Posts Categorized: Boston Bar Foundation

BBA Celebrates 15 Year Partnership with GBLS

Each year, the BBA teams up with GBLS to host a CORI Training. This training represents one of the many ways the BBA and GBLS partner each year.

Each year, the BBA teams up with GBLS to host a CORI Training. This training represents one of the many ways the BBA and GBLS partner.

This year marks Greater Boston Legal Services’ 15th year as a BBA sponsor organization.  The BBA and GBLS have teamed up for years to train attorneys to take pro bono cases and recruit volunteers. Case in point – today the BBA and GBLS are joining forces to host a CORI training to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester, and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty. Later this month, we will host a training for the BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program, and GBLS is one of the legal services organizations whose partnership makes the program possible.

However, the BBA GBLS relationship goes far beyond programs and trainings. GBLS staff members are active members of the BBA leadership and we often call upon GBLS to weigh in on challenging policy recommendations. Furthermore, the Boston Bar Foundation supports GBLS through grant funding.

But you’ve probably heard enough about our partnership from us, so we reached out to Jacquelynne Bowman, the Executive Director of GBLS, to hear more about the relationship from GBLS’ point of view. Here’s what she has to say:

“GBLS’ longstanding partnership with the BBA has had some major impacts on the delivery of legal services in the community!  First, you go back to 1900 when a significant percentage of BBA council members created the Boston Legal Aid Society, GBLS’ predecessor, then journey through the years of significant support in favor of legal aid against federal funding cuts to the leadership today in supporting increased funding for legal aid all resulting in thousands of clients who would not otherwise have access to justice, getting it.  BBA membership for our staff has resulted in:

  • increased professional educational opportunities  = improves client services
  • leadership opportunities = become future leaders in legal service community
  • increased connections with BBA members leads to pro bono commitments.”

We look forward to many more years of collaboration with GBLS.

Welcome to Pro Bono Month!

The annual Pro Bono Fair at Suffolk University is one of many exciting trainings and events during Pro Bono Month

The annual Pro Bono Fair at Suffolk University is one of many exciting trainings and events during Pro Bono Month

October 1st means one thing—Pro Bono Month has officially kicked off! If you’re not familiar with Pro Bono Month, here’s the deal: Each year Governor Deval Patrick issues a proclamation naming October Pro Bono Month (you can read last year’s version here). With the help of the Courts and our Boston Bar Foundation Grantees, we’ve put together a calendar packed full of pro bono trainings to prepare you to get involved in the community.

Don’t waste any time—the events begin this week! Take a look below for some highlights:

CORI Training
October 9th 3:00 to 6:00 pm
The BBA is teaming up with Greater Boston Legal Services to train attorneys to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.

Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House at Suffolk University
October 20th 4:30 to 6:30 pm
This event, sponsored by the Boston Bar Association and Suffolk University Law School, allows attorneys and law students to meet representatives from local legal services organizations and to learn more about the pro bono opportunities in our community.

Landlord Tenant Law and Practice Training 

October 28th 3:00 to 6:00 pm
This training will prepare attorneys to work with pro se landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking: An Introduction for Attorneys
October 29th 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Join an expert panel who will walk you through two human trafficking case studies, highlighting common challenges and identifying helpful resources to keep in mind when representing clients.

There are many more events and trainings planned this October. See the full Pro Bono Month calendar here.

Click here to view the full list of events.

BBF Students Share Summer Experience

The 14 Summer Jobs Students who are working in positions sponsored by the BBF at our Summer Jobs Orientation in June

The Summer Jobs Students who are working in positions sponsored by the BBF at our Summer Jobs Orientation in June.

With the end of summer in sight, we are taking the opportunity to catch up with Summer Jobs students funded by the Boston Bar Foundation. You’ve already heard where the 14 BBF students are working this summer, but we wanted to offer our loyal readers a closer look at what they have been working on this summer. Take a look below to hear about three of the interns’ current projects and their takeaways from their internships so far.

