October is Pro Bono Month, recognizing the valuable pro bono contributions made by lawyers throughout the year, and aiming to increase pro bono participation across the state in order to narrow the justice gap.
The BBA Council voted on Tuesday to recognize October 2019 as Pro Bono Month and to “commend Boston attorneys for their ongoing pro bono contributions, and remind all members that by engaging in pro bono work and providing financial support they can make a significant difference in the lives of Boston’s poor who would not otherwise have access to the legal system.”
Last year, the BBA trained over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases in civil appeals, veterans’ issues, housing, citizenship applications, education law, and more. Meanwhile, more than 500 of our members dedicated their time to community service and pro bono work through our public service programs –whether by helping clients at our monthly CORI Sealing Clinic or by teaching elementary, middle, and high school students about the importance of First Amendment rights and free speech in our democracy. We are grateful to our members for giving generously of their time and talents – and embodying the spirit of Pro Bono Month all year round by delivering unique services to our community that only lawyers can provide!
This year, we have a robust set of activities planned for Pro Bono Month. We hope you will think about where you might be able to lend support in the year ahead, and plug into one (or more!) of the many volunteer opportunities we will be highlighting in October. Together, we can advance access to justice for all people in Massachusetts.
PUBLIC CHARGE ATTORNEY TRAINING
Wednesday, October 2, 12:00-2:00pm, at the BBA
This free, in-depth training will provide Massachusetts immigration attorneys with information about the new Public Charge regulation, which takes effect on October 15. This training will help lawyers assess how the new regulation will affect their clients and determine case strategy.
PRO BONO TRAINING : CHAPTER 7 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY BASICS
Thursday, October 10, 3:00-6:30pm, at the BBA
This program will cover all aspects of representing a low-income consumer debtor in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, and will qualify participants to take on chapter 7 cases pro bono through the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
PRO BONO RECRUITMENT FAIR & OPEN HOUSE AT SUFFOLK LAW
Tuesday, October 15, 4:30-6:00pm, at Suffolk University Law School
The Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House, sponsored by the Boston Bar Association and Suffolk University Law School, is open to law students and attorneys of all levels. Join us to learn about pro bono opportunities with local legal services organizations.
PIZZA AND PRO BONO: MASS LEGAL ANSWERS ONLINE BLITZ
Tuesday, October 22, 5:30-7:30pm, at the BBA
Join us for a pro bono pizza party while we work with volunteer attorneys from Massachusetts Legal Answers Online and the Volunteer Lawyers Project to answer legal questions for low-income Massachusetts residents through the Mass Legal Answers Online website.
FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAM VOLUNTEER INFO SESSION
Wednesday, October 23, 3:00-5:00pm, at the BBA
Learn about how you can volunteer with the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program and help high school students across Massachusetts build the foundational skills to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances.
PRO BONO TRAINING FOR ATTORNEYS TO HELP CLIENTS SEAL THEIR CORI RECORDS
Monday, October 28, 3:00-5:30pm, at the BBA
Learn the skills needed to volunteer at the BBA’s monthly CORI Sealing Clinic and help low-income clients who have questions about their Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) records. CORI Records can pose significant barriers to housing, employment, and educational opportunities, so advising on sealing and expungement is an important way for lawyers to help.
Boston Bar pro bono and public service projects are made possible by funding from the Boston Bar Foundation.