Two law students who were selected for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program began working at their respective offices this month. Anna Cardoso, a rising 2L at Boston University School of Law, is working at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, and Emaan Syed, a rising 3L at Suffolk Law School, is working at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, under Justice Melvin S. Hoffman. Both of these students have outstanding records of academic and professional accomplishments, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. To learn more about the 2019 Fellows and the program, please click here.
Posts Categorized: Diversity
Earlier this winter, The Boston Bar Association announced its new Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program, giving two outstanding law students access to critical work experience through paid summer internships. These internships provide practical experience in developing legal research and writing skills, expanding professional networks, and accessing tailored programming at the BBA.
This year’s summer interns are Anna Cardoso, a first-year Boston University Law student, who will be interning at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, and Emaan Syed, second-year Suffolk University Law student, who will be interning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, under Justice Melvin S. Hoffman.
Cardoso previously interned with Bay Area Legal Aid as a JusticeCorps member, where she discovered how income equality and lack of access to healthcare, healthy housing, and support keeps domestic violence victims in a cycle of violence. She also assisted litigants with filing court forms and writing declarations in support of these forms, which helped her effectively communicate legal issues to individuals without legal experience. She noted on her application, “I am dedicated to advancing social justice and equity from all sides. Preventing health care abuse is particularly important to me because no one deserves to be exploited at their most vulnerable.”
Syed’s focus is on bankruptcy law. She worked at BNY Melon as a fund accountant, where she managed accounting and custody reporting for several billion-dollar portfolios. She also interned at both the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure and at the Massachusetts Appleseed Center, where she researched the effects of the court cell phone ban policy on indigent clients. From her application, she stated, “As a Pakistani Muslim immigrant, I understand that it is of utmost importance to look at the disparity of low-income families and individuals and address the issues the people in these communities face. As an intern at the Bankruptcy Court, I will use my experience to pursue a career in protecting and advocating for the underprivileged, an opportunity that I hold as an honor in the ability to better their lives.”
These new internships supplement the BBA’s longstanding summer internship program, which has been providing unpaid legal internships for law students from diverse backgrounds to work in courts and government offices across the Commonwealth for nearly a decade. More than 130 promising law students have participated in the program, gaining critical work experience through this unique opportunity.
Funding for these new positions has been provided by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). A generous donation provided to the BBF will provide a $5,000 stipend to the intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Funding for a second $5,000 stipend for the intern working in the judges’ chambers of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will be provided by the BBF’s Charles P. Normandin Fund. Established in 2006, this fund supports the BBA’s bankruptcy law-related public service projects, including our popular M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.
We’re proud to expand our existing diversity initiatives, and to further support the passion and commitment of law students dedicated to the public interest.
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.
The Boston Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Summer Internship application deadline has been extended to Monday, March 7, 2016. Placements are available in the following courts: Boston Municipal Courts, Land Court, Massachusetts District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. Placements are also available with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Roxbury and Quincy offices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). The application period for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office placements has ended.
The BBA’s internship experiences are complemented by a series of career exploration programs at the BBA, observation in a number area courts, as well as opportunities to connect with leaders in the BBA community and our affinity bar partner organizations. Law students of all backgrounds are invited to participate in this valuable opportunity to grow in understanding of one another and to ask deeper questions about what they can expect as they move forward in the profession.
There are specific guidelines and requirements for each placement. Students are encouraged to carefully read the application requirements and specifications for each position sought before submitting your application. Application instructions are available on our program website along with instructions for how to apply.
Are you – or do you know – a law student looking to spend their 1L or 2L summer gaining professional legal experience? The BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Internship Program is an unpaid, non-credit internship in which students work directly with a judge or public agency legal team during their 1L or 2L summer. The program provides law students with the valuable mentoring and professional experience needed to succeed after graduation. The program also has a long-term goal: to bolster efforts to retain a diverse and inclusive population of young lawyers here in Boston. Throughout the course of the summer, interns observe courtroom proceedings and enhance their legal research and writing skills. In addition to their work, they engage with BBA Members and one another at professional development seminars and career exploration programs held at the BBA.
The Diversity & Inclusion Section launched the Judicial Internship Program in 2010, and for six years has facilitated this unique opportunity for Boston area law students to gain access to internships in the Boston Municipal Courts, Massachusetts State District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. More than 100 law students have participated in this program since 2010.
This year we are expanding the program to include placements in state government. Interns may apply for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Internship Program, with placements in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Roxbury and Quincy offices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS).
To apply, students must have completed the 1L or 2L year (or the equivalent) and must be able to work a minimum of 15 hours per week for a total of 8 weeks for most placements. There are specific guidelines and requirements for each placement. Students are encouraged to carefully read the application requirements and specifications for each position sought before submitting your application.
An information session will be held on Friday, January 22, 2016 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at the Boston Bar Association. Click here to register.
Details about the following internship placements for these internships are available on our program website along with instructions for how to apply.
Thank you to these courts for their ongoing participation: The Boston Municipal Courts, the Massachusetts State District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. And a warm welcome to our new internship providers: The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) – Quincy, the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) – Roxbury, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), and the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General.
Law students may contact our program administrator, Joe McKenzie [email protected] with questions or concerns.
We invite government agencies, legal services offices, and courts seeking talented law student interns to connect with us to get involved engaging students through this initiative. Please contact our Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Pipeline and Recruitment Committee Co-Chairs, Sarah Kim, General Counsel to the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts and Redi Kasollja of Foley & Lardner LLP.
Wednesday, July 8th marked the 17th annual “Strategies for Success Luncheon for Diverse Summer Associates, Summer Interns, and New Lawyers,” where a diverse panel of Boston-based lawyers met and spoke with an audience of seventy new and future attorneys about their own individual journeys and experiences within the legal profession.
The panel offered encouragement and valuable insight to these undergraduates, law students, and new lawyers as they face difficult career decisions. This year’s panelists included Adrian Bispham, an Assistant District Attorney in the Major Crimes Unit of the Suffolk County DA’s office, Christina Chan, an Assistant Attorney General, Salomon Chiquiar-Rabinovich, an attorney at HUD and also the current President of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA), Jennifer Fang, an Associate at Goodwin Procter LLP, and Jennifer Watson, who serves as Corporate Counsel at Liberty Mutual. Kevin Nolan of Proskauer Rose LLP chaired the program for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section. The lunch and discussion was expertly moderated by Marguerite Fletcher of Fletcher Legal Consulting. Those in attendance learned that despite the challenges sometimes associated with the expression of one’s personal identity; including race, gender, and sexual orientation, each one of the panelists have been able to find success as lawyers in the Boston area.
The first topic to be discussed by the panel was to describe why the Boston area is a great place to practice. Since none of the panel members were native to the city of Boston, the audience was introduced to diverse opinions and point of views on their adopted city. Each panelist happily agreed that Boston is now much more diverse than they could ever have imagined and that the size and culture of this city has created an appropriately-sized legal community where reputation, connections, and personality truly matters. Jennifer Fang pointed out that Boston’s pace matches extremely well with the legal profession when compared to the laid-back lifestyle of California or the stress-filled life of New York City. Christina Chang made a note that Boston has always been at the forefront of education, innovation, and legislative changes, making it “a truly exciting place to be an attorney.”
When asked to discuss the challenges associated to their personal identities within the legal profession, the panel opened up about personal obstacles they have faced and the best way to overcome them. Whether these challenges related to race or gender, the entire panel agreed that making as many connections as possible is the best course of action to feel less isolated in the workplace. “Talking to people allows you to get to know someone on the individual level,” Adrian Bispham pointed out, “try not to perceive people a certain way without first getting to know them. You never know, you might have more in common than you can believe.” Moderator Marguerite Fletcher explained that while equality has been improving and will continue to do so, it is up to each individual to make the difference by networking and communicating about perceived social injustices with people similar to you in an attempt to help fix them.
Since most in attendance had yet to graduate from law school, Fletcher took time to ask the panel to give advice on the transition from school to practice. In general, the panel discussed that you truly need to understand what part of law you want to focus on. Christina Chan who graduated from Northeastern University School of Law described that Northeastern’s unique Co-Op program, which allows law students to participate in four paid or non-paid internships, allowed her to gain a sense of direction. Her advice: no matter which law school a student attends, apply to as many internships as possible—even if it extends the time it takes to graduate. Networking in and out of school was also heavily discussed.
As the event came to a close members of the audience began to ask their questions. With no surprise the students and recent-graduates all asked questions revolving around the same topic: How exactly do I get a job? Salomon Chiquiar-Rabinovich explained that while grades are extremely important to an interviewer, job-seekers need to act calmly and be themselves while interviewing. Extracurricular activities, Fletcher pointed out, are great ways to connect with the interviewer since they can provide potential discussion topics. Fang, who has served as an interviewer herself for some time, explained that “if you cannot advocate for yourself, how can I expect you to do the same for your clients?”
The 17th annual Summer Associates Luncheon was a great success and the guests left with useful and encouraging tips for taking on a legal career in Boston.