A Few Hours Makes All the Difference — Volunteer in the Boston Housing Court

Last night, Judge Jeffrey Winik was honored with a Citation of Judicial Excellence for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court. In this role, Judge Winik has dedicated himself to advancing the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, which he describes as “access to justice in action.” Volunteer attorneys help provide legal advice and representation to landlords and tenants. Approximately 90 percent of tenants and 50 percent of landlords are unrepresented. Since the program began 14 years ago, 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 14, 500 individuals. However, the sheer volume of cases—the housing court can see about 200 eviction cases on a single day—calls for additional volunteer attorneys.

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Judge Winik received a Citation of Judicial Excellence at the Law Day Dinner for his leadership as the First Justice of the Boston Housing Court

Here’s how Judge Winik described the volunteer experience:

I guarantee you, you will come away from the experience knowing you have done something important and have helped people who would have been far worse without your assistance.

Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court is the epitome of a meaningful pro bono opportunity. Just a few hours on a Wednesday or Thursday can make the difference between a family losing their home or a landlord being foreclosed on.

Volunteers can participate individually or with their firm. Volunteers will be trained and supported by staff attorneys from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School during the volunteer session. Interested volunteers should contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] for more information about ways to get involved.

Volunteers Get Their Hands Dirty at Environmental Clean Up Events

The Environmental Law Pro Bono Committee and the New Lawyers Public Service Committee have been busy coordinating environmentally focused volunteer opportunities in honor of Earth Day last month. Twenty-one volunteers put on their work gloves to help remove debris and trash from the banks of the Charles River on April 27th for the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up. A week later, eight volunteers spent the morning of May 5th at the Gladeside Urban Wild, one of the largest undeveloped areas in Mattapan. Volunteers helped to maintain this open space by removing invasive plant species, preparing the land for future plantings, and performing spring cleaning.

Here’s a look at the two volunteer days:

Volunteers Sara Farnum (Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General), Smita Deshmukh (Sullivan & Worcester LLP), Stephanie Pan, and Margaret Caulfield (Partners HealthCare) helped remove litter and debris from the banks of the Charles River as part of the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up on April 27th.

Volunteers Sara Farnum (Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General), Smita Deshmukh (Sullivan & Worcester LLP), Stephanie Pan, and Margaret Caulfield (Partners HealthCare) helped remove litter and debris from the banks of the Charles River as part of the 14th annual Charles River Clean Up on April 27th.

Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) and Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) planted a tree in Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan.

Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) and Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) planted a tree in Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan.

Volunteers Jennifer Rushlow (Conservation Law Foundation), Danah Tench (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Pamela Harvey (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.), Ben Ericson (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) and his son, Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Michele Hunton (Lawson & Weitzen, LLP), and Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. )and her daughter helped clean up Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan on May 5th.

Volunteers Jennifer Rushlow (Conservation Law Foundation), Danah Tench (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Pamela Harvey (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), Phelps Turner (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.), Ben Ericson (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) and his son, Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Michele Hunton (Lawson & Weitzen, LLP), and Lisa Goodheart (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. )and her daughter helped clean up Gladeside Urban Wild in Mattapan on May 5th.

For more upcoming weekend volunteer opportunities , please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

Law Day Volunteers Teach Record-Breaking Number of Students about Equality

Last week, 41 volunteer attorneys headed to Boston public elementary school and high school classrooms for the annual Law Day in the Schools Program on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The volunteers taught 782 students in seven Boston public schools about the issue of equality.

Beyond the Billable attended a few sessions to bring you a first-hand look at the program:

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O'Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.

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Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company) leads Ms. Pearl-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School in Roslindale in a discussion about what equality means.

Beyond the Billable also tracked down the volunteers to see what they had to say about their experiences:

I would encourage everyone to volunteer for the Law Day in the Schools. Not only was it personally fulfilling, it was really fun to be in a class where the students were so engaged and excited just to have a “real” lawyer in the classroom – something that’s definitely not a commonplace experience for them. In the class I taught, we went from general themes of equality under the law to a very spirited debate about whether kids should have the right to vote. (Consensus – only if they learn about the issues and don’t just vote for their friends!) It’s a terrific opportunity to inspire the next generation and remind ourselves how lawyers have been and continue to be a positive force for change. – Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company), Volunteer Attorney for Kimberly Peart-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School.

