Through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, volunteer attorneys teach students how to make smart financial decisions during three-classroom based sessions and a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Last Thursday, the BBA joined educators, financial advisors, government employees, and other nonprofit staff to discuss the status of financial literacy among high schoolers throughout the state at the Massachusetts Jump$tart! Coalition Financial Literacy Roundtable Discussion. The program taught us some important information about the state of Financial Literacy in Massachusetts and some interesting things about our own program.
Here’s what we took away:
1) Massachusetts has no mandate. Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not mandate that students learn any financial literacy before graduating from high school. The lack of a requirement, coupled with limited school resources and jam-packed curriculums, acts as a key impediment to integrating financial literacy into high school curriculum.
2) The BBA’s program meets a need. The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program helps fill the gap in financial education while working around these constraints. As you may remember, 1,300 high school students throughout the state learned how to make sound financial decisions with the help of over 150 volunteer attorneys last year.
3) Our program makes it easy. Because each module is only an hour long, the program does not interfere with lesson plans or MCAS preparations. Our volunteers relieve the burden on the teacher to learn and create new financial literacy lesson plans, plus they offer a truly unique legal perspective on the consequences of poor financial decision making.
4) We can do more. Other roundtable participants highlighted the importance of integrating interactive technology into financial literacy curriculum and closely monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of financial literacy programs. Over the next year we will be evaluating our program and looking for opportunities to strengthen it.
The Summer Jobs students participated in the Consequences module of the Financial Literacy Program this morning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
At the last session of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, the Summer Jobs students received firsthand lessons about the consequences of poor financial decision-making directly from the source — the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. With the help of Judge Joan Feeney and a number of volunteer bankruptcy attorneys, the students witnessed a mock Meeting of Creditors and mock Chapter 13 hearing. The session finished with a brief presentation by Beatriz Mejia, a BBF-funded students who interned at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this summer. She outlined the different chapters of bankruptcy and reiterated the importance of saving and planning your finances for college, especially because students loans are nondischargeable in bankruptcy.
Here’s a look at the morning:
Beatriz Mejia, a Summer Jobs intern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, walked the students through the different chapters of bankruptcy.
Judge Joan Feeney showed the Summer Jobs students how the court’s computer system works during their visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The Nelson Fellows completed the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program with a trip to the Bankruptcy Court for the Consequences module this morning.
As you’ve heard in past posts, one of the benefits of the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is their weekly enrichment programs, including modules of the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program on important issues like buying a car and learning the consequences of poor financial decisions. Due to the popularity of the BBA program, however, summer jobs students at the Judge David S. Nelson Fellowship Program of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Boston Private Industry Council students working at Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have all benefited from lessons on the importance of making informed decisions regarding their finances
The BBA and its group of volunteers were thrilled to offer this program to more youth in Massachusetts.
David Rozenson taught the Summer Jobs students about car loans and the cost of purchasing a car as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.
This morning, BBA Summer Jobs students participated in “Buying a Car,” a module of the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. This module is just one session of the four part program, which teaches high school students about the importance of making informed decisions regarding their finances. The program has set records this year, reaching more than 1,300 students across Massachusetts. Here’s another incredible stat: the program provided financial literacy education to more students during the 2013 program year than it reached in all of its previous years combined, 2005-2012. This incredible growth is thanks to the BBA’s volunteers and the quality of its programming.
Raenelle Teesdale, a recent graduate of John D. O’Bryant School who is interning at Chu, Ring, and Hazel LLP this summer, has been thinking about buying a car.
Here is what she had to say about this morning’s session:
“The session had me thinking about all of the possible expenses when buying a car including gas, insurance, and the payments. I’m not saying I won’t buy a car, but I now know that I need to be more financial stable before purchasing one.”
In mid-August, the Summer Jobs students will visit the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the final module—Consequences—to learn about the repercussions of poor financial decision-making.
The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program served a record-breaking 1,000 students this spring thanks in large part to our dedicated volunteers. Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the 141 attorneys, legal staff, and law students who volunteer their time to teach students how to make sound financial decisions.
Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.
John Affuso, Massachusetts Port Authority
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Melissa Armstrong, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Artesani, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Hon. Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Gina Barbieri, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody LLP
Susan Bernstein, Susan Bernstein Law Offices
James Bonfanti, Eastern Bank
Arthur Bookstein, Bookstein Law
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Ann Brennan, Ann Brennan Law Offices
Regina Brooks, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Steven Brujic, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Lindsey Burton, Litle & Co.
Andrew Cahill, Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Alexandra Capachietti, Burns & Levinson LLP
Brian Carroll, Foley Hoag LLP
Michelle Chisholm, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stephanie Cocce, Greater Boston Legal Services
Tara Colby, Liberty Mutual Group
Michele Collins, MetLife
Kathleen Conlon, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Meaghan Connolly, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Corrado, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jared Crittenden, Suffolk Law School
Susan Curtin, Securities & Exchange Commission
Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps
Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Joel DeFelice, Marder & Defelice Law Offices
Peggy DeFren, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Smita Deshmukh, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Christine Devine, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Gregory Devlin, Flowers and Manning LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Andrew Doherty, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Randall Dorf, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Alicia Downey, Downey Law LLC
Meghan Driscoll, Suffolk Law School
Elizabeth Duffy, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Andrew Fagenholz, Liberty Mutual Group
Anne Farina, Sun Life Financial
Hon. Joan Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Allyson Fiorello, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Flaherty, Suffolk Law School
Alexander Flig, Flig Law Office
Susan Frigoletto, Frigoletto Law Offices
Brendan Furey, American Student Assistance
David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC
Sean Gilligan, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Barbara Gilmore, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Barry Gold, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Jose Gonzalez, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Kelly Goss, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nancy Gregory, Blum Shapiro
Maria Grinko, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Kelli Gunagan, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Katrina Harrington, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
William Harrington, Office of the U.S. Trustee
Pamela Harvey, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Kristi Heiman, Massachusetts School of Law
Zachary Heller, New England Law Boston
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Stewart Hirsch, Strategic Relationships
Hon. Melvin Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Alexander Hughes, Suffolk Law School
John Kacoyannakis, Law Offices of John Kacoyannakis
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Kevin Kam, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Brittany Kaminski, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Noah Kaufman, Foley Hoag LLP
Deirdre Keady, Harmon Law Offices, PC
Ryan Kelley, Boston College
Alexander Klibaner, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Sebastian Korth, Korth Law Office
Kimberly Kroha, Commerce Group Inc.
Anelise Lago, Wells Fargo
Dmitry Lev, Law Offices of D. Lev, PC
Richard Levine, Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC
Michael Licker, Foley Hoag LLP
Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King, P.C.
Catherine Lizotte, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
John Loughnane, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Halina Magerowski, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Martha Masinton, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stacie McHale, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Daniel McLoughlin, EMC
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Sara Meyers, Ropes & Gray LLP
Rose Miller, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jacqueline Modiste, The Law Offices of Jacqueline L. Modiste
Darren Mooney, Suffolk University
John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Maura Murphy, Sun Life Financial
Rebecca Neale, Klein Kavanagh Costello LLP
Maura Nugent Martinelli, Goodwin Procter LLP
Melissa O’Berg, Rocket Software, Inc.
Beth Oldmixon, Pierce Davis
Laura Olton, LSO Energy Advisors LLC
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Daniel Pierce, Duane Morris LLP
Mark Powers, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Rosa Previdi, Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Kathleen Rahbany, Craig and Macauley, PC
Kiernan Reed, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Erika Reis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sarah Richards, Nixon Peabody LLP
Meghan Roche, Law Office of Meghan Roche
Terence Rodgers, Berkeley Research Group LLC
Ian Roffman, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs – A Professional Corporation
David Rozenson, Boston Compliance Associates
Domenic Russo, EMC
Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP
Natalie Sawyer, Murphy & King, PC
Bernie Schilling, Liberty Mutual Group
Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Mackenzie Shea, K&L Gates LLP
Christopher Somma, Goodwin Procter LLP
Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang
Morgan Springer, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jamie Sroczynski, Liberty Mutual Group
Leslie Su, Minerva Law PC
Ilene Sunshine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Anthony Taylor, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Risa Webb, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Steven Weil, Doherty Ciechanowski Dugan & Cannon PC
Patricia Weisgerber, Suffolk Law School
Susika Wylie, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jessica Youngberg, Suffolk Law School
Please watch for opportunities to volunteer for the Financial Literacy Program this summer as part of the enrichment seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students.
For more information on the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at email@example.com.
When people think of April, springtime, birds chirping and flowers blooming may come to mind. According to the U.S Government, however, April is officially National Financial Literacy Month, which is dedicated to highlighting the importance of financial literacy education and healthy financial decision making. April also marks the conclusion of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which hosted its final “Consequences” module today. During the five consequences sessions, students witnessed a mock hearing presided over by Judges Frank Bailey, Joan Feeney and Melvin Hoffman at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Boston and Worcester. Beyond the Billable stopped by the court to bring you a firsthand look at the sessions:
Boston Latin High School students watch a mock meeting of creditors and hearing with the debtor, “Sally Spender.”
Students from Another Course to College, Milton High School, and Peabody High School asked questions to learn about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
For more information about the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is in the homestretch and volunteers have just completed the classroom sessions. So far this year, the program has reached more than 1,000 students in the Greater Boston area. In the coming weeks, schools will gear up for trips to the Boston and Worcester Bankruptcy Courts for the “Consequences Module”— a mock hearing, presided over by a judge, where students will get a firsthand glimpse of the repercussions of poor financial decision making. Beyond the Billable stopped into a few schools to see the volunteers in action.
Here is a glimpse into the classroom sessions at East Boston High School and Boston Latin School:
Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.
Students in Heidi DeRosa’s 12th grade class at East Boston answer questions during a lesson on credit cards.
Ed Kearn’s 11th and 12th grade Economics Class at Boston Latin learn about the actual and hidden costs of buying a car.
Please look for photos from the Consequences Module in the coming weeks. For more information on the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at email@example.com.
This program is funded in part by the Boston Bar Foundation Charles P. Normandin Fund.
I’ve been a volunteer for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program because I believe in what the program represents – educating our students to the world of finance. I feel there is a void in educating students to make good choices and I want to make a difference in sharing my bumps in the road.
Meghan Roche, Law Office of Meghan Roche
I continue to be a volunteer because I think these skills that are taught in the class are vital to a successful financial future. I truly believe that they should be part of every schools’ curriculum and that the lessons are useful to all students whether you become a doctor, a teacher or a plumber. Explaining the differences between wants and needs and exploring how to use credit wisely can be valuable lessons for kids today. I think this program is such a great opportunity for high school students to learn something that will help them to be financially responsible adults.
I am delighted to volunteer for the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program because it is an important initiative to educate teens about financial responsibility and to provide them with some basic tools and essential information needed to successfully manage their finances as adults in order to avert financial hazards such as foreclosure and insurmountable debt. Through its interactive co-teaching platform, the program is also a great opportunity to work with other volunteer members of the community to effectively engage students in the discussion.
To view available volunteer sessions, please click here and log in. For more information about volunteering or the program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As 2012 comes to a close, we begin to shift our focus to the New Year with anticipation. For those of you looking to get more involved and give back to the Greater Boston Community in 2013, the BBA is offering a number of public service trainings and programs in January to give you a head start. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
• Receive Limited Assistance Referral Certification at the training on January 9th from 3-4:30 pm. You can sign up for the certification here. This program will certify participants as LAR attorneys and teach them the basics on going into court for a single event in a case. The training will be followed by two separate breakout sessions on Family and Probate Law and Land Court. You can sign up for the Probate and Family Court session here or the Land Court session here.
• Attend the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program training on January 14th from 4-6 pm. The program is partnership between the BBA and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and teaches high school students how to make smart financial decisions. This opportunity offers volunteers of all backgrounds an opportunity to get involved in the community by teaching classes on topics that include personal finance, budgeting and using credit. The time commitment is just a few hours but the impact on these students is substantial. Sign up for the training here; however, the training is not mandatory.
• Join the New Lawyers and Tax Sections for an accelerated training session for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on January 16th from 4-8 pm. The program is coordinated locally by the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition and annually trains volunteers to prepare income tax returns for low income taxpayers at community sites in the greater Boston area. No previous experience is required and non-attorneys are welcome to participate. Please note that volunteers will need to complete the certification test separately. Please sign up for the training here.
• Learn how to build your practice while helping your community at the upcoming “Building Your Practice Through Pro Bono” event on January 23rd from 12:30- 1:30 pm. Please sign up here.
• Join the Bankruptcy Public Service Committee for the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Training on January 24th from 4-7 pm. The program will cover the basics of preparing and filing a Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy case for a pro bono debtor. The topics covered will include pre-filing considerations, preparation of the petition, schedules and statements, the 341 meeting of creditors, practice pointers and advice about handling a pro bono consumer bankruptcy case. Please sign up here.
For more information on the programs, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator at email@example.com.
Emily Hodge, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, as part of Law Day in the Schools taught students about the importance of due process and access to justice at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School. In May 2012, 28 volunteers taught 580 students at 5 different schools about the field of law.
The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS), is the BBA’s largest public service program, with a specific commitment to reaching historically underserved populations. The LRS Program connects callers in need of legal assistance with qualified help from private attorneys, legal services agencies, government offices and community programs.
In its ninth year of producing young public interest leaders, the Public Interest Leadership Program selected an outstanding class of 14 up-and-coming leaders from the largest-ever applicant pool. The 2012-2013 class of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program. L-R: Omar F. Gonzalez-Pagan, Staci Rubin, Benton B. Bodamer, Christopher T. Saccardi, Eric A. Haskell, Julia E. Devanthéry, Jacqueline Silva Anchondo, Emily F. Hodge, Meghan D. H. Walsh Raquel Webster and Daniel M. Routh.
The Mayor’s Youth Council, a partnership between the BBA, the Mayor’s Office and Northeastern University, gives young people the opportunity to reach out to other Boston teens. The BBA provides the Mayor’s Youth Council lawyer-mentors. Lisa Goodheart, Past President of the BBA with Mayor Thomas M. Menino at the 2012 Mayor’s Youth Council Reception at Northeastern University.
Larry DiCara, a partner at Nixon Peabody and former President of the Boston City Council conducted a mock City Council hearing with the 2012 Summer Jobs students. L-R: Tatenda Mundeke, Aubrey Griffin, Raymond Cen, Ashley Dixon, and Samantha Argon.
BBA President James D. Smeallie talked with 8th and 9th graders at Quincy Upper School during the Principal for A Day program on Tuesday, November 13th. The program allowed public and private sector leaders to better understand improvements and remaining challenges in the Boston public school system.
Steve Stein, Executive Director of Boston Debate League trained BBA volunteers to be judges at debate tournaments. The BBA entered into a partnership with Boston Debate League earlier this year.