Daily Archives: Wednesday, November 20, 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 dnewton@bostonbar.org.

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)