 

Alexandra Suazo

 

  Student: Alexandra Suazo

  Employer: Massachusetts Department of Labor

Job Responsibilities: While working at the Department of Labor Alexandra has concentrated on several different projects. One of her first projects was to identify and sort records in accordance with the Statewide Record Retention Schedule. She has also been focused on improving the agency’s webpage by updating information and adding links to resources. Her most recent project included making the website more accessible to reading-impaired constituents.  At her internship, Alexandra also got to witness Massachusetts history when she witnessed the Governor signing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

Alexandra says: “This has been a great experience, something that I won’t hesitate to do again if I was given the option. Seeing the Governor sign a bill was something that I never thought would have happened. I found it very interesting how he signed the bill with about 20 different pens then he handed them out!”             

Cesaltina Teixeria-Barros

 

  Student: Cesaltina Barros

  Employer: Committee for Public Counsel Services – Palmer Street Roxbury

Job Responsibilities: Cesaltina’s experience at the Committee for Public Counsel Services has centered on criminal cases. She has been responsible for opening and closing criminal cases, handling database work, drafting subpoenas, scanning police reports, operating the switchboard, and much more. Tina has also had the opportunity to attend court sessions, and observe criminal justice in action.

Cesaltina says: “I like learning about the criminal cases. I like to talk to people and get to know new cases and new things that I never thought people would do. I also go to court and I love that. It’s exciting because of the way they speak to each other and the way they try to express things.”

Hannah Givertz

 

  Student: Hannah Givertz

  Employer: U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Job Responsibilities: At the U.S. District Court, Hannah has been observing court cases, cataloging and organizing files, and editing memos. Hannah is also the coordinator for the Ward Fellowship where she is in charge of projects, such as scheduling and confirming meetings with various public servants and organizing an annual trip to Washington D.C. In addition, she assists the Honorable Judge Mark L. Wolf by editing memos and working with law clerks.

Hannah says: “Getting to know how the courthouse runs has definitely been the highlight of my work this summer. Doing the behind-the-scenes work with the law clerks has helped me to better understand the work of a lawyer, while observing court sessions and watching the judge preside over cases has helped me to better understand the justice system.”

 

Stay tuned to meet the other BBF funded students.

BBF Students Meet Firms Who Made Their Summer Possible

 

BTB Cover

As you may remember from this article, the Boston Bar Foundation funded 14 Boston public high school students to work in legal service and government agencies through the BBA Summer Jobs Program with the help of Boston law firms. In addition to money allocated from the Foundation itself, local firms donated to the BBF to help support a summer job.  This morning, the sponsoring firms had the opportunity to hear first-hand from the students at the BBF Summer Jobs Breakfast, where the students shared stories of their experiences going to court and helping with large office projects.

The BBF would like to thank the following firms for their generous contribution to the BBA Summer Jobs Program:

Arrowood Peters LLP
Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Peabody & Arnold  LLP

Take a look below for more highlights from the morning:

Students and supervisors from LARC, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court discussed their experiences in the BBA Summer Jobs Program.

Students and supervisors from LARC, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court discussed their experiences in the BBA Summer Jobs Program.

Supervisors and students from the Department of Labor Standards, Massachusetts IOLTA, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services told BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo about their internship highlights.

Supervisors and students from the Department of Labor Standards, Massachusetts IOLTA, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services told BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo about their internship highlights.

Cesaltina Barros, who is interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Roxbury, told Michael McDermott (Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.), who’s firm sponsored a student this summer, BBF Director of Marketing & Development Megan Leppert and her supervisor, Keisha Taylor (Committee for Public Counsel Services), about her experience.

Cesaltina Barros, who is interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Roxbury, told Michael McDermott (Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.), who’s firm sponsored a student this summer, BBF Director of Marketing & Development Megan Leppert and her supervisor, Keisha Taylor (Committee for Public Counsel Services), about her experience.

The interns and supervisors at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Volunteer Lawyers Project discussed their job responsibilities with BBF Trustee and BBA President-Elect Julia Huston.

