Legal Services Organizations Detail Upcoming Pro Bono Trainings

Over the next few weeks, we have a busy schedule of pro bono trainings available to attorneys who are looking for ways to help those in need. Besides the clients who benefit from pro bono services, there’s no one better to explain why these trainings are so important than the attorneys who lead them!

We asked Emily Jarrell (Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association) and Seth Purcell (Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project) to talk about two panels coming up at the BBA.

How to Prepare a Pro Bono Bankruptcy Case
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

“At this training, attorneys will learn the basics of filing Chapter 7. It will have a particular emphasis on helping low-income clients. The Volunteer Lawyer’s Project works with low-income clients with a simple Chapter 7 case, but having an attorney makes a big difference for the client, because it stops the debt collection calls and stops the court proceedings that may be taking them out of work and causing extra stress. The training is tailored to attorneys looking to take their first bankruptcy case,” Jarrell said.

She also noted that attendees will get an overview of the resources available to them through VLP, such as mentoring for new attorneys and a bankruptcy filing system.

Pro Bono Training: Representing Asylum Seekers
Monday, February 6, 2017 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

“We are one of many organizations watching closely, and we anticipate a lot of rapid policy changes under the new administration. This training will give attorneys the opportunity to become familiar with the basics of asylum law, including the differences between filing an affirmative application and a defensive application. Asylum law is something that many attorneys may not be familiar with from their regular practice, so we always appreciate the opportunity to hold these trainings at the BBA,” Purcell said.

Purcell also said the training will cover important issue associated with asylum cases, such as strategies for helping clients that have been through extreme physical and/or emotional trauma. The training will also cover the importance of testimony from medical experts in asylum cases.

Reentry Education Program Addresses Family Law with Probationers

Reentry Education Program Committee member Raquel Webster (National Grid, far right), introduces speaker Brian McLaughlin (McLaughlin Law, center).

The Reentry Education Program engages those reentering the community post-incarceration by providing workshops on a range of relevant topics.  In the first presentation of 2017 at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Attorney Brian McLaughlin, McLaughlin Law, presented on a variety of family law issues. While the presentation was a broad overview, the content was extremely useful to those who’ve never navigated family law issues before or who may have questions on ongoing matters. From paternity and child support to child custody and parenting time, McLaughlin defined many of the common terms associated with family law matters and explained the Probate and Family Court’s role in these affairs. The attendees were also provided with a comprehensive list of resources to further research how to navigate the court and find legal counsel if needed.

The Reentry Education Program continues next month with a workshop on Driver’s License Reinstatement. Future topics will include CORI management, employment law, public benefits, and more, please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected] if you’re interested in becoming a presenter.

PILP Kicks Off the New Year Discussing Juvenile Justice

Earlier this month, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) met with Professor Francine Sherman of Boston College Law School who has been teaching Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights & Public Policy for two decades. Professor Sherman founded and directs the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program at BC Law and is certainly an expert on the subject, and she provided a comprehensive overview of the topic for PILP. She discussed the two approaches to juvenile justice, social welfare and social control, and the historical practices behind both concepts.

Over the past century, juvenile justice has varied from being an institutionalized system linked to criminal justice to a support system for children whose parents are unable to care for the child. More recently, from the 1990s to mid-2000s, juvenile justice took on the “do the crime, do the time” mantra and resulted in more youth entering the adult criminal justice system.  Then, Professor Sherman described the switch that’s been taking place from 2005 for juvenile justice to move back to the social welfare concept. Supreme Court cases including Roper v Simmons (2005), Graham v. Florida (2010), and Miller v. Alabama (2012), which extended Graham v. Florida all moved juvenile justice away from mirroring the adult system. Juvenile justice continues to evolve as many of laws are state/county based and after Miller v. Alabama, many states’ laws were unconstitutional. Professor Sherman also noted the movement toward “fairness” in the system and acknowledging childhood development.

