Monthly Archives: November 2019

Recent BBA Program Addressed the Effects of Vicarious Trauma for Pro Bono and Legal Services Attorneys

As part of the BBA’s ongoing focus on lawyer wellbeing, earlier this month the Delivery of Legal Services Section held an introductory workshop for pro bono and legal services lawyers on understanding vicarious trauma.

The program, led by Katherine Manners of Resilience Works, provided an overview of vicarious trauma, which represents an occupational challenge for those working with trauma survivors.  Citing a 2011 study, Manners said that 34% of attorneys working with traumatized clients meet the criteria for PTSD, and 75% meet the criteria for functional impairment, such as disruption in one’s personal and family life.  She noted that, if left unaddressed, vicarious trauma can have significant physical, behavioral, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and relational effects, and can negatively impact professional performance.  An interactive activity helped attendees reflect on how some of these effects may have manifested in their own lives.

Manners stated that vicarious traumatization is inevitable in workplaces where employees are exposed to the effects of trauma, but that the negative impacts can be managed, and that both individual practitioners and entire organizations can adopt practices to increase vicarious resilience, vicarious transformation, and “compassion satisfaction.”  She discussed factors that improve resilience, and suggested some practical coping tools.

A second program on this topic, “Addressing Vicarious Trauma: Practical Skills and Planning,” will be held on Thursday, December 12, from 4:00-6:00pm. The program will focus on helping attendees integrate trauma-informed principles into their practice, establish professional boundaries, and consider ways to strengthen team and organizational responses to vicarious trauma. For more information and to register, click here.

This programming is made possible in part by the Boston Bar Foundation’s Joan B. DiCola Fund. This fund provides critical support for Boston Bar Association programs and initiatives that foster the education and professional development of lawyers. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program – Calling All Volunteers!

The BBA is thrilled to begin a new year of our M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Volunteers can now sign up to present classroom modules (Personal Finance & Budgeting; Credit & Credit Cards; and Financing a Large Purchase) at participating schools! Our volunteers help high school students across Massachusetts learn about making informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. Since 2005, over 1,400 volunteers have reached close to 7,000 students statewide.

To sign up to volunteer in a classroom, click here.

To view the volunteer training video for volunteers, click here.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Doug Newton at [email protected].

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is made possible by the Charles P. Normandin Fund. This fund provides critical support for the bankruptcy-related pro bono, public service, and civic programs of the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

Thank You to our CORI Sealing Clinic Volunteers

Earlier this year, the Boston Bar Association in collaboration with the Greater Boston Legal Services launched a monthly CORI Sealing Clinic that assists low-income clients in asking courts to seal their criminal records.  The clinic is held monthly at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in downtown Boston and clients can receive assistance with obtaining, reviewing, and, if advised, sealing or expunging their records. With the help from our volunteer attorneys, we have helped nearly 100 members of the community remove the barriers of a CORI in order to be in a better position to obtain jobs, housing, educational opportunities, etc.

We would like to thank our volunteer attorneys, law students, paralegals, and summer associates for dedicating time and hard work to assisting members of the community in need.

  • Annie Lee (Anderson & Kreiger)
  • Arianne Bennett (Boston University Law Student)
  • Brandon Schneider (Sullivan & Worcester Summer Associate)
  • Brett Lovins (Lovins & Metcalf)
  • Chelsea Wood (Sullivan & Worcester)
  • Christin Lal (Suffolk University Law Student)
  • Dena Medford (Kirkland & Ellis)
  • Ed Burley (Emancipated Media Group)
  • Ezra Dunkle-Polier (Anderson & Kreiger Summer Associate)
  • Frank Liu (Pepper Hamilton)
  • Haley Grissom (Nutter, McClennen, & Fish)
  • Han Park (Kirkland & Ellis)
  • Holly Robinson (Law Office of Holly Robinson)
  • Irene Vitale (Liberty Mutual Paralegal)
  • Jaclyn Essinger (Pepper Hamilton)
  • Jillian Friedman (Sullivan & Worcester Summer Associate)
  • Kara Guedes (Liberty Mutual)
  • Kelly Crosby (Liberty Mutual)
  • Kelsea Médard (Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius)
  • Kerry O’Connor (Suffolk University Law Student)
  • Kevin France (New England Law Student)
  • Krystle Santana (New England Law Student)
  • LeinWeih (Andrew) Tseng (Pepper Hamilton)
  • Lydia Horan (Greater Boston Legal Services)
  • Maria Dorney (Precision Corporate Services)
  • Maris Kramer Brosnan (Boston University Law Student)
  • Matthew Bailey (Sullivan & Worcester Summer Associate)
  • Megan Bigelow (Pepper Hamilton)
  • Nancy Keating (Liberty Mutual)
  • Nathaniel Koslof (Sullivan & Worcester)
  • Paul Kominers (Anderson & Kreiger)
  • Payal Salsburg (Laredo & Smith)
  • Payam Tarifard (Vugar Jafarov Law Office)
  • PeiJung Hsueh (Boston University Law Student)
  • Rachel Gants (Sullivan & Worcester Summer Associate)
  • Ray Doucette (Anderson & Kreiger Summer Associate)
  • Ryan Rosenblatt (Sullivan & Worcester)
  • Samuel Bombaugh (Sullivan & Worcester)
  • Samuel Dinning (Anderson & Kreiger)
  • Spenser Swaczyk
  • Stephanie Finklea (Liberty Mutual)
  • Teresa Cunha (Liberty Mutual)
  • Ventura Dennis (Greater Boston Legal Services)
  • William Wise (Liberty Mutual)
  • Xena Robinson (New England Law Student)

