Daily Archives: Thursday, February 16, 2017

VLP Announces December-January Honor Roll

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation in December and January:

Melissa Alden
Wendy Allis
Samuel Ames
Sarah Andries
Dick Bauer
Thomas Beauvais
Lisa Bernt
Roger Bertling
Stephanie Biggs
Peter Bilowz
Christina Bitter
Larry Booz
Dorothy Bourassa
Alissa Brill
Lisa Brown
Angelina Bruce-Flounory
Natalia V. Bukhanova
Robert Burdick
Edward Burns
Rachel Bussey
Nicole Cabrera
Michael Campinell
Daniel J. Carragher
Seunghee Cha
Rosemarie Clinch
Seth Davis
Vikas Dhar
Jennifer DiCarlo
Julie Dick
Eleanora DiLorenzo
Raymond Dougan
Pauline Edmonds
Jinanne S. Elder
Richard Evans
Natalie Feigenbaum
Peter Fellman
Kelly Finn
Kevin Finnegan
Joel F Gardiner
Andres Garron
Roger Geller
Michael G. Giarrusso
Gabriel Martin Gillmeyer
Philip R. Gindi
David Goldman
Mark Gordon
Courtney Greenberg
Steven Greenzang
Michael Harriman
Steve Hassink
III Hatfield
Eric Hight
Karen Hoffman
Rizwanul Huda
David P. Hunt
Sharon V. Jones
Ilene S. Klein
Jonathan Kravetz
Nicole Krea
Donald R. Lassman
Elisia Lau
Matt Jason Lawlor
Michael Levesque
Tyler Lewis
Sarah Lim
Michael MacDonald
Holly Mayfield
Brandon Middleton-Pratt
William Moore
Madelyn Morris
Greg Moscatel
Joanne Moses
Engie Mota
Kevin R. Mulcahy
Kristofer C. Munroe
Justin Murphy
Sarah Murphy-Holroyd
Jessica L. Nagle
Fernanda H. Naspolini
Yavor Nechev
Kate E. Nicholson
Vanessa A. O’Connor
Nnena Odim
Judy O’Neil
Allison Orpilla
William Patton
Katuscia Pierre-Charles
Nicholas Planty
Stephen Provazza
Jacob Raver
Gregory Rees
Lola Remy
Katherine Richardson
Lou D. Saban
Soraya Sadeghi
Ryan Takeo Sakoda
Terry Schnicker
Timothy Shea
Jordan Smith
Carl Studlar
Beibei Sun
Nigel Tamton
Lisa Terrizzi
Kristin Thurbide
Sharon L. Toffler
James M. Tourkistas
William Valletta
Andrew Varshavsky
Christopher Versfelt
Anthony T. Visconti
Adrienne Walker
Leann Walsh
Heather M. Ward
Neil Warrenbrand
Richard Harris Wheeler
Donald Whitmore
Lawrence A. Wind
David Zieja
Ajay Zutshi

PAIR Hosts Asylum Training at BBA

Anita Sharma, executive director of the PAIR Project.

At a recent well-attended training at 16 Beacon Street, the Boston Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project brought experts in the legal and medical fields to talk about best practices for representing asylum seekers.

The training was geared toward those who have never taken on an asylum case before, and introduced attendees to PAIR’s method of assigning teams of attorneys to tackle these multifaceted, challenging cases. PAIR’s executive director, Anita Sharma, stressed the importance of teamwork, creative thinking and empathy in asylum cases, which require a mix of legal prowess and sensitivity from attorneys.

“It’s one thing to read the language of this law, but when you are dealing with an actual human being who has been through terrible trauma, and you’re trying to … check off all the boxes (to make sure they meet the qualifications to obtain asylum), it becomes very difficult,” she said.

Even a phrase as seemingly straightforward as a “well-founded fear of persecution,” which one must demonstrate to qualify for asylum, is subject to multiple interpretations. The panel of experts walked attendees through each piece of the legal requirements for asylum. They also discussed the distinction between asylum status and refugee status, gave tips on working with interpreters, and offered advice on coaxing clients to talk about what they have endured.

“It’s human instinct: you go through something horrible and you want to forget it. But we (as attorneys) are in this terrible position where we have to ask for every single detail” in order to strengthen the client’s case, Sharma said.

Sonda Crosby, a physician at Boston Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, spoke about the importance of a forensic medical examination in proving a client’s claims in a situation where they have been physically harmed.

Ilana Greenstein (Law Office of Macias & Greenstein) and David McHaffey (McHaffey & Associates) also lent their expertise to the training.

Check out our calendar  page for more public service programs and pro bono trainings and if you’re interested in volunteer opportunities related to immigration issues, please complete this online survey.

The Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project is a 2016 Grantee of the Boston Bar Foundation.

Sign-Up to Hire a Summer High School Intern

Throughout the winter, many Boston area legal offices have been signing up for the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program. We’re grateful to the organizations that have signed up so far and encourage your office to hire a student and make an impact!

Each summer, law firms, courts, and government agencies hire high school students from Boston Public Schools to work in their offices. Past student interns have worked across a variety of departments, from accounting to records and IT to litigation. Students are eager to learn and gain professional experience and can offer assistance on many projects during the course of the summer. We encourage you learn more about the program here and if you’d like to hire a student, please let us know by filling out this form.

Thank you to the below offices that have already committed to hire a student in 2017!

Boston Planning & Development Agency
Brown Rudnick LLP
Burns & Levinson LLP
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Collora LLP
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Foley Hoag LLP
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
McCarter & English LLP
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Nixon Peabody LLP
Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shaevel and Krems, LLP
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Verrill Dana LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Students participating in Summer Jobs 2016 hear from Larry DiCara (Nixon Peabody) during their Enrichment Seminar field trip to Boston City Hall.

PILP Gets Primer on Domestic Violence Law

Last week, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) heard from Mithra Merryman (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Margo Lindauer (Northeastern University School of Law) on how the legal system works to help victims of domestic violence (DV) . After reviewing the legal definitions of violence and abuse, the presenters moved to cover more specific components faced when assisting a victim of domestic violence.

Victims may request a restraining order against their abuser, which can be applied either where the victim is living or where the majority of abuse occurred. Merryman and Lindauer shared the benefits and drawbacks of both jurisdictions and discussed instances when a restraining order may not benefit the victim. Additionally, PILP heard how domestic violence cases are impacted when the victim is an immigrant. The speakers described that many DV victims are less likely to come forward if they fear deportation and that abusers will use the threat of deportation against their victims. While the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 allows married Green Card holders to file immigrant visa petitions, unmarried immigrants are not covered by the act. The co-presenters also stressed throughout the meeting that the prevalence of domestic violence is the same across all demographics: race, age, socioeconomic status, sexual & gender orientation, etc.

If you’re interested in pro bono projects related to domestic violence, the presenters suggest looking into the below organizations*:

*All organizations listed are 2016 Grantees of the Boston Bar Foundation