working with the BBA’s Reentry Committee to support individuals involved in both the state and federal courts, and honored to serve as co-chair.”
Guest Post: Jacqueline Lopes is working at the Boston Bar Association as a Co-Op Student. She is a rising senior at Northeastern University.
I am a Northeastern Student pursuing a Double Major in Political Science and Business Administration, and I am working at the Boston Bar Association in the Lawyer Referral Service for my 6 month Co-Op placement.
One of my main duties is fielding calls from individuals looking for legal assistance. At first it was hard to assist the people that were calling for legal help, since I did not know all the legal terms for all of the practice areas. Being on the phone and assisting someone that really relies on your help and direction was harder than I thought. I quickly realized that I always need to make sure that I am using the right words, tone of voice, and asking the right questions to find out how to best assist the caller. In the first month that I was here, I had trainings almost every week with different attorneys specializing in different practices. They would tell us about their practice and also give us great advice for screening calls, and our career plans. Not only the trainings made me feel more comfortable speaking on the phone, but it was amazing meeting the attorneys that came to talk with us. The BBA has a great structure to help new interns feel comfortable when assisting clients
After the trainings, I felt more confident helping the clients that were calling us for assistance. Now that I know how to direct the clients to the correct place, I really feel that the LRS program does make a difference in the lives of many people. Some clients call us and have no idea where to start, and being able to give them some kind of guidance by sending them to an attorney or to a legal service that might be able to help them is an amazing feeling. I am really excited to see what I will learn and who I will help in the next couple of months.
My dream always has been to go to law school one day, and being at the BBA is a great opportunity for me to better understand how the legal world works in real life. Meeting attorneys, going on field trips to courts, and seeing how the BBA runs as a business is definitely going to help me develop as a person and as a professional. I know that interning here for six months will have a great impact on the next step I take towards my career.
Jacqueline Lopes is a rising senior at Northeastern University. She has joined the BBA Lawyer Referral Service as part of her 6 month cooperative education program through Northeastern.
Former BBA Summer Jobs student Kylie Webster-Cazeau was featured in an article about the Ward Fellowship in the Boston Globe this morning.
We were pretty excited to open up the Boston Globe this morning and see a familiar face—former BBA Summer Jobs student Kylie Webster-Cazeau. You may remember this article from earlier in the summer when we spoke with Kylie about her summer internship working with Rachel Madden, the Undersecretary of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, through the Ward Fellowship. Turns out we aren’t the only ones impressed with the professional abilities of our students. Click here to read the Boston Globe’s in-depth look at the Ward Fellowship for Boston Latin School students.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Another one of our students from last year made headlines as well! Mackaila Garcia, who interned at the Volunteer Lawyers Project, was featured in the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge. Our long-time readers may remember Mackaila from this article last summer, which provided a firsthand look at her internship. She was awarded the 2015 Partners HealthCare Charlestown Merit Scholarship and will receive $1,500 towards her college tuition. Congrats, Mackaila! Click here to read the full article.
BBA Summer Jobs student Hector Fajardo, who interned at McCarter & English this summer, spoke about his experience in the program at Tuesday’s Celebration.
Last night, the 2015 BBA Summer Jobs students gathered with their families, employers, and members of the Boston Private Industry Council to celebrate a successful summer interning in the legal field. The keynote speaker, Judge Serge Georges, Jr. (Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division), gave the students an inspiring speech on his own career path and his hopes for the students in the future. Additionally, BBA Summer Jobs student Hector Fajardo, a recent graduate of John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science and intern at McCarter & English, spoke about his experience in the program. His remarks were great so we felt compelled to share his experience in the program. Read Hector’s speech in full, below:
“Students, parents, members of the Private Industry Council, as well as employers, my name is Hector Fajardo and I would like to welcome you to this event at the Boston Bar Association; I appreciate the effort you each took to come to this celebration. Additionally, I would like to thank you all for the respective roles you have played in the Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program, this summer would not have been as enjoyable without such a dynamic ensemble of people. Today, I will give you a glimpse of my personal experience working at one of the law firms partnered with the BBA, McCarter & English, and I hope you are able to take away how beneficial the experiences that arise from partnerships like these are, to students like me.
