Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Newest Pro Bono Opportunity: Mass Legal Answers Online

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Mass Legal Answers Online (MLAO) is a brand new way for busy attorneys to do pro bono in Massachusetts. Through Mass Legal Answers Online, low-income  Massachusetts residents can ask civil legal questions on the web at www.masslao.org. This program, administered by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute with help from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, will function like a “virtual legal clinic,” providing attorneys with a 21st-century platform to give free legal advice.

Eligible site users can post legal questions, and volunteer attorneys can choose which questions they would like to answer.  MLAO helps alleviate the time and place constraints that clients and attorneys sometimes face in a traditional legal clinic or on the phone.

On Monday, Rochelle Hahn from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Barbara Siegel from the Volunteer Lawyers Project spoke at  a BBA program about this innovative project and how to participate.   If you missed the program, here are some things you should know:

  • Mass Legal Answers Online is part of a national initiative sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • The ABA provides malpractice insurance to cover any activity that occurs through the secure site.
  • Volunteer sign-up is easy! Attorneys just need to provide basic contact information and certify that they are in good standing with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by providing their BBO number.
  • Attorneys can subscribe to receive alerts when new questions are posted in their specific practice area
  • As a volunteer, the Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.5 applies to conflicts, because of the pro bono nature and limited scope of the advice provided through MLAO. The only conflicts of interest that would preclude an attorney from answering questions are conflicts that are known at the time the client’s question is reviewed.

This project embodies the idea of “bite-sized pro bono” and, according to Rochelle Hahn, “is an ideal opportunity for busy attorneys who want to help, but have limited time. It allows you to virtually share your expertise with people struggling to navigate the legal system — without committing to ongoing representation or a set schedule. Answering even just one question a month can make a real difference to people in need. Sign up and give it a try!”

Curious and want to find out more?  For more information about the program and all aspects of participation, please email [email protected] or contact Rochelle Hahn at [email protected].

“My First Office Job:” Learning Professionalism at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers

IMG_9754If you ask the staff at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers what stands out about Fatima Adam, their Summer Jobs student, they will talk about her sense of humor.

But over the past two months, Fatima has done more than just come out of her shell around her supervisors. She says she has learned to be more professional, efficient and organized.

“This is my first office job,” she said. “I find that I am interacting with adults much more. You learn quickly to be professional and friendly, and say ‘good morning.’ There is a level of professionalism in any office that isn’t there at other kinds of summer jobs,” she said.

In the past, Fatima has volunteered overseas for the Meseret Humanitarian Organization, an initiative to reduce vulnerability among children and women in Ethiopia. She believes she wants to focus on business and international relations in her future career, and she is considering going to law school after college.

“When I first heard about the program, I wanted to participate because it sounded really interesting and I wanted to see if I really wanted to do law,” she said.

Fatima said she has also discovered other interests during the weekly enrichment seminars offered to the students. During a mock city council hearing earlier in the summer, she was excited to learn that eligibility to run for Boston’s city council begins at age 18. Someday, she might want to serve as an elected official, she said.

“I love the enrichment seminars because some of the office work can be more administrative but the seminars give us the chance to learn about something different,” she said.

Fatima plans to study international relations at Bunker Hill Community College in the fall.

Summer Jobs Alumni: Where Are They Now?

With this year’s Summer Jobs students nearing the end of the program, we decided to check-in with a couple of last year’s participants. Read on to see how a summer with the BBA Summer Jobs Program influenced Enrique Pepen and Leslie Bala’s future:

Enrique Pepen
Enrique Pepen
Interned at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Suffolk University, Law and Public Policy

“Participating in the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program felt like an opportunity like no other. It exposed me to a world that I once believed was very hard to get into. I had the unique pleasure to work for Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP on State Street, and that firm immediately influenced my path towards my future career. The partnership that the BBA creates between the firms and the students allows inner city students to learn about the legal system in a way that no classroom will be able to do. Not only did the firm serve as an inspiration, but also the field trips to the courts, the guest speakers, and the workshops all together created a scenario that none of us could have imagined. Now I know what I am getting into. I know what I need to get taken care of before I want to enter the legal field. And I am certain that this is what I want to do.”