Although some students were quiet at the beginning of the class, every one of them became passionately involved during the breakout sessions and presentations, which we organized as debates (a suggestion from one of the students). It was gratifying to hear all of the students sharing their ideas, suggestions, and viewpoints with each other. – Deborah Levine (SEC), Volunteer Attorney in Alan Humbert’s 11th & 12th grade class at West Roxbury Academy

I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in Law Day in the Schools. The fifth grade students were smart, engaged, and well behaved. It was a pleasure to hear their thoughts on what “equality” means and how they can help promote equality in their school and community. – Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC), Volunteer Attorney in Matthew Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School.

For more information on the Law Day in the Schools Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

BBA Lawyer Referral Service Kicks Off Community Outreach Season at Mayfair

Last weekend, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service highlighted its commitment to community outreach by participating in the 30th Annual Mayfair, an event organized by the Harvard Square Business Association. BBA staff spoke with members of the public about how to obtain a lawyer from the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, the largest public service program of the BBA.

Mayfair is just one of the many summer events around Boston, where you’ll find LRS staff. A few events on the horizon are the 43rd Annual Boston Pride Festival in June, India Day at the DCR Hatch Shell in August, and Cambridge Carnival International in September.

BBA staff, Gaciru Matathia, and Solana Goss set up shop at the Mayfair event, displaying materials on how to get in touch with the BBA Lawyer Referral Service.

BBA staff, Gaciru Matathia, and Solana Goss set up shop at the Mayfair event, displaying materials on how to get in touch with the BBA Lawyer Referral Service.

The Mayfair event drew an estimated 200,000 attendees to the heart of Harvard Square.

The Mayfair event drew an estimated 200,000 attendees to the heart of Harvard Square.

For more information on the Lawyer Referral Service, please contact Solana Goss, LRS Intake Coordinator, at [email protected].

BBA President-Elect Shows Support for BDC’s Law Day

First Justice of the Brighton District Court Judge David Donnelly invited students from Saint Columbkille School, state and local officials, and business leaders to Brighton Court for its version of Law Day on Friday, May 3rd. BBA President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC) participated in the program, which included student essays and drawings on the 2013 ABA Law Day theme, “Realizing the Dream Equality for All.”

Here’s what Paul had to say about the event:

I was proud to represent the Boston Bar Association at Brighton District Court’s Law Day. Judge Donnelly shared valuable lessons on the issue of equality and honored the students’ thoughtful work with awards and citations. I look forward to next year’s event.

Beyond the Billable was on hand to capture the day:

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President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation) participated in the processional into the courtroom with other business leaders and state and local officials for the Brighton District Court’s Law Day program.

Chief Justice Charles Johnson (Boston Municipal Court), BBA President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation), and Judge David Donnelly (Brighton District Court) took part in the Brighton District Court's annual Law Day Celebration.

Chief Justice Charles Johnson (Boston Municipal Court), BBA President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation), and Judge David Donnelly (Brighton District Court) took part in the Brighton District Court’s annual Law Day Celebration.

Check back later this week to see pictures from the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

PILP Delivers Lesson on Public Benefits to Federal Probationers

As our readers may have heard, our current class of Public Interest Leaders (PILP) is holding a series of workshops as part of the Community Reentry Readiness Program. The most recent session shed light on government benefits for low-income individuals in Massachusetts. Current PILP member Julie Devanthéry (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) and Ellen Shachter (Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services) conducted the session for 24 federal probationers from the CARE and RESTART programs.

Julie Devanthéry (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) and Ellen Shachter (Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services) lead the third module of the Community Reentry Readiness Program on public benefits for federal probationers.

Ellen Shachter (Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services) and Julie Devanthéry (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) led the third module of the Community Reentry Readiness Program on public benefits for federal probationers.

The next session will take place on June 5th and will cover the topic of Housing. PILP’s Chris Saccardi will be delivering the lesson.

