From teaching a record 1,700 students through Law Day in the Schools to releasing a compelling report on criminal justice reform, 2017 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public service initiatives over the past year.
Posts Categorized: Boston Bar Foundation
Earlier this month, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) met with Professor Francine Sherman of Boston College Law School who has been teaching Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights & Public Policy for two decades. Professor Sherman founded and directs the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program at BC Law and is certainly an expert on the subject, and she provided a comprehensive overview of the topic for PILP. She discussed the two approaches to juvenile justice, social welfare and social control, and the historical practices behind both concepts.
Over the past century, juvenile justice has varied from being an institutionalized system linked to criminal justice to a support system for children whose parents are unable to care for the child. More recently, from the 1990s to mid-2000s, juvenile justice took on the “do the crime, do the time” mantra and resulted in more youth entering the adult criminal justice system. Then, Professor Sherman described the switch that’s been taking place from 2005 for juvenile justice to move back to the social welfare concept. Supreme Court cases including Roper v Simmons (2005), Graham v. Florida (2010), and Miller v. Alabama (2012), which extended Graham v. Florida all moved juvenile justice away from mirroring the adult system. Juvenile justice continues to evolve as many of laws are state/county based and after Miller v. Alabama, many states’ laws were unconstitutional. Professor Sherman also noted the movement toward “fairness” in the system and acknowledging childhood development.
Concluding, Professor Sherman noted the 3 “R’s” of supporting juveniles who’ve found themselves in the justice system: rights, remedies, and resources. From her perspective, the resources component is the most lacking. However, if you would like to support youth in need of legal aid, there are a number of organizations in the Boston area in need of volunteers and support. Two organizations Professor Sherman suggests looking into are the EdLaw Project* and Citizens for Juvenile Justice.
From teaching over 1,500 students their Miranda Rights to instituting a Bar Exam Coaching Program, 2016 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public services initiatives in 2016.
Thank you for a wonderful year, we can’t wait to kickoff 2017 with you!
Last week the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows came together for its annual Fall Open House at 16 Beacon Street to learn more aboutthe work that the Society supports and look forward to the important work that the group will help the BBF accomplish in the year ahead.
The Fellows enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a seasonal apple cider cocktail while celebrating the Society’s pivotal role in the BBF’s exciting plans for the coming year with colleagues and friends. The BBF is poised to grant $1 million to more than 20 local legal services organizations, fund summer jobs for urban teens, teach hundreds of public school students about their rights and responsibilities under the law, and engage volunteers to help serve people in our community in ways that only lawyers can. Furthermore, because of the fundamental support that the Society provides to the BBF, last year the Foundation was able to direct the donations of three generous supporters towards the establishment of dedicated funds to help further the bar’s work in the essential areas of diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and public policy.
BBF President and Leadership Fellow Tony Froio gave a few inspiring remarks to the group about just how fundamental the support of the Society of Fellows is to all of the work of the BBF.
“I am proud to be a member of this vibrant community of more than 400 Boston leaders who support, at such a high level, the work of the BBF in expanding access to justice,” said Tony. “The Society leverages the power of lawyers to improve our community in so many different ways.”
Joining the Fellows for the evening was Mass Legal Answers Online Director Rochelle Hahn, an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in legal services. Mass Legal Answers, a project of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, is part of a national initiative of the American Bar Association. Rochelle shared with the Fellows why her innovative work – which the BBF helps to support – is so vital to our community and to the future sustainability of legal services. For more photos of the event, please click here.
To learn more about how you can become a part of this enthusiastic group of BBF supporters, please contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.
Last Thursday, the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF)’s Society of Fellows held its annual summer reception at 16 Beacon Street to celebrate the important work in our community that it helps make possible. Comprised of more than 400 of Boston’s leading attorneys, the Society of Fellows comes together several times throughout the year to mingle with friends and colleagues while learning more about the programs they are supporting as Fellows. Click here to see photos from last Thursday’s reception.
BBF President Lisa Goodheart gave a few remarks about the Society’s pivotal role in enabling the BBF to hit a major milestone: $1 million in legal services grants in the year ahead, with more than 50 percent of this funding coming from BBF fundraising and the minority coming from IOLTA.
“I am pleased to share the exciting news that the BBF will be granting $1 million in the upcoming year to 21 community organizations that work to provide legal services to those in need,” Lisa said. “More than half of this $1 million comes directly from BBF funds, and this incredible level of support from the BBF would not be possible without the support of all of you.”
In addition to funding this $1 million in grants to legal services organizations, the BBF funds all of the pro bono and public service initiatives of the Boston Bar Association (BBA).
The Society’s guest of honor for the evening was Cinique Weekes, an alumnus of the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program who is now a fifth-grade literacy teacher in his native Dorchester. Cinique participated in the Summer Jobs Program – which provides unique educational and professional opportunities for nearly 60 diverse youth in Boston each year – for two summers during his high school years.
Through the Summer Jobs Program, Cinique spent one summer at the firm that is now Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers and one the at the U.S. District Court. After graduating from Boston College, he joined Teach for America to work as a full-time teacher while simultaneously completing his Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Boston University. He spoke to the crowd about the formative impact the Summer Jobs Program had on his life.
“I want to emphasize the importance of [the Summer Jobs] Program, because programs like this and others allowed me to become a thinker, a dreamer and someone won’t take no for an answer,” Cinique told a rapt audience. “Programs like this allowed me to be who I wanted to be and open the doors for me to still grow, and I hope that 10 years from now my students can say they are a part of this organization and organizations like it because Mr. Weekes gave them the courage to shine… Thank you to the donors and supporters that make this possible.”
To learn more about how you can become a part of this enthusiastic group of BBF supporters, please contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.
Last Thursday evening the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows came together for their spring reception at the Museum of Fine Arts to celebrate the extraordinary work in the community that they make possible through their generous contributions to the BBF’s endowment.
The Fellows enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while catching up with friends and colleagues in the MFA’s Bravo restaurant and then had the opportunity to go on exclusive tours of the MFA’s latest exhibition, Megacities Asia, which the Boston Globe’s art critic Sebastian Smee calls “poignant” and “spectacular.” You can see the photo gallery of the event here.
Like a sprawling megacity itself, the exhibition extends to all corners of the museum. Because of the BBF’s close relationship to the MFA, the tours were led by two extremely knowledgeable guides: Barbara Martin, the Alfond Curator of Education, and Adam Tessier, the Head of Interpretation.
BBF President and Sustaining Fellow Lisa Goodheart said a few inspiring words about the crucial role that the Society plays in allowing the Foundation to continue its work to make our city a better place to live and work.
“You are the ones who make possible all of the extraordinary work that the BBF is able to do in the community,” Lisa said. “Because of your pledges, we are able to fund all of the pro bono and public service initiatives of the BBA, support essential legal services for those in need, and provide unique educational and professional opportunities for Greater Boston’s youth. It wouldn’t be possible without the Society of Fellows’ support.”
The Society is what allows the BBF to work towards its mission to make impactful grants to local legal services organizations, promote the public service and pro bono initiatives of the bar and strive to create exceptional opportunities for urban youth. Because of the Society of Fellows, the $45,000 raised from the recent BBF’s Casino Night fundraiser – a record high – will be dedicated 100% to the Boston public school students of the BBA’s Summer Jobs program, enabling them to have summer jobs at nonprofits, in the courts and at government agencies.
A community of more than 400 leaders in the Greater Boston legal profession, the Society of Fellows comes together throughout the year to hear from legal services organizations, public service volunteers and others that are involved in the BBF’s work. To learn more about how you can become a part of this enthusiastic group of BBF supporters, please contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.
This week, Rebecca Minahan from the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC)—a BBF grantee— came to the BBA to lead a well-attended training on the basics of immigration law. The goal of the session was to familiarize attorneys and law students with the process of attaining citizenship.
The IIIC holds an Immigration Forms Workshop, held twice monthly, where attorneys provide pro bono assistance navigating the complicated process. During her presentation, Minahan explained some of the reasons that people most commonly end up in the country illegally, including serious danger or financial struggles in their country of origin.