Leslie Leslie BalaBala
Interned at Locke Lord LLP
Suffolk University, Government and Public Policy

“The BBA Summer Jobs Program helped me prepare for my future in major ways. It is and always will be such an essential and memorable experience. It was a head start for me in the field I’m pursuing. Before BBA, I participated in the JYC program and decided to continue doing internships that would prepare me for having a real career, for understanding the work life after college, and would show me the importance of building my work ethic as well as my networking and communication skills. During my time at Locke Lord LLP, I worked with the records, and the marketing and IT departments. The internship helped me to comprehend the field of law much more and see what the right fit was for me. I shadowed different types of lawyers, saw how they do their work and heard what led them to choose the path they did. The BBA program opened my eyes and was also another reason I decided to attend Suffolk University. It is once again an experience that I will always be grateful for.”

For more information on the Summer Jobs Program, contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

PILP ’16 – ’17 Gets Underway

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The Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class of 2016-2017 had their orientation last month, and they are already jumping into some of the BBA’s public service projects!

This week, two members of the class led an enrichment seminar for our Summer Jobs students on the basics of practicing law. In the Fall, they will begin to discuss what they hope to accomplish in the upcoming program year!

To learn more about this year’s PILP class, please click here.

Thank You to Our Reentry Education Volunteers

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The BBA’s Reentry Education Program has come to a close for the year, and we are proud to announce that we reached 162 probationers during these sessions! As our dedicated readers know, the BBA Reentry Education Program provides monthly workshops on civil legal issues participants in the CHOICE and CARE/RESTART programs may face.

We would like to extend our most sincere thanks to the attorneys who volunteered their time to lead these sessions this year:

Michael Birch
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP

Lizbeth Ginsburg
Greater Boston Legal Services

Julie Heinzelman
Prince Lobel Tye LLP

Anuj Khetarpal
Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

David Lieberman
Day Pitney LLP

Brian McLaughlin
Brian McLaughlin Esq. LLC

Kavya Naini
Harvard Law School

Ryan Sakoda
Committee for Public Counsel Services

Phong Tran
Harvard Law School

We would also like to thank all of our partners in the Boston Municipal Court and federal courts who make our participation in the CHOICE and CARE/RESTART sessions possible. We look forward to working with you again next year!

BBF Funds 10 Summer Jobs

btbRemember Casino Night? Now that the temperatures have warmed and plans for the summer are on our minds, March feels like it was a long time ago. But we wanted to share where the proceeds went.

Thanks to the support of Casino Night sponsors, 10 Boston public high school students will have the chance to work at legal service and government agencies. The Boston Bar Foundation is funding students to work at the following organizations:

  • Committee for Public Counsel Services
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court
  • United States District Court – District of Massachusetts
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

Thank you to these organizations for hosting a BBF-funded student. We can’t wait to kick off this exciting program later this month!

BRA Signs on as Summer Jobs Employer

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Whatever the development project, large or small, if it goes up in Boston, there’s a good chance the Boston Redevelopment Authority was involved in the process at some point. And this summer, local teenagers will have the chance to see that process up-close.

The BRA has signed on to hire a Summer Jobs student through the Boston Bar Association, and we are thrilled to have their support.

Kathleen Joyce, Senior Counsel at the BRA, said the student will take part in hands-on work that is truly relevant to the BRA’s projects.

“At the BRA, we believe it is extremely valuable to play a part in educating our future leaders,” she said. “We are thrilled to join the legal community in their support of Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Initiative by hiring a student through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. We are proud to say that we will give the student in this position opportunities to take on a substantive role in our work, by participating in research projects and attending BRA trainings and other BRA meetings.”

While the staff at the BRA is eager to give the student a chance to build his or her skills and resume, the experience will also be valuable to the agency.

