Posts Categorized: Civil Legal Aid

Walk to the Hill is Almost Here! Speak Up For Civil Legal Aid

Join the BBA on Thursday, January 26th as we advocate for state funding of civil legal aid and equal justice for all at Walk to the Hill! Funding is critical to legal aid programs around the state that provide free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families that are facing critical, non-criminal legal problems.  At Walk to the Hill, after a short speaking program, attorneys and law students visit the offices of their representatives and senators and voice their support for civil legal aid.

We invite you to join us to show your support!

Schedule of Events:

9:00AM – Meet at Boston Bar Association for Breakfast and Discourse;

11:00AM to 11:30AM – Walk over to State House and Check-In;

11:30AM to 12:00PM – Speaking Program at State House, featuring

  • Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants
  • Boston Bar Association President Carol Starkey
  • Equal Justice Coalition Chair Louis Tompros
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President Jeffrey Catalano
  • Client speaker
  • Greater Boston Legal Services Executive Director Jacquelynne Bowman

12:00PM   Conclusion of speaking program; beginning of legislative visits

12:30PM    Lunch and return of legislative response sheets

The BBA will be hosting a breakfast for all those participating on January 26, 2016, at 9:00AM here at 16 Beacon Street, then take the short walk to the State House together at 11:00AM. Register here!

Support Increased Funding for Civil Legal Aid

Step up with more than 500 attorneys and law students on Thursday, January 26 as they Walk to the Hill in support of Civil Legal Aid.

You’ll be in good company with notable participants including managing partners of Boston’s largest law firms, legal services & bar association leaders, and fellow members of the Boston Bar Association – all joining together to meet with State Representatives at the Massachusetts State House.

What is Walk to the Hill?

Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobby days at the Massachusetts State House, bringing people from all corners of the Commonwealth’s legal community together for the cause of equal access to justice for all.

State funding is absolutely critical to civil legal aid programs that provide free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families that are facing critical, non-criminal legal problems. These programs also offer valuable training and internship opportunities for law students like you. At Walk to the Hill, after a short speaking program, attorneys and law students visit the offices of their representatives and senators and voice their support for civil legal aid.

If you believe in access to justice, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our community, we invite you to JOIN US to show your support for state funding of civil legal aid on Thursday, January 26.

How can I get involved?

  • Listen to our Podcast – Take a listen to our podcast on the topic, Geeking Out on the State Budget.
  • Share with your friends! Know someone who has or who will be volunteering with a MA legal service organization? This lobby day is critical to the collective health of their programs. Don’t miss this opportunity to support the work they do in the community. Use hashtag #IWalkforJustice to engage with @EqualJusticeMA online.
  • Join us for Breakfast – On the morning of the event (Thursday, January 26) the BBA will host an open house breakfast from 8:30am – 10:30am where attorneys and law students can gather to discuss the issue of the day before heading across the street to the State House. Let us know to expect you by RSVP’ing here.
  • Attend Walk to the Hill! Come to the State House on January 26. Attorneys and law students will gather in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House from 11:00am – 1:00pm, drop in if your class schedule permits and rub elbows with political and legal movers and shakers who are like-minded!

Gearing Up for Walk to the Hill on January 26, 2017

The BBA invites its members to support efforts to increase funding for legal aid by partaking in the 2017 Walk to the Hill on January 26, 2017. Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobbying events held at the Massachusetts State House. This annual event is critical to obtaining funding for civil legal services. We’ll be gearing up all month to get you the information you need to know!

Here’s how you can get informed & get involved!

On Wednesday, January 11th, join us for a briefing about the issues at hand. We’ll welcome representatives from the Equal Justice Coalition who will outline this year’s appeal and speak with BBA Members about what to expect in advance of January 26th’s Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Register to attend the Walk to the Hill Briefing here.

On January 26th, be sure to join us for Breakfast before heading to the State House. We’ll be welcoming members with hot coffee and breakfast treats starting at 9:00am and will walk over to the Great Hall at 10:30am. Let us know if you’ll be joining us for breakfast here.

2017 is a very important year for civil legal aid. Following “Investing in Justice,” the report of the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, we now know more about the justice gap than every before. We know that nearly 2/3 of eligible individuals are turned away from legal aid services for essential life necessities such as shelter or protection from an abuser due to lack of providers. This results in an untold amount of individual hardships and a glut of pro se litigants, straining the courts and hindering access to justice. In addition, our society must bear the costs of police, shelter, and medical services arising as a result. “Investing in Justice” demonstrates that funding civil legal aid will result in substantial cost savings for the Commonwealth.

Want to know more about the State Budget? Check out the BBA’s Government Relations Podcast, Geeking out on the State Budget!

Looking for even more information? Contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2016

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.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We're grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We’re grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Molly Baldwin, Executive Director of Roca, accepts the 2016 Public Service Award on behalf of the organization. Roca was recognized for their work reducing recidivism and improving employment rates for young men in Massachusetts.

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, addresses the crowd at Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Each year, hundreds of private attorneys and civil legal aid advocates converge on the Massachusetts State House to demonstrate their support for state funding of civil legal aid.