I have always been someone interested in the legal field, though apart from watching glamorized versions of court cases on TV and hearing a few bad lawyer jokes over the years, I had not had a genuine look at what happens inside a law firm. This changed when I was accepted into the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program at the end of this past school year. I had been looking to sink my teeth into a more tangible representation of life in a law firm, and the BBA provided this for me by granting me the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment brimmed with an esteemed collection of people who practice various facets of the law. Not only that, I was able to learn more about the role of secretaries and the surrounding staff and how they work together to form the backbone of law firms.
My experience talking to my coworkers and collaborating with them has opened my eyes, as I hope it has for my fellow students, and shown me a myriad of situations that lawyers often become involved with. Though only over the course of a short period of time, Ted Grannatt, a partner in McCarter & English, gave me one of the most honest and useful accounts of what life is like for an attorney and I am grateful for the wealth of insight he shared. Aside from my experience with the attorneys at the firm, I would like to thank my supervisor, Office Manager Susan Mills, and her assistant Jolanta O’Brien, for making sure I have things to do and welcoming me into McCarter during my entire stay. I was glad to have been given the opportunity to interact with my coworkers and improve on some useful skills that may come in handy going forth.
Additionally I am tremendously grateful to Katie D’Angelo and the BBA for helping all of us students obtain jobs in truly impressive places and supplementing our experiences with enriching workshops and seminars. My favorite experiences on Wednesdays have been participating in the mock City Council meeting as well as attending the mock bankruptcy hearing as I enjoyed the hands-on experience of the meeting, and the engaging portrayal of the hearing.
As my journey with the Boston Bar Association comes to an end this summer, I feel better prepared for a career in law and politics and I know I will put the skills and connections I have gathered for the past seven weeks to use as I start the next stage of my life at Williams College this fall. I encourage us all to build upon the experiences we have had over the summer so that we may continue to grow into the people we want to become. Thank you all for your time and attention and I hope you enjoy the rest of your night.”
The BBA Summer Jobs students met with Associate Justice Sydney Hanlon (Massachusetts Appeals Court) to hear about her career and the process to become a judge.
Guest Post: Elijah Oyenuga is one of the Summer Jobs Student working at the Boston Bar Association. He recently graduated from Another Course to College in Brighton and will be attending Lesley University next year.
The courts in Greater Boston always have a rich history behind them, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, or rather the John Adams Courthouse, is no different. Upon our visit to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, we were given a tour by the law clerks who graciously took the time out of their day to do so. First, we explored the court room occupied by the Supreme Judicial Court. It was by far the most beautiful and intimidating of the state courts. Next, we viewed two rooms, one dedicated to the life of our second president John Adams and another to the Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti case.
One of the cases showcased in the John Adams room, was the case of Quock Walker vs. Jennison, a case that helped abolish slavery in Massachusetts. It was case about an American slave who sued for his freedom in June 1781 and ended with Chief Justice William Cushing declaring all men to be born free and equal according to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. In contrast, we then have the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, two anarchists who were wrongfully convicted and executed for armed robbery and murder. One is a prime example of when the law and those who swear to uphold it work in a just fashion; the other is a blatant crime, an abuse of power and prejudice. This was my second time embarking on this tour and it was still very insightful in terms of this working dichotomy that is always present in our society.
The BBA Summer Jobs students toured the courtrooms and historical galleries at the Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday.
Last, we met with Associate Justice Sydney Hanlon of the Appeals Court. Associate Justice Hanlon is remarkable and charismatic woman with a whimsical personality. She told us about the amazing story of her life, from how she started out in her career to how she came to fall in love with Boston. It was interesting to learn her vast amount of occupations prior to becoming an Associate Justice. She headed the sexual assault unit, became an assistant United States attorney in Boston, worked in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, become an assistant attorney general, and formed a drug crime unit. Her life and experience is truly something for the textbooks. It is always motivating to meet such an amazing person because it lets the youth like us know that anything is possible.
