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Spotlight on Service: Behind the Burnes Innovation in Service Fund

At the end of January, we were very excited to announce the launch of the Boston Bar Service Innovation Project, which represents a new approach to public service for the Boston Bar. The pilot will focus on addressing issues around the school-prison-pipeline, and while the project is in its early stages, we have already begun initial outreach efforts to our partners and other community organizations who are currently working on this problem.

The Service Innovation Project was made possible by the Burnes Service in Innovation Fund, established earlier this year by former Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Nonnie Burnes and her husband, Charles River Ventures founder Richard Burnes.

Nonnie is a former secretary of the Boston Bar Foundation and former member of the Board of Trustees. She is also an Executive Fellow of the BBF, and has been consistently dedicated to the organization’s mission to increase access to justice. From her time on the bench, she has been a staunch promoter of excellence in the legal profession, chairing the working group whose 2011 recommendations led to the creation and implementation of the Practicing with Professionalism Course for newly admitted attorneys.

From 2009 to 2012, Nonnie served as a Senior University Fellow at Northeastern University, where she currently sits on the Board of Trustees and chairs the Audit Committee. She also chaired the Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and served as the interim President and CEO in 2014 and 2015. She sits on the board of the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, an international legal advocacy group for women’s health and reproductive rights.

Rick currently chairs the Board of Trustees of WGBH, which is responsible for governing both the radio and television stations and the WGBH Educational Foundation. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for Boston Plan for Excellence, which operates two Boston District Schools and trains teachers to drive exceptional student outcomes. He was one of the founders of Boston Business Leaders for Education, which works with individual Boston public schools and urges the legislature to support education reform in the Boston public schools. He was chair of the board of the Museum of Science and continues on the board. He is also Vice Chair of the Sea Education Association training oceanographers.

Nonnie and Rick have worked to create opportunities for young people in Boston, in particular in the areas of public interest and civic engagement. They are longtime supporters of Discovering Justice, an education nonprofit that teaches elementary and middle school students about the importance of civic responsibility, the justice system and the law’s role in a democratic society. In 1999, they played a major role in launching the Public Interest Law Scholars program at Northeastern University School of Law, creating a new resource for exceptional students pursuing social justice and public service.

In recognition of all their work for the public good, the Boston Bar Foundation presented Nonnie and Rick with the 2018 Public Service Award at its annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit. In his acceptance speech, Rick vocalized his intent to continue to work toward a public school system that enables all students to access the same opportunities.

We are grateful to Rick and Nonnie for their generosity and commitment to Boston’s youth, and for enabling this exciting new initiative. If you are interested learning more about the pilot phase of the Service Innovation Project, please contact Heather Leary at [email protected].

Pro Bono Spotlight: Barclay Damon Achieves 100% Attorney Participation in Pro Bono Program

In 2016, associates across each of Barclay Damon’s 11 offices reached an admirable goal – every one of them participated in the firm’s robust pro bono program, which treats every pro bono hour as a billable hour, the same as if these associates were doing business with the firm’s top clients.

In 2017, Barclay Damon Pro Bono Partner Heather Sunser set her sights on the next public service milestone: If all of the firm’s associates could participate in pro bono work, why not the partners? The challenge was on for Barclay Damon’s nearly 300 attorneys.

Several weeks ago, the firm announced they had done just that. Every single one of Barclay Damon’s full-time attorneys participated in the firm’s pro bono program in 2017.

“Every year I was charting progress and watching how much our hours increased,” Sunser said. “From looking at the time people put in, I have an idea of what kinds of projects people enjoy participating in, but I started to see patterns and I realized it was important to try to offer something for everyone.”

Sunser, who works out of Barclay Damon’s Syracuse office, said full participation became feasible with pro bono opportunities that could be done remotely, to accommodate attorneys who are constantly out of town. Answering legal questions online or on the phone was a piece of the puzzle, and attorneys participated in the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers program, including Boston attorneys taking questions through Massachusetts Legal Answers Online.

Another key to raising participation was finding specific projects for attorneys who are highly specialized in their fields. For example, Sunser said, participating in a small business incubator on a pro bono basis has helped several partners with an intellectual property practice find a way to use their skill set in public service.

Tony Scibelli, a partner in the Boston office and memberof the Boston Bar Association’s Amicus Committee, said his office participates in a wide variety of public service projects through the BBA. Joseph Stanganelli, another partner in the office, was successful in helping a veteran suffering from PTSD to upgrade his discharge status and access benefits. Stanganelli took the client on through the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service.

Outside of the BBA, Scibelli has found his pro bono niche handling mediation cases in small claims court in Salem, Peabody and Gloucester. Scibelli’s background is in business and commercial litigation, not mediation, but working with the North Shore Community Mediation Center, he completed the required training and began to help litigants settle outside a courtroom.

“It has been a fascinating experience and a great, meaningful experience,” Scibelli said. “Many of these litigantsare low-income folks who are on various forms of public assistance. A few thousand, or even a few hundred, dollars means quite a lot to them, and in many cases it is money they really can’t afford to pay.”

So, where does Barclay Damon go when they’ve already reached 100 percent?

Sunser said she is hoping to see the overall number of pro bono hours go up, hopefully by engaging attorneys who had relatively small totals in the past. She said the firm is also always looking to partner with local organizations – whether they are bar associations, legal services organizations, or nonprofits – to try to meet needs in the community.

“When we find an opportunity to start a partnership in a place where there is currently no legal help available, we can really see the difference our effort makes,” Sunser said. “It was so exciting to see the successes and things we’ve been able to help people with over the course of this year.”

To learn more about Barclay Damon’s pro bono program, please click here.

Opioid Epidemic Trends and Insights Presented to PILP

For the month of January, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) discussed the topic of the opioid epidemic. The PILP class first heard from Brendan Abel, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Counsel for the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Abel informed the PILP class of some staggering statistics coming from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, showing the vast increase in opioid related deaths among Massachusetts residents since 2000 (from 379 in 2000 to 2,190 in 2016). The opioid death rate is far greater for individuals experiencing homelessness or who have a history of incarceration and, at this point, it is believed that almost 5% of the population of Massachusetts is suffering from opioid use disorder. The supply of heroin that is bought and sold today is often laced with synthetic fentanyl and carfentanyl, which are much more powerful, and inadvertent consumption of heroin laced with fentanyl is believed to be a factor to the high number of overdoses.

Abel discussed some of the implications that the opioid epidemic has had and may have in the future, especially in the legal context. He foresees a number of guardianships that may be needed for adults who have experienced an overdose that resulted in permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain for a period of time. Many believe the pharmaceutical industry is the root cause of the opioid epidemic, and some lawsuits have already begun for false advertising against pharmaceutical companies that produce painkillers.

Some interventions and efforts have been made to curb the use of opioids and to reduce the number of overdoses, but a lot of research on the efficacy of such efforts has not yet been completed. There has been a slight reduction in the number of opioid related deaths, largely attributed with the spread of use of Narcan (naloxone HCI) by first responders. The Prescription Monitoring Program in Massachusetts has seen a marked reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions. In March 2016, Governor Baker signed an opioid law, including restricting first time opioid prescription to a limit of 7 days. Under M.G.L. c. 128, s. 35, a person may be involuntarily committed as a result of his or her alcohol or substance use.

Abel also discussed some state legislative efforts on the horizon, including a pending opioid bill to establish a commission to evaluate prescribing practices and a pending criminal justice reform bill that would provide an evaluation of drug dependency and provision of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for criminal defendants.

In addition, he addressed some of the difficulties facing the accessibility of services for opioid dependent individuals. There are few MAT facilities with limited capacity in Massachusetts, with large gaps in Western Massachusetts; doctors have to be specialized and take an additional course beyond their medical school/residency training order to prescribe medication such as methadone.  Additionally, many health insurance providers do not fully cover alternate pain interventions such as acupuncture.

To view more details of state efforts to address the opioid epidemic, please visit https://www.mass.gov/massachusetts-responds-to-the-opioid-epidemic.

Meeting recap provided by PILP Member Alissa Brill (Volunteer Lawyers Project).

BBA President Mark Smith Visits Philbrick School in Roslindale

BBA President Mark Smith, founding partner of Laredo & Smith, shared the below reflection on his recent visit to the John D. Philbrick School in Roslindale as part of the Principal Partners Program:

The John D. Philbrick School in Roslindale is one of the smallest in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system, but its staff and student body provided a big welcome when I visited the Monday after Thanksgiving as part of the Boston Plan for Excellence Principal Partners program.

I knew that the BBA president has the good fortune to shadow a BPS principal every year, and as a former teacher myself, I was excited to learn more about elementary education at the Philbrick and what makes the school tick. The answer, it turns out, is the same as when I taught: a dedicated and openhearted staff working extremely hard to ensure the best possible learning experience for each student all year long.

Principal Danladi Bobbitt, who stepped into the role just this year, leads this staff gracefully. During a tour of each classroom, Bobbitt shared as much as he could about each teacher’s background, demonstrating an appreciation of each instructor’s unique talents and expertise. I was especially impressed by the way these teachers commanded the attention of their students, who were sharply focused and on-task during the entirety of my visit. For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, that is no small feat.

I was impressed to learn that students in each grade level take specialty classes in science, music, physical education and art, giving them opportunities to engage in a variety of hands-on activities throughout the day and become well-rounded learners. A music class made up of kindergarteners rehearsed “Jingle Bells” in preparation for the Philbrick’s holiday pageant for us, which was one of the highlights of the day.

Once the tour concluded, alongside Discovering Justice Executive Director Jon Spack, Bobbitt told us more about the ins and outs of running a school. He said one of the best parts of helming the Philbrick is the high level engagement from the school community, including parents. A constant challenge, he said, is finding meaningful ways to talk to students about bullying. Their approach at the Philbrick focuses on encouraging students to express themselves in productive ways, rather than lashing out at classmates.

The Principal Partners event, a collaboration between Bank of America, BPS and Boston Plan for Excellence, is intended to foster a meaningful conversation about the critical role education plays in the quality of our society and the future of our economy. I am grateful to have had this experience, deepening my understanding of the great people in our schools and the incredible work they do.

Transgender Rights in Massachusetts: A Conversation Between PILP and Freedom For All Massachusetts

For the month of November 2017, the PILP class turned its focus to the topic of transgender rights. Kicking off that discussion, the PILP class met on November 8 with David Topping, the Field Director for Freedom for All Massachusetts, the campaign to preserve Massachusetts’s transgender-inclusive public accommodation laws, which is currently the subject of a repeal effort scheduled to be voted on during the November 2018 elections.

Topping described the recent history of the transgender rights movement, focusing particularly on recent electoral and legislative campaigns across the country concerning the extension of nondiscrimination protections to transgender people in places of public accommodation, which include a wide range of businesses and facilities such as stores, restaurants, public parks, and public restrooms and locker rooms. In October 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Baker acted to amend the Commonwealth’s public accommodation laws (see G. L. c. 272, §§ 92A and 99) to extend nondiscrimination protections to transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Shortly after that amendment went into effect, those opposed to the amendment gathered enough signatures to place a repeal measure on the Massachusetts ballot for November 2018. That effort represents the first statewide ballot question concerning transgender nondiscrimination.

Topping described Freedom for All Massachusetts’s efforts to counter false and damaging messages from opponents of transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. Topping explained the group’s strategy, which focuses on educating voters about the experiences of harassment and discrimination faced by transgender individuals. In making the case for extending protection to transgender individuals in public restrooms, the group points the broad base of support for the policy among law enforcement, women’s rights organizations, and groups that advocate for survivors of sexual violence. The PILP class also learned about opportunities to volunteer with Freedom for All Massachusetts, including door-to-door voter-education canvassing.

For more information about Freedom for All Massachusetts, please visit http://www.freedommassachusetts.org. To learn about the BBA’s support for transgender rights in 2016, click here, and to hear about how the new public accommodations law is working in practice, listen to our Issue Spot podcast on the subject, featuring Jill Zellmer of Tufts University, Mason Dunn of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and Catherine Reuben of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein.

Meeting recap provided by PILP Members Joshua M. Daniels (Solo Practice) and Mark Zglobicki (Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office).

Annual Society of Fellows Fall Open House Kicks Off the Program Year

Just before Veterans Day, the Society of Fellows and their guests gathered at 16 Beacon Street to kick off the program year at the annual Fall Open House.

Boston Bar Foundation President-Elect and Fellow Diana Lloyd began the evening by sharing the Foundation’s goals for the coming year, including continuing to expand opportunities for Boston’s youth with the Summer Jobs program, making strides in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and engaging volunteers to help serve our community in ways the only lawyers can.

Peter Moser (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein), C. Max Perlman (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein), Diana Lloyd (Choate, Hall & Stewart) and William Sinnott (Donoghue Barrett & Singal)

The group also heard from former BBA President Jack Regan of WilmerHale and Bill Sinnott of Donoghue, Barrett & Singal, P.C. to speak to the group about their experience on the Active Duty and Military Veterans Committee of the BBA.

Both Jack and Bill were instrumental in starting the committee, which helped to establish the Military & Veterans Legal Helpline within the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service. The helpline connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with reduced fee lawyers and other legal resources. Jack and Bill detailed the process that went into the committee’s formation in 2009 and how it has continued to service a group of people who otherwise do not have easy access to legal services.

Jack Regan (WilmerHale) and Ernest Haddad.

In 2017, the BBF will grant $960,000 to 20 legal services organizations in the greater Boston area including Veterans Legal Services. The various grantee organizations administer legal aid to the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of the population, such as the homeless, domestic violence survivors, at-risk children, and veterans.

Pledges made by the Society of Fellows are dedicated 100% to the permanent endowment, which provides a lasting and stable base of support for all of the BBF’s work.  Today, more than 400 leaders of the Boston legal community are members of this group.  For more information about the Society of Fellows, or if you know someone who may be interested in joining, please contact Carolyn Mitchell at [email protected]  or (617) 778-1932.

Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership Helps Those With Less-Than-Honorable Discharge Status

Over the past few years in the spring and early summer, the BBA hosts a pro bono training to teach attorneys to navigate the complex process of representing a veteran in a case related to the status of his or her discharge from the military.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan or during prior eras have been wrongfully separated from the military with less-than-honorable discharges, often preventing them from accessing much needed benefits. To correct these injustices and address the enormous need for legal representation in the discharge upgrade process, in 2015, the BBA Active Duty Military and Veterans Subcommittee supported the creation of the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership.

Through that program, the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School has presented three legal education programs in partnership with the BBA, trained more than 100 attorneys and matched them with veterans in need, and provided ongoing case guidance. We caught up with Veterans Legal Clinic’s Dana Montalto, who directs the Partnership, to see how participation in the clinic is going since the BBA began holding trainings.

“Thanks to the growing number of private attorneys who have chosen to dedicate their time to representing those who served our nation in uniform, many more veterans now have the opportunity to have their honor restored and their service recognized,” she said.

If you would like to access videos or materials from the trainings or if you’re interested in connecting with the Partnership, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Holland & Knight and “the Privilege to Serve”

Among the attorneys at Holland & Knight, veterans, reservists, and active-duty members of the U.S. military have a prominent place.

Nationally, the firm is deeply committed to internal and external initiatives that serve those who have served our country. Hiring attorneys who are veterans is an important part of the firm’s diversity program. These veterans also play a critical role at the helm of Holland & Knight’s pro bono efforts to assist current and former military members with the unique legal challenges they face.

Nicholas Hasenfus, an associate in Holland & Knight’s Boston office, is vice chair of the firm-wide Veterans Group. In his role, he oversees the firm’s pro bono efforts related to helping veterans – efforts that have engaged more than 140 professionals in contributing over $2.3 million in legal service time in 2017 alone.

Hasenfus is one of eighteen members of Holland & Knight’s Veterans Group from the Boston office, ten of whom are veterans.  Having served in the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, he said he feels “very fortunate to be in the position [he’s] in,” and feels privileged to help fellow veterans when it’s “easy to see veterans [his] age who are homeless or jobless.”

“It could have been me or a lot of friends I served with and a lot of these people just need a little help,” he said.

Hasenfus said many older veterans seek help from Holland & Knight attorneys as well, particularly on issues with disability claims, aid and attendance benefits and assistance with getting into and paying for nursing home care. Cases come from a variety of sources – some veterans and families reach out directly, while many find the firm through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, for which many lawyers at the firm volunteer, or Veterans Legal Services (where former Holland & Knight attorney Tim McLaughlin, now with Shaheen & Gordon, is a past Board Chair).

In Boston, Hasenfus said other common cases involve landlord/tenant disputes, where the tenant is a low-income veteran facing eviction. Hasenfus said in many cases, simply having an attorney present to navigate the process is enough to keep the client in his or her home.

He also said his colleagues are working on two cases where clients who served in Vietnam are seeking benefits based on long-term health complications from exposure to Agent Orange. The infamous herbicide was used by the U.S. military to kill plants in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971, and has been linked with many serious health problems, including some types of heart disease and cancer.

“We’re providing these veterans with legal services first and foremost, but we think, as a firm, it’s really important to welcome these veterans and get them the care they deserve, especially when some of them may not have received the welcome they deserved when they came home,” he said.

In addition to working with veterans on issues related to housing and benefits, the firm represents many veteran-owned businesses.  Hasenfus said he is grateful to Holland & Knight’s leadership, which has enabled the firm’s Veterans Group to have such a robust pro bono practice. In particular, he acknowledged Executive Partner Steven Wright and the Boston Veterans Group Leader Paul Lannon, whose support has given the Boston office an amazing platform for this work.

Nationally, the firm’s efforts involve about 200 attorneys across all 28 Holland & Knight offices.  The Chair of the Veterans Group, Daniel Sylvester, an associate in the firm’s Chicago office, coordinates these efforts throughout the firm, which has received the American Bar Association’s Military Pro Bono Project Outstanding Service Award for six straight years.

Sylvester served 11 years in the military. His wife served seven, and now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As an attorney overseeing Holland & Knight’s effort to help, and the caregiver of a disabled veteran himself, Sylvester said he is proud and grateful to have received so much support from the firm’s leadership.

“It’s the atmosphere and mentality of the firm to do good and take care of people, and it allows us to do so much to take care of veterans across the country. It’s really heartwarming,” he said.

Pro bono work with veterans, active-duty service members, and their families is a large and important part of Holland & Knight’s community commitment. But the firm’s public service projects represent a varied array of causes. The Public and Charitable Service Department of Holland & Knight strives to involve attorneys in many types of cases, and leads firmwide signature efforts in the areas of children and education, civil rights and human rights and social entrepreneurship.

In addition, it encourages its attorneys and professionals to volunteer together, often with clients, family and friends, on non-legal community service projects.  On the firm’s annual 9/11 Day of Service, attorneys are encouraged to get out and volunteer in the community, whether at a soup kitchen, a school or center for youth, or an elderly housing facility.

The 9/11 Day of Service was started on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in memory of Glenn Winuk, a Holland & Knight partner in the New York office and volunteer EMT and firefighter, who was killed on September 11, 2001 assisting New York City firefighters at Ground Zero.  Working with his brother, Jay, the firm started the nation-wide tradition to help harness the spirit of unity and volunteerism that arose on 9/11.

The aim, according to the Boston office’s Public and Charitable Service Partner Brett Carroll, is to engage attorneys in a fulfilling day-long project in hopes that they will become more deeply invested in representing disadvantaged populations.

“What we’re doing has an immediate impact for the groups that need assistance, but the goal is to get people talking to people in Boston community that might inspire them to do a little bit more to help,” Carroll said.

In Boston, there are between ten and sixteen different 9/11 Day of Service projects. The Boston office’s participation translates to well over 5,000 hours of community service since 2011, and has involved organizations like the Greater Boston Food Bank, the New England Homeless Veterans Center, and the Ronald McDonald House and corporate entities like Baupost, Boston Financial, JetBlue and Welch’s. In addition to the homeless and the hungry, attorneys have helped survivors of domestic violence and Paralympic athletes as part of the 9/11 Day of Service. Working together and with these partners, Carroll says the motto in the Boston office is “it is our privilege to serve.”

“One of the leaders of the firm, Holland & Knight founder and ABA President Chesterfield Smith, truly believed in service,” he said. “It all comes down to something he would encourage others to do, ‘Do good and be somebody.’”

Recap: PILP Hosts Symposium on “Constitutional Battlegrounds”

Mark C. Fleming (Partner, WilmerHale), Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal (Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice), Jack M. Beermann (Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law) and moderator Kent Greenfield (Professor of Law, Boston College Law School) discuss constitutional law and the federal government.

On Monday, nearly 100 people packed the Boston Bar Association for the culminating symposium of the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP): Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape. For the past year PILP has been meeting twice a month to learn about various issue areas ranging from housing discrimination to the opioid crisis and learning ways they can become involved as attorneys and leaders in their community. During the year, the class also had the opportunity to meet with judges to discuss the courts and the judicial perspective, including Chief Justice Roberto Ronquillo, Jr. and Judge Eleanor Sinnott (Boston Municipal Court).

As their final project, the class decided to hold a symposium to further the dialogue around the constitutional issues in the national spotlight. Inviting local speakers from the area familiar with constitutional law, PILP divided the event into two panels: one focusing on the recent changes in federal law and policy and the other on how states can and cannot react to changes in federal policy. Each presenter spoke about their issue area of focus, but attendees were encouraged to ask their questions to the expert panel.

PILP member Hannah Joseph (Beck Reed Riden LLP) shared a bit about her experience:

“The most rewarding aspect of being involved in PILP was hosting our end-of-the-year symposium, Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape. The speakers – representing academia, the Commonwealth, civil rights groups, and the private sector – are experts in the area of constitutional law and shared diverse perspectives regarding key issues in today’s political climate. Similarly, the audience, comprising attorneys representing a wide variety of practice areas, was engaged and actively contributed to the discussion. It had the electricity and excitement of a town hall meeting,” she said.

PILP’s 13th class year has now ended and the 14th class is underway. If you’re an attorney who’s been practicing for less than 10 years or you’d like to recommend the program to a colleague, you can find more program information here.

Rep. Michael S. Day (State Representative, Massachusetts House of Representatives), Bessie Dewar (State Solicitor, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office), Jessie Rossman (Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts), and moderator Lawrence Friedman (Professor of Law, New England School of Law) speak about the role of state governments in shaping the law of the land.

Society of Fellows Members Celebrate a Successful Year at Summer Receptions

This summer, it has been a delight to host members of the Boston Bar Foundation Society of Fellows for a series of events to celebrate the positive impact that this group of attorneys has in the Greater Boston community.

In June, the Fellows enjoyed a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts to close out the program year. Attendees enjoyed an exclusive tour of the museum’s exhibits, and the afternoon offered beautiful weather in the MFA’s outdoor courtyard. BBF President Tony Froio thanked the Fellows for their dedication and the good work they have done on behalf of the Foundation’s grantee organizations.

BBF President Tony Froio at the Museum of Fine Arts reception in June

In July, we were honored to have former Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, now at Choate, Hall & Stewart, join us for a reception at our building at 16 Beacon Street. The BBF presented Chief Justice Marshall with its Public Service Award at January’s Adams Benefit. Chief Justice Marshall gathered with other Fellows to hear remarks from Ryan Sakoda. Ryan is a staff attorney at Committee for Public Counsel Services, and he spoke firsthand about the BBF’s vital role supporting effective legal aid initiatives such as the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program and the Reentry Education Program.

Chief Justice Marshall and Ryan Sakoda of CPCS

Later that month, Junior Fellows gathered at Battery Park in downtown Boston to relax and enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres with members of the BBA’s New Lawyers Section. Christopher Somma (PIB Law) delivered a short, energetic speech about the great opportunities he has gotten through the Junior Fellows program and the importance of engaging in meaningful public service as a young attorney.

Shawn Lu and Jesse Boodoo at Battery Park

As September nears, we can’t wait to see what the Fellows accomplish in the year ahead! To learn more about how you can become a part of this core group of BBF supporters, please contact Carolyn Mitchell at [email protected] or (617) 778-1932.