Nixon Peabody Partner Larry DiCara leads a mock City Council hearing with 2015 Summer Jobs students
The City of Boston’s website will tell you all of the important reasons that Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Summer Jobs Program makes a big difference in the lives of the teens who participate, and that’s why we work to place students in law firms each summer.
But if you’re working at a law office, you may wonder – what impact do these students have on their employers?
Larry DiCara, a partner in Nixon Peabody LLP’s Boston office, has worked with Summer Jobs students for years, and it never gets old for him. Students have as much to teach adults as they do to learn from them, he said.
“It is a learning experience both for a firm and a student,” he said. “I have learned so much from the wonderful young people who have worked at Nixon Peabody through the years.”
While there are many highlights of the program for him, DiCara said conducting a mock city council hearing where students get to debate issues inside the real City Hall chambers “remains the highlight of (his) summer.”
In addition to having extra hands to help out at the officeand getting to know the students, DiCara said he looks forward to learning about the paths the students take after they have completed the program.
“I am proud that many are now at great colleges and thriving, and keeping in touch. Having a work experience is helpful for them as they look towards college,” he said.
We talk about the importance of summer jobs all the time, and now we have the President of the United States to back us up.
Recently, President Obama wrote a LinkedIn post on what his first job meant to him. Spoiler alert: it was scooping ice cream one summer in Honolulu.
“Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don’t have access to many resources and opportunities, Obama says. “Employment can also help bridge the “opportunity gap” we see in the summer months, when young people tend to fall behind in educational achievement.”
We highly recommend reading the whole post. If it has you feeling inspired, learn more about the ways that you can participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program, a longstanding partnership between the BBA, the city, Boston Public Schools and the Boston Private Industry Council that aims to give high school students hands-on employment experience at law firms and other organizations.
Take a look below to see which legal offices have already signed on to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program:
Last week, we wrapped up a three-part series of pro bono trainings geared toward helping to build the first ever low-income taxpayer pro bono panel of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS).
Over the course of the series, attorneys learned about the IRS collections timeline, a client’s right to due process, and the best tactics for removing levies and liens. They also learned about working out payment agreements and other alternatives to full collection of back taxes, and how to best resolve a dispute stemming from an audit.
Expert attorneys as well as IRS representatives made up the panels for these trainings. Over the course of three programs, over 35 attorneys and tax professionals signed on to work with the low-income taxpayer pro bono panel.
We reached out to Keith Fogg, the Director of the Federal Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, and Luz Arevalo, a senior attorney at GBLS, to ask about the major takeaways of the program.
“Legal representation for all taxpayers most obviously helps the taxpayer represented, but it also serves as a check that improves our system of taxation. Working families will avoid much frustration and heartache if they respond promptly and correctly to a tax audit notice. Having an advocate involved early in the process will often translate into quick resolutions of the case.
I believe a paramount principle in taxation is Fairness. This principle is preserved by insuring access to legal representation.”
“An important takeaway from the most recent training is that the failure to respond to notices from the IRS or the MA Department of Revenue leads to dire consequences including not only a debt but also the loss of a driver’s license or a passport. The government has created a process of auditing that is very automated and efficient for them. Low income taxpayers, who will frequently shrink from responding out of fear of the unknown, need resources to assist them in responding and working with the system. The National Taxpayer Advocate for the IRS has developed statistics showing much higher rates of success by represented taxpayers in the audit process. The program sought to encourage and enable representatives provide much needed pro bono assistance.
As a new clinic and as a clinic partnering with GBLS, it is important for Harvard to co-host this program in order to help build a cadre of representatives willing and prepared to assist our clients when we reach capacity to assist them with the resources available in our clinic.”
Meredith R. Douglas
Maude Laroche-St. Fleur
Evelyn Venables Moreno
Ryan Takeo Sakoda
Elizabeth Julia Smith
Through that program, Saccardi took on his first Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) cases. He helped clients through a specific piece of their case, such as an individual motion or filing.
“LAR is a wonderful training ground for new lawyers who want courtroom experience,” Saccardi told attendees at a recent training on representing litigants in Housing Court.
Not only is LAR beneficial to new attorneys looking for experience, it can be a vital service to litigants who can’t afford legal representation. The vast majority of people who come before Judge Winik are unrepresented, he said. This is a huge disadvantage to the litigant, who may not have the knowledge to represent their own interest effectively. It also ties up the court system, as an attorney helps to move a case more efficiently forward.
During the training, the two panelists explained how to become certified online to practice LAR. They also gave tips on common obstacles in LAR cases, including how to facilitate communication with non-native English speakers, to drafting clear, specific fee agreements.
“The bedrock of LAR is informed consent,” Judge Winik said. “You, the lawyer, must understand what you have agreed to do, and most importantly, the client must understand what you’ve agreed to do – or not to do.”
Of the importance of LAR in his court, Judge Winik said, “It is always better to have a litigant represented than not.”
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:
David Lieberman of Day Pitney LLP, Nikki Marie Oliveira of Bass, Doherty & Finks, PC and Marisa Roman of Sinsheimer & Associates
Last Thursday, the Boston Bar Foundation’s Junior Fellows Society held its first happy hour reception of 2016. Mingling over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, this group of conscientious young attorneys came together to network and celebrate the BBF’s work in Greater Boston.
The Junior Fellows Society, which is composed of attorneys in practice 10 years or less, is an important part of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows, a community of more than 400 leading attorneys who are committed to investing in our city’s future. Junior Fellows come together throughout the year for happy hour receptions for young attorneys, in addition to receptions with the entire Society of Fellows.
The featured guest of the evening was Junior Fellows Society member David Lieberman, an Associate at Day Pitney LLP who focuses on complex fraud claims. David is an alumnus of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program, has volunteered for the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools, and has worked with the BBA’s Reentry Education Program.
David shared with the group his many reasons for joining the Society: helping to fund the public service activities of the bar, befriending other like-mind attorneys at events like this reception, and remaining engaged with the BBA and BBF community – in addition to the professional networking opportunities the Society provides. Several attendees noted that the Junior Fellows Society offers a much-needed outlet for young lawyers to discuss common worries they face in their first years in the legal field and to gain professional contacts that will serve them for years to come.
Members of the Junior Fellows Society pledge to contribute $250 a year for four years to support the Boston Bar Foundation’s endowment. The contributions of Junior Fellows allow the Boston Bar Foundation to expand access to justice for the underserved of Greater Boston, fund all of the public service projects of the BBA such as the ones David participated in, and provide invaluable educational opportunities for Boston’s urban youth. Learn more about the Junior Fellows Society.
Junior Fellows have unique opportunities to attend exclusive networking and social events with Fellows and Junior Fellows throughout the year. Because the Boston Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3), all Junior Fellows contributions are tax-deductible. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Junior Fellow, please contact Tara Trask at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 778-1984.
Sean Hagen of Long Knight, P.C. and Hannah Joseph of Beck Reed Riden