Monthly Archives: February 2016

Getting Acquainted On Location with the Middlesex Probate and Family Court

Middlesex-Probate-Family-Court

On Friday February 20, 2016, a group of BBA Members, including law students and practitioners, toured the Middlesex Probate and Family Court.  Many hanks to Tara DiCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court and her staff at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court for welcoming us for the tour.

Knowing that one’s first few times in court can be disorienting, the BBA hosts these tours to help demystify the first visit.  Toni-Ann Natola, Deputy Assistant Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court served as our guide and certainly demystified a lot about the ways the Middlesex Probate & Family Court is unique in terms of scheduling and filing.  She also gave the group a good look at the layout of the building at 208 Cambridge Street.

Those in attendance were even escorted to the elusive Courtroom 5, only accessed through a maze-like jaunt through the first floor through several twists and turns.  Upon arrival at Courtroom 5, the group was lucky enough to sit in for the tail-end of a pre-trial conference before Judge McSweeney.  After dismissing the litigants, the judge spoke to the group about his own career as a family law attorney prior to joining the bench.

BBA LRS Intern, Nicole Roth, a student at Northeastern University, had this to say about the experience, “He reinforced the importance of always being polite to judges and clerks, and to never become too emotionally attached to a case. He explained what it feels like to be a family attorney in a way that was so accurate I could almost picture myself practicing law. He then invited each of us to sit in his chair and try on his robe, which everyone found exciting. The tour helped the practicing attorneys learn where to go and how to behave in this court, and inspired the law students to look forward to their futures.”

Do You Know a BPS Teacher Interested in Law Day in the Schools?

Attorneys teach Boston public school students about a law-related topic every year through the BBA Law Day in the Schools Program.

Attorneys teach Boston public school students about a law-related topic every year through the BBA Law Day in the Schools Program.

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program. From April 27th through June 3rd, attorneys will head out across the city to teach Boston public school students about Miranda Rights. Do you know a Boston public school teacher who may be interested in participating? The program is open to students kindergarten through 12th grade.

Please contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] if you know a teacher who may be interested in getting his or her students involved.

New Lawyers Volunteer at Pine Street Inn

New Lawyers spent Saturday morning serving food at the Pine Street Inn.

New Lawyers spent Saturday morning serving food at the Pine Street Inn.

The BBA’s weekend volunteer opportunities have been filling up quickly! Last week a group of attorneys headed to the Pine Street Inn to help prepare meals for the homeless at the Pine Street Inn and learn about the problem of homelessness in Boston.

Boston Bar Association 2-20-16 (2)

Are you looking for a similar volunteer opportunity? Don’t miss the Greater Boston Food Bank on March 23rd from 5:30-8:00 pm. Click here to learn more.

Summer Internship Applications Being Accepted Through March 7, 2016

The deadline for the BBA Summer Internship Program has been extended to March 7, 2016.

The deadline for the BBA Summer Internship Program has been extended to March 7, 2016.

The Boston Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Summer Internship application deadline has been extended to Monday, March 7, 2016. Placements are available in the following courts: Boston Municipal Courts, Land Court, Massachusetts District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit.  Placements are also available with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Roxbury and Quincy offices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). The application period for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office placements has ended.

The BBA’s internship experiences are complemented by a series of career exploration programs at the BBA, observation in a number area courts, as well as opportunities to connect with leaders in the BBA community and our affinity bar partner organizations. Law students of all backgrounds are invited to participate in this valuable opportunity to grow in understanding of one another and to ask deeper questions about what they can expect as they move forward in the profession.

There are specific guidelines and requirements for each placement. Students are encouraged to carefully read the application requirements and specifications for each position sought before submitting your application. Application instructions are available on our program website along with instructions for how to apply.

