Daily Archives: Thursday, September 17, 2015

State Rep. Chris Walsh Visits Housing Court

State Rep. Chris Walsh visited the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program this morning and met with the BBA's partners for the program, including Joanna Allison for the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

State Rep. Chris Walsh visited the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program this morning and met with the BBA’s partners for the program, including Joanna Allison from the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Standing outside Courtroom 15 at Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, State Rep. Chris Walsh said he is concerned about his constituents in Framingham who may be embroiled in a legal dispute between landlord and tenant, but can’t afford an attorney.

Rep. Walsh stopped by the BBA’s Lawyer for the Day Program on September 17 to learn more about the volunteer attorneys who represent such clients. Every Wednesday and Thursday and one Monday a month, law students and lawyers give their time to clients with a case in Housing Court and no legal representation.

“I am very interested in the access to justice issue,” Rep. Walsh said after he sat in the courtroom and listened to the beginning of the day’s proceedings. “I think that housing issues are complex. Housing Court addresses those issues quickly and with an evenhanded approach.”

Rep. Walsh went on to say that he “looked forward to bringing the issue back to the Statehouse” in hopes of expanding access to Housing Court to the residents of the Commonwealth who don’t have it. He estimated that encompassed about 1/3 of the population of Massachusetts.

Through a partnership between the BBA, the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association, Greater Boston Legal Services, WilmerHale Legal Services Center and Boston Housing Court, the program gives attorneys and law students the chance to complete pro bono work with a steady stream of clients.

The Program relies on dedicated volunteers, such as Rob Skinner (Ropes & Gray) and Amy Roy (Ropes & Gray) pictured above, who provide legal assistance to landlords and tenants each week.

The Program relies on dedicated volunteers, such as Rob Skinner (Ropes & Gray) and Amy Roy (Ropes & Gray) pictured above, who provide legal assistance to landlords and tenants.

“For lawyers who are not litigators, Housing Court represents an opportunity to do pro bono work without having to stand up in front of a courtroom, which can be intimidating,” Rob Skinner, a partner at Ropes & Gray said.

He and Amy Roy, counsel in the securities litigation group at the firm, began volunteering with the Lawyer for the Day program because of the buzz the program generated among their colleagues.

“It’s really nice to know that you can help. We know that without us, they’re going to go without representation,” she said.

BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Named 2015 PIC Achiever

Katie D'Angelo, BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator, and Josh Bruno, School-to-Career and Employer Engagement Director at the PIC, pose after the Annual Meeting.

Katie D’Angelo, BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator, and Josh Bruno, School-to-Career and Employer Engagement Director at the PIC, pose after the PIC’s Annual Meeting yesterday.

The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) honored BBA’s own Katie D’Angelo with a 2015 PIC Achiever for her work expanding the BBA Summer Jobs Program at their annual meeting yesterday.  As you may remember, the BBA Summer Jobs Program has provided more and more legal internships for Boston teens each summer, reaching an all-time high of 65 positions this past summer.

Here’s what the PIC had to say about Katie:

“Katie connects students to some of Boston’s most influential and powerful law firms. She works closely with PIC career specialists to understand the skill set and character of each and every student applicant, always looking for the perfect match. Over the past four years, she has increased the popularity of the program among law firms—and law departments within larger organizations—while adding professional development, financial literacy, and dynamic guest speakers to the BBA intern experience. Though the competition for BBA internships is fierce, Katie makes sure that students participate from almost every Boston public high school.”

We at the BBA couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Katie!