The Boston Bar Association has put me into contact with lovely lawyers and judges that are just as amazing as Associate Justice Hanlon and that is a wonderful thing. My time at the BBA is coming to an end and I just want to thank everyone at the BBA, the lawyers and judges that came to speak with us. And most of all, I want to thank Katie D’Angelo for giving me this opportunity and being an amazing supervisor. This was by far the most enjoyable and educational summer I have ever had and it’s all thanks to you.
Crystal Ortolaza, a rising senior at West Roxbury Academy, spent the summer interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services Dorchester and West Roxbury Municipal Court Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.
Crystal has had a busy summer interning with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) at the Dorchester and West Roxbury Municipal Court Office. Her daily duties and responsibilities include opening and closing cases, working with bail only cases, filing, scanning, and fielding phone calls. Crystal is not overwhelmed by her duties and instead explains that she jumps in and “fills any holes where I am needed.” Crystal’s internship is one of the 15 BBA Summer Jobs positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). The BBF funds these internships not only to open up opportunities for Boston’s youth, but to also provide an extra set of hands where they are needed most– in government offices, non-profits and legal service agencies.
“Crystal has been very helpful, answering phones and opening and closing criminal cases for the public defender’s office, among many other things,” says her supervisor, office administrative assistant Robin Allen-D’Abreau. “She is very detail oriented, which fits with the work we do very well. She is very smart and a great fit for our office.”
At CPCS, Summer Jobs students are given substantial responsibilities, and Crystal has shined with her ability to pick up new skills, and handle detail-oriented tasks at a professional level.
From the Left: Attorney-In-Charge Kari Tannenbaum, Administrative Assistant Robin Allen-D’Abreau, Summer Jobs Student Crystal Ortolaza, and Secretary Renee Foster pose in their office. Crystal has helped this team with a variety of projects this summer, including fielding phone calls and opening and closing cases.
Robin encourages students in the Summer Jobs Program to get an early start on exploring their interests and passions. “I like to be able to help high school students. I like to encourage them to work here if they are interested in law. They can go into court and observe. I really appreciate being a position to introduce them to legal work.”
Crystal is perfect example of getting an early start on exploring your career options. “I applied because I wanted to see my different options,” she said. “My two options right now are nursing and law. I want to work with children so if I do go into law, it will be working with juveniles or something in that area.”
Next summer she plans to try out an internship in nursing, however so far she is enjoying work in the legal field. The highlight of Crystal’s summer has come from the opportunity to network and meet new people. According to Crystal the most valuable skill she has gained is “learning to communicate with people and learn what they need and what they need help with.”
The Summer Jobs students learned about student loans from Dan Forster, the Assistant Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Services at Simmons College, yesterday morning.
Guest Post: Elijah Oyenuga is one of the Summer Jobs Student working at the Boston Bar Association. He recently graduated from Another Course to College in Brighton and will be attending Lesley University next year.
Yesterday’s enrichment seminar on Student Loans, taught by Daniel Forster, Assistant Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Services at Simmons College, was very memorable. After eating bagels and sipping orange juice, we all settled in for an interesting discussion on student loans.
The most important thing that I learned was the importance of access to information on student loans. At first, I wasn’t sure why we needed to have an entire seminar pertaining to this topic. In my high school experience, we routinely learned about the FASFA and different methods of paying for our college education. But the minute Mr. Forster asked “who knows what the FASFA is?” and only a handful of students, including myself, thought to raise our hands, I understood.
At the end of the seminar, something quite evident yet shocking dawned on me. Despite being seventeen years old, within the course of this year, I accumulated a pending debt of over twenty five thousand dollars, all of which I retained in my name. For me it was a necessary evil. My education was and is important to me, and at the time, it felt as if I was investing in my future, and I was. However, the majority of this debt could have all been avoided if I had listened and applied what I knew when applying for colleges and filling out my FASFA.
