Daily Archives: Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bar Exam Coaching Program in Full Swing!

The BBA is thrilled to announce that our we have matched thirty-five applicants sitting for the bar exam in February with Attorney volunteers for our Bar Exam Coaching Program! In this program, Attorneys provide guidance on the non-substantive aspects of preparing for the bar exam (stress management, study tips, etc.) to bar applicants who are re-taking the bar exam. On Monday, December 9th, the BBA officially launched our February 2020 Bar Exam Coaching Program with our Volunteer Training and Kickoff Reception events.

The training consisted of a comprehensive seminar presented by Kandace Kukas, Assistant Dean and Director of Bar Admission Programs at Northeastern University School of Law. Kandace provided an overview of the bar exam, as well as tips on helping bar applicants with organizational skills and emotional wellness as they prepare. At the reception, we were thrilled to have a former participant in the program who passed the bar exam with the help of her coach speak to our applicants and coaches in attendance. She noted that her score increased nearly fifty points from her first attempt and described how her coach was instrumental in helping her to understand exactly which preparation habits would be beneficial. Attendees of the reception also heard from Wadner Oge, Staff Attorney at the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. Wadner described the rigor of preparing for the exam, noting that there are no ways around putting in many hours of preparation over the course of several months.

As part of this program, we have also planned two workshops for our bar applicants and coaches. The first, taking place on January 6th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM, will be presented by Jonny Schreiber of Iron Mountain as well as Adrian Velazquez with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This workshop will offer guidance on the essay portions of the bar exam. The second will be presented by Barbara Bowe, who works in Clinical Services at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. Barbara will educate our coaches on recognizing signs of stress and anxiety in bar applicants as they prepare for the exam.

We at the BBA thank each of these excellent speakers for supporting our coaches and applicants as they prepare for the bar exam. If you are a bar applicant interested in participating in this program, or if you have any questions, please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org.

Public Service Spotlight: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Now Seeking Volunteers!

The BBA is currently seeking volunteers for our M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program! This program helps students across Massachusetts develop the skills necessary for effective financial management through educational and experiential opportunities. Through this program, volunteers present one of three modules (Personal Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, and Financing a Large Purchase) to a group of students in the Greater Boston Area. The program concludes with a mock-trial presentation on the consequences of poor financial management in a federal bankruptcy courtroom. The following Eastern Massachusetts schools are participating in the program:

  • Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (New Bedford)
  • Woburn High School
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Brighton)
  • Madison Park Technical Vocational High School (Roxbury)
  • The Compliance Mentor Group (Sites in Cambridge and Boston)
  • Charlestown High School
  • The English High School (Jamaica Plain)

The BBA thanks Liberty Mutual for adopting Madison Park Technical Vocational High School as well as Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Since the program’s inception in 2005, over 1,400 volunteers have reached over 5,800 students statewide. The total time commitment for a volunteer, including training, classroom preparation, and classroom time, averages 3-5 hours. No specific experience is required to volunteer, and all materials are provided by the BBA. This is a unique opportunity to help the next generation develop practical skills that will better their lives in the present and future. If you would like more information on the program, please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org. A training video for volunteers can be found at this link. If you are interested in signing up to teach a module at one of the above locations, please click here to do so. Please also check back in the spring for volunteer opportunities at the “Consequences of Poor Financial Management” sessions!

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.