This project was made possible through collaboration with the private bar, legal services agencies, law schools and the court system. The BBA is grateful for the support of sponsor firms Sullivan & Worcester LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP , who have committed to staffing the clinic with volunteer attorneys during its pilot phase. The launch of this clinic would also not be possible without the expertise of Greater Boston Legal Services’ CORI & Re-Entry Project Director Pauline Quirion and New England Law Center for Law and Social Responsibility Director David Siegel. 

If you are an attorney interested in volunteering with the CORI Sealing Clinic, please click here for more information.

CORI Sealing Volunteers Sam Dinning (Anderson & Kreiger), Payal Salsburg (Laredo & Smith), Annie Lee (Anderson & Kreiger), Dena Medford (Kirkland & Ellis), Haley Grissom (Nutter, McClennen, & Fish), and Han Park (Kirkland & Ellis)

PILP Hears from Speakers on Reproductive Rights and Justice

On Thursday, November 7th, the Public Interest Leadership Committee heard from two distinguished speakers on the topic of reproductive justice. First, Jamie Sabino, attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Judicial Consent for Minors Lawyer Referral Panel spoke about women’s reproductive health in Massachusetts with a focus on the current landscape nationwide and in Massachusetts.   

She shared that currently in Massachusetts, under the judicial bypass process, minors must petition the court to obtain an abortion if a parent or guardian is not present to grant permission.  A concern with the requirement of the judicial bypass process is that physicians are mandated reporters, but judges are not.  Such a requirement creates an additional hurdle for minors, including a fear of loss of confidentiality.  The judicial bypass law disproportionately impacts young people of color and young people with low incomes.

Attorney Sabino also discussed the history of reproductive health laws and the changing landscape that has resulted from changes in the makeup of the United States Supreme Court.   

Since 1981, Jamie has chaired or co-chaired the Judicial Consent For Minor Lawyer Referral Panel, a group of attorneys who represent minors seeking judicial authorization for abortion.  Working with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Jamie has also trained lawyers in a number of states facing implementation of a parental involvement/judicial bypass statute, testified in many state legislatures on the burdens brought by such laws and served as an expert witness on the implementation of such laws in court challenges.

Mehreen Butt, Associate Director of Policy and Government Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, discussed her current focus on lobbying for the passage of The Roe Act, S. 1209, H. 3320.  Amongst several other components, the bill would eliminate the judicial bypass process, expand access to abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases of fatal fetal anomalies, and abolish medically unnecessary abortion restrictions.  In June 2019, the bill went to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Ms. Butt has over 15 years of experience working in the social justice and public policy fields and on local, state, and federal campaigns.  She has worked at Rosie’s Place, Tufts Health Plan and Health Care for All.  In each of these positions, Ms. Butt was responsible for overseeing the organization’s policy and legislative agenda.

For more information regarding Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts priorities visit https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/planned-parenthood-advocacy-fund-massachusetts-inc/issues

Meeting Recap provided by PILP Members Andrea Carrillo (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Sharona Sternberg (Sunstein Kann)

Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum Reception

This past Tuesday, the BBA’s Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum held a reception ahead of Veterans Day to bring together members of the bar who are current members of the military, veterans, and their colleagues, and to honor those who have served. The event featured keynote speaker Harvey Weiner, Senior Counsel at Peabody & Arnold and a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, where he was an Army Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star (M), among other medals. Mr. Weiner is the National Judge Advocate of the Jewish War Veterans of America, the nation’s oldest active veterans’ organization, and a past Massachusetts Department Commander. He spoke candidly about his experiences in the Vietnam War and upon returning home, and discussed how throughout his career he has drawn on this experience to relate to and support others who have survived violence and trauma, including survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

The reception also kicked off the Forum’s 2019-2020 Active Duty Military & Veterans Mentoring Program, and offered an opportunity for participants in the program to meet their newly-assigned mentors. The program matches military-affiliated law students and new lawyers with more experienced military-affiliated lawyers, who offer career advice and guidance about how to navigate the Boston legal landscape. This fall, the Forum has matched 21 pairs of mentees and mentors through the program. The Forum is thrilled to provide this program, which recognizes the unique experiences of active duty military and veteran attorneys.

Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum Co-Chairs Mark Fitzgerald (Wilson Sonsini) and Jessica Hopton Youngberg (Veterans Legal Services) with keynote speaker Harvey Weiner (Peabody & Arnold) at Tuesday’s reception