Most twelfth grade students are too busy to sit down and genuinely think of the cost that goes into getting a college education. We have to make sure our grades are up to par and to keep up with the course load that comes with being a twelfth grade student. That is why a seminar on student loans, such as the one we had today, is an absolute necessity. Yet despite having programs like uAspire, many still don’t have access to this information. I would like to express my gratitude to Daniel Forster for coming in this Wednesday and teaching the BBA Summer Program participants and me about student loans. I think that the best thing to keep in mind is that student debt doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it is something that we must routinely be aware of.
The Delivery of Legal Service Section’s Human Trafficking Subcommittee is planning another pro bono training to rally pro bono attorneys to assist survivors. This program is one of three large pro bono trainings taking place at the BBA in September.
The BBA’s public service department is kicking off the start of the program year with a bang. With the help our sections, we have a number of fascinating pro bono trainings lined up for September. Take a look below for more information:
September 26, 2015 will be “Citizenship Day in Boston 2015″ with a goal of 250 citizenship applications. This training will prepare law students and attorneys to complete the 21 page citizenship application for applicants. 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.
Don’t miss the opportunity to join the inaugural pro bono panel of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services and the Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School. Each year the United States Tax Court sees over 20,000 pro se taxpayers seeking relief from proposed or existing tax assessments. In this seminar, representatives from the IRS Counsel’s Office, the Office of Appeals, and the Court will demystify court procedures and prepare attorneys to provide pro bono representation to the 70 % of Tax Court petitioners who are unrepresented. Attendees will also hear from representatives from the IRS concerning how best to work with the agency, and from clinicians familiar with representing clients in these cases.
In the United States, trafficking survivors rarely have access to justice. Trafficked persons have significant rights under U.S. law, but they cannot exercise these rights without competent legal counsel. Pro bono attorneys can change the game, allowing trafficking survivors to participate fully in criminal cases against traffickers, and in launching civil suits against the perpetrators. Martina Vandenberg, President and Founder of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, will lead a training on using federal law to obtain justice for trafficking survivors. The training will cover crime victims’ rights in federal criminal matters, criminal restitution orders for victims, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and civil litigation against traffickers in federal courts.
Keep an eye on our calendar because we have a number of other trainings in the pipeline for October and beyond!
Ann T. Baum
Neil J. Berman
Jerald D. Burwick
Patrick J. Daly
Brenda S. Diana
James T. Downes
Andrew S. Dulberg
Dahlia S. Fetouh
Julie A. Franklin
Donald N. Freedman
Tammie C. Garner
Philip R. Gindi
Celia J. Harrison
Alana B. Holly
Joseph M. Horne
Edward J. Joyce
Evelyn Venables Moreno
Patrick G.H. Mott
Donald R. O’Clair
Lee M. Peterson
Mark C. Rossi
Alexandra Rueckle Reynolds
Lou D. Saban
Julie Callahan Shields
Jason P. Sinclair
Danielle M. Spang
Marybeth H. Stramaglia
Jeffri John Uber
Charles M. Wyzanski
Kevin Michael Yurkerwich
Name: Sally Mengual (Ogine-Noel) BBA Summer Jobs Program Participation Year: 1996 BBA Summer Jobs Program Employer: Attorney General Office (AGO) High School: West Roxbury High School College: Regis College Any Additional Schools: Northeastern University, Paralegal Certificate Current Employer: Massachusetts Department of Public Health Current Position: Paralegal Specialist
How did the BBA Summer Jobs Program prepare you for your current position/overall career?
The BBA Summer Jobs Program opened the door for me to be where I am today. Working at the AGO was my first professional office job. It taught me how to act like a professional, dress like a professional and be a professional. It also taught me valuable job skills such as communication, organizational and management skills. Because of the BBA Summer Jobs Program, I was able to make the connections needed to apply for an internship 2 years later while at Regis College, which turned into a full time position after I graduated.
Click here to see how the Department of Public Health is giving back.