The interns and supervisors at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Volunteer Lawyers Project discussed their job responsibilities with BBF Trustee and BBA President-Elect Julia Huston.

Society of Fellows Program Grows as BBF’s Community Impact Expands

In April, members of the Society of Fellows were invited to an exclusive Spring Fellows reception to honor their contributions.

In April, members of the Society of Fellows were invited to an exclusive Spring Fellows reception to honor their contributions.

While our readers know about the Boston Bar Foundation’s impact in our community, you may be less familiar with the group of people who make this work possible—the BBF’s Society of Fellows Program. The Fellows are a community of philanthropic lawyers dedicated to advancing the BBF’s mission of increasing the availability of legal help to those in need, supporting innovative legal services projects and programs, and providing meaningful ways for lawyers to connect with our community.   We’ve noticed amazing growth from the Fellows Program since the beginning of this year, so we crunched some numbers to calculate how the Society of Fellows impacts the BBF.

As of today, 45 Fellows have either joined or upgraded their memberships for this year alone, pledging a total of $335,000.  This support has allowed us to use fundraising revenues for specific causes. For example:

  •  This year, 100 percent of the proceeds from Casino Night will be dedicated to the BBA’s Summer Jobs program, helping to provide paid summer employment for Boston teens.  In addition, the upcoming Passport to Pairings event (formerly Justice is Sweet) will be dedicated to funding the full portfolio of BBA public service programs.
  • The BBF devoted $300,000 in Adams Benefit proceeds this year to legal service grants that advance access to justice for those in need, including immigrants, victims of domestic violence and low income children and families – a need that continues to grow as IOLTA funding continues to decline.
  • The BBF is only $1.4 million away from its long-term goal of $5 million for the endowment, which will provide invaluable long term support for the BBF’s efforts.

Don’t just take it from us.  Hear firsthand from some of the individuals who have joined this year on why they made the decision to pledge as a Fellow:

“The BBF’s mission to support pro bono work and access to justice for Boston’s needy is so critical to us as lawyers and citizens, and I am really grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with the BBF and the Society.” – Karen M. O’Toole, Fidelity Investments

“Each day, too many of our fellow citizens must face serious legal issues – from the loss of disability benefits to eviction – while being unable to afford having a lawyer at their side.  I am proud to support the Boston Bar Foundation’s mission of expanding legal service, assistance and access to all in our communities.” – Scott A. Roberts, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP

“All lawyers have a professional responsibility to assist those with limited means.  I admire the work of the Boston Bar Foundation and the tangible, positive impact of the Foundation in the lives of those who most need its help.  I am proud and thankful to be a Junior Fellow and to assist in this work.”—Kimberly Butler-Rainen, Tamkin & Hochberg, LLP

If you are interested in supporting the BBF’s public service, find out more about joining the Society of Fellows here. Take a look at the current list of fellows here.

BBF Summer Jobs Breakfast Brings Students, Employers, and Sponsors Together

The BBF hosted a breakfast this morning for the 13 BBF-funded Summer Jobs students, their employers, and the sponsoring firms.

The BBF hosted a breakfast this morning for the 13 BBF-funded Summer Jobs students, their employers, and the sponsoring firms.

This morning, the BBA’s Claflin Center was abuzz with Summer Jobs students exchanging stories about their summer positions, including interesting office projects and recent courtroom experiences at the BBF Summer Jobs breakfast. Thanks to donations from a number of local law firms, the BBF increased its support of the Summer Jobs Program by funding 13 positions at nonprofit and government agencies this year. In order to celebrate this record-breaking year and the hard work of the students, the BBF hosted a celebratory breakfast to thank the firms for their donations and congratulated the students on their hard work this summer. Last week BBF students shared their favorite experience of the summer with BBA Week, and this morning they had the chance to share with those who made their summer experience possible.