Anuj Kheterpal, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, leads a session of the Reentry Education Program at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Presenting on topics ranging from family law, affordable housing, and CORI sealing, the Reentry Education Program provides useful information and resources to probationers in our community.

The BBA’s Military and Veterans Committee works throughout the year to both address the legal needs of our veterans community and also provide a space for attorneys who have served or are serving in the military the chance to connect. Luncheons held throughout the year provide an informal, conversational means for veteran attorneys to connect.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is always the BBA’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs. Inside the BBA, the rooms are transformed into a functioning casino spaces for guests to enjoy throughout the building. All proceeds from the event support our Summer Jobs program. Specifically, donations allow high school students the opportunity to work at legal services organizations, courts, and government agencies that may not otherwise have the resources to hire a student.

For over ten years, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program has taught high school students financial responsibility. Above, students from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School visit Judge Joan N. Feeney’s courtroom to learn the consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

Members of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows gaze at an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts last spring. The Society of Fellows is a group of over 400 attorneys who’ve pledged their support for the BBA’s public service initiatives.

An active group within the BBA, the New Lawyers Public Service Committee plans nearly monthly volunteer events for attorneys to give back to their community through direct service. Here, BBA volunteers are working with the Charles River Watershed Association to clean-up the banks of the Charles River.

As part of the annual Law Day activities each spring, the BBA hosts its Law Day in the Schools program through which attorney volunteers introduce students in kindergarten to 12th grade to the legal profession and legal issues. In 2016, Law Day in the Schools focused on Miranda Rights, which seemed especially to resonate with students during a year marked by discussion of the balance of power between law enforcement and citizens.

At the 2016 Law Day Dinner, former BBA President Jack Regan, WilmerHale, was presented the Thurgood Marshall Award for his commitment to public service. Regan has tirelessly worked to support pro bono services for military personnel, veterans, and their families.

The John G. Brooks Legal Services Award was presented at Law Day Dinner to Daniel Nagin, founder of the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Nagin also helped start the Low Income Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

Pairings: A Gourmet Evening for Public Service supports all of the public service programs of the BBA. Guests of the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the programs their contribution supports.

Throughout the year, the BBA hosts numerous pro bono trainings on a range of practice areas. We partner with many legal services organizations to connect our members to their pro bono opportunities. Above, attorneys lead a training on how to volunteer for the Family Law Court Clinic at the Court Service Center.

Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge addresses the audience at the BBA’s Juvenile Restorative Justice Program. The symposium focused on restorative justice initiatives in the Commonwealth as particularly related to the state’s youth. This event was the culmination of the 12th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class’ 14-month program. PILP promotes civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership roles of new lawyers. Throughout the program, the class examines various issues facing our community and concludes with a symposium of entirely their design.

Summer is a beloved time at the BBA because it means that law firms, courts, government agencies, and legal services organizations across the city will host high school student interns as part of our Summer Jobs Program. Students gain valuable insight into the legal profession and office work experience as they intern during their summer break. Students are also provided Enrichment Seminars, which enhance their experience and provide exposure to various legal careers, the workings of the Supreme Judicial Court, and more.

Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC, was acknowledged this past year for her devotion to the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Bostwick was appointed head of the Financial Literacy Committee by her dear and late friend, M. Ellen Carpenter in 2004 and has since grown the program to teach over 500 students a year. Bostwick stepped down from the Committee after 12 years and we’re thankful for her service.

Law students and attorneys met with various legal services organizations and government agencies as they browsed the Pro Bono Fair & Open House in October. The event draws scores of people each year and provides organizations the chance to attract new volunteers.

BBA President Carol Starkey, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP, meets with Katy Buckland, principal of UP Academy Boston. The BBA President participates in Principal for a Day each year to gain insight into the day-to-day activities of the students many of our public service programs impact.

 

Thank you for a wonderful year, we can’t wait to kickoff 2017 with you!

Speak Up for Civil Legal Aid at Walk to the Hill with the BBA!

Walk to the Hill

Join the BBA on Thursday, January 28th as we advocate for state funding of civil legal aid and equal justice for all at Walk to the Hill! Funding is critical to legal aid programs around the state that provide free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families that are facing critical, non-criminal legal problems.  At Walk to the Hill, after a short speaking program, attorneys and law students visit the offices of their representatives and senators and voice their support for civil legal aid.

We invite you to join us to show your support! BBA members Ben Anderson and Taureen Green will be captaining the BBA teams, and hope that you will be able to join us!

Schedule of Events:

10:00AM – Meet at Boston Bar Association for Breakfast and Discourse;

11:00AM to 11:30AM – Walk over to State House and Check-In;

11:30AM to 12:00PM – Speaking Program at State House, featuring

  • Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants
  • Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Boston Bar Association President Lisa Arrowood
  • Equal Justice Coalition Chair John Carroll
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President Robert Harnais
  • Client speaker
  • Greater Boston Legal Services Executive Director Jacquelynne Bowman

12:00          Conclusion of speaking program; beginning of legislative visits

12:30          Lunch and return of legislative response sheets

The BBA will be hosting a breakfast for all those participating on January 28, 2016, at 10:00AM here at 16 Beacon Street, then take the short walk to the State House together at 11:00AM. Register here!

If you are interested in signing up, please email Katie D’Angelo at [email protected].