For more information on the Public Interest Leadership Program, please contact Susan Helm, Member Programs Coordinator, at sh[email protected].

Interested in Asylum Cases? We Can Help

Last night the BBA’s Immigration Law Section held a CLE titled “Asylum: Application Through Appeal” where speakers led attendees through the entire life cycle of an asylum case and provided thorough review of the current law and standards of review. This CLE was a must for attorneys who want to understand the law as it applies to seekers of asylum and who are new to representing asylum clients.

Attorneys learn about the current laws and lifecycle of an asylum case at the CLE “Asylum: Application Through Appeal."

Attorneys learn about the current laws and life cycle of an asylum case at the CLE “Asylum: Application Through Appeal.”

As our readers know, volunteer attorneys play a central role in these types of cases because asylum seekers often need pro bono representation. Beyond the Billable is always trying to help our lawyers find new ways to volunteer in the community, and it just so happens that two of the grantees of the Boston Bar Foundation (the BBA’s charitable arm) provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers. Now it’s your turn. Read below for more:

(1) Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR): the organization recruits, trains, and mentors pro bono attorneys to provide pro bono representation for asylum seekers in Boston. Click here for more information.

(2) Community Legal Services and Counseling Center: The organization helps individuals apply for political asylum in the United States. Click here for more information.

Financial Literacy Volunteers Make Program a Success

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program served a record-breaking 1,000 students this spring thanks in large part to our dedicated volunteers. Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the 141 attorneys, legal staff, and law students who volunteer their time to teach students how to make sound financial decisions.

Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.

Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.

John Affuso, Massachusetts Port Authority
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Melissa Armstrong, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Artesani, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Hon. Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Gina Barbieri, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody LLP
Susan Bernstein, Susan Bernstein Law Offices
James Bonfanti, Eastern Bank
Arthur Bookstein, Bookstein Law
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Ann Brennan, Ann Brennan Law Offices
Regina Brooks, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Steven Brujic, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Lindsey Burton, Litle & Co.
Andrew Cahill, Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Alexandra Capachietti, Burns & Levinson LLP
Brian Carroll, Foley Hoag LLP
Michelle Chisholm, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stephanie Cocce, Greater Boston Legal Services
Tara Colby, Liberty Mutual Group
Michele Collins, MetLife
Kathleen Conlon, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Meaghan Connolly, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Corrado, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jared Crittenden, Suffolk Law School
Susan Curtin, Securities & Exchange Commission
Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps
Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Joel DeFelice, Marder & Defelice Law Offices
Peggy DeFren, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Smita Deshmukh, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Christine Devine, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Gregory Devlin, Flowers and Manning LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Andrew Doherty, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Randall Dorf, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Alicia Downey, Downey Law LLC
Meghan Driscoll, Suffolk Law School
Elizabeth Duffy, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Andrew Fagenholz, Liberty Mutual Group
Anne Farina, Sun Life Financial
Hon. Joan Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Allyson Fiorello, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Flaherty, Suffolk Law School
Alexander Flig, Flig Law Office
Susan Frigoletto, Frigoletto Law Offices
Brendan Furey, American Student Assistance
David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC
Sean Gilligan, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Barbara Gilmore, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Barry Gold, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Jose Gonzalez, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Kelly Goss, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nancy Gregory, Blum Shapiro
Maria Grinko, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Kelli Gunagan, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Katrina Harrington, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
William Harrington, Office of the U.S. Trustee
Pamela Harvey, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Kristi Heiman, Massachusetts School of Law
Zachary Heller, New England Law Boston
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Stewart Hirsch, Strategic Relationships
Hon. Melvin Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Alexander Hughes, Suffolk Law School
John Kacoyannakis, Law Offices of John Kacoyannakis
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
James Kalec
Kevin Kam, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Brittany Kaminski, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Noah Kaufman, Foley Hoag LLP
Deirdre Keady, Harmon Law Offices, PC
Ryan Kelley, Boston College
Alexander Klibaner, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Sebastian Korth, Korth Law Office
Kimberly Kroha, Commerce Group Inc.
Anelise Lago, Wells Fargo
Dmitry Lev, Law Offices of D. Lev, PC
Deborah Levine
Richard Levine, Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC
Michael Licker, Foley Hoag LLP
Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King, P.C.
Catherine Lizotte, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
John Loughnane, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Halina Magerowski, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Martha Masinton, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stacie McHale, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Daniel McLoughlin, EMC
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Sara Meyers, Ropes & Gray LLP
Rose Miller, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jacqueline Modiste, The Law Offices of Jacqueline L. Modiste
Darren Mooney, Suffolk University
John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Maura Murphy, Sun Life Financial
Rebecca Neale, Klein Kavanagh Costello LLP
Maura Nugent Martinelli, Goodwin Procter LLP
Melissa O’Berg, Rocket Software, Inc.
Beth Oldmixon, Pierce Davis
Laura Olton, LSO Energy Advisors LLC
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Daniel Pierce, Duane Morris LLP
Mark Powers, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Rosa Previdi, Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Kathleen Rahbany, Craig and Macauley, PC
Kiernan Reed, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Erika Reis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sarah Richards, Nixon Peabody LLP
Meghan Roche, Law Office of Meghan Roche
Terence Rodgers, Berkeley Research Group LLC
Ian Roffman, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Joel Rosenthal
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs – A Professional Corporation
David Rozenson, Boston Compliance Associates
Domenic Russo, EMC
Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP
Natalie Sawyer, Murphy & King, PC
Bernie Schilling, Liberty Mutual Group
Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Mackenzie Shea, K&L Gates LLP
Christopher Somma, Goodwin Procter LLP
DeBorah Sonnenschein
Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang
Morgan Springer, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jamie Sroczynski, Liberty Mutual Group
Leslie Su, Minerva Law PC
Ilene Sunshine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Anthony Taylor, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Scott Waldman
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Risa Webb, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Steven Weil, Doherty Ciechanowski Dugan & Cannon PC
Patricia Weisgerber, Suffolk Law School
Susika Wylie, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jessica Youngberg, Suffolk Law School

