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Learning at the Top: Three local law students to intern at Attorney General’s Office

Courtney Person

Courtney Person, New England Law | Boston

Vaishali Goyal

Vaishali Goyal, Boston College Law School

Holly Haynes

Holly Haynes, Boston University School of Law






Not everyone can say that her summer boss is the Massachusetts Attorney General, but this year, three local law students will be able to do just that: Vaishali Goyal of Boston College Law School, Holly Haynes of Boston University School of Law, and Courtney Person, New England Law | Boston.

The internships are part of a larger effort of the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section to support and retain diverse young lawyers here in Boston. This year, the program has expanded beyond the courts to include placements in government law offices, like the Attorney General’s.

In this unique opportunity, law students receive substantive and meaningful work – coupled with skill development, mentorship and networking – in an office committed to serving the needs of the Commonwealth’s communities.

  • Vaishali Goyal is originally from South Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston College. Prior to law school, Vaishali gained professional experience working at Boston College, at Teach for America in Houston, Texas, and in a law practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Vaishali attends Boston College Law School.
  • Holly Haynes is originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt, Holly focused her studies on Medicine, Health and Society, with minors in Spanish and Human and Organizational Development. In 2015, Holly co-founded and oversaw a school garden initiative program for two Nashville elementary schools called Kids & Kale to promote healthy child nutrition. Some of her other employment experiences prior to law school include working as a tutor, as an undergraduate research assistant studying childhood obesity and injury, and special events at the White House. Holly attends Boston University School of Law.
  • Courtney Person is originally from Columbia, South Carolina and attended Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where she majored in Politics and Justice Studies and minored in Psychology and English. While at Claflin University, Courtney received a number of accolades as she played on and captained the Women’s Volleyball Team. She tutored fellow classmates at the Claflin University Writing Center, tutored at risk high school students, and was involved in a number of student organizations and on-campus activities. Prior to starting law school, she interned at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, South Carolina. Courtney attends New England Law | Boston.

Congratulations to Vaishali, Holly, and Courtney! We look forward to getting to know you this summer!

Summer Jobs Program Law Firm Spotlight: Nixon Peabody


Nixon Peabody Partner Larry DiCara leads a mock City Council hearing with 2015 Summer Jobs students

The City of Boston’s website will tell you all of the important reasons that Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Summer Jobs Program makes a big difference in the lives of the teens who participate, and that’s why we work to place students in law firms each summer.

But if you’re working at a law office, you may wonder – what impact do these students have on their employers?

Larry DiCara, a partner in Nixon Peabody LLP’s Boston office, has worked with Summer Jobs students for years, and it never gets old for him. Students have as much to teach adults as they do to learn from them, he said.

“It is a learning experience both for a firm and a student,” he said. “I have learned so much from the wonderful young people who have worked at Nixon Peabody through the years.”

While there are many highlights of the program for him, DiCara said conducting a mock city council hearing where students get to debate issues inside the real City Hall chambers “remains the highlight of (his) summer.”

In addition to having extra hands to help out at the officeand getting to know the students, DiCara said he looks forward to learning about the paths the students take after they have completed the program.

“I am proud that many are now at great colleges and thriving, and keeping in touch. Having a work experience is helpful for them as they look towards college,” he said.

The BBA Program is a long-time partnership with the City of BostonBoston Public Schools and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). To learn more about how you can support a Boston Public Schools student this summer, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

President Obama Weighs in on Summer Jobs for Teens

We talk about the importance of summer jobs all the time, and now we have the President of the United States to back us up.

Recently, President Obama wrote a LinkedIn post on what his first job meant to him. Spoiler alert: it was scooping ice cream one summer in Honolulu.

“Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don’t have access to many resources and opportunities, Obama says. “Employment can also help bridge the “opportunity gap” we see in the summer months, when young people tend to fall behind in educational achievement.”

We highly recommend reading the whole post. If it has you feeling inspired, learn more about the ways that you can participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program, a longstanding partnership between the BBA, the city, Boston Public Schools and the Boston Private Industry Council that aims to give high school students hands-on employment experience at law firms and other organizations.

Take a look below to see which legal offices have already signed on to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program:


Getting Acquainted On Location with the Middlesex Probate and Family Court


On Friday February 20, 2016, a group of BBA Members, including law students and practitioners, toured the Middlesex Probate and Family Court.  Many hanks to Tara DiCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court and her staff at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court for welcoming us for the tour.

Knowing that one’s first few times in court can be disorienting, the BBA hosts these tours to help demystify the first visit.  Toni-Ann Natola, Deputy Assistant Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court served as our guide and certainly demystified a lot about the ways the Middlesex Probate & Family Court is unique in terms of scheduling and filing.  She also gave the group a good look at the layout of the building at 208 Cambridge Street.

Those in attendance were even escorted to the elusive Courtroom 5, only accessed through a maze-like jaunt through the first floor through several twists and turns.  Upon arrival at Courtroom 5, the group was lucky enough to sit in for the tail-end of a pre-trial conference before Judge McSweeney.  After dismissing the litigants, the judge spoke to the group about his own career as a family law attorney prior to joining the bench.