 

More Law Offices Step Up to Support Summer Jobs

 

 

Summer Jobs Feb18 Edited

With recruitment for the 2016 BBA Summer Jobs Program underway, law offices throughout the city are jumping at the chance to support Boston public high school students. The program places Boston public high school students in summer jobs at legal offices throughout the city, giving them experience working in an office environment, a chance to earn a pay check, and exposure to the legal profession. But don’t take our word for it. Look below to hear what two of last year’s students had to say about the program:

“Not only did the attorneys enlighten me, but meeting an actual lawyer in Boston, where I am from, and learning about the steps they took to become a lawyer, changed my life. I now am sure of what type of lawyer I want to become and the type of law I want to pursue.” Jorgiana Martin (Snowden International High School), intern at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

“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.“ Hector Fajardo, a graduate of John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science and intern at McCarter & English

Is your office interested in supporting the BBA Summer Jobs Program? Contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] for more information.

Thinking of Going Pro (Bono)? The BBA Can Help

Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) and Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services) led a training to prepare attorneys to volunteer with GBLS's CORI Program.

Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) and Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services) led a training to prepare attorneys to volunteer with GBLS’s CORI Program.

So far this year, the BBA has teamed up with our legal service partners to prepare over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases. The last two weeks serve as a perfect example of the ongoing pro bono educational opportunities at 16 Beacon Street. Last week, the BBA partnered with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) for the annual CORI Training; and this week, the BBA is working with the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) to hold a training aimed at recruiting more volunteers for Family Law Clinic Program at the Court Service Center.

However, it’s not too late to get involved in pro bono work! Here’s a sampling of the upcoming pro bono trainings offered at the BBA this winter and spring (and keep an eye on the calendar for new additions):

Representing Low-Income Taxpayers When the IRS and/or DOR Audits Their Return: Part Three
Thursday, March 3, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Pro Bono Training: Immigration Basics — What You Need to Know to Assist Low-Income Immigrants Complete Their Applications
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Representing Veterans in Discharge Upgrades: Advanced Training
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pro Bono Training: Trying a Case in Housing Court
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Cradles, Crayons, and Kitchens: Volunteer Spots Fill Up in February

A group of attorneys volunteered at Cradles to Crayons on Saturday.

A group of attorneys volunteered at Cradles to Crayons on Saturday.

The New Lawyers Public Service Committee’s annual Cradles to Crayons volunteer event is always popular, but this year it filled up in record time. Fifteen attorneys spent last Saturday processing and packaging donations that will be distributed to disadvantaged children across the state through Cradles to Crayons.  In case you’re not familiar with the organization, Cradles to Crayons provide homeless or low-income children with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school, and at play.

BTB 2

So what’s next for the New Lawyers Public Service Committee? Attorneys are heading to the Pine Street Inn on Saturday, February 20th to help prepare meals for the homeless at the Pine Street Inn and to learn about the problem of homelessness in Boston. This even also filled up quickly (which goes to show how dedicated our members are to volunteering in the community). However, keep an eye on the calendar for more weekend volunteer opportunities later this spring!

Lawyers, Veterans Build Community of Peers

Judge Daniel Driscoll spoke to attorneys at the Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon about administrative law judge opportunities for attorneys with military backgrounds.

Judge Daniel Driscoll spoke to attorneys at the Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon about administrative law judge opportunities.

On January 29th, attorneys who served in the military once again gathered in the Claflin Center (You may remember the BBA’s Veterans Day Reception, featuring Congressman Seth Moulton, in November). This event, called the Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon, was the first of a series of lunchtime events scheduled this year aimed at bringing attorneys who served in the military and their allies together to build a community within the BBA.

The Veterans Meet & Greet gives attorneys with military backgrounds an opportunity to connect in an informal, relaxed setting.

The Veterans Meet & Greet gives attorneys with military backgrounds an opportunity to connect in an informal, relaxed setting.

Here’s what BBA Military & Veterans Committee Co-Chair Dan Nagin (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) had to same about the events:

“The luncheons provide a wonderful opportunity for veterans to come together at the BBA in an informal setting, but where much can be accomplished.  The luncheons are intended to help strengthen the sense of community for veterans within the legal profession, to promote mentorship relationships, and to provide a conduit for information about resources for veterans and the BBA’s many pro bono initiatives for local veterans and servicemembers with unmet legal needs.”

If you’re interested in attending an upcoming luncheon, check out the dates below and click on the links below for more information:

Friday, April 8, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Friday, October 14, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

LAR Series Continued with Hands-On Workshop

Julie Tolek (Think Pink Law) and Danielle Spang (Law Office of Danielle Spang) led a workshop on how to draft a fee agreement when using LAR.

Julie Tolek (Think Pink Law) and Danielle Spang (Law Office of Danielle Spang) led a workshop on how to draft a fee agreement when using LAR.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood has focused her presidency on equipping new lawyers with practical skills, including helping lawyers better utilize Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) within their practice. The BBA’s LAR Practical Skills series has aimed to do just that. In the fourth segment offered in the series attendees had a chance to put their new knowledge to work as attorneys Julie Tolek (Think Pink Law) and Danielle Spang (Law Office of Danielle Spang) led a workshop on how to draft a fee agreement.

Here’s what speaker Attorney Tolek had to say about the program:

Why was a workshop on Drafting a Fee Agreement so important for attorneys practicing LAR?

“Talking about how to do something is easy but putting it in practice is where questions often arise. The LAR fee agreement is perhaps the most important component of beginning an attorney-client journey, and to be able to have hands-on time to screen for LAR appropriate situations and craft an agreement and discuss questions at the same time is the best way to learn to do it!”

What is the biggest takeaway that attorneys should remember from the program?

“Communication with your client and making sure they understand their responsibilities and what it means to be working with an attorney on an LAR basis is crucial. In my opinion, it matters less how you do it technically (whether bullet points or check boxes in your agreement) than that you actually DO it in a way that works for you and that the client understands. You could have as many check boxes as you want but if the client does not fully grasp what all of it means, those check boxes don’t mean much.”

Don’t miss the rest of the LAR Practical Skills series. Sign up for one of the upcoming sessions on how to use LAR in particular courts:

LAR Practical Skills: Housing Court
February 29th 12-1:30 pm

LAR Practical Skills: Probate & Family Court
March 22nd 12-1:30 pm

LAR Practical Skills: Boston Municipal Court & District Court
April 28th 12-1:30 pm

LAR Practical Skills: Land Court
May 24th 12-1:30 pm

Three Reasons to Apply to the Public Interest Leadership Program

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

Last Thursday, the BBA hosted an info session about its Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) at 16 Beacon Street, where attendees heard from four successful PILP alumni about the program. The panelists offered insight into the application process, their personal PILP experience, and how they’ve remained involved at the BBA after completing the program.

Panelists included:

Jen Doran – Partner, Hinckley Allen, PILP ‘06-‘07

Jane Harper – Vice President and Council, State Street, PILP ’10-‘11

Katherine Schulte – Staff Attorney, Casa Myrna Vasquez, PILP 13-14

Daniel Dwyer – Shareholder, Murphy & King, PILP ‘03-‘04

The panelists discussed several reasons to apply to the PILP program and we have compiled the top three reasons below:

  1. PILP is one of the most valuable tools for networking and meeting people in the profession. PILP provides the opportunity to meet and connect with prominent leaders in the legal profession that you otherwise would not encounter. As Katherine Schulte pointed out, it is not only valuable to meet leaders in the legal profession, but at young lawyers it is important to meet people outside of your field of practice as well.
  2. Members of PILP class are exposed to and integrated into BBA leadership. The program sets the stage for other types of valuable leadership roles, both at the BBA and elsewhere. As a member of PILP you’ll join a powerful alumni network of lawyer leaders who by their actions demonstrate that part of being a successful lawyer is giving back to the community.
  3. PILP combines leadership and professional development with service to the community. Throughout the program the PILP class designs and implements their own public service project that addresses an issue within the legal community. Past projects have included educational program for Boston Public School students, board service training programs, and contributions to law review articles and publications.

The BBA is accepting applications to the ’16-’17 Public Interest Leadership Program through Friday, February 26th. More information on PILP and the application process is available here. Please email Neha Deshpande, Membership Outreach Assistant, at [email protected] with any questions.