Please watch for opportunities to volunteer for the Financial Literacy Program this summer as part of the enrichment seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students.

For more information on the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

Law Day in the Schools Volunteers Gear Up for Upcoming Sessions

A number of Law Day in the Schools volunteers gathered in the Adam’s room at the BBA on Wednesday, April 24th to learn more about the program curriculum and to gain helpful tips during the training. Thirty-nine BBA volunteers are already scheduled to teach Boston Public High School students in seven schools about gender equality in the workplace.

Dara Kesselheim (Suffolk County District Attorney's Office) discussed ways to engage elementary school students during the activity to help them learn about equality.

Dara Kesselheim (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office) discussed ways to engage elementary school students during the activity to help them learn about equality.

Matt Welnicki (Melick & Porter, LLP), Dara Kesselheim( Suffolk County District Attorney's Office), and Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP) led the Law Day in the Schools Training at the BBA on Wednesday.

Matt Welnicki (Melick & Porter LLP), Dara Kesselheim( Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP) led the Law Day in the Schools Training at the BBA on Wednesday.

To learn more about how to get involved in the program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

BBA Volunteer Honored by Boston Debate League

The Boston Debate League named BBA Volunteer Tarae Howell (Nixon Peabody) a Volunteer of the Year at its annual award ceremony. BDL recognized Howell for his commitment to the program and students as a judge at local debate tournaments throughout the year.

Here’s what the BDL had to say about Howell at the award ceremony:

“The final winner is a lawyer by week and a favored judge by weekend. Always volunteering to judge where our need is greatest and always a student favorite, this judge represents the best of what it means to be an alumni of an Urban Debate League – pulling our debaters up as he climbs.”

Tarae Howell

Tarae Howell received a Volunteer of the Year Award at the Boston Debate League award Ceremony.

Howell is one of the 42 BBA volunteers who served as a judge or mentor and helped students develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, persuasive writing, and effective communication through competitive debate.

For more information on the Boston Debate League, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].