The BBA’s weekly e-publication, BBA Week, has periodically been sending out updates about the work of volunteers aiding victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Beyond the Billable thought last week’s article, titled “BBA on the Road” would be of particular interest to our readers. This article highlighted some volunteer BBA attorneys who offered to go on “home visits”, traveling across Massachusetts and to New Hampshire to meet with victims still recovering from injuries and unable to leave their homes. We hope you will find these stories of people helping in a time of need as inspiring as we did. To read the article, click here.
As you may have heard, the Boston Bar Foundation has generously sponsored 13 Boston Public High School students to work at government agencies and nonprofit organizations through the BBA’s record setting Summer Jobs Program. These students will have the opportunity to gain experience in a professional setting and participate in enrichment seminars on professional development, financial literacy, and student loans. Students will head off to their first day of work on July 8th following a kickoff event with Mayor Thomas Menino at the BBA.
Check out the list of placements below:
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Palmer Roxbury
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Roxbury
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Greater Boston Legal Services
Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts
Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
United States Bankruptcy Court
United States District Court
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
To learn more about how the BBF supports the Summer Jobs Program, please visit the BBF’s new website here.
The BBF would like to thank Jackson Lewis, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, Hemenway & Barnes, and Brennan, Dain, Le Ray, Wiest, Torpy & Garner, P.C. for their generous donations to the BBF to fund Summer Jobs positions.
At Beyond the Billable, we know that lawyers are passionate about giving back to their legal community through pro bono and public service activities. However, finding volunteer opportunities and selecting the right one is no easy task. That’s why last week, the BBA welcomed speakers Patrick J. McDermott (Norfolk Probate and Family Court), Robin D. Murphy (Verrill Dana LLP), Karen Stuntz (McEvoy & Stuntz LLP), and Martin F. Kane (McGrath & Kane) to highlight opportunities for attorneys to gain legal experience while giving back to the Probate and Family Court.
If you missed the program, no problem, that’s why Beyond the Billable is here. Available opportunities include the Lawyer of the Day Program, Conciliation Program, DOVE—Domestic Violence Ended, Attorneys Representing Children (ARC), the Guardianship Clinic, and Limited Assistance Representation. If you want to learn more, or volunteer for these programs, click here.
As our readers know, last week the BBA’s Public Interest Leaders hosted the much anticipated symposium “Human Trafficking: A Call to Action, which packed the BBA’s headquarters with over 125 attendees and attracted some major national press coverage.
The program provided attendees with an overview of the issue of human trafficking as well as the recently passed Massachusetts legislation on the topic. Through three different panels, speakers provided a snapshot of the legal, law enforcement and community-based work that is being done throughout the Commonwealth to combat human trafficking. Panelists also provided insight into the next steps on the issue, highlighting the need for a comprehensive exit program for victims as well as an anti-human trafficking statute.
Take it from panelist Julie Dahlstrom (Director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University School of Law; Immigration Legal Assistance Program of Lutheran Social Services of New England):
“The panelists challenged us, as lawyers, to not only better understand the issue of human trafficking but to call us to act – to better identify legal barriers faced by trafficking survivors and to see how the law can be a force of change in their lives. I was heartened to see such broad support from the Boston bar and to witness so many attorneys stepping forward to volunteer to make a difference to combat trafficking. I applaud the Boston Bar Association for organizing such an inspirational event, and I hope that the momentum from the event will continue to spark further debate and dialogue on this important issue.
Here’s what PILP class member Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) had to say about the event:
“Our panelists did a fabulous job articulating what human trafficking looks like in the Commonwealth and how people can work across disciplines to address the issue. I am delighted with the large turnout, which signals that the legal community cares about the issue of human trafficking. There is a group of individuals who stand ready to take action to support survivors and other experts in their anti-human trafficking work I appreciated the opportunity to work with my PILP colleagues to create, develop, and execute the “Call To Action.”
Beyond the Billable thanks and congratulates the following PILP members who worked to coordinate this collaborative event: Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Daniel Routh (Ropes & Gray LLP), Benton Bodamer (Weil, Gotshal & Manges), Jacqueline Anchondo (Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Cambridge), Omar Gonzalez-Pagan (Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General), Meghan D. Hely Walsh (Holland & Knight LLP) and Anjali Waikar (Krokidas & Bluestein LLP).
For more information about the event or PILP, please contact Susan Helm, [email protected].
This past Saturday, thousands marched in the 43rd annual Boston Pride Festival. This year’s theme, “Moving Forward…Proud, Strong, United” comes just weeks before the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
BBA staff set up their booth at City Hall Plaza, and reached out to the community by providing information on how to obtain a lawyer from the BBA Lawyer Referral Service.
Notable Pride attendees included Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
For more information on the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service, please contact Solana Goss, LRS Intake Coordinator, at [email protected].
On Wednesday, Public Interest Leader Chris Saccardi (The Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi ) led the fourth workshop of the Community Reentry Readiness Program series which covered the topic of housing. With 21 federal probationers in attendance, the session shed light on housing rights and resources available in order to mitigate some of the civil legal issues often encountered by probationers during reentry.
The next session will cover the topic of Financial Literacy. PILP’s Brendan St. Amant (Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP) will be delivering the lesson on August 7th.
As the public service staff dug through the thick stack of Summer Jobs applications for this year’s program, we stumbled upon a recommendation from a teacher at Urban Science Academy who had participated in the program 12 years ago. Beyond the Billable reached out to Isabel Perez, currently a Humanities and AP Literature teacher at Urban Science Academy, to hear more about her experience. Through our conversation, we learned about the significant impact the program had on her future by giving her the confidence and professional experience to succeed.
Click here to see what Isabel had to say about her Summer Jobs experience.
After months of prep work, the BBA’s Public Interest Leaders will be holding a free CLE on Human Trafficking this Thursday from 3 PM-6 PM. Human trafficking has been a hot topic in Massachusetts since the state passed legislation that provides criminal penalties for sexual servitude and enticing a child to engage in prostitution or commercial sexual activity in February 2012.
The program, which brings together the key players in law enforcement, legal services, academia, government, and human services, has attracted the attention of our own Boston Globe, Boston Herald and State House News. A few surprises, though, outlets in Columbus, Indiana and San Francisco, California also picked up the story. Check it out below:
The BBA’s Pipeline & Recruitment Committee of the Diversity & Inclusion Section welcomed 24 diverse law students to the Summer Judicial Internship Program at last night’s orientation meeting. Judge Tochka and Judge Ronquillo, both of the Boston Municipal Court, who have spearheaded this initiative at the BBA offered students tips for working in the court system and making the most of their summer internship. Pipeline & Recruitment Committee Co-Chairs Angela Gomes (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates) and Mia Friedman (Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service Suffolk University Law School) shared information on the Diversity & Inclusion Section and its programming.
These Judicial Interns students will work alongside judges in the Boston Municipal Courts, District Courts and Probate & Family Courts. In addition, interns are invited to engage in weekly professional networking meetings held at the BBA.
Contact Susan Helm at [email protected] or 617-778-1984 for more information on the program
Last night, the BBA’s Family Law section held a roundtable discussion at the 16 Beacon Street discussing ways pro bono work can shape your legal career. Three pro bono connoisseurs, Honorable Maureen Monks (Middlesex Probate and Family Court), Manisha Bhatt (Greater Boston Legal Services) and Susan Finegan (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) served as panelists and shared their personal experiences with the audience and discussed ways for others to get involved.