The BBF would like to thank the following firms for their generous contribution to the Summer Jobs Program:
Dain Torpy, P.C.
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Jackson Lewis LLP
Morrison Mahoney LLP

Here are a few highlights from the morning:

Christina Miller (Suffolk District Attorney’s Office) and her summer intern Benjamin Haideri and Georgia Katsoulomitis (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) and her summer intern Sarah Williams shared their summer experiences with Kate Carter (Dain Torpy, P.C.). Dain Torpy, P.C. generous donated to the BBF to support the Summer Jobs Program.

Christina Miller (Suffolk District Attorney’s Office) and her summer intern Benjamin Haideri and Georgia Katsoulomitis (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) and her summer intern Sarah Williams shared their summer experiences with Kate Carter (Dain Torpy, P.C.). Dain Torpy, P.C. generously donated to the BBF to support the Summer Jobs Program.

Summer Jobs Steering Committee Co-Chair Ned Notis-McConarty (Hemenway & Barnes) thanked the sponsoring firms for their support of the program and encouraged the students to share what they have learned this summer.

Summer Jobs Steering Committee Co-Chair Ned Notis-McConarty (Hemenway & Barnes) thanked the sponsoring firms for their support of the program and encouraged the students to share what they have learned this summer.

 

Giving Back Has Never Been So Sweet

Last Thursday, BBF supporters crowded into 16 Beacon to mingle and enjoy delicious treats – featuring four chocolate fountains scattered throughout the building — at the BBF’s annual Justice Is Sweet event. With the help of the 250 attorneys who attended and the 32 firms and companies who sponsored the event, the BBF raised over $31,000 to support its charitable mission. Fundraisers like Justice is Sweet help make the BBF’s work possible – including their funding of a number of our public service programs such as the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court, the Summer Jobs Program, and Law Day in the Schools.

Here are a few photos in case you missed the event:

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Attendees enjoyed chocolate foundations, jazz, and good company at Justice is Sweet.

DSC_0727

Vanessa Ebode-Messi (Boston College Law School), Alida Bogran-Acosta (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.), and Manleen Singh (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.).

DSC_0756

Lisa Jacobson (O’Brien & Levine Court Reporting Services), Christopher Somma (Goodwin Procter LLP), and Richard Stanley (Goodwin Procter LLP).

To learn more about how the BBF supports several of the BBA’s public service initiatives, please visit the BBF’s new website here.

Boston Bar Foundation Funds Summer Jobs for 13 Students

As you may have heard, the Boston Bar Foundation has generously sponsored 13 Boston Public High School students to work at government agencies and nonprofit organizations through the BBA’s record setting Summer Jobs Program. These students will have the opportunity to gain experience in a professional setting and participate in enrichment seminars on professional development, financial literacy, and student loans.  Students will head off to their first day of work on July 8th following a kickoff event with Mayor Thomas Menino at the BBA.

Through the support of the BBF, 13  Boston Public School students gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Through the support of the BBF, 13 Boston Public School students will gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Check out the list of placements below:

Committee for Public Counsel Services, Palmer Roxbury
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Roxbury
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Greater Boston Legal Services
Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts
Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
United States Bankruptcy Court
United States District Court
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

To learn more about how the BBF supports the Summer Jobs Program, please visit the BBF’s new website here.

The BBF would like to thank Jackson Lewis, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, Hemenway & Barnes, and Brennan, Dain, Le Ray, Wiest, Torpy & Garner, P.C. for their generous donations to the BBF to fund Summer Jobs positions.

The BBF Lends A Helping Hand

As we move into some of the coldest months here in New England, we have been reflecting on some of the bright spots over the past year.  For example, last summer, ten Boston Public high school students had paying jobs at non-profit legal services organizations, government agencies and in the courts.  One student told us about her experience –“I have been exposed to brilliant people who shared their experiences with me, and helped me form an idea of the career path I might want to take.”

US Bankruptcy Judge Joan Feeney talking with students during the final Module of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the US Bankruptcy Court and the Boston Public Schools, we have impressed the importance of prudent financial management upon young minds through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.  This program not only helps teens see how they might be able to save for a car, but hopefully can help them avoid bankruptcy later in life.

