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].

PILP Introduced to Veterans Initiatives in Massachusetts

Veterans Treatment Court Judge Eleanor Sinnott during a session.

Coinciding with Veterans Day in November, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) heard from two prominent veterans’ advocates in the Commonwealth. First, the group met with Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott who presides over Boston’s Veterans Treatment Court. The court, which began in 2014 under her guidance, is one of five in the state and like the others, seeks to help veterans who’ve found themselves in the court system. Through the voluntary program, which accepts 15-20 cases at a time, veterans are matched with a volunteer peer veteran mentor that helps guide them through the 12-24 months. Those mentors support the veteran as they complete extensive counseling, drug and alcohol treatment, needs assessments, court hearings, and more. At this time, none of the participants have been court-involved since graduating the program. Judge Sinnott, a veteran herself, is very aware of the special needs of our veterans community. She noted the difference between military and civilian culture and the strong support system that exists amongst veterans. The mentorship component of Veterans Treatment Court is perhaps its biggest key to success. For those interested in learning more about the Veterans Treatment Court or who would like to refer a case to the court, please click here.

PILP also heard from Francisco A. Ureña, Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services. Secretary Ureña discussed their programs related to financial assistance, Soldiers’ Homes and state cemeteries, and advocacy and outreach. The department works closely with Veterans Legal Services and the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, connecting veterans to their pro bono services. Additionally, Secretary Ureña identified homelessness as one of the department’s top focus areas, as well as general outreach to the veterans population of Massachusetts to alert them of their services. The Secretary urged PILP to learn more about how they can assist veterans through pro bono work.

If you would like information on how to perform veterans pro bono work, please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

VLP Announces September – November Honor Roll

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program. VLP relies on volunteers to deliver pro bono services to those in need.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation in September, October and November:

Samuel Ames
Nicolette Anagnos
Tristan Axelrod
Dick Bauer
Thomas Beauvais
Elaine M. Benkoski
Stephanie Biggs
Christina Bitter
Sarah Boonin
Larry Booz
Rebecca Brodie
Lisa Brown
Robert Burdick
Edward Burns
Rachel Bussey
Lisa Callahan
Michael Campinell
Philip Chan
Christopher Clark
Rosemarie Clinch
Rosemarie Clinch
Ian D. Coghill
Patrick J. Daly
Maureen Jones Devine
Vikas Dhar
Brenda S. Diana
Julie Dick
Eleanora DiLorenzo
Audrey Donovan
Jessica Doucette
Pauline Edmonds
Ashly Wayne Eikelberg
Kellie W. Fisher
Lois Galluzzo
Andres Garron
Michael G. Giarrusso
Philip R. Gindi
David Goldman
Emmanuel Gonzalez
Richard Gruenberger
Bonnie Leigh Heiple
Meredith Hendrix
Karen Hoffman
Nicholas Horan
Robin I. Houston
Scott Hubbell
David P. Hunt
Maegan Hurley
Katherine Insogna
Kerline Jean-Louis
Sharon V. Jones
Haskell A. Kassler
Ilene S. Klein
Lindsay Kosan
Ian Lane
Peter V. Lawlor
Christine Lee
Helen Lee
Yvonne Lee
Michael Levesque
Jacqueline Levy
Julia Lindsey
Michael Lopes
Elizabeth Loranth
Michael MacDonald
Marc Migliazzo
Caryn Mitchell-Munevar
Joseph Molina Flynn
William Moore
Joanna Morris
Madelyn Morris
John Morrissey
Greg Moscatel
Joanne Moses
Ryann Morgan Muir
Justin Murphy
Sarah Murphy-Holroyd
Lynne Myhre
Fernanda H. Naspolini
J.P. Nealon
Yavor Nechev
Kait O’Connor
Kaitlyn Michaud O’Connor
Judy O’Neil
Walter Oney
Holly Ovington
Diane Patrick
William Patton
Julia C. Peyton
Katuscia Pierre-Charles
Nicholas Planty
Steven D. Pohl
John C. Polley
Stephen Provazza
Lei Reilley
Kenneth Reisman
Lola Remy
Hayley Ryan
Lou D. Saban
Erika Schutzman
David Schwartz
Arthur Shum
Joshua Silverstein
Belinda Teye
Sharon L. Toffler
James M. Tourkistas
Olivia Uitto
William Valletta
Judith Vassilovski
Leann Walsh
Heather M. Ward
Neil Warrenbrand
Kristin Weberg
Richard Harris Wheeler
Emily Whelan
Jennifer Williams
Lawrence A. Wind
Charles M. Wyzanski
Catherine Zhang
Ajay Zutshi

Principal for a Day: BBA President Carol Starkey Visits UP Academy


The following is a guest blog from BBA President Carol Starkey on her experience participating in the Boston Plan for Excellence Principal for a Day program:

Promoting civic education is one of the values I hold dear in my role of public service as President of the Boston Bar Association.  I believe it is our responsibility as lawyers to engage in the mentorship and civic education of our inner city youth, helping them to understand the foundational principles of what it means to be a citizen in our American democracy.  So when I was invited to participate in the Boston Plan for Excellence Principal for a Day Program, an annual initiative to promote Boston’s inner city schools through the engagement of business and civic leaders, I jumped at the chance.

On November 17, 2016, one week after the Presidential election, I visited a school in South Boston known as UP Academy Boston,  where I shadowed Principal Katy Buckland for an entire morning. Principal Buckland is a 30 year old professional who deeply impressed me with her enthusiasm, intellectual leadership and compassion while she gave