“Hiring a summer jobs student is a great way to bring on extra support for our legal department while providing a place for a student to learn professional skills and become acquainted with the processes that shape their community,” she said.

Want to find out more about the program? Visit our website or contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Pro Bono Spotlight: Goodwin Procter’s Neighborhood Business Initiative

 

NBILogo_FINALThis month, Beyond the Billable is thrilled to feature Goodwin Procter’s Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI) in our “Pro Bono Spotlight” feature. There is a lot to say about all the good the program has done for low-income neighborhoods in the city of Boston, but no one says it better than the attorneys themselves.

We caught up with NBI Founder Anna Dodson, a partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity Group, to hear more about what the firm is doing to help grow the local economy while expanding access to justice.

Can you describe how the Neighborhood Business Initiative began?

In 2001, the idea of providing pro bono legal services to for-profit businesses was in its infancy.  We began offering those services, which would later be formalized into Goodwin’s Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI). We believe that strong, owner-operated neighborhood businesses are fundamentally important for community development and healthy, vibrant city neighborhoods.

Fast-forward to today: Roughly 500 attorneys and other professionals at Goodwin have provided pro bono business legal services to hundreds of low-income entrepreneurs and small-business owners in underserved neighborhoods through direct representation and neighborhood-based legal workshops and clinics, and by partnering with community-based organizations.

Since 2001, how has the NBI program changed and grown?

Our workshops and other programs have grown both in number and in complexity. We started with the basics – Starting and Growing a Business, developed in collaboration with the Economic Justice Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.  Now our suite of 12+ programs includes negotiations, commercial lease, choice of entity, food labelling and doing business on-line.

Is there a particular workshop or clinic that has consistently been the most sought-after or well-attended? If so, what do you think draws people to that program?

As we worked with community partners in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain over the years, we noticed that  many of our program participants were working in the food industry.  These “culinary entrepreneurs” include restaurateurs, caterers and entrepreneurs looking to produce food for retail sale. Responding to the need for specialized assistance, we developed a food labeling curriculum.

Today, a multi-disciplinary team provides interactive workshops on Intellectual Property for food labeling and packaging, food labels and products liability and federal regulation of food labels. Our team frequently collaborates with a corporate partner, such as Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream.  The Boston Beer Company’s team presents the business side of food labeling – creative design, marketing and branding, as well as niche expertise like the rules for beer labels. Our audiences for these business and law of food labeling programs frequently exceed 50 entrepreneurs. We hear from our audiences that the information can be hard to find and that an expert’s insight and strategic perspective is a valuable guide that makes the information more useful.

How does this program benefit specific business owners who participate, their neighborhoods, and the city’s economy? Can you describe why Goodwin Procter has made it a priority to foster the development of small businesses in underserved areas?

From the outset, Goodwin’s NBI program has reflected two core values.  We value access to justice (access to all law for all people) and community development (building neighborhood businesses for diverse, vibrant neighborhoods).  Often, low income business owners are isolated – they may lack sounding boards and advocates. They have to take risks and may have to make hard choices – and often it’s not on a level playing field. Our goal in providing individual representation is to provide legal services to business owners who would not otherwise be able to have the assistance, and to create value that supports the growth of a neighborhood business.

How does this differ from other pro bono opportunities and programs that are out there, both for attorneys and clients? 

Business law attorneys typically have fewer choices than litigators to provide pro bono legal services in an area of law that aligns with their practice. NBI offers Goodwin business law attorneys an opportunity to do good doing what they do best – structuring an entity, negotiating a contract, advising on intellectual property strategy, negotiating a lease, and any number of corporate and transactional matters. It offers an opportunity to develop the strong listening skills needed to undergird strong counseling skills. For the firm’s NBI clients, working with the Goodwin team offers highly responsive, proactive counsel committed to leveling the playing field.

Is there a specific client story or anecdote that you would like to share that exemplifies the impact of this program?

