Posts Categorized: Pro Bono

Pro Bono Month Kicks Off With Full Calendar of Events

The Pro Bono Fair, organized by Suffolk Law School and the BBA, is one of the events you can participate in during Pro Bono Month.

The Pro Bono Fair, organized by Suffolk Law School and the BBA, is one of the events you can participate in during Pro Bono Month.

Yesterday marked the first day of Pro Bono Month, 31 days committed to expanding access to legal services. Governor Patrick typically issues a proclamation, but odds are he is a little preoccupied right now (click here to see last year’s proclamation). If you are looking to dive into pro bono and public service work this month, take a look at this calendar that the BBA put together to highlight some upcoming opportunities. This calendar features events, trainings, and volunteer opportunities at the BBA and BBF grantee organizations.

Be sure to check back with Beyond the Billable for event updates and follow-ups throughout the month.

Honoring Pro Bono All-Star’s Liberty Mutual Law Department

Liberty Mutual's legal department takes pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

Liberty Mutual’s Law Department takes pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program.

At Liberty Mutual’s Law Department, engaging in pro bono activity is a way of life. More than 50 attorneys in the legal department take part in pro bono work in areas including housing, unemployment compensation, social security, and domestic violence. That’s just one of the many reasons they will be honored with the Thurgood Marshall Award at the BBA’s Annual Meeting this Friday.

Specifically, Liberty Mutual has shown commitment to many of the BBA’s public service and pro bono initiatives. This year alone, their attorneys accepted pro bono cases through the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, helping the program assist over 1,100 landlords and tenants. When the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program more than doubled in size last year, the legal department stepped up to the plate and adopted a classroom at Boston Community Leadership Academy. To learn more about Liberty Mutual legal department’s commitment to pro bono work, please click here.

Honoring Jay McManus for his Commitment to Helping Children

CLCM Logo

The BBA will be presenting Jay McManus, the Director of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts (CLCM), with the John G. Books Legal Service Award at the Annual Meeting Luncheon this Friday. Jay epitomizes the public service-focused attorney that Beyond the Billable admires. Since 1999, Jay has served as a director of CLCM where he represented children on a number of issues, ranging from abuse and neglect to immigration concerns. The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) began working with Jay in the same year when CLCM received a grant for its EdLaw Project. Under Jay’s leadership, attorneys work to ensure that Boston’s highest risk children receive a quality education by advocating for students in the school systems. The BBF has continued to support this initiative since 1999.

All the while, Jay has also been active in championing legislation addressing the legal needs of children and supporting children of Irish political prisoners affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland through the Massachusetts chapter of the IPPCH—“Because of the Children Program.”

Click here to learn more about Jay and his commitment to assisting children.

BBA Trains Attorneys to Help Break Cycle of Poverty

Attorneys learned how to seal CORIs at last night's pro bono training at the BBA.

Attorneys learned how to seal criminal records at last night’s pro bono training at the BBA.

Last night, attorneys packed into the Claflin Center to attend the annual Criminal Offender Record Information(CORI) training, a free, pro bono training run in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services. Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services) trained attorney to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester and other low-income Boston Communities to seal their criminal records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. In exchange for attending this free training, participants are encouraged to take a pro bono case, staff the CORI help table at the Roxbury Court, or help with a community education event in Roxbury and other Boston locations to educate low income individual about their rights to seal their records.

To learn more about the BBA’s Public Service work, click here.

September Shines with Public Service Opportunities

The Boston Debate League judges' training is one of the many public service-related events taking place at the BBA this month.

The Boston Debate League judges training is one of the many public service-related events taking place at the BBA this month.

If you are interested in diving into public service this fall, Beyond the Billable has you covered. The month of September offers a number of occasions to receive specialized training and information on opportunities to get more involved in the community.

Here is a look at the upcoming events:

• Calling all new lawyers— join the New Lawyers Section for a Pro Bono Kick Off Meeting and Info Session on September 11th from 5:30-7:30 to learn how you can get more involved in public service activities through the BBA. Click here to register.

• Are you looking for a new pro bono opportunity? Attend to the CORI Training on September 16th from 3-6 pm. The training will prepare you to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Click here to sign up.

• Learn how to be an effective volunteer judge for the Boston Debate League (BDL) at the training on September 24th from 4:30-6 pm. BDL offers busy attorneys low-commitment and meaningful volunteer opportunities. Attorneys can use their unique skills to help Boston Public High School students improve their critical thinking, public speaking, and argumentation skills. Click here to sign up for the training.

Stay tuned for more public service opportunities coming up later this fall. With Pro Bono Month fast approaching in October, the calendar will continue to fill up.

Marathon Monday Project Update: BBA on the Road

BBA volunteer attorneys have provided legal assistance to victims and small businesses in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, including assistance filling out 14 One Fund claims.

BBA volunteer attorneys have provided legal assistance to victims and small businesses in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, including assistance filling out 14 One Fund claims.

The BBA’s weekly e-publication, BBA Week, has periodically been sending out updates about the work of volunteers aiding victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Beyond the Billable thought last week’s article, titled “BBA on the Road” would be of particular interest to our readers. This article highlighted some volunteer BBA attorneys who offered to go on “home visits”, traveling across Massachusetts and to New Hampshire to meet with victims still recovering from injuries and unable to leave their homes. We hope you will find these stories of people helping in a time of need as inspiring as we did. To read the article, click here.

Pay It Forward in the Probate and Family Court

At Beyond the Billable, we know that lawyers are passionate about giving back to their legal community through pro bono and public service activities. However, finding volunteer opportunities and selecting the right one is no easy task. That’s why last week, the BBA welcomed speakers Patrick J. McDermott (Norfolk Probate and Family Court), Robin D. Murphy (Verrill Dana LLP), Karen Stuntz (McEvoy & Stuntz LLP), and Martin F. Kane (McGrath & Kane) to highlight opportunities for attorneys to gain legal experience while giving back to the Probate and Family Court.

The event, "What Can I Do to Help? Volunteer Opportunities in the Probate and Family Court," highlighted ways for volunteers to get more involved inthe Probate and Family Court.

The event, “What Can I Do to Help? Volunteer Opportunities in the Probate and Family Court,” highlighted ways for volunteers to get more involved in the Probate and Family Court.

If you missed the program, no problem, that’s why Beyond the Billable is here. Available opportunities include the Lawyer of the Day Program, Conciliation Program, DOVE—Domestic Violence Ended, Attorneys Representing Children (ARC), the Guardianship Clinic, and Limited Assistance Representation. If you want to learn more, or volunteer for these programs, click here.

BBA Hosts Roundtable on Family Law Pro Bono Work and Opportunities

Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) discussed how their commitment to pro bono and public service work has shaped their careers.

Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.), Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), and Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) discussed how their commitment to pro bono and public service work has shaped their careers.

Last night, the BBA’s Family Law section held a roundtable discussion at the 16 Beacon Street discussing ways pro bono work can shape your legal career. Three pro bono connoisseurs, Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) served as panelists and shared their personal experiences with the audience and discussed ways for others to get involved.

BBA’s Marathon Monday Project Update

The BBA is offering legal assistance to individuals and small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

The BBA is offering pro bono legal assistance to individuals and small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

As you may have heard, the BBA has taken an active role in moving Boston forward after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon by offering legal assistance to small businesses on Boylston and Newbury street affected by the bombing. Our members responded in force, with over 200 individuals offering assistance when we asked them to help. Nearly a month later, here’s an update:

  • Thanks to the commitment of our members, the BBA has offered legal assistance to 26 small business owners and individuals who were affected by the Boston Marathon attacks.
  • Through a collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, the BBA is continuing to get the word out about the available legal services and adapting to the needs of the victims and small businesses in order to effectively refer callers.

Do you know a small business owner or a victim in need of assistance? The Boston Bar Association is connecting those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing to lawyers that can provide pro bono legal assistance for issues such as insurance, labor and employment, relocation, health, and other issues. To access these services, please call the Lawyer Referral Service intake line at 617-742-0625, or Toll Free: (800) 552-7046, or submit an online request here.

Stay tuned for more information as the situation continues to develop.

For more information on the Marathon Monday Project, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

Interested in Asylum Cases? We Can Help

Last night the BBA’s Immigration Law Section held a CLE titled “Asylum: Application Through Appeal” where speakers led attendees through the entire life cycle of an asylum case and provided thorough review of the current law and standards of review. This CLE was a must for attorneys who want to understand the law as it applies to seekers of asylum and who are new to representing asylum clients.

Attorneys learn about the current laws and lifecycle of an asylum case at the CLE “Asylum: Application Through Appeal."

Attorneys learn about the current laws and life cycle of an asylum case at the CLE “Asylum: Application Through Appeal.”

As our readers know, volunteer attorneys play a central role in these types of cases because asylum seekers often need pro bono representation. Beyond the Billable is always trying to help our lawyers find new ways to volunteer in the community, and it just so happens that two of the grantees of the Boston Bar Foundation (the BBA’s charitable arm) provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers. Now it’s your turn. Read below for more:

(1) Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR): the organization recruits, trains, and mentors pro bono attorneys to provide pro bono representation for asylum seekers in Boston. Click here for more information.

(2) Community Legal Services and Counseling Center: The organization helps individuals apply for political asylum in the United States. Click here for more information.