Posts Categorized: Boston Bar Foundation

Society of Fellows Celebrates Its Recent Accomplishments at the MFA

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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.

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Lisa Wood (Foley Hoag LLP), Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen), Martin Murphy (Foley Hoag LLP), and Jill Reilly

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.

Irish International Immigrant Center Presents Pro Bono Training on Immigration Basics

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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.

BBF Junior Fellows Happy Hour a Success

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David Lieberman of Day Pitney LLP, Nikki Marie Oliveira of Bass, Doherty & Finks, PC and Marisa Roman of Sinsheimer & Associates

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.

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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.

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Sean Hagen of Long Knight, P.C. and Hannah Joseph of Beck Reed Riden

Society of Fellows Rings in the New Year

Boston Bar Foundation Fellows Joan Lukey, Hon. Nonnie S. Burnes (Ret.), and past Boston Bar Association President Paul Dacier.

Boston Bar Foundation Executive Fellows Joan Lukey, Hon. Nonnie S. Burnes (Ret.), and past Boston Bar Association President Paul Dacier.

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!

Learn more about joining the Society of Fellows here, or contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.

Public Service: A Year in Photos

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:

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

Six Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

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If you’re looking to give back this holiday season, look no further! The BBA and BBF have a number of ways for you to support our community:

  • Donate to the BBF Annual Campaign: Generous community members like you make our essential work in the community possible. Each year, thousands of children, adults and families in Greater Boston are thankful for the access to justice and unique educational opportunities that they receive because of generous donors to the BBF. Contribute today to make an impact.
  • Mark your calendars for Walk to the Hill: Join hundreds of private attorneys and civil legal aid advocates at the Massachusetts State House on January 28th to demonstrate your support for state funding of civil legal aid. Be sure to stop by the BBA at 10 am to meet up with other attorneys before heading over to the event. Click here to learn more.
  • Use AmazonSmile: AmazonSmile is a way for you to give back to the BBF in a small way as you finish up your holiday shopping. Just go to smile.amazon.com and log in using your normal Amazon account name and password. Then select the Boston Bar Foundation as your charity and shop as you normally would. The BBF will receive a small percentage of the proceeds from your purchase.
  • Buy a ticket to Adams Benefit: Join the BBF for the John & Abigail Adams Benefit on January 30th at the Museum of Fine Arts for an unforgettable night of live entertainment, gourmet food and beverages and beautiful galleries and exhibits. 100% of the proceeds from the Adams Benefit will be used for direct grants to organizations that serve thousands of individuals and families struggling with issues such as homelessness, domestic violence and various forms of injustice. Learn more about the event and how you can purchase tickets here.
  • Join the BBF’s Society of Fellows: When you join the BBF’s Society of Fellows, you join a community of more than 400 of Boston’s leading attorneys who are committed to investing in our city’s future. Fellows pledge to make contributions to the BBF’s permanent endowment so that the BBF can continue its work in our community. Fellows receive exclusive invitations throughout the year to attend networking events and receptions, and come together to hear from representatives of BBF grantee organizations, public service volunteers and other inspirational speakers. Contact Tara Trask at [email protected].

 

 

 

 

Society of Fellows Celebrates Support of Veterans

 Society of Fellows Co-Chair Tom Gallitano (Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP) introduced the speaker for the evening, Anna Schleelein Richardson, Co-Executive Director of Veterans Legal Services

Society of Fellows Co-Chair Tom Gallitano (Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP) introduced the speaker for the evening, Anna Schleelein Richardson, Co-Executive Director of Veterans Legal Services.

Last Thursday, the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows held an Open House that brought together current Fellows as well those interested in learning more about joining the Society. As our Beyond the Billable fans may remember, the Society is a group of more than 400 lawyers dedicated to supporting the BBF’s work of improving our community through public service and expanding access to justice for underserved populations.

In honor of Pro Bono Month, Anna Schleelein Richardson, Co-Executive Director of Veterans Legal Services (VLS), spoke about the positive impact of the BBF’s funding to support VLS’s work providing comprehensive legal services to veterans and military families and the prevailing unmet need amongst veterans for high-quality legal services.

“I have been continually impressed by this organization’s commitment to making sure veterans get the legal help that they need,” Anna told the crowd, noting that the BBA’s Military and Veterans Legal Help Line served more than 350 veterans and their families in the last year alone. “The BBF has supported VLS for over a decade.”

VLS is just one of the many community organizations that the BBF will support this year. In total, the BBF is granting $950,000 to 23 community organizations, helping thousands of individuals and families struggling with issues such as homelessness, domestic violence and other forms of injustice. This is in addition to the BBF funding the entire year’s portfolio of BBA Public Service Programs, including Law Day in the Schools and trainings to equip hundreds of attorneys to take on pro bono cases.