Minahan went over some commonly used terms, some misconceptions (green cards have not actually been green in color for years, she said), and some of the important reasons that the staff and volunteers at the IIIC do what they do.
“The IIIC, though founded to help undocumented Irish workers, has really grown to serve many immigrants from any background,” she said.
If you missed this program, but are interested in other pro bono opportunities, our next training on April 13 will focus on Pro Bono Appellate Pilot Program. Click here to learn more.
Last Thursday, the Boston Bar Foundation’s Junior Fellows Society held its first happy hour reception of 2016. Mingling over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, this group of conscientious young attorneys came together to network and celebrate the BBF’s work in Greater Boston.
The Junior Fellows Society, which is composed of attorneys in practice 10 years or less, is an important part of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows, a community of more than 400 leading attorneys who are committed to investing in our city’s future. Junior Fellows come together throughout the year for happy hour receptions for young attorneys, in addition to receptions with the entire Society of Fellows.
The featured guest of the evening was Junior Fellows Society member David Lieberman, an Associate at Day Pitney LLP who focuses on complex fraud claims. David is an alumnus of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program, has volunteered for the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools, and has worked with the BBA’s Reentry Education Program.
David shared with the group his many reasons for joining the Society: helping to fund the public service activities of the bar, befriending other like-mind attorneys at events like this reception, and remaining engaged with the BBA and BBF community – in addition to the professional networking opportunities the Society provides. Several attendees noted that the Junior Fellows Society offers a much-needed outlet for young lawyers to discuss common worries they face in their first years in the legal field and to gain professional contacts that will serve them for years to come.
Members of the Junior Fellows Society pledge to contribute $250 a year for four years to support the Boston Bar Foundation’s endowment. The contributions of Junior Fellows allow the Boston Bar Foundation to expand access to justice for the underserved of Greater Boston, fund all of the public service projects of the BBA such as the ones David participated in, and provide invaluable educational opportunities for Boston’s urban youth. Learn more about the Junior Fellows Society.
Junior Fellows have unique opportunities to attend exclusive networking and social events with Fellows and Junior Fellows throughout the year. Because the Boston Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3), all Junior Fellows contributions are tax-deductible. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Junior Fellow, please contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.
Last Thursday, the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows held its annual winter reception at 16 Beacon Street to celebrate the achievements and growth of the Society in 2015 and look towards the year ahead.
In 2015, the Society hit a major milestone: it grew to more than 400 members! These 400 attorneys are leaders of Boston’s legal profession and the BBF’s most dedicated supporters. They come together as a community several times throughout the year to mingle with friends and colleagues while learning more about what they’ve been supporting from inspirational speakers. Click here to see photos from last Thursday’s reception.
As the community of Fellows has grown, they have been able to make tremendous progress towards the BBF’s goal of a $5 million endowment, creating a stable and lasting foundation for the BBF’s work and freeing up other monies – such as 100 percent of the proceeds of the annual Adams Benefit – for the legal aid grants that increase access to justice for Greater Boston’s underserved. Last year alone, the BBF’s funding helped more than 37,000 underserved children, adults and families with essential legal aid in Greater Boston.
This year, the BBF is granting $950,000 to 23 local legal services organizations, including Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts (PLSMA), which promotes the safe, humane and lawful treatment of Massachusetts prisoners.
At the reception, Leslie Walker, Executive Director of PLSMA, was able to communicate why PLSMA’s work – which the BBF helps to support – is so fundamentally important to our community. Leslie has spent the past 30 years increasing access to justice for Greater Boston’s underserved, the last 15 of which at PLSMA.
She informed the crowd that PLSMA focuses the funds it receives from the BBF on its current top priorities: access to healthcare and prevention of excessive force. She was able to share some heartrending stories about PLSMA’s clients, and impart the poignant message that while much of society writes off individuals who have committed crimes, lawyers have a unique understanding of how crucial it is to protect their rights. That’s why the BBF has supported PLSMA for more than 15 years!
Blizzards and slow public transportation didn’t stop our volunteers from getting out in the community and giving back during 2015. Take a look below for highlights from the BBA’s 2015 public service efforts: