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.
Posts Categorized: Summer Jobs
During her summer working in the office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Simone Gerald-Burns found it enlightening to learn that people from all walks of life can find themselves in the unfortunate situation of filing for bankruptcy.
“The most interesting thing to me is to see the judges talk to people,” Gerald-Burns said. “There are a lot of successful people who end up in a bad situation, and there are also a lot of people with nothing left to lose.”
Over the course of seven weeks working in the court, Gerald-Burns said she received hands-on lessons in empathy and fiscal responsibility. From her coworkers, she learned the value of a collaborative spirit.
“I like being able to see how people interact in an office setting, which is very quiet compared to school,” she said. “You have your own responsibility, but you can also call on others when you need to.”
Going to lunch with her colleagues from time to time, Gerald-Burns valued the chance to hear them talk about the journey through school that led them to their career path. She said she feels better equipped to make decisions about her own future after hearing about the learning experiences of those in her office.
“Learning to talk to more people who are not just people my age also helped me be more comfortable talking to people in authority,” she added.
Above all, Gerald-Burns came away from her job with a meaningful understanding of concepts she had previously only seen on television.
“Before this job, I didn’t know anything about bankruptcy besides the spot on the wheel in Wheel of Fortune. I think this experience will help me keep good credit and pay my bills on time, and the work experience will certainly help me in my career,” she said.
Gerald-Burns’s position at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was funded by the Boston Bar Foundation, along with 10 other positions for teens in Boston this summer.
For Lily Doyle, the BBA Summer Jobs Student hired by Nelson Mullins to support the firm’s work this summer, “intellectual property” was a new concept.
As she helped keep records relevant to some of the firm’s IP cases, she was always learning gaining new information from what she was filing.
“I learned a lot of terms and a lot of information from correspondence about how patents are done. It didn’t even dawn on me how these things happen,” she said.
One of the most exciting parts of her summer was learning that some attorneys at the firm went to the same high school as Doyle – Boston Latin School. She said she enjoyed hearing and relating to their personal stories spanning from their teen years to their current careers. On a daily basis, the attorneys’ team of assistants also made her feel very welcome, she said.
All of Doyle’s work experience prior to her summer at Nelson Mullins took place away from a desk. In the past, she did work outside, and held a position at the Museum of Fine Arts.
But working at a law firm helped to prepare her for future office experiences.
“I got a sense of a nine-to-five job for the first time. This is also my first job where I am the only person my age,” she said.
Doyle says she could see herself becoming a litigator in the future, because she finds litigation to be the most fascinating aspect of practicing law. She also enjoyed learning more about city government during the BBA’s mock city council hearing, which the students participated in by debating a fictional city ordinance.
“Working here was different than I expected. From the outside, law firms can seem bureaucratic and not as personal, but I saw the attorneys laugh with each other a lot and everyone seems very close. I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn more about the people,” she said.
Watching Verrill Dana partner Robin Murphy during a pro bono mediation session with a family going through a custody battle, BBA Summer Jobs Student Suzett Amado found herself engaged the whole time.
“Robin just got right to the point. She really listened to them and got them to agree without arguments,” Amado said, impressed.
When she began her summer in the BBA Summer Jobs Program, Amado said she expected the internship to involve a heavy load of administrative tasks. While she did her fair share of those, she said she was pleasantly surprised and grateful to have experienced some aspects of the legal profession firsthand, such as Murphy’s pro bono family law practice.
Over the course of the summer, Amado expanded her legal vocabulary. She learned what a deposition was, and was eventually invited to sit in on one. Amado took BBA President Mark Smith’s advice from the Summer Jobs kickoff event, where he told the students to ask attorneys at their firm about their ‘war stories.’
“When I applied, I never expected to get as much one-on-one experience with attorneys. We get lunch sometimes, where I’ve gotten to talk to real people who have done things like work on murder cases, and that has been really interesting,” she said.
Amado said working at Verrill Dana has been a unique experience compared to past summer employment. Specifically, she said the firm is very organized and employees are expected to be professional, which has made her feel “more prepared to handle a 9-5 job.”
“I feel like I know better now what it means to have an office job, and answer phones and talk to people. I even got to have my name on my cubicle, which was really nice,” she said.
Out of the enrichment seminars the students attended each Wednesday, Amado said the mock city council hearing was her favorite. Led by former city council president and Nixon Peabody partner Larry DiCara, the students had the interactive experience of debating a hypothetical city ordinance.
“I knew that the city’s government existed, but it was cool to be a part of the discussion rather than sitting by and watching,” she said.
Amado, who just began her senior year at Boston Latin Academy, is interested in pursuing a career in law. While she doesn’t know what practice area she would like to focus on, she aspires to one day work as a district attorney.
“The Summer Jobs Program is a good opportunity for anyone who wants to go into law. You learn a lot interning at a law firm – especially a firm like Verrill Dana,” she said.
With the end of August and the first day of school approaching, the BBA Summer Jobs Program wrapped up with a final celebration to congratulate the students on their accomplishments this summer.
Boston Bar Foundation Board of Trustees President Anthony Froio (Robins Kaplan LLP) emceed the event, thanking all of the law firms, government agencies, courts, and legal services organizations for introducing this summer’s 52 students to the legal profession. The students, their supervisors, special guests and program partners heard from Kemmara Bailey, a rising junior at New Mission High School, about her experience at Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP during the summer.
Bailey, an aspiring criminal justice lawyer, was first introduced to Conn Kavanaugh through the Boston Private Industry Council’s Job Shadow Day, an event for students to experience an organization during one morning in March. After meeting many courteous attorneys and office staff, Bailey felt Conn Kavanaugh would be a perfect fit for her Summer Jobs experience. Not surprisingly, Conn Kavanaugh felt the same way about the remarkable student. Bailey explained that the support and skills she gained during the summer only solidified her desire to become a lawyer. Echoing the experiences of the other students in the room, Bailey exemplified the importance of the Summer Jobs Program for introducing students to the career possibilities after high school.
Following Bailey, the event’s guests heard from Wousthanya Dumornay, a former Summer Jobs Program participant now working at Locke Lord LLP as a Recruiting Coordinator. Dumornay recounted her experience interning at Locke Lord (then Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP) while a student at John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. She emphasized the significance of the relationships she formed with her colleagues and supervisors during that summer. She credited those positive relationships as the catalyst for her return to Locke Lord after high school and encouraged the students in the room to maintain the contacts formed during their time in the program. Dumornay is one of many program participants who’ve gone on to work in the legal field and she is an inspiring example for the students who’ve just completed the program.
The celebration concluded with the students and guests enjoying a reception and viewing pictures from the summer. To view the Celebration PowerPoint and meet all of the students, please click here.
The BBA is grateful to its program partners, the Boston Private Industry Council and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office. Additionally, we’d like to again thank the 35 organizations that hired students for the summer and the over 15 program sponsors whose donations supported students working at legal services organizations and government offices.
The final Enrichment Seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students centered on making responsible financial decisions and planning for the future. First, the students heard from Dan Forster, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Westfield State University, on the basics regarding college financial aid and admissions. Most of the Summer Jobs students are rising juniors and seniors currently considering their options after graduation and navigating the world of student loans. Forster reviewed how to calculate the expected financial need for each school based on the total cost of attendance and what one can expect to pay before considering loan options. In addition to financial aid, Foster oversees Westfield State’s admissions office and fielded the students’ many questions about what universities are looking for in potential students. While there’s no one answer for every student and every college, Forster stressed the importance of doing well in high school to signal to colleges potential future success. With so many options out there, Forster also stressed that there is a college out there that will meet the needs of each student financially, academically, and socially. After the session, students noted how useful it was to have an open dialogue and hear information very relevant to their lives.