Anna noted that without the crucial funding provided by the BBF, the veterans she serves at VLS “are at risk of losing their homes, families or basic subsistence if they do not have access to representation.”

Thanks to the support of the BBF’s funding, VLS was able to assist nearly 450 veterans and their family members last year. The BBF’s work is made possible because of the continued commitment of the Society of Fellows. Click here to learn more about the work that the Society supports or click here to join the Society of Fellows today!

BBF Funds Record Number Summer Jobs

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This year the BBF will be funding 15 positions in legal service and government agencies.

 

As you may remember, the Boston Bar Foundation funds positions for Boston public high school students in government and legal service agencies each summer through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. This year, the BBF will be funding 15 positions—the highest number yet thanks to the help of a number of Boston-based law offices:

  • Arrowood Peters LLP*
  • Donoghue Barrett & Singal, P.C.
  • EMC
  • Hemenway & Barnes LLP
  • Peabody & Arnold LLP
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP*

* Partial sponsorship

In addition to supporting Boston public high school students, these sponsored positions will also support legal service organizations and government agencies by providing additional help in a busy office environment.

So where will these student be working this summer? Take a look below at some of the placement organizations:

  • Committee for Public Counsel Services**
  • Legal Advocacy and Resource Center**
  • Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Massachusetts Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court
  • U.S. District Court**
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association**

**Hosting two students

Stay tuned throughout the summer as we update you on the students’ experiences.

Attorneys Bet the House on BBA Summer Jobs Program

200 attorneys came out to test out their gambling skills and to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program at the 6th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser last Thursday night.

200 attorneys came out to test out their gambling skills and to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program at the 6th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser last Thursday night.

Last Thursday night, the BBA replaced its meeting room tables with craps, roulette, blackjack, and poker tables for the Boston Bar Foundation’s 6th Annual Casino Night for Summer Jobs. As we mentioned in this post, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event support the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund to pay for summer jobs for Boston teens in government and nonprofit organizations each summer.

Thanks to our sponsors, ticket holders and our silent auction winners the BBF raised nearly $35,000 last night to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program, and put 13 students to work this summer! Click here to see a full list of the 2015 Casino Night sponsors.

This year’s event featured a raffle, snacks and drinks, and authentic casino games that gave the 200 attendees a chance to test out their gambling skills. As always, the famed silent auction table got heated as bidding wars broke out over prize packages including luxury box seats to the Celtics, hotel stays on the cape, and various Boston adventures. The most sought after package included a private butchering lesson at The Butcher Shop, a hand crafted cutting board from Birch Barn Designs and a gift certificate to the South End Formaggio that went for a winning bid of $450.

So who were the big winners of the evening? Rob Lashway (Floyd Advisory, LLC), Andy Caffrey (Birnbaum & Godkin, LLP), and Jen Lynn (Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young, LLP) “cashed in” the most chips at the end of the evening. However, the real winners are the Boston teens who get the opportunity to earn money and gain professional experience by interning in a legal office this summer.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Public Service Spotlight: Harvard Law School’s Low Income Tax Clinic

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With less than 30 days until April 15th, most people have taxes on our mind. They’re pulling out our W2s, firing up their e-filing software and booking time with their accountants. But what happens when tax complications arise that are beyond your resources to manage?

Low-income taxpayer clinics have been described as a “life preserver,” often keeping households afloat when faced with tax issues that could devastate them financially. The Boston Bar Foundation is proud to support the new Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

“Low-income taxpayers face tax problems as frequently as wealthier taxpayers,” said Daniel Nagin, Faculty Director of the Legal Services Center. “However, low-income taxpayers frequently lack information and resources to respond effectively to tax problems.”

Adding to this is the fact that, given the specialized nature of tax practice, there are too few pro bono tax law programs to meet the enormous need for representation in low-income communities.

The result, says Nagin, is that too often taxpayers must fend for themselves. In doing so, they may fail to raise available defenses to IRS claims, and can feel overwhelmed by a complex and intimidating system.

Nagin also noted that while tax problems affect many low-income populations, certain subgroups are particularly in need.

“Since opening our Veterans Legal Clinic in 2012, we have been contacted by significant numbers of low-income veterans who face tax problems, and we have been encouraged by veterans’ service providers to expand resources in this area.  Veterans who need legal representation on tax matters will continue to be a population we prioritize in the LITC.”

Once fully staffed with a director on board this summer, the LITC will help fill these critical access to justice gaps, providing direct representation to low-income taxpayers in IRS controversies at the agency level and before the Tax Court. Representing taxpayers in such cases will not only provide much-needed financial relief, but also provide peace of mind to those who would otherwise have the daunting task of responding to the IRS pro se.