And in the Housing Court, BBA volunteers assisted more than 1,000 individuals struggling to navigate a complex, overburdened court system.  This program gives hope and relief to pro se landlords and tenants at a time in their lives when one of their basic needs is at stake.

What do these programs have in common?  They are all run with funding provided by the Boston Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the BBA.

The BBF is perhaps most well-known for its role in granting funds to legal services organizations in our community.  These Boston-based programs operate in all areas of need – from giving children access to equal education and life opportunities, providing counseling and advice to homeless and at risk veterans, and helping thousands of families facing foreclosure learn their legal rights and fight displacement.  But what many people don’t know is that the BBF is also providing a helping hand on the community service front, and working with the BBA to improve lives and strengthen neighborhoods.

As the holiday season approaches, the BBF will be launching its Annual Campaign to help support this work.  The tax-deductible donations made to the Annual Campaign help provide a solid base of support as the BBF renews its commitment to increasing access to justice for those who need it most, providing opportunities for young people and engaging lawyers in the kind of projects that improve the lives of those in our community.

Learn more at http://www.bostonbarfoundation.org/Support/annual_appeal.html.

Why Adams Benefit Participation Continues to Build

1)    An Opportunity to Celebrate Public Service

2)    Raising Money for a Worthy Cause

3)    No Boring Speeches

4)    No Being Stuck at a Table with People You Don’t Know

5)    Getting dressed up for an exclusive night out at Boston’s premiere art museum.

Those are just five of the reasons why attendance at the Boston Bar Foundation’s John & Abigail Adams Benefit has nearly doubled since the event was reformatted in 2010.  On the night of January 26, 2013, expect to see some 1,000 lawyers, their best clients, and their friends and neighbors when the event is held once again at the MFA.

 

While some guests take to the dance floor others will schmooze while sipping fine wine, nibbling on assorted delicacies, and admiring the art – which brings up another bonus to the new format – no date required.

Understand that this is an opportunity to connect or reconnect with people you might see nowhere else.

More than just your run of the mill, ho-hum black-tie ball, the annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit has become the Boston legal community’s most popular charitable event.  With the ultimate goal of highlighting public service and raising money for legal services, the event brings together members of the legal and business communities who are committed to advancing the mission of the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) – to promote justice by funding and promoting innovation in legal services, enhancing access to justice for the underserved and supporting the public interest activities of the bar.

Over the years, the benefit has provided the BBF with a significant source of funds for grants to legal services organizations – totaling over $600,000 last year alone.  In 2012, proceeds from the Adams Benefit were combined with other sources to provide grants of $1 million to 24 Massachusetts community organizations that provide legal aid in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness to our communities most vulnerable citizens.

The BBF advances this worthy cause while putting on an event unlike any other in Boston.  Instead of a traditional ball in a hotel ballroom with sleep inducing lectures, the BBF will support a fellow community non-profit – taking over the entire Museum of Fine Arts and allowing guests to freely wander the galleries, mingle and network on their own schedule.
There is one feature presentation at the event, and that is the Public Service Award to an honoree exemplifying a commitment to proven leadership and a commitment to public service initiatives. This year, the award will be presented to Carol Fulp, President & CEO of The Partnership, a nonprofit devoted to helping New England employers retain and develop professionals of color.

“Carol Fulp is the embodiment of what we look for in a Public Service Award recipient,” said Tom Gallitano of Conn Kavanaugh, Co-Chair of the John & Abigail Adams Benefit Committee. “From the strides she has made in the areas of diversity and advancement in the professional sphere, to the creation of the largest corporate summer jobs program in the country at John Hancock Financial, Carol represents the BBF’s core values of professionalism, service, compassion, and responsibility.  We are excited to be able to recognize her record of accomplishments and her determination and spirit of service.”

With many legal services organizations facing declines in funding and enduring the effects of the recession, we as lawyers must all do our part to ensure their work is able to continue.  Spending Saturday, January 26 at the MFA is one way that you can help provide a brighter future for individuals in need and better access to justice.

Find out more at http://www.bostonbar.org/events/john-abigail-adams-benefit.