Concluding, Professor Sherman noted the 3 “R’s” of supporting juveniles who’ve found themselves in the justice system: rights, remedies, and resources. From her perspective, the resources component is the most lacking. However, if you would like to support youth in need of legal aid, there are a number of organizations in the Boston area in need of volunteers and support. Two organizations Professor Sherman suggests looking into are the EdLaw Project* and Citizens for Juvenile Justice.

*The EdLaw Project’s parent organization, the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts is a 2016 grantee of the Boston Bar Foundation.

Walk to the Hill is Almost Here! Speak Up For Civil Legal Aid

Join the BBA on Thursday, January 26th as we advocate for state funding of civil legal aid and equal justice for all at Walk to the Hill! Funding is critical to legal aid programs around the state that provide free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families that are facing critical, non-criminal legal problems.  At Walk to the Hill, after a short speaking program, attorneys and law students visit the offices of their representatives and senators and voice their support for civil legal aid.

We invite you to join us to show your support!

Schedule of Events:

9:00AM – Meet at Boston Bar Association for Breakfast and Discourse;

11:00AM to 11:30AM – Walk over to State House and Check-In;

11:30AM to 12:00PM – Speaking Program at State House, featuring

  • Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants
  • Boston Bar Association President Carol Starkey
  • Equal Justice Coalition Chair Louis Tompros
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President Jeffrey Catalano
  • Client speaker
  • Greater Boston Legal Services Executive Director Jacquelynne Bowman

12:00PM   Conclusion of speaking program; beginning of legislative visits

12:30PM    Lunch and return of legislative response sheets

The BBA will be hosting a breakfast for all those participating on January 26, 2016, at 9:00AM here at 16 Beacon Street, then take the short walk to the State House together at 11:00AM. Register here!

Support Increased Funding for Civil Legal Aid

Step up with more than 500 attorneys and law students on Thursday, January 26 as they Walk to the Hill in support of Civil Legal Aid.

You’ll be in good company with notable participants including managing partners of Boston’s largest law firms, legal services & bar association leaders, and fellow members of the Boston Bar Association – all joining together to meet with State Representatives at the Massachusetts State House.

What is Walk to the Hill?

Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobby days at the Massachusetts State House, bringing people from all corners of the Commonwealth’s legal community together for the cause of equal access to justice for all.

State funding is absolutely critical to civil legal aid programs that provide free legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families that are facing critical, non-criminal legal problems. These programs also offer valuable training and internship opportunities for law students like you. At Walk to the Hill, after a short speaking program, attorneys and law students visit the offices of their representatives and senators and voice their support for civil legal aid.

If you believe in access to justice, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our community, we invite you to JOIN US to show your support for state funding of civil legal aid on Thursday, January 26.

How can I get involved?

  • Listen to our Podcast – Take a listen to our podcast on the topic, Geeking Out on the State Budget.
  • Share with your friends! Know someone who has or who will be volunteering with a MA legal service organization? This lobby day is critical to the collective health of their programs. Don’t miss this opportunity to support the work they do in the community. Use hashtag #IWalkforJustice to engage with @EqualJusticeMA online.
  • Join us for Breakfast – On the morning of the event (Thursday, January 26) the BBA will host an open house breakfast from 8:30am – 10:30am where attorneys and law students can gather to discuss the issue of the day before heading across the street to the State House. Let us know to expect you by RSVP’ing here.
  • Attend Walk to the Hill! Come to the State House on January 26. Attorneys and law students will gather in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House from 11:00am – 1:00pm, drop in if your class schedule permits and rub elbows with political and legal movers and shakers who are like-minded!

Attend an Upcoming Public Service Program at the BBA!

Start your new year by attending one of the BBA’s upcoming public service programs. From pro bono trainings to informational brown bags, there’s sure to be a program that interests you. Take a look below!

No Buyers, No Business. Combatting Human Trafficking by Targeting the Demand
Monday, January 23, 2017, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
At this program, you’ll learn the role of demand reduction in combatting commercial sexual exploitation, the scope of the issue of commercial exploitation in Boston, local efforts deployed by CEASE Boston to combat demand, and the role prosecutorial innovation can play in support of efforts to increase the consequential penalties for the purchase of illegal commercial sex by buyers.

Pro Bono Training: How to Prepare a Bankruptcy
Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM

This training will inform attendees how to take on pro bono bankruptcy cases and represent pro bono debtors.

Pro Bono Training: Representing Debtors in Small Claims Court
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The panelists will discuss the launch of the Lawyer for the Day Fair Debt Collection Clinic in Small Claims Court at the Boston Municipal Court Central Division and how attorneys can volunteer at the clinic.

Gearing Up for Walk to the Hill on January 26, 2017

The BBA invites its members to support efforts to increase funding for legal aid by partaking in the 2017 Walk to the Hill on January 26, 2017. Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobbying events held at the Massachusetts State House. This annual event is critical to obtaining funding for civil legal services. We’ll be gearing up all month to get you the information you need to know!

Here’s how you can get informed & get involved!

On Wednesday, January 11th, join us for a briefing about the issues at hand. We’ll welcome representatives from the Equal Justice Coalition who will outline this year’s appeal and speak with BBA Members about what to expect in advance of January 26th’s Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Register to attend the Walk to the Hill Briefing here.

On January 26th, be sure to join us for Breakfast before heading to the State House. We’ll be welcoming members with hot coffee and breakfast treats starting at 9:00am and will walk over to the Great Hall at 10:30am. Let us know if you’ll be joining us for breakfast here.

2017 is a very important year for civil legal aid. Following “Investing in Justice,” the report of the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, we now know more about the justice gap than every before. We know that nearly 2/3 of eligible individuals are turned away from legal aid services for essential life necessities such as shelter or protection from an abuser due to lack of providers. This results in an untold amount of individual hardships and a glut of pro se litigants, straining the courts and hindering access to justice. In addition, our society must bear the costs of police, shelter, and medical services arising as a result. “Investing in Justice” demonstrates that funding civil legal aid will result in substantial cost savings for the Commonwealth.

Want to know more about the State Budget? Check out the BBA’s Government Relations Podcast, Geeking out on the State Budget!

Looking for even more information? Contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2016

From teaching over 1,500 students their Miranda Rights to instituting a Bar Exam Coaching Program, 2016 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public services initiatives in 2016.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We're grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We’re grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Molly Baldwin, Executive Director of Roca, accepts the 2016 Public Service Award on behalf of the organization. Roca was recognized for their work reducing recidivism and improving employment rates for young men in Massachusetts.

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, addresses the crowd at Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Each year, hundreds of private attorneys and civil legal aid advocates converge on the Massachusetts State House to demonstrate their support for state funding of civil legal aid.

Anuj Kheterpal, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, leads a session of the Reentry Education Program at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Presenting on topics ranging from family law, affordable housing, and CORI sealing, the Reentry Education Program provides useful information and resources to probationers in our community.

The BBA’s Military and Veterans Committee works throughout the year to both address the legal needs of our veterans community and also provide a space for attorneys who have served or are serving in the military the chance to connect. Luncheons held throughout the year provide an informal, conversational means for veteran attorneys to connect.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is always the BBA’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs. Inside the BBA, the rooms are transformed into a functioning casino spaces for guests to enjoy throughout the building. All proceeds from the event support our Summer Jobs program. Specifically, donations allow high school students the opportunity to work at legal services organizations, courts, and government agencies that may not otherwise have the resources to hire a student.

For over ten years, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program has taught high school students financial responsibility. Above, students from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School visit Judge Joan N. Feeney’s courtroom to learn the consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

Members of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows gaze at an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts last spring. The Society of Fellows is a group of over 400 attorneys who’ve pledged their support for the BBA’s public service initiatives.

An active group within the BBA, the New Lawyers Public Service Committee plans nearly monthly volunteer events for attorneys to give back to their community through direct service. Here, BBA volunteers are working with the Charles River Watershed Association to clean-up the banks of the Charles River.

As part of the annual Law Day activities each spring, the BBA hosts its Law Day in the Schools program through which attorney volunteers introduce students in kindergarten to 12th grade to the legal profession and legal issues. In 2016, Law Day in the Schools focused on Miranda Rights, which seemed especially to resonate with students during a year marked by discussion of the balance of power between law enforcement and citizens.

At the 2016 Law Day Dinner, former BBA President Jack Regan, WilmerHale, was presented the Thurgood Marshall Award for his commitment to public service. Regan has tirelessly worked to support pro bono services for military personnel, veterans, and their families.

The John G. Brooks Legal Services Award was presented at Law Day Dinner to Daniel Nagin, founder of the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Nagin also helped start the Low Income Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

Pairings: A Gourmet Evening for Public Service supports all of the public service programs of the BBA. Guests of the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the programs their contribution supports.

Throughout the year, the BBA hosts numerous pro bono trainings on a range of practice areas. We partner with many legal services organizations to connect our members to their pro bono opportunities. Above, attorneys lead a training on how to volunteer for the Family Law Court Clinic at the Court Service Center.

Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge addresses the audience at the BBA’s Juvenile Restorative Justice Program. The symposium focused on restorative justice initiatives in the Commonwealth as particularly related to the state’s youth. This event was the culmination of the 12th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class’ 14-month program. PILP promotes civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership roles of new lawyers. Throughout the program, the class examines various issues facing our community and concludes with a symposium of entirely their design.

Summer is a beloved time at the BBA because it means that law firms, courts, government agencies, and legal services organizations across the city will host high school student interns as part of our Summer Jobs Program. Students gain valuable insight into the legal profession and office work experience as they intern during their summer break. Students are also provided Enrichment Seminars, which enhance their experience and provide exposure to various legal careers, the workings of the Supreme Judicial Court, and more.

Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC, was acknowledged this past year for her devotion to the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Bostwick was appointed head of the Financial Literacy Committee by her dear and late friend, M. Ellen Carpenter in 2004 and has since grown the program to teach over 500 students a year. Bostwick stepped down from the Committee after 12 years and we’re thankful for her service.

Law students and attorneys met with various legal services organizations and government agencies as they browsed the Pro Bono Fair & Open House in October. The event draws scores of people each year and provides organizations the chance to attract new volunteers.

BBA President Carol Starkey, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP, meets with Katy Buckland, principal of UP Academy Boston. The BBA President participates in Principal for a Day each year to gain insight into the day-to-day activities of the students many of our public service programs impact.

 

Thank you for a wonderful year, we can’t wait to kickoff 2017 with you!

Addressing Human Trafficking in Massachusetts

Recent comments by Attorney General Maura Healey on Boston Public Radio demonstrate the extent of human trafficking in the Commonwealth. Often unseen, the AG’s Office reports that 1 in 5 men in the state have tried buying sex online. Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) Boston, a network of organizations devoted to ending human trafficking, is trying to stop the demand by targeting buyers. Through their strategy, they hope to hold sex buyers accountable and provide educational insight into the additional effects of human trafficking. On Monday, January 23rd at 12:30 PM, the BBA will host a program with speakers from CEASE Boston to further discuss the program’s objectives and strategies. We hope you’ll join us to hear more on this pervasive issue.

Click here to read more on the reports from the AG’s Office. To RSVP for the BBA program, No Buyers, No Business. Combatting Human Trafficking by Targeting the Demand, please click here or email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

BBA Recognized in BBJ as Top 2016 Summer Jobs Employer

The Boston Bar Association was thrilled upon opening a recent edition of the Boston Business Journal and seeing our name alongside other top Summer Jobs employers. The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) is a crucial and cherished partner for our Summer Jobs Program, identifying the exceptional Boston Public School students we accept into our program each year. In 2016, thanks to the work of the PIC and all of our employer partners, we placed 58 students in paying jobs throughout the city. For 2017, we hope you’ll support the program and help us hire even more students in the summer. We thank those who have already pledged to hire one or more students in 2017:

Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP

Collora LLP

Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP

Foley Hoag LLP

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP  **hiring 2 students

Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Nixon Peabody LLP

Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP

Shaevel & Krems, LLP

Verrill Dana LLP

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

If you’d like information about how to hire or sponsor a student, please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].