We represented an entrepreneur who was a Brazilian immigrant in taking out a loan from Accion, a nonprofit lender. Goodwin prepared a loan release in Portuguese that would be enforceable in Brazil, a condition to the new loan. Our client used the proceeds of her Accion loan for working capital and to repay a predatory lender who used intimidation tactics. Our legal services were an important component of a transaction that yielded peace of mind and safety for a low income businesswoman, and a well-stocked, woman-owned corner market for the neighborhood.

 

What else would you like someone who has never heard of this program before to know?

One of the biggest challenges of a program like Goodwin’s NBI is reaching eligible clientele.  Most entrepreneurs and small business owners do not think or expect that they would qualify for pro bono assistance, so engaging with them requires a lot of outreach and education. We have made a concerted effort to connect with local business owners through partnering with community organizations, and personally going out into the community and offering clinics and workshops.  At the same time, we are ever sensitive to the need to support small law firms in the neighborhoods, so we dedicate a lot of time and effort to vet potential clients to ensure that, but for our pro bono assistance, they could not otherwise afford to engage legal counsel for the matter requested.  We also define the scope of our representation to discrete requests and do not provide ongoing assistance.  We have essentially created a self-contained legal services group within our firm, and lead it with the assistance of two dozen Goodwin attorneys who serve on local NBI steering committees in Boston, New York and San Francisco.

BBA Welcomes PILP Class of 2016-2017

The BBA would like to congratulate and welcome the thirteenth iteration of the Public Interest Leadership Program. This group of seventeen attorneys represent a wide variety of practice areas, including attorneys from firms, legal services, and solo practice. We wish them the best of luck, and look forward to the accomplishments they will achieve as Public Interest Leaders.

orcutt_amandaAmanda Orcutt-Holland & Knight LLP
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, NY
Law School: Syracuse University College of Law

Amanda is an associate in Holland & Knight’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution group, where her practice encompasses a wide array of commercial disputes, including employment disputes, contract disputes, and business torts.  Amanda also maintains an active pro bono practice representing individuals and non-profit organizations.  She has successfully handled several prisoners’ civil rights claims, and recently obtained a large jury verdict for a client in federal court.  Prior to joining the firm, Amanda served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa.  Amanda is a graduate of Syracuse University and Syracuse University College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of Syracuse Law Review.

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Brian McLaughlin- Brian McLaughlin, Esq. LLC
Hometown: Easton, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School

Based in Boston, Brian practices in the areas of family law, special education law, disability law, real estate law, and both unemployment and veterans benefits. He uses his experience with mediation and collaborative law to give the best legal advice to his clients. Brian zealously represents his clients, researching all possible legal issues to their fullest extent. Brian is currently undergoing CASA volunteer training where he will become appointed by the Court to write briefs to help judges determine the best interest of the child. He also currently collaborates with the Volunteer Lawyer Project, and serves on the board of Shelter Legal Services and the Assistive Technology Loan Committee, which seeks to provide low interest loans to folks seeking to obtain assistive technology. Brian is a co-chair of the Legal Policy Committee for the Special Needs Advocacy Network.

Prior to starting his own practice, Brian worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as an outreach coordinator for the Massachusetts Office on Disability. Brian has served in the private sector for the small litigation firm, Healy & Healy, assisting in civil tort litigation matters, both plaintiff and defendant.

scheffler_davidDavid Scheffler- Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Hometown: Newton, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School

David M. Scheffler is an Assistant Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Division of the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey.  He prosecutes criminal and civil cases involving fraud on the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth.  He has investigated and prosecuted cases against physicians, laboratories, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and providers of in-home health care services, in connection with fraud schemes including false claims, kickbacks, and off-label marketing.  In 2014, he received the Office of the Attorney General’s Outstanding Team Award for his work prosecuting a physician office laboratory that paid illegal kickbacks to the owners of sober houses to induce referrals of lucrative drug-screening business.  Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, David served as a law clerk to the Honorable George A. O’Toole, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and as an Associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, where his practice focused on complex business litigation and health care fraud.  He serves as a basketball coach at the John H. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton and in the Middlesex Magic AAU program.