At their last seminar for the summer, the students visited the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program to learn about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy. The students participated in a mock 341 meeting and mock relief from stay hearing, which introduced them to the types of questions one may have to answer during the bankruptcy process. They learned that student loan debt is nearly impossible to discharge through bankruptcy. Most importantly, the students had an opportunity to ask Chief Judge Melvin Hoffman questions about bankruptcy, and hear firsthand about what it’s like to be a judge in federal court. With many aspiring lawyers in the Summer Jobs Program, the students enjoyed learning the attributes of a good candidate for judgeship.
Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a study linking summer youth employment programs to positive behavioral, economic and academic outcomes for urban teens. The study was conducted by Dr. Alicia Sasser Modestino, an associate professor at Northeastern University who teaches in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics. She was previously a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
According to the study’s abstract, Modestino collected survey results from teens enrolled in a summer youth employment programs and linked the survey results to criminal justice outcomes. Teens who experienced improved social skills and attitudes toward their communities because of their jobs also tended to commit fewer crimes than students who had not been enrolled in a similar program, Modestino found.
The goal of the BBA Summer Jobs program is not only to provide teens with paid summer employment and offer them an opportunity for professional development. Through enrichment seminars, participants are encouraged to think about their education after high school, financial responsibility, civic engagement and other long-term goals. We were thrilled to see a study confirming the effectiveness of a summer job as an achievement-booster for students in Boston. To read the study, please click here.
As we creep toward summer and school is winding down, 54 Boston Public School high school students are preparing for their summer jobs. Thanks to 36 Boston area law firms, government agencies, and legal organizations, those 54 students have the opportunity to gain professional office experience while learning about the legal profession. We can’t wait to welcome the students to the BBA and share their summer experiences through the blog.
Our greatest thanks to those hiring students in 2017:
|Boston Bar Association|
|Boston Bar Foundation|
|Boston Planning & Development Agency|
|Brown Rudnick LLP|
|Burns & Levinson LLP|
|Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP|
|Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP|
|Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP|
|Foley Hoag LLP|
|Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP|
|Goodwin Procter LLP|
|Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP|
|Holland & Knight LLP|
|Jackson Lewis P.C.|
|Locke Lord LLP|
|Margolis & Bloom, LLP|
|Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office|
|McCarter & English LLP|
|Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.|
|Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP|
|Nixon Peabody LLP|
|Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP|
|Office of Corporation Counsel, City of Boston|
|Prince Lobel Tye LLP|
|Proskauer Rose LLP|
|Ropes & Gray LLP|
|Shaevel & Krems, LLP|
|Sherin & Lodgen LLP|
|Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office|
|Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.|
|Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP|
|Verrill Dana LLP|
|Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP|
With less than a month to go before Casino Night, we can’t hold in our excitement for another round of the Summer Jobs Program. Law firms, government agencies, and in-house legal departments will be hiring students for seven weeks over the summer, with the proceeds from the Boston Bar Foundation’s Casino Night helping to hire students to work at legal services organizations. We’re so thankful to the organizations that have already signed up to hire a student and for those pledging to support the program through Casino Night.
To truly understand the impact of the program, we’re revisiting the experience of Sherley Muscade. Sherley was the first student the Boston Planning and Development Agency (known as the Boston Redevelopment Authority last summer) hired and was a wonderful resource for their office. When we visited her office last August, Sherley’s enthusiasm for the work was obvious. Check out her story here.
There’s still time to sign-up to hire for 2017, so please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected] for more information.
Throughout the winter, many Boston area legal offices have been signing up for the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program. We’re grateful to the organizations that have signed up so far and encourage your office to hire a student and make an impact!
Each summer, law firms, courts, and government agencies hire high school students from Boston Public Schools to work in their offices. Past student interns have worked across a variety of departments, from accounting to records and IT to litigation. Students are eager to learn and gain professional experience and can offer assistance on many projects during the course of the summer. We encourage you learn more about the program here and if you’d like to hire a student, please let us know by filling out this form.
Thank you to the below offices that have already committed to hire a student in 2017!
Boston Planning & Development Agency
Brown Rudnick LLP
Burns & Levinson LLP
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Foley Hoag LLP
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
McCarter & English LLP
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Nixon Peabody LLP
Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shaevel and Krems, LLP
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Verrill Dana LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP