Monthly Archives: February 2020

Thank you to our February 2020 Bar Exam Coaches!

Ahead of the February 2020 Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts, 35 attorneys provided coaching and guidance to individuals taking the bar exam. The BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program matches coaches with bar applicants to support them throughout the preparation process. Coaches keep applicants on track with a study schedule and provide tips for managing time and stress.

The program also consists of workshops for both coaches and applicants. The BBA thanks Kandace Kukas of Northeastern University School of Law for her instructional workshop for coaches, as well as Jonny Schreiber of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Adrian Velazquez of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for their workshop on the essay writing portions of the bar exam.

This program focuses particularly on assisting applicants who are retaking the bar exam in Massachusetts.  Through this program, we hope to provide support and community during the stressful and sometimes isolating experience of studying for the bar exam. Thank you to all the coaches who provided support:

Eunice Aikins-Afful, Alliance Foundation Trials

Robert Friedman, Burns & Levinson LLP

Thomas Barry, Fidelity Investments

Manisha Bhatt, Greater Boston Legal Services

Luke Blackadar, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston

Elizabeth Broderick, Committee for Public Counsel Services

Laura Brown, Laura Brown Law Office

Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP

Chantal Choi, Catalant Technologies

James Coffey, Polsinelli

Susan Corcoran, De Novo

Brook Kellerman, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Caryn Mitchell-Munevar, New England Law Boston

Szeman Lam, Proskauer Rose LLP

Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Yakov Malkiel, White & Case LLP

Elizabeth Olien, Todd & Weld LLP

Patrick Niebauer, Nolan Sheehan Patten LLP

Julius Halstead, Goulston & Storrs PC

Nicole Phe, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Amy Pimental, McDermott Will & Emery

Andreia Ribas Precoma, MetroWest Legal Services

Alyssa Pratt, Foley Hoag LLP

Claire Sakurada, Hologic, Inc.

Stevie Leahy, Northeastern University School of Law

Katherine Stock, Miyares and Harrington LLP

Ben Towbin, Fresenius Medical Care North America

Sarah Washington, Peabody & Arnold

Emily Notini, Goodwin Procter

Michael Xavier, Prince Lobel Tye LLP

Elmira Zenger, WGBH

Tess Foley, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Tiffany Albanese, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

Rebekah Glickman-Simon, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Sheba Treworgy, Greater Boston Legal Services

PILP Program Explores What Makes for an Effective Diversity & Inclusion Organizational Strategy

On Feb. 6, the current Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) for organizations and how to support successful D&I programs in the workplace with two guest experts, Audrey Grace (Northeastern University) and Patricia Hennessy (Burns & Levinson).

Effective D&I strategies start at the individual level, Attorney Grace and Attorney Hennessy told the PILP class. To help propel D&I strategies, you have to “walk the walk.”

During the session, the experts and PILP class engaged in a meaningful discussion about the importance of D&I (“when individuals are lifted up and celebrated, their workplace is also elevated”) and how to operationalize an effective D&I strategy (“buy-in from leadership is key”).

Although the scope and substance of what organizations consider to be included in D&I efforts has evolved over time, Attorney Grace and Attorney Hennessy agreed that institutional change takes time, and being intentional and thoughtful about D&I strategies is a must from the start.

When implementing a D&I strategy, you must consider your communities, your stakeholders, and of course your own biases, Attorney Grace said.  

It’s also important to remember your positions of power and privilege in your own organization and your community, Attorney Hennessy said.

These insights greatly resonated with the PILP class, as class members asked thoughtful and engaging questions about how to implement effective D&I strategies in their own organizations and with their own stakeholders.

Meeting recap provided by PILP members Cory Lamz (Buoy Health) and Jessica Powell (The Davis Companies).

BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Now Seeking “Consequences” Volunteers!

The BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program concludes with a “Consequences” session at the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts. This consists of a mock trial portion in which the students participate as well as a discussion and Q&A portion between the volunteers and the students.

This session serves to expose students to the ultimate consequences of misusing or abusing credit, as well as to introduce them to the legal profession via interactions with lawyers and a bankruptcy judge. Attorneys with prior or current experience related to bankruptcy law are encouraged to sign up for one of our three confirmed sessions. We are seeking five volunteers for each session, and it is possible that additional sessions may be added in the coming weeks. We are currently seeking volunteers from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston for the following three dates:

  • April 1, 2020
  • April 29, 2020
  • May 7, 2020

Please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1918 with any questions. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the above sessions, please sign up here.

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.

BBA Seeking Applicants for PILP 2020-21 Class!

The BBA is excited to announce that applications are now open for our 2020-21 class of the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP)!

In 2002, Chief Judge Mark Wolf and then-BBA President Michael Keating began discussing the need for younger lawyers to become more engaged as community leaders earlier in their careers. One year later, PILP was launched to help new lawyers understand the meaning of community leadership and develop lasting connections beyond their existing legal networks.

This selective program attracts a diverse group of talented, motivated attorneys who have:

  • Graduated law school within the last 10 years
  • Demonstrated a commitment to pro bono and public service
  • Have a history of organizing bar action

The 2020-21 PILP class will meet roughly twice per month, typically on the first Thursday and third Wednesday of each month. PILP participants connect with prominent community leaders at meetings and events, learn about the challenges confronting local organizations and take part in efforts to address specific community needs. PILP participants work together to create and execute a public service project focused on advancing the BBA’s goals related to access to justice, diversity & inclusion, and serving the community at large.

If you have any questions about PILP, please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1918. To apply for the PILP 2020-2021 program, please download the application here and return it to Doug Newton by Friday, March 27, 2020.

PILP Class Discusses Housing Crisis

On January 15th, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) learned from experts about the housing crisis in Massachusetts. As part of this program, PILP heard from Eric Shupin, the Director of Public Policy for the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), and Brad Kramer, the Director of Public Policy for One Family. CHAPA is a public policy oriented organization whose goal is to encourage the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low and moderate income families and individuals and to foster diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development. One Family is a service provider aiming to prevent family homelessness by promoting pathways to economic independence through advocacy, education, and innovation.

Eric gave an overview of the state of the housing crisis in Massachusetts and explained the dire need for action to counteract it. CHAPA focuses on solving the housing crisis through production of more homes that are affordable, preserving existing affordable housing and the ability of residents to stay in their communities, planning for more diversity in the state’s housing stock, and policies that provide everyone with opportunities to prosper. Eric also discussed emerging housing policy issues in the state, including zoning reform, new revenue for housing, and anti-displacement and tenant protections.

Brad discussed One Family’s approach to preventing family homelessness, which includes the One Family Scholars program as well as career coaching. One Family Scholars receive coaching and financial assistance to help them earn a higher education degree, which in turn makes it possible for them to become financially independent and more likely to be able to afford housing. 91% of the program’s alumni are stably housed. One Family also engages in public policy work to further the goal of preventing family homelessness through economic opportunity.

For more information on CHAPA’s public policy work, please click here. For more information on One Family’s programs, please click here.

Meeting recap provided by PILP member Charlie Ahern (Massachusetts State Senate)

Eric Shupin and Brad Kramer present to the 2019-20 PILP Class