jennings_emily_mEmily Jennings- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Home town: Hingham, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School

Emily is an associate in the Litigation Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  Her practice involves a wide range of complex commercial, securities, insurance and regulatory matters.  Emily has litigated in state and federal trial courts within the Commonwealth and has advised clients in connection with various government and internal investigations.  She also maintains an active pro bono practice and has represented individuals in connection with the Boston Bar Association’s Marathon Assistance Project and the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Family Law Project.  Emily is a graduate of Villanova University and Boston College Law School.

joseph_hannahHannah Joseph- Beck Reed Riden LLP
Home town: Queens, NY
Law School: Boston College Law School

Hannah T. Joseph practices complex business litigation at Beck Reed Riden LLP, where she represents corporate and individual clients in matters involving restrictive covenants, trade secret law, close corporation shareholder disputes, employment law, and complex commercial disputes. Hannah is also very active within the Boston legal community, as a co-chair for the BBA’s Intellectual Property Committee (and former liaison between the New Lawyers Section and the Intellectual Property Section), and as a co-founder of the Boston Associates’ Networking Group. Hannah received her J.D. from Boston College Law School. At BC Law School, Hannah represented underserved populations through the school’s Legal Assistance Bureau. She also coordinated fundraising efforts for BC Law School’s Public Interest Law Foundation, which provides stipends to law students taking public interest summer internships. Hannah is proud to be a Big Sister through the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

tran_henryHenry TranPrince Lobel Tye LLP
Home town: Mountain View, California
Law School: Northeastern University School of Law

Henry Tran is a litigation associate at Prince Lobel Tye LLP, where he practices in a range of civil litigation matters including employment discrimination, state and federal regulatory compliance, and complex commercial disputes.  Before entering private practice, Henry completed placements at the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he developed specialties in state enforcement matters and high-stakes securities litigation.  Henry previously served as the Executive Lieutenant Governor for the ABA Law Student Division and, prior to law school, spent two years abroad working in government relations and international development in China and the United Kingdom.  Henry is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and the University of California, Irvine.

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Jane Lovins- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Law School: Boston College Law School

Jane is the career law clerk for United States District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. She recently served as the law clerk dedicated to the proceedings in United States v. Tsarnaev (Boston Marathon bombings case). Previously, she was a senior associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Her practice included complex commercial litigation and securities litigation and enforcement. She also maintained an active pro bono practice focusing on juvenile justice, education, and family law. While in law school, Jane served as Note Editor of the Boston College Law Review, was a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Office of the Governor’s Legal Counsel, and helped found the Pro Bono Pledge Program. Prior to attending law school, she taught in the South Bronx as a Teach for America corps member and in the Boston area as a research teacher at Tufts University. Jane is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Boston College Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Richard G. Huber Award, Equal Justice America Fellowship, and Pro Bono Excellence Award.

Michael Koehler- Kkoehler_michaeleegan Werlin LLP
Hometown: Reading, MA
Law School: Suffolk University Law School

Michael J. Koehler is an associate at Keegan Werlin LLP specializing in energy and regulatory, public utility and environmental, municipal and land use law. He represents energy and utility clients before administrative agencies such as the Department of Public Utilities, the Energy Facilities Siting Board and the Cape Cod Commission, as well as various local authorities. His representative matters have involved rate issues, long-term power purchase agreements for renewable energy, net metering and the siting and permitting of an array of different energy infrastructure facilities.

Before joining the firm in 2008, Mike served as a law clerk for the Justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and is an active member of the Boston Bar Association, where he has served as co-chair of the Energy and Telecommunications committee; a member of the BBA’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force; and a member of the Education Committee. In addition to his professional pursuits, Mike serves on the Alumni Council of Phillips Academy (Andover) and on the Board of Trustees for Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center in Boston Harbor.

connolly_nicholasMatthew ConnollyNutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Home town: Cambridge, MA
Law School: Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Matthew Connolly is a senior associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department.  Individuals and companies rely on Matt for a variety of litigation matters, especially in complex business disputes and white collar defense and investigations.  A wide range of clients, from individuals and small businesses to some of the largest companies and banks in the United States, frequently select Matt to represent them in federal and state courts, and before multiple agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission.  In particular, Matt has extensive experience representing energy companies and traders in enforcement and compliance matters, including a matter that resulted in the largest public settlement in FERC’s history.

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Mark WoodroffeCooley LLP
Home town: Tampa, FL
Law School: Boston College School of Law

Mark Woodroffe is a corporate associate at Cooley LLP in Boston.  His practice includes advising public and private life sciences and technology companies on matters ranging from entity formations and financings to M&A transactions, public offerings, and securities law compliance.  Mark is an active member of Cooley’s Pro Bono Committee, representing low-income entrepreneurs and child immigrants.  He also works to promote diversity through his involvement with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Boston Lawyers Group, and Cooley’s Diversity Committee.  Mark is a cum laude graduate of both the University of Florida and Boston College Law School, where he served on the Executive Board of the Boston College Law Review and received the Richard G. Huber Award for Scholarship and Leadership in Extra- and Co-Curricular Activities.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Mark worked for the Detroit Lions, The Honda Classic, and the Florida State Golf Association.

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Max RiffinChu, Ring & Hazel LLP
Home town: Newton, MA
Law School: Boston University School of Law

Max Riffin is a corporate associate at Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP. His practice focuses on the representation of investment funds, mature private companies, and emerging growth companies through all stages of the company lifecycle.  He regularly counsels clients in connection with entity formation, capital structure, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, private placements, and general corporate matters.  He also assists clients with licensing matters, the negotiation of commercial agreements, employee benefit and equity ownership plans, and employment matters. In addition, Max advises the firm’s investor clients in connection with equity and debt financings and matters related to their portfolio companies.  Prior to joining the firm, Max practiced as a corporate bankruptcy and restructuring associate in the Delaware and Boston offices of a few national and international law firms.

granik_mariaMaria GranikSullivan & Worcester LLP
Home town: Moscow, Russia
Law School: Boston University School of Law

Maria Granik is an associate at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where she focuses on complex commercial litigation, as well as on environmental law and employment cases.  In her pro bono work Maria has helped clients in a variety of criminal, administrative and civil cases ranging from a habeas petition to asylum proceedings and restraining order hearings.  She is also the firm’s representative on the Domestic and Sexual Violence Council, an advocacy organization for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  As a law student, Maria was selected as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, working at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services on issues such as equal access to healthcare and mental health law.  Before becoming a lawyer, Maria earned a PhD in philosophy and taught at Boston University and at the College of the Holy Cross. Her teaching and academic research focused on questions of ethics, political philosophy, and history of philosophy. Maria is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston University where she earned both her PhD and JD.

btfitz_20131120_0207_MNicholas Brown- Pierce Atwood LLP
Home town: Staten Island, NY
Law School: University of Connecticut School of Law

Nick is a litigation associate at Pierce Atwood LLP with a focus on business disputes, construction law claims, and land use matters. His practice involves both the prosecution and defense of contract claims on behalf of corporate clients, insurance companies, and contractors. In addition, Nick represents municipalities, businesses, and individuals in land-use and real estate disputes. Nick has also devoted substantial time to providing pro bono legal services to those in need. His pro bono work has focused on representing minors from Central America who have fled poverty, violence, and gang-related crime in their home countries. Nick represents his pro bono clients in both state and federal courts to obtain legal immigration status.

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Peter Obersheimer-Murphy & King, P.C.
Home town: Elma, NY
Law School: Boston College Law School

Peter is an associate in Murphy & King, P.C.’s business litigation group.  His practice includes representing both individual and corporate clients in a variety of fields, including business torts, commercial lease disputes, health care litigation, and employment law.  In collaboration with the Disability Law Center, Peter has represented clients with intellectual disabilities in state eligibility appeals on a pro bono basis.  Peter is an active volunteer leader with Best Buddies, a social integration program for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and serves on the Emerging Leaders Board for St. Francis House, the largest homeless day shelter in Massachusetts.  Prior to joining Murphy & King, Peter worked as a litigation associate at a firm in New York State, and was recognized as the 2012 recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Award for the 8th Judicial District for his work on immigration and social security disability appeals.  In 2015, Peter was named a New England Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business Litigation.  Peter is a graduate of Boston College and Boston College Law School.

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Rachel Irving Pitts- Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC
Home town: Pittsfield, IL
Law School: Boston University School of Law

Rachel Irving Pitts has been practicing in Mintz Levin’s Health Care practice since 2008.  She relocated to Boston in 2002 from Illinois, and worked for the Massachusetts Medical Society before attending Boston University School of Law. Her practice primarily involves healthcare transactions and regulatory matters, and she has represented a variety of pro bono clients for Mintz Levin, assisting a small business and arguing for a client’s Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  Rachel was a Special Assistant District Attorney as part of Mintz Levin’s rotation program with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.  Rachel is on the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Emerging Leaders Board, and is a member of the BBA, MBA, ABA and AHLA.

baldwin_richardRichard Baldwin- Foley Hoag LLP
Home town: Arlington, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School

Rich is a commercial litigation associate at Foley Hoag LLP.  He regularly represents individuals, business and foreign sovereigns in state and federal court and in domestic and international arbitration.  He also maintains an active pro bono practice representing individuals in housing, bankruptcy, special education and immigration matters and in obtaining court orders protecting clients from abuse.  Last year, Rich coached a group of students as they became the first team from their school to compete in the Mass Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Program.  In 2013-14, Rich served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office.  Rich is a graduate of Boston University and Boston College Law School.

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Tovah Miller- New England Law | Boston
Home town: Manlius, NY
Law School: Syracuse University College of Law

Tovah is currently the Assistant Director of Career Services and Recruitment Coordinator for New England Law | Boston.  Prior to joining New England Law, Tovah was the Program Specialist for the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights, where she counseled law students with disabilities on obtaining accommodations for law school and associated exams; campaigned to increase the inclusion and visibility of attorneys with disabilities in the legal field; and was a member of the ABA Staff Diversity Council.  She is a member of the BBA Committee on Attorneys with Disabilities and their Allies and the BBA Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee.

Spring into Public Service

Don’t miss the chance to give back to the community this spring. The BBA’s calendar is full of opportunities to expand your pro bono portfolio and make a difference in the community. Check out what’s ahead below:

Immigration Basics – What You Need to Know to Assist Low-Income Immigrants

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Learn how to assist low income immigrants in completing applications for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

RSVP


Expanding Access to Justice by Engaging Senior Fellows

Monday, March 28, 2016 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Explore how you can get involved in the Access to Justice Fellows Program, which enables senior lawyers and retired judges to partner with nonprofit organizations and courts to increase equal justice for all.

RSVP


Providing Legal Services to Veterans in Family Law Cases

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

This program will give an overview of specific family law matters unique to veterans and servicemembers.

RSVP


What You Should Know About Post-Conviction Relief: How to Help Noncitizen Clients with Criminal Convictions

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Mass. R. Crim. P. 30(b) can offer potent relief to criminal defendants for whom all other hopes have been exhausted. This brown bag program will provide an overview of the types of clients for whom R 30(b) litigation should be considered with a focus on relief for noncitizen clients.

RSVP


Pro Bono Appellate Pilot Program

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

This training will explain the history and purpose of the Pro Bono Appellate Pilot Program, and provide the nuts-and-bolts for volunteer attorneys who will staff the Clinic.

RSVP


Advanced Training for Veterans Discharge Appeals

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Learn advanced topics in veterans discharge upgrade practice and join the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

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Trying a Case in Housing Court

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

This training will guide you through a trial in Housing Court from opening to closing.

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Questions? Contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected].