Posts Categorized: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

Thank you to our 2020 M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Volunteers

We are proud to report that 50 classroom sessions were held in 8 different schools as part of the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program! This could not have been possible without the dedication of our 109 volunteers, who traveled to classrooms across the Commonwealth to impart critical financial wisdom upon 476 students. We also thank the 15 teachers who opened up their classrooms for our volunteers, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future! 

We also want to extend a special thank-you to the federal bankruptcy judges who took time out of their busy schedules to help with this program. Our gratitude goes out to Chief Judge Christopher J. Panos, Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Judge Frank J. Bailey, Judge Elizabeth D. Katz, and Judge Janet E. Bostwick. Additional thanks to our Western, MA partners – Hampden County Bar Association & Hampshire Country Bar Association for helping to make this program a statewide initiative.  

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is made possible by the Charles P. Normandin Fund. This fund provides critical support for the bankruptcy-related pro bono, public service, and civic programs of the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

If you have any questions on the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please reach out to Doug Newton at 617-778-1918 or dnewton@bostonbar.org. Please see our list of incredible volunteers: 

  • Jessica Drew, Greater Boston Legal Services

 

  • Jessica Galimberti, Accion

 

  • Beatrice Steinberg, Accion

 

  • William Walsh, Sugarman

 

  • Crystal Talley, Boston University

 

  • Aly Madan, Northeastern University

 

  • Christina Simpson, Christina Simpson Law

 

  • Molly Sharon, United States Bankruptcy Court

 

  • Michelle Fahey, Volunteer Lawyers Project

 

  • Jacob Simon, Simon Law

 

  • Kristen Kearney, U.S. Attorney’s Office

 

  • Michael Avitzur, Boston Bar Association

 

  • Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law

 

  • Steffani Pelton, Madoff & Khoury LLP

 

  • Greg Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance

 

  • Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick

 

  • Rosa Sierra, Brown Rudnick

 

  • Maura Martinelli, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Barry Smith, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Maureen Pachucki, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Eden Huang, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Robert Courson, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Julie Evrard, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Lisa Fassberg Weller, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Joshua Beiser, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Sharika Stanford, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Kiran Mallavarapu, Liberty Mutual 

 

 

  • Catherine Neijstrom, Gilmore Rees & Carlson PC

 

  • Lauren Reznick, Administrative Office of the Land Court

 

  • Rene Moniz, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP

 

  • Alex Rodolakis, Fletcher Tilton PC

 

  • Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP

 

  • Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green

 

  • Bridget Somogie, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division

 

  • Carlos Badiola, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division

 

  • Amy Lipman-White, Law Office of Lipman & White

 

  • A.J. Santaniello, Nutter, McClennen, & Fish

 

  • Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch

 

  • Katiuscia Potier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts 

 

  • Susanna Jones, Foundation Medicine Inc. 

 

  • Sigalit Israel, Boston University

 

  • Danielle Panos, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Jennifer Tracy, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Mary-Pat Cormier, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Meg Rehrauer, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Tim Fallon, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • William Cupelo, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Vivian Liu-Somers, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Cynthia Flowers, Liberty Mutual

 

 

  • Stephen Kerr, Boston University

 

  • Gary Cruickshank, Law Offices of Gary W. Cruickshank

 

  • Liza Hadley, Nutter, McClennen, & Fish

 

  • Laura Martin, Laura Martin Law

 

  • Cory Lamz, Buoy Health

 

  • Leslie Ann Lopez, Buoy Health

 

  • Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

 

 

  • Chip Harper, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

 

  • Marcus Pratt, Korde & Associates

 

  • Julie Ranieri, Korde & Associates

 

  • Adam Ruttenberg, Arent Fox LLP 

 

  • Dustin Hecker, Arent Fox LLP

 

  • Dragica Mijailovic, SLC Management

 

  • Christiana Deily 

 

  • John Loughnane, Nutter, McClennen, & Fish 

 

  • Mike Cavoto, Nutter McClennen & Fish

 

  • Walter Oney 

 

  • Marty Oney 

 

  • AnDre Summers, Summers LeBleu Law 

 

  • Mark Powers, Bowditch

 

  • Kevin McGee 

 

  • Demetrios Skritakis, Bowditch

 

  • David Mawhinney, Bowditch 

 

  • Lasaunna Powell, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Isaac Johnson, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Donald Liskov, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Scott Bell, Liberty Mutual 
  • Dianne Winslow, Liberty Mutual 

 

  • Nora Marantz, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual

 

  • Nicholas Chaves 

 

  • Mark Tanner

 

  • Lisa Lippiello, Western Massachusetts Legal Services

 

  • Matt Thomas

 

  • Mike Hooker

 

  • Everald Henry

 

  • Jeff Trapani

 

  • John Davis, Cooley Shrair

 

  • David Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office

 

  • Louis Robin, Law Offices of Louis S. Robin

 

  • Eric Kornblum, Law Office of Eric D. Kornblum

 

  • Robert Girvan, Weiner Law Firm

 

  • Rebecca Thibault

 

  • Catherine Kay

 

  • Maren Law

 

  • Robert Opsitnick

 

  • Joy Piper

 

·         Michelle Cruz

 

  • Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson

 

  • Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux

 

  • Andrea O’Connor, Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C.

 

  • Denise Shear, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

 

  • Stephen Reynolds, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

 

  • Joe Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell

 

  • Janice Marsh, Janice G. Marsh, LLC

 

  • James Erhard

 

  • Mark Powers

 

  • Paul Carey

BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Now Seeking “Consequences” Volunteers!

The BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program concludes with a “Consequences” session at the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts. This consists of a mock trial portion in which the students participate as well as a discussion and Q&A portion between the volunteers and the students.

This session serves to expose students to the ultimate consequences of misusing or abusing credit, as well as to introduce them to the legal profession via interactions with lawyers and a bankruptcy judge. Attorneys with prior or current experience related to bankruptcy law are encouraged to sign up for one of our three confirmed sessions. We are seeking five volunteers for each session, and it is possible that additional sessions may be added in the coming weeks. We are currently seeking volunteers from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston for the following three dates:

  • April 1, 2020
  • April 29, 2020
  • May 7, 2020

Please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1918 with any questions. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the above sessions, please sign up here.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is made possible by the Charles P. Normandin Fund. This fund provides critical support for the bankruptcy-related pro bono, public service, and civic programs of the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

Public Service Spotlight: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Now Seeking Volunteers!

The BBA is currently seeking volunteers for our M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program! This program helps students across Massachusetts develop the skills necessary for effective financial management through educational and experiential opportunities. Through this program, volunteers present one of three modules (Personal Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, and Financing a Large Purchase) to a group of students in the Greater Boston Area. The program concludes with a mock-trial presentation on the consequences of poor financial management in a federal bankruptcy courtroom. The following Eastern Massachusetts schools are participating in the program:

  • Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (New Bedford)
  • Woburn High School
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Brighton)
  • Madison Park Technical Vocational High School (Roxbury)
  • The Compliance Mentor Group (Sites in Cambridge and Boston)
  • Charlestown High School
  • The English High School (Jamaica Plain)

The BBA thanks Liberty Mutual for adopting Madison Park Technical Vocational High School as well as Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Since the program’s inception in 2005, over 1,400 volunteers have reached over 5,800 students statewide. The total time commitment for a volunteer, including training, classroom preparation, and classroom time, averages 3-5 hours. No specific experience is required to volunteer, and all materials are provided by the BBA. This is a unique opportunity to help the next generation develop practical skills that will better their lives in the present and future. If you would like more information on the program, please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org. A training video for volunteers can be found at this link. If you are interested in signing up to teach a module at one of the above locations, please click here to do so. Please also check back in the spring for volunteer opportunities at the “Consequences of Poor Financial Management” sessions!

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is made possible by the Charles P. Normandin Fund. This fund provides critical support for the bankruptcy-related pro bono, public service, and civic programs of the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program – Calling All Volunteers!

The BBA is thrilled to begin a new year of our M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Volunteers can now sign up to present classroom modules (Personal Finance & Budgeting; Credit & Credit Cards; and Financing a Large Purchase) at participating schools! Our volunteers help high school students across Massachusetts learn about making informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. Since 2005, over 1,400 volunteers have reached close to 7,000 students statewide.

To sign up to volunteer in a classroom, click here.

To view the volunteer training video for volunteers, click here.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is made possible by the Charles P. Normandin Fund. This fund provides critical support for the bankruptcy-related pro bono, public service, and civic programs of the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please click here.

Many Thanks To Our 2018-2019 Financial Literacy Volunteers!

Students listen to a presentation on financial literacy at the Boston Branch of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Since January 2019, more than 700 students heard from volunteer attorneys about the importance of finance and budgeting. The BBA is proud to have reached so many students through this statewide program and is grateful for the support of Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Judge Frank J. Bailey, Judge Joan N. Feeney (Ret.), Judge Elizabeth D. Katz, and Judge Christopher J. Panos, as well as the Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations.

This past year, over 100 volunteers taught in 9 schools and addressed the interns participating in the U.S. District Court’s Nelson Fellowship and the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Prior to the first sessions, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee updated the materials provided to the students, which include discussions on credit card spending, budgeting, and financing “large purchases,” including automobiles, furniture, renting an apartment, and paying for college.

Thank you to all this year’s volunteers who made the program possible!

Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Ana Balcarcel, Charles River Associates
Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell
Jeremy Bardsley, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Joshua Beiser, Liberty Mutual Group
Jesse Belcher-Timme
Tamarah Belczyk, Audax Management Company, LLC
Jessica Berrien
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA
Ariel Clemmer, Hampden County Bar Association
Michele Collins, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Gary Cruickshank, Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank
Kathleen Cruickshank, Murphy & King
Elizabeth Downing, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Julie Evrard, Liberty Mutual Group
Andrew Farrington
Hon. Joan N. Feeney (Ret.)
Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell
Eric Forni, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Maya French, Office of the Inspector General of Massachusetts
Jessica Galimberti, ACCION International
Henry Geberth, Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C.
Robert Girvan, Weiner Law Firm, PC
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Pamela Harbeson, Board of Bar Overseers
Lee Harrington, Nixon Peabody LLP
William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee
Everald Henry
Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Hon. Melvin S. Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Jonathan Horne, Murtha Cullina
Hon. Elizabeth D. Katz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Ryan Kelley, Pierce Atwood, LLP
Justin Kesselman, Arent Fox
Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual Group
Eric Kornblum, Law Office of Eric D. Kornblum
Leah Kunkel
Cory Lamz, Buoy Health, Inc.
Donald Lassman, Law Office of Donald R. Lassman
Maren Law, Attorney at Law
Amy Lipman, White, Lipman & White
Lisa Lippiello, Olin Lippiello LLP
John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Cornelio Lozada
David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Nora Marantz, Liberty Mutual Group
Alex Mattera, Partridge, Snow & Hahn LLP
Rose Miller, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
René Moniz, Partridge, Snow & Hahn, LLP
Catherine Neijstrom, Gilmore, Rees & Carlson P.C.
Andrea O’Connor, Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C.
Robert Opsitnick
David Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office
Bridget O’Sullivan Somogie, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division
Maureen Pachucki, Liberty Mutual Group
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Hon. Christopher J. Panos, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Danielle Panos, Liberty Mutual Group
Steffani Pelton Nicholson, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
Cassandra Prince
Nestor Ramirez, Liberty Mutual Group
Louis Robin, Law Offices of Louis S. Robin
Alex Rodolakis, Fletcher Tilton, PC
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC
Adam Ruttenberg, Arent Fox
Natalie Sawyer, Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management
Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Rosa Sierra, Brown Rudnick LLP
Jacob Simon, Simon Law
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Stephen Smith, National Association of Consumer Advocates
Leslie Storm, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Leslie Su, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts
Erica Sullivan, Liberty Mutual Group
Mark Tanner
Rebecca Thibault
Jennifer Tracy, Liberty Mutual Group
Christina Turgeon, Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
Steven Veenema, Murphy & King
Steven Weiss, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, PC
Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson
Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP
Jessica Youngberg, Veterans Legal Services
David Zou, Harvard Kennedy School
Marianne Zurn


Teach Teens Lifelong Financial Skills

The Boston Bar Association’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, in partnership with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, has been introducing high school students to essential financial concepts for 13 years. Sign-up is now open for the 2019 Financial Literacy sessions in high schools throughout the state. Attorneys and law students from all practice area backgrounds are welcome to participate and make an impact.

Through the program, volunteers sign-up for at least one 1-hour presentation in a classroom in the area. Presentation topics include Personal Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, and Financing a Large Purchase. As a volunteer, you’ll be provided with all of the training and materials needed to present to the students and guide them through lesson activities. Join us to educate high school students on the importance of making smart, informed financial decisions.

To view available volunteer slots and sign-up, please visit this website: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4daeac28a1fa7-2019

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteer opportunities in the Springfield area, please email Cassandra Shavney at cshavney@bostonbar.org.

We Thank Our 2017-2018 Financial Literacy Volunteers!

Over the summer, 45 of the 542 high school students that participated in the past year’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program heard from volunteer attorneys about the importance of finance and budgeting and visited the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA is proud to have reached so many students through this statewide program and is grateful for the support of Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Judge Frank J. Bailey, Judge Joan N. Feeney, Judge Elizabeth D. Katz, and Judge Christopher J. Panos, as well as the Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations.

This past year, over 160 volunteers taught in 13 schools and to the interns participating in the U.S. District Court’s Nelson Fellowship and the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Prior to the first sessions, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee updated the materials provided to the students, which now include an expanded focus on financing “large purchases”, including automobiles, furniture, renting an apartment, and paying for college.

Thank you to all of this year’s volunteers who make the program possible!

Amy Azza, Bendett & McHugh, P.C.
Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Ana Balcarcel, Charles River Associates
Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Tristan Benoit
Amanda Blaske, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA – NH
Paul Carey, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office
Michael Cavoto
David Chenelle, Perkins & Anctil, PC
Ariel Clemmer, Hampden County Bar Association
Christopher Condon, Murphy & King
Kali Crocker, Fidelity Investments
Gary Cruickshank, Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank
Kathleen Cruickshank, Murphy & King
John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Jessica Drew, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. – Fall River
Magdalena Ellis, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Julie Evrard, Liberty Mutual Group
Lisa Fassberg Weller, Liberty Mutual Group
Hon. Joan N. Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court *
Frederick Fierst, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Eric Forni, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC
Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC
Alice Giannino, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial
William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee
Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Ruth Anne Heselbarth, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Hon. Melvin S. Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Caitlin Jacques, DiFilippo Corporate Finance Group, Inc.
Matthew Jacques, AlixPartners
D. Ethan Jeffery, Murphy & King
Kevin Jourdain, The Law Offices of Kevin Jourdain
Hon. Elizabeth D. Katz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Kristen Kearney, LibbyHoopes, P.C.
Ginger Kelly
Justin Kesselman, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Ann King, Sun Life Financial
Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual Group
Eric Kornblum, Law Office of Eric D. Kornblum
Peter Lane, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Donald Lassman, Law Office of Donald R. Lassman
Amy Lipman-White, Lipman & White
Lisa Lippiello, Olin Lippiello LLP
Marques Lipton, Parker & Associates
John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP *
Cornelio Lozada
David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Alexandra Mansfield, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office
Carolyn Marcotte, Barclay Damon, LLP
Janice Marsh, Janice G. Marsh, LLC
Laura Martin
Alex Mattera, Demeo, LLP
Martha Mazzone, Fidelity Investments
Dragica Mijailovic, Sun Life Financial
Cara Murphy
Sarah Murphy-Holroyd, Maged & Rost, PC
Thomas Murray, Sun Life Financial
Patrick Noone, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Martin O’Connell, Morisi & O’Connell
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
David Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office
Bridget O’Sullivan Somogie, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division
Maureen Pachucki, Liberty Mutual Group
Hon. Christopher J. Panos, U.S. Bankruptcy Court *
Mark Papirio, Law Offices of Mark A. Papirio
Marc Parsons, Ascensus College Savings
Steffani Pelton Nicholson, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Mark Powers, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Diane Rallis, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Kara Rescia, Rescia & Shear, LLP
Stephen Reynolds, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Louis Robin, Law Offices of Louis S. Robin
Alex Rodolakis, Fletcher Tilton, PC
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC *
Natalie Rowles
Adam Ruttenberg, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Kathleen Ryan, Morgan Lewis
Robert Sacco, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP
Armand Santaniello
Natalie Sawyer
Megan Schaubhut, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Tony Scibelli, Barclay Damon, LLP
Molly Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Gordon Shaw, Community Legal Aid
Denise Shear, Rescia & Shear, LLP
Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Jacob Simon, Simon Law
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Shipra Singh, Sun Life Financial
Stephen Smith, National Association of Consumer Advocates
Leslie Storm, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Erica Sullivan, Liberty Mutual Group
Christina Turgeon, Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
Kevin Walsh, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson
Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP
Jessica Youngberg, Veterans Legal Services *
David Zou, Harvard Kennedy School

*Denotes members of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee

Doug Rosner (Far right, Goulson & Storrs) moderates the final Financial Literacy session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston. Summer Jobs interns look on as they learn about bankruptcy.

Summer Jobs Students Learn About the Importance of Money Management

Over the course of two seminars, our Summer Jobs interns rounded out the real-world experience from work with a financial literacy program designed to provide guidance as they begin to make impactful financial decisions.

Molly Sharon (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) and Leslie Storm (Bankruptcy Appellate Panel) guided the students through financial basics, such as the differences between checking and savings accounts, what to look for in a bank/credit union, and how to read credit card statements. They emphasized the importance of making your money work for you by researching the benefits and fees associated with certain accounts and credit cards. The students also learned about creating a budget that takes all their expenses into account and ensures they can meet their obligations. The students were able to ask questions they had about the taxes withheld from their paychecks and learned how to understand their pay stubs.

The lesson served as a foundation for the following week’s seminar, in which students witnessed a simulated meeting of creditors that explained the consequences debtors face when they can no longer keep up with their expenses. While the lesson itself illustrates someone filing for bankruptcy in part because of irresponsible money management, the bankruptcy attorneys who conducted the presentation emphasized that most of their clients are forced to file for bankruptcy due to circumstances beyond their control.

Alex Mattera, a partner at Demeo LLP, played the role of the debtor during the faux bankruptcy hearing the students observed.

“In this case, I (the debtor) didn’t have to get into this situation, but most people have no choice. For example, many people file for bankruptcy because of mounting medical bills due to something like a catastrophic injury,” he said.

Co-chair of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Committee Douglas Rosner (Goulston & Storrs) and attorneys Jessica Youngberg (Veterans Legal Services), Gary Cruickshank (Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank) and Kathleen Cruickshank (Murphy & King) also participated in the mock hearing.

After the meeting of the creditors, students watched a mock court hearing play out over the debtor’s continued failure to pay his car payments. Judge Joan N. Feeney presided over the matter, and students had the opportunity to volunteer to play the role of counsel on either side and as volunteer law clerks. Afterwards, Judge Feeney answered their questions about how she got into bankruptcy law and the interesting and challenging aspects of being a judge. She and the bankruptcy attorneys in the room described pursuing bankruptcy law because they wanted to help people and businesses with their chance to start over financially after facing a hard time.

Holland & Knight intern, Lily Kelly, confers with Mary Murray (Courtroom Deputy) with Judge Joan N. Feeney presiding.

Financial Literacy Volunteer Registration Open

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re looking for a new volunteer opportunity, this may be the perfect fit for you. After participating in a training, you’ll be equipped to educate high school students about the importance of making smart financial decisions. As a volunteer, you’ll work in pairs to lead a one-hour session in the classroom. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

Click here to sign up for a volunteer slot and click here to register for the program training on Wednesday, January 17th at 5:00 PM at the Boston Bar Association (16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108). If you cannot attend the training in person, a video recording will be sent to each volunteer.

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2017

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 2017 Public Service Award presented at the Boston Bar Foundation’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit Ball honored Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall in January. Chief Justice Marshall addresses the crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts, reminding every one of the importance of being good and just in their work.

MIT Bhangra, an award-winning dance group, entertained the crowd at the Adams Benefit. 2017’s Ball raised over $650,000 in support for local legal services organizations providing civil legal services to those in need. In June, the Foundation granted $960,000 to 20 such organizations.

Each January, hundreds of attorneys travel to the State House to Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The Equal Justice Coalition coordinates this annual event to call on our legislators to adequately fund the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation through the state budget. Carol Starkey, 2016-2017 BBA President, highlights the importance of civil legal aid as noted in the BBA’s Investing in Justice report, which details that 2 out of 3 income eligible clients are turned away from legal services due to a lack of resources.

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, then BBA President Carol Starkey reaffirmed the BBA’s aim to “support the rule of law, as well as the core values of access to justice and diversity and inclusion, which help keep the fundamental promise that all of us will enjoy due process and equal protection under the law.” Over the course of the year, the BBA worked with many legal services organizations to connect attorneys to volunteer opportunities. Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project presented a number of Know Your Rights trainings for attorneys wishing to present to community groups about their immigration rights. Here, attorneys William Graves (Graves & Doyle) and Seth Purcell (PAIR Project) welcome over 60 attorneys to the first training at the BBA.

Paulette Brown (left, Locke Lord) accepts the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion for her work as president of the American Bar Association convening the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. One result of the Commission’s work was the passage at the ABA of Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. In November of 2016, the BBA announced its strong support for the Resolution and is working with other partners in Boston on its implementation.

Raquel Webster (right, National Grid) introduces presenter Brian McLaughlin (McLaughlin Law) to a group of probationers at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA’s Reentry Education Program, which was developed by the Public Interest Leadership Program, engages with dozens of probationers annually on useful topics related to community reentry, including family law, reinstating a driver’s license, public benefits, and more.

Secretary Francisco A. Ureña (Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services) addresses the crowd at a Memorial Day reception hosted by the BBA’s Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum. The reception was held after the annual pro bono training for attorneys representing veterans in discharge upgrade cases. Since 2015, the BBA has worked with the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School to hose these trainings to support their Veterans Legal Clinic.

One night a year, the BBA is transformed from a meeting space to a casino floor. Seventeen organizations sponsored this year’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs, the proceeds of which support the Summer Jobs Program and support internships for high school students at legal services organizations, government agencies, and courts. Attendees at Casino Night celebrate beating the house and eagerly await the mystifying reveal of a magic trick.

Law Day in the Schools, one of the BBA’s most popular volunteer opportunities, introduces Boston Public School students to the legal profession and particular areas of the law. This year, volunteers including Jill Brenner Meixel (left) and Allison Belanger (right) of Krokidas & Bluestein introduced students to due process and the importance of having fair rules and laws for all. There were a record 15 schools and over 1700 students in the program this year.

Throughout the year, the New Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee coordinates volunteer events with organizations throughout the city. In addition to serving food at the Pine Street Inn, attorneys also helped sort donations at Cradles to Crayons, keep the esplanade clear at the Charles River Clean-up, and other important volunteer initiatives in the area.

High school students convene with Chief Justice Melvin S. Hoffman (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) after listing to a mock hearing in bankruptcy court. This session, which teaches students about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy is part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which began in 2005. Since it began, over 5800 students statewide have been introduced to the importance of budgeting, understanding credit, and financing a large purchase.

Over 1,000 attorneys came together for this year’s Law Day Dinner in Back Bay. Congressman Seth Moulton provided keynote remarks and highlighted the importance of lawyers and upholding the rule of law now more than ever.

This year’s Thurgood Marshall Award, honoring an attorney in private practice in Greater Boston for their extraordinary efforts in enhancing the human dignity of others by providing legal services to Massachusetts’ low income population, went to Elaine Blais (Goodwin). Blais volunteers with both the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) representing both children and adults in various immigration cases.

Anne Mackin (Greater Boston Legal Services) accepts the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award, an award presented to professional legal services attorneys for their outstanding work on behalf of indigent people in the Boston area. Mackin has worked in legal services for nearly 30 years, and joined GBLS’s Immigration Unit in 2013. Since then, she has helped people from all over the world who have witnessed or experienced unspeakable tragedies and faced severe persecutions. Her efforts have ensured that many who are fleeing extreme discrimination and danger are able to seek justice and safe harbor.

Members of the Society of Fellows experience a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts’ summer exhibit, Matisse in the Studio. Each Fellows pledge supports the work of the Boston Bar Foundation’s many public service initiatives. The growing number of Fellows, now over 400, learn about the work their gifts support, including programs supporting Boston’s youth and grants to legal services organizations, at events throughout the year.

Boston Public High School students stand with Natashia Tidwell (center left, Collora) and Mark Smith (center right, BBA President, Laredo & Smith) on the morning of the first day of work with the Summer Jobs Program. The program, a partnership with the City of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council, employs students in internships at legal offices across the city. In 2017, 52 students gained valuable office experience and were given insight into the legal profession.

Attorneys network surrounding the chocolate fountain, a staple at this year’s Boston Bar Foundation Summer Fundraiser. Guests at the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the public service programs their contribution supports.

The Public Interest Leadership Program’s class of 2016-2017 hosted their symposium, Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape, earlier this year. The event’s speakers addressed a number of issues recently in the national spotlight, both in the media and the courts. Nearly 100 attorneys and interested members of the community packed the BBA to hear insights from the panels of experts.

This fall, the 14th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) started their term. Twenty attorneys were selected for the program based on their experience and dedication to public service and civic engagement. The program now includes nearly 200 alumni who’ve gone on to serve the BBA in other capacities and carry their passion for serving the public interest into the community.

Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, addressed the audience at the BBA’s Annual Meeting. Kerman, a former prisoner, discussed her work bringing prison issues to the forefront of national conversation. She also acknowledged the BBA’s report No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System, which was released this fall. The report commends the reforms proposed earlier this year by Massachusetts leaders based on research by the Council of State Governments (CSG), but strongly urges lawmakers to enact broader reforms designed to further reduce recidivism, and make the criminal justice system fairer and more cost-efficient.

Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women to introduce the public to the services it offers. Thousands of requests come through each year and referrals are made out to experienced attorneys practicing nearly 350 areas of law. The LRS also houses a dedicated Military Legal Help Line, which connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources appropriate to their needs.

The three award recipients at November’s Beacon Award for Diversity & Inclusion stand with members of the Beacon Award Selection Committee. Brent Henry received the Voice of Change Award for his work recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent while at Partners Healthcare. The Empowerment Award went to Iván Espinoza-Madrigal for his work on civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality, as the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Susan Alexander accepted the Corporate Champion Award on behalf of Biogen. Biogen’s legal department has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel.
Above, left to right: Brent Henry (Mintz Levin), Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (Lawyers’ Committee), Susan Alexander (Biogen), Sarah Kim (Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts), Kate Cook (Sugarman Rogers), Stephen Hall (Holland & Knight), and Damon Hart (Liberty Mutual).

Hosted at Suffolk University Law School, the annual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair and Open House connects law students and attorneys to volunteer opportunities across the state. Over 25 organizations recruited at the fair this year.

BBA President Mark Smith (right) met with Principal Danladi Bobbitt of the John D. Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale. As a participant in the Principal Partners event, hosted by Boston Public Schools, Boston Plan for Excellence, and Bank of America, the BBA President has the opportunity to visit a school and engage in meaningful conversations about the role of education in our society.