BBA LRS Intern, Nicole Roth, a student at Northeastern University, had this to say about the experience, “He reinforced the importance of always being polite to judges and clerks, and to never become too emotionally attached to a case. He explained what it feels like to be a family attorney in a way that was so accurate I could almost picture myself practicing law. He then invited each of us to sit in his chair and try on his robe, which everyone found exciting. The tour helped the practicing attorneys learn where to go and how to behave in this court, and inspired the law students to look forward to their futures.”

More Law Offices Step Up to Support Summer Jobs



Summer Jobs Feb18 Edited

With recruitment for the 2016 BBA Summer Jobs Program underway, law offices throughout the city are jumping at the chance to support Boston public high school students. The program places Boston public high school students in summer jobs at legal offices throughout the city, giving them experience working in an office environment, a chance to earn a pay check, and exposure to the legal profession. But don’t take our word for it. Look below to hear what two of last year’s students had to say about the program:

“Not only did the attorneys enlighten me, but meeting an actual lawyer in Boston, where I am from, and learning about the steps they took to become a lawyer, changed my life. I now am sure of what type of lawyer I want to become and the type of law I want to pursue.” Jorgiana Martin (Snowden International High School), intern at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

“I have always been someone interested in the legal field, though apart from watching glamorized versions of court cases on TV and hearing a few bad lawyer jokes over the years, I had not had a genuine look at what happens inside a law firm. This changed when I was accepted into the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program at the end of this past school year. I had been looking to sink my teeth into a more tangible representation of life in a law firm, and the BBA provided this for me by granting me the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment brimmed with an esteemed collection of people who practice various facets of the law.“ Hector Fajardo, a graduate of John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science and intern at McCarter & English

Is your office interested in supporting the BBA Summer Jobs Program? Contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] for more information.

Thinking of Going Pro (Bono)? The BBA Can Help

Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) and Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services) led a training to prepare attorneys to volunteer with GBLS's CORI Program.

Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) and Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services) led a training to prepare attorneys to volunteer with GBLS’s CORI Program.

So far this year, the BBA has teamed up with our legal service partners to prepare over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases. The last two weeks serve as a perfect example of the ongoing pro bono educational opportunities at 16 Beacon Street. Last week, the BBA partnered with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) for the annual CORI Training; and this week, the BBA is working with the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) to hold a training aimed at recruiting more volunteers for Family Law Clinic Program at the Court Service Center.

However, it’s not too late to get involved in pro bono work! Here’s a sampling of the upcoming pro bono trainings offered at the BBA this winter and spring (and keep an eye on the calendar for new additions):

Representing Low-Income Taxpayers When the IRS and/or DOR Audits Their Return: Part Three
Thursday, March 3, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Pro Bono Training: Immigration Basics — What You Need to Know to Assist Low-Income Immigrants Complete Their Applications
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Representing Veterans in Discharge Upgrades: Advanced Training
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pro Bono Training: Trying a Case in Housing Court
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

2015 Citizenship Day Recap


Beyond the Billable was excited to see so many of its newly trained attorneys take part in the second annual Citizenship Day.

On September 21st, more than 30 BBA attorneys came to 16 Beacon to learn how to file an application for American citizenship – as well as an application fee waiver – on behalf of a client. Just five days later, they took that information with them and joined more than 200 other volunteers at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury to assist those applying for naturalized American Citizenship.

One of the biggest challenges for those wishing to apply for American citizenship is the cost. There is a $680 processing fee for the applications, in addition to the cost of legal assistance for filing the paperwork. Applicants who had been pre-screened by Project Citizenship were able to come to the event free of charge and have their applications filled out by attorneys. With nearly 250 applicants from 29 different countries, their work was both greatly needed and greatly appreciated!

Several members of the BBA volunteered at the event, so watch for the stories of their experiences at Citizenship Day in next week’s addition of BBA week.

Law Students Attaining Student Practitioner Status: Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03


Are you a law student looking to volunteer or gain clinical experience? If so, you should know about the Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03. SJC Rule 3:03 grants law students the ability to appear in civil and criminal proceedings on behalf of the Commonwealth or parties in need, under direct supervision of an Attorney who is admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Rule 3:03 Certified Students interested in assisting low income landlords and tenants can participate

Rule 3:03 eligible students can take part in a number of pro bono opportunities and projects with the BBA and its community partners.  The BBA has a long standing Housing Court Lawyer of the Day Program where volunteers provide assistance to low-income pro-se litigants. The BBA is also teaming up with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Senior Partners for Justice to train attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to debtors and creditors in court.  Both projects will host trainings at the BBA this Fall – why not check out the trainings to learn more:

Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 4:00-6:00 pm: Lawyer for the Day Training: Fair Debt Collection

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 3:00-6:30 pm: Pro Bono Training: Landlord Tenant Law and Practice

In preparation for these trainings, Beyond the Billable asked, “How do law students obtain Rule 3:03 certification?”

Ultimately, the applicable law school Dean must complete and provide a student practitioner form. In the form, the Dean attests to the student’s credibility, character, and legal ability. The form also verifies that the student has completed, or is enrolled in a course in evidence or trial practice. To learn more about SJC Rule 3:03 click here.

Law students who are in their second to last year are eligible to appear in civil proceedings, while those in their last year who are seeking certification at least three months prior to graduation, are eligible to appear in both civil and criminal matters. Many students need this requirement in order to participate in law school clinical placements or for self-identified internships with government agencies and legal services organizations.

If you are a law student interested in getting certified, here’s where you need to go at your law school:

Boston College Law School: Contact the Dean for Students Office

Boston University School of Law: Contact the Student Affairs Office

New England Law | Boston: Please contact Jacqui Pilgrim in the Office of Student Services to acquire the proper forms.

Northeastern University School of Law: Please contact The Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement

Suffolk University Law School: Contact a staff member in the clinics & internship department.

If you are a recent law school graduate who was 3:03 certified at least three months before graduation, your certification remains in effect until the first bar exam following graduation.  If a student took that examination, the certification remains in effect until the announcement of the examination results.  For any student who passes that examination, the approval to appear under Rule 3:03 continues for six months after the date of examination or until the date of admission to the bar, whichever is sooner, unless your certification was withdrawn (which often happens following a legal clinic placement) or otherwise ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court.

For more information about SJC Rule 3:03 and how it applies to student practitioners, visit the Trial Court’s FAQ page here.

And remember – if you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer beyond your school’s clinics, 3:03 eligible students are invited to come to one of these trainings to learn how to assist litigants and to provide service:

Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 4:00-6:00 pm: Lawyer for the Day Training: Fair Debt Collection

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 3:00-6:30 pm: Pro Bono Training: Landlord Tenant Law and Practice

Re-entry Education Committee Prepares to Kick-off 2015-2016 Program Year

With honors at our next Adams Benefit going to Roca, and the state legislature discussing options for sentencing reform, reducing recidivism and mass incarceration has been top of mind at the BBA.

The BBA Reentry Education Program Committee wrapped another successful year teaching probationers about civil legal issues, and with the help of PILP11, it expanded to include the CHOICE program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury Division. Between the two programs, the program served over 100 probationers and presented 12 civil legal education workshops.


In March, Judge Leo Sorokin and Volunteer Adrienne Walker (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.) spoke with participants about financial literacy through the BBA Reentry Education Program.

With continuing co-chair Julia Devanthery (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) and new co-chair Sarah Schendel, the committee hopes to continue the great work in both federal and state court.

“This year the Re-Entry Education Committee will be working with the District Court of Massachusetts to refine our know-your-rights workshop offerings, and to make sure that our volunteers are reaching as many probationers as possible,” said Julia Devanthéry. “To that end, we’re looking into moving some of our more popular sessions from the court to community-based locations that are more easily accessible to probationers. We hope that this simple change may allow our volunteers to empower more probationers, and support their successful reentry into the community.”

“Since first working with incarcerated individuals and their families over 10 years ago, I’ve seen the challenges that await those released from prison,” added Sarah Schendel. “However, when we help our incarcerated friends, family members, and neighbors access the support, information, and opportunities they need, they are empowered and able to thrive. I’m excited to continue working with the BBA’s Reentry Committee to support individuals involved in both the state and federal courts, and honored to serve as co-chair.”

A Co-Op Student’s Perspective: Working in the BBA Lawyer Referral Service

Guest Post:  Jacqueline Lopes is working at the Boston Bar Association as a Co-Op Student. She is a rising senior at Northeastern University.

I am a Northeastern Student pursuing a Double Major in Political Science and Business Administration, and I am working at the Boston Bar Association in the Lawyer Referral Service for my 6 month Co-Op placement.

One of my main duties is fielding calls from individuals looking for legal assistance.  At first it was hard to assist the people that were calling for legal help, since I did not know all the legal terms for all of the practice areas.  Being on the phone and assisting someone that really relies on your help and direction was harder than I thought. I quickly realized that I always need to make sure that I am using the right words, tone of voice, and asking the right questions to find out how to best assist the caller. In the first month that I was here, I had trainings almost every week with different attorneys specializing in different practices. They would tell us about their practice and also give us great advice for screening calls, and our career plans. Not only the trainings made me feel more comfortable speaking on the phone, but it was amazing meeting the attorneys that came to talk with us. The BBA has a great structure to help new interns feel comfortable when assisting clients

After the trainings, I felt more confident helping the clients that were calling us for assistance. Now that I know how to direct the clients to the correct place, I really feel that the LRS program does make a difference in the lives of many people. Some clients call us and have no idea where to start, and being able to give them some kind of guidance by sending them to an attorney or to a legal service that might be able to help them is an amazing feeling. I am really excited to see what I will learn and who I will help in the next couple of months.

My dream always has been to go to law school one day, and being at the BBA is a great opportunity for me to better understand how the legal world works in real life. Meeting attorneys, going on field trips to courts, and seeing how the BBA runs as a business is definitely going to help me develop as a person and as a professional. I know that interning here for six months will have a great impact on the next step I take towards my career.

Jacqueline Lopes is a rising senior at Northeastern University.  She has joined the BBA Lawyer Referral Service as part of her 6 month cooperative education program through Northeastern.