Posts Categorized: Public Interest Leadership Program

PILP 13 Talks Affordable Housing with POAH’s Aaron Gornstein

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Each month, members of the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) chair two meetings on a specific community need. This October, PILP focused on housing discrimination issues and brought in speakers uniquely knowledgeable on the subject. Last week, the group welcomed Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and former undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Gornstein first spoke to the group on the work of POAH, describing their focus on providing affordable housing across the U.S. through owning and managing over 9000 homes, as well as various neighborhood transformation projects. POAH acknowledges that affordable housing alone is not the solution, only the foundation, to helping people and families succeed in their community. Through POAH’s various community services at their properties, including job training, childcare services, financial literacy trainings, etc., they hope to provide their tenants the tools to thrive.

Gornstein also explained the history of affordable housing in the U.S. and current trends toward public housing redevelopment and mixed-income housing. Finally, he noted that incentives work far better than penalties to encourage people to save and eventually own their own home.

Look for next week’s PILP meeting recap after the group hears from Professor William Berman from Suffolk University Law School on his insights into affordable housing issues.

Meet the Faculty: PILP’s Restorative Justice Symposium

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This post was written by David Hartnagel, Associate at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA and member of the 2015-2016 PILP Class:

On June 28, 2016, the BBA will be hosting a Juvenile Restorative Justice Symposium that will bring together legislators, law enforcement, court officials, and community leaders to discuss how restorative justice is being implemented, its challenges and successes, and the prospect for its expansion in the Commonwealth.

Among the participants expected to attend will be members of the Restorative Justice Coalition of Massachusetts.  The Coalition brings together concerned citizens who practice or support restorative justice in various capacities throughout the Commonwealth.  Formed in 2009, after Senator Jamie Eldridge publicly-announced his intention to introduce restorative justice legislation, the Coalition brings together representatives from a wide array of organizations including, among others, Communities for Restorative Justice, Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ, Restorative Justice Practices New Bedford, and the Worcester Homeless Action Committee.

Jennifer Larson Sawin, former Executive Director of Communities for Restorative Justice and one of the founders of the Coalition, describes that the Coalition’s primary mission is to help craft, strategize, and advocate for restorative justice legislation that will allow for RJ to be employed more uniformly across all the Commonwealth’s communities.  Restorative Justice efforts in Massachusetts, Sawin recounts, “rose up from the grassroots but for many years were not well-known and well-spread.  But over time there has been a groundswell of interest, with efforts afoot throughout the Commonwealth, as more people understood that the ‘tough on crime’ social experiments that were being used were just not working.”

The BBA invites everyone to attend the upcoming RJ symposium and looks forward to what should be an engaging discussion on this prescient topic.

For more information about the symposium or to register, please click here.

Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel and Executive Director of JNC Speak to Public Interest Leadership Program

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On April 13th, Lon Povich, Governor Baker’s Chief Legal Counsel, and Sharon Shelfer Casey, Executive Director and Deputy Legal Counsel of the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) addressed the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program. The JNC is a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from across the Massachusetts that have been appointed by the Governor. Historically, the JNC established through executive order, and the present JNC was established though Governor Baker’s Executive Order No. 558.

Mr. Povich and Ms. Shelfer Casey provided an in-depth description of the history of the JNC though various administrations, the minimum qualifications for various judgeships, and the application process for a judgeship. A key point that Mr. Povich made throughout the meeting was that of the immense amount of time and effort it takes on the part of the JNC to review applications. While nominated by the Governor, the JNC is a volunteer commission, and Ms. Shelfer Casey noted it is not unusual for the time commitment to be upward of ten hours per week. They ended the discussion with some insights to the nominating process in the upcoming months with the unprecedented number of vacancies expected in the Supreme Judicial Court.

The BBA would like to sincerely thank Lon Povich and Sharon Shelfer Casey for taking the time to speak to our PILP class!

Three Reasons to Apply to the Public Interest Leadership Program

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

Last Thursday, the BBA hosted an info session about its Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) at 16 Beacon Street, where attendees heard from four successful PILP alumni about the program. The panelists offered insight into the application process, their personal PILP experience, and how they’ve remained involved at the BBA after completing the program.

Panelists included:

Jen Doran – Partner, Hinckley Allen, PILP ‘06-‘07

Jane Harper – Vice President and Council, State Street, PILP ’10-‘11

Katherine Schulte – Staff Attorney, Casa Myrna Vasquez, PILP 13-14

Daniel Dwyer – Shareholder, Murphy & King, PILP ‘03-‘04

The panelists discussed several reasons to apply to the PILP program and we have compiled the top three reasons below:

  1. PILP is one of the most valuable tools for networking and meeting people in the profession. PILP provides the opportunity to meet and connect with prominent leaders in the legal profession that you otherwise would not encounter. As Katherine Schulte pointed out, it is not only valuable to meet leaders in the legal profession, but at young lawyers it is important to meet people outside of your field of practice as well.
  2. Members of PILP class are exposed to and integrated into BBA leadership. The program sets the stage for other types of valuable leadership roles, both at the BBA and elsewhere. As a member of PILP you’ll join a powerful alumni network of lawyer leaders who by their actions demonstrate that part of being a successful lawyer is giving back to the community.
  3. PILP combines leadership and professional development with service to the community. Throughout the program the PILP class designs and implements their own public service project that addresses an issue within the legal community. Past projects have included educational program for Boston Public School students, board service training programs, and contributions to law review articles and publications.

The BBA is accepting applications to the ’16-’17 Public Interest Leadership Program through Friday, February 26th. More information on PILP and the application process is available here. Please email Neha Deshpande, Membership Outreach Assistant, at [email protected] with any questions.

Four Takeaways from PILP’s Discusses Charitable Board Services

Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center, spoke with PILP about getting involved with charitable board service.

Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center, spoke with PILP about getting involved with charitable board service.

Lawyers have the ability to provide their services in several different ways, and last Wednesday the PILP class learned about the value of charitable board service. The discussion was led by Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center.

The speakers began with a discussion of how they got involved with charitable board service, and then transitioned to providing practical advice and considerations to make when choosing non-profit boards to serve on. Below are the four most important points that came out of the discussion:

  1. Volunteer or work with the organization before making the commitment to serving on their board. This will provide the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the work the organization does and see if you truly connect with both the organization’s mission as well as their staff.
  2. Do your research, and make sure you understand the organization’s expectations of its board members. Every organization is different so it is important to be aware of term lengths, fundraising requirements, time commitments, etc. before signing on to be a board member. Don’t be shy about reaching out to existing board members to find the information you are looking for!
  3. Serving on a non-profit board is a donation of your time and efforts. It is important that you are not taking on more responsibilities than you are capable of, and that you are enjoying the work you are doing! Find an organization that you are both passionate to be a part of, but also utilizes your skills. Many organizations have fundraising requirements for their board members – if you are uncomfortable reaching out to people for donations, serving on that organization’s board might not be the best fit for you. Just because you don’t serve on the board does not mean you can’t help the organization in other ways!
  4. Don’t be afraid to shop around! Again, serving on a non-profit board is a donation of your time and efforts. Be sure that you are enjoying the work you are doing, and the people you are working with!

The BBA would like to thank by Lisa Goodheart, Allison Bauer, and Stacy Malone for speaking to the PILP class. If you’re interested in learning more about charitable board service, save the date of April 28th for our CLE regarding charitable board service! More details are forthcoming!

Interested in applying for the 16-17 PILP class? Click here to learn about the program and the application process!

PILP Application Now Available

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

The PILP program brings together a group of new lawyers committed to serving the community for a yearlong leadership development program.

Calling all future leaders!  The Boston Bar Association is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications to its Public Interest Leadership Program through Friday, February 26th for the class beginning in May 2016. PILP is a unique leadership program for new lawyers which promotes public service and civic engagement by advancing the leadership role of lawyers in service of their community, their profession and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the inside scoop! PILP alums will host an Information Session about the program next week on Thursday, January 29th at 4 p.m. at the BBA. Hope to see you there!

Click here to open the application for the 2016-2017 year! For more information on PILP and the application process, please check out the PILP webpage or contact Neha Deshpande, Membership Outreach Assistant, at [email protected].

Public Service: A Year in Photos

Blizzards and slow public transportation didn’t stop our volunteers from getting out in the community and giving back during 2015. Take a look below for highlights from the BBA’s 2015 public service efforts:

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

Legal Advisor to the Boston Public Schools Visits PILP

The City of Boston’s Legal Advisor to Boston Public Schools Alissa Ocasio spoke with PILP about into juvenile justice and youth diversion programs last week.

The City of Boston’s Legal Advisor to Boston Public Schools Alissa Ocasio spoke with PILP about into juvenile justice and youth diversion programs last week.

The 2015/16 Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class has demonstrated an interest in learning more about alternative sentencing, diversion, and the impact the juvenile justice system has on the development of the nation’s youth. On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, they continued their exploration into these issues when the City of Boston’s Legal Advisor to Boston Public Schools, Alissa Ocasio, came to speak to the group.

Ms. Ocasio discussed the capacities in which she advises Boston Public Schools including school discipline and the BPS Code of Conduct.  Originally called the Code of Discipline, the BPS Code of Conduct is a malleable document, one which is reviewed, evaluated, and amended on an ongoing basis. Ocasio gave an overview of the multi-stakeholder team of parents, teachers, administrators, school safety personnel, and others who work to ensure that this living document can respond more effectively to address individual events in the lives of today’s youth.

Throughout the discussion, it was evident that the new Code of Conduct is aimed at empowering school administrators to focus on youth rehabilitation and education, a departure from previous Codes of Conduct, which were framed in the context of discipline and punishment.

The PILP class had several questions for Ms. Ocasio, and it was clear that they took a lot away from their discussion. As PILP-er Erika Reis, also an attorney for the City of Boston, noted, “The presentation was extremely informative and insightful.  I have a better understanding of BPS discipline policy and how it has evolved over the years.”

Many thanks to Ms. Ocasio for taking the time to speak with our Public Interest Leaders.

PILP Meets with Carol Fulp

Carol Fulp (The Partnership, Inc.) met with PILP about the importance of diversity in the legal field.

Carol Fulp (The Partnership, Inc.) met with PILP about the importance of diversity in the legal field.

On November 4, 2015, Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc. addressed members of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP). The Partnership is an organization dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining and convening multicultural professionals. In addition to being the President and CEO of The Partnership, Ms. Fulp is a Trustee of the Boston Public Library, and was appointed by President Obama as a Representative of the United States to the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

During the discussion, Ms. Fulp gave an outline of the work that The Partnership, Inc. does, and why diversity is important not just in the legal workplace, but in all sections of civil society. She emphasized that Boston is a city of innovation, and from a business perspective, having a diverse work place isn’t just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. “The world is changing, and we, Boston-the city of innovation- need to be at the forefront of this change and stay ahead of the curve in every way we can.”

Ms. Fulp ended the talk by asking each of the attendees to mention why they believe diversity is important, or what actions they hope to see in the future in order to have a more diverse legal community.  PILP member Christopher Hart said the following about the meeting :

Carol led an engaging, productive, and eye-opening discussion about diversity in each of our professional environments and in the greater Boston area.  I felt like I learned a great deal from my PILP peers about what concerns they have, and issues they’re facing, when it comes to diversity in the workplace.  And I thought Carol did a great job not only encouraging our candor, but making us feel empowered to act to shape and improve diversity in the legal community.  Aside from all of that, Carol’s optimism and enthusiasm is infectious; the time we had with her was incredibly well-spent and appreciated.

PILP and the BBA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Fulp for taking the time to speak at this meeting.

Inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast a Great Success!

Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) spoke about the impact of the Boston Bar Foundation's support for the BBA Summer Jobs Program at this morning's Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast.

Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) spoke about the impact of the Boston Bar Foundation’s support for the BBA Summer Jobs Program at this morning’s Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast.

This morning, the Boston Bar Foundation held its inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

Nearly 75 members of the Society of Fellows joined 20 representatives from legal services organizations receiving BBF grants in the coming year to mingle and discuss the essential funding provided by the Society of Fellows program.

BBF President Lisa Goodheart expressed her gratitude for the commitment of the Fellows and introduced speaker Teresa Alleyne, Senior Career Specialist at the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). In her role at the PIC, Teresa counsels high school students on professionalism and connects them with paid summer internships. She has worked closely with the BBA on one of its public service initiatives, the Summer Jobs Program.

The Boston Bar Foundation funds all of the pro bono and public service initiatives of the BBA, including the administrative coordination for all 65 jobs in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program as well as the complete funding for 15 nonprofit and public sector positions for teens.

Teresa shared with the Fellows the positive impact of the program on the diverse group of young people she supports.

“You are at this breakfast because of your generosity and dedication to expanding access to justice and improving our community,” Teresa said. “You provide such invaluable training, and it means so very much in their life. They learn way more than you can possibly imagine.”

As Senior Career Specialist, she teaches young people about how to find success in a professional setting.

“But from my office, it is mostly theory,” she remarked. “It is because of the generosity of the Boston Bar Foundation that Boston public school students – my students – get a chance to put their skills to the test.”

She contrasted the decreasing availability of jobs for young people with the BBF’s increasing support of the Summer Jobs Program.

“I appreciate the BBA and BBF stepping up and providing increasing opportunity for young people over the years,” she emphasized, “When as a nation, the only thing increasing for young people was unemployment.”

Teresa’s poignant and lively remarks about just one of many, many programs the BBF is able to support with the help of the Society of Fellows were truly inspiring.

Fellows are invited to social and networking events throughout the year and recognized in BBF publications, on the BBF website and at BBF fundraising events. To learn more about joining Boston’s leading attorneys in the Society of Fellows, click here or contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.

Click here to view more images from the event.