Daily Archives: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Job Shadow Day Q & A: What Did the Attorneys Think?

Sparkle Calhoun (Holland & Knight) and a Holland & Knight Summer Jobs student at the Summer Jobs Celebration last summer

Sparkle Calhoun (Holland & Knight) and a Holland & Knight Summer Jobs student at the Summer Jobs Celebration last summer

Recently, four of our Summer Jobs employers participated in the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) annual Job Shadow Day, during which students go to an office to watch professionals do their jobs, ask them questions, and assist them with their work.
The following offices hosted students on Job Shadow Day:

  • Conn, Kavanaugh, Rosenthal, Peisch & Ford
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
  • Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, PC
  • Holland & Knight

They have also committed to hiring a Summer Jobs student, furthering their efforts to help local students shape their future careers.

The Holland & Knight attorneys who participated are Job Shadow Day veterans, and we reached out to them to see how their experience went this time around. This is what Associate Kevin Bergesen and Partner David Glynn had to say:

BTB:      What was the biggest takeaway from Job Shadow Day for you?

David Glynn: We need to provide more opportunities for high school kids to sit down with adults and ask candid questions about what they actually do in their line of work, whether they enjoy it, and how they got to where they are.  We should always be telling kids to stay in school, but we should also be explaining to kids what they can ultimately achieve if they do, and how to achieve it.

Kevin Bergesen: I enjoy learning about students’ backgrounds and developing a sense of where they come from and how they intend to shape their community in the future.
BTB: What do you think was the biggest takeaway for the student?

David Glynn: My student, in particular, was interested in a career in law and said that he found the experience very educational in terms of charting his course through high school and college on to law school.

Kevin Bergesen: Job Shadow Day helps the students better understand the variety of an attorney’s day – one student noted that he learned that “a lawyer isn’t just a person that argues all day”.

BTB:      Were you surprised by any of the student’s questions, and what were they?

David Glynn: The student I hosted was not only interested in the practice of law, but asked many good questions about how law firms operate, how attorneys attract clients, and how client relationships are maintained.

Kevin Bergesen: The students were very interested in how our firm interacts with other aspects of the Boston community and its legal system, for example, the students asked how closely we worked with the police and the state legislature.

BTB: How many times have you participated in Job Shadow Day and what keeps you coming back each year?

David Glynn: I have participated for the past two years.  I keep volunteering because I think that kids rarely have the opportunity to have a candid discussion with an adult about what they actually do at work, whether their work is satisfying, and how they got to where they are.

Kevin Bergesen: This is my third Job Shadow Day and I will continue to participate to help students feel more comfortable in a professional setting and appreciate that they already possess many of the skills that will make them successful in the workplace.

Chief Justice Ordoñez Weighs in on Importance of LAR at Probate & Family Court Training

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On Tuesday, Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez greeted attendees at a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) workshop aimed at preparing attorneys to represent clients on a limited basis in a probate or family law case.

LAR is a useful tool for clients who might not otherwise have access to legal representation. Rather than paying a large sum as a retainer, they can hire an attorney for one particular motion or hearing, after which the parties can choose to go their separate ways or draft another agreement concerning the next steps.

The only problem with LAR, Chief Justice Ordoñez said, is that not enough people know they have access to it.

“Let people spread the word to their friends, their cousins, their family and all of that. If you spread the word about LAR, you’ll help the court, you’ll help the client and you’ll help yourselves. I see people every day who have no idea what LAR is,” she said.

Panelists Ilene Mitchell (Probate and Family Court Administrative Office) and Laura Unflat (The Law Office of Laura M. Unflat) spoke to attendees about their experience practicing LAR and answered questions about cases that the attorneys in the audience were already working on.

If you’re interested in learning more about LAR, including how to get certified to practice, our next training on April 28 will focus on LAR in the Boston Municipal and District Courts.  Click here to learn more.

Irish International Immigrant Center Presents Pro Bono Training on Immigration Basics

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This week, Rebecca Minahan from the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC)—a BBF grantee— came to the BBA to lead a well-attended training on the basics of immigration law. The goal of the session was to familiarize attorneys and law students with the process of attaining citizenship.

The IIIC holds an Immigration Forms Workshop, held twice monthly, where attorneys provide pro bono assistance navigating the complicated process. During her presentation, Minahan explained some of the reasons that people most commonly end up in the country illegally, including serious danger or financial struggles in their country of origin.

Minahan went over some commonly used terms, some misconceptions (green cards have not actually been green in color for years, she said), and some of the important reasons that the staff and volunteers at the IIIC do what they do.

“The IIIC, though founded to help undocumented Irish workers, has really grown to serve many immigrants from any background,” she said.

If you missed this program, but are interested in other pro bono opportunities, our next training on April  13 will focus on Pro Bono Appellate Pilot Program. Click here to learn more.

In Their Own Words: What Your Casino Night Ticket Supports

One of the events we look forward to most every year is our Casino Night fundraiser for our Summer Jobs Program, which gives Boston public school students the chance to earn money and gain real-world experience that will help them in college and beyond.

Recently, some students that have participated in the program in the past checked back in with the BBA staff to tell us all about the incredible things they’ve been doing, and how the Summer Jobs Program helped them find their path to success.

Here is what your Casino Night tickets supports, in the students’ own words:
“After the Summer Jobs Program, LPL Financial hired me to stay there for an extended period of time. I worked through December and then applied for a co-op through my college, Bunker Hill Community College, and so I’m currently working within Compliance and Asset Management for Fidelity Investments! Seeing BBA on my resume really intrigues employers, it was such a fulfilling experience. I’m looking to apply for a couple scholarships, as I’ve recently been inducted in Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.”
— Celine Ramsingh, intern at LPL Financial, Summer 2015
Graduated from Boston Latin Academy

“My name was Yujia Song, and I worked for Goodwin Procter during the summer of 2014. I just wanted to say that I’m doing well. I ended up attending BU with a scholarship, and I’m finishing up my freshman year right now. I also recently became a United States citizen, and changed my name to Alex Song, so that has been very exhilarating.”
–Alex Song, intern at Goodwin Procter LLP, Summer 2014
Graduated from Boston Latin School

“Currently I am a sophomore UMass Boston majoring in Management and Economics. I am thankful to have been an intern under the BBA. My internship helped me network and gain excellent world experience.”
–Chahana Patel, intern at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, Summer 2013
Graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy

To learn more about Casino Night, click here or contact Erica Southerland at [email protected].  To read more about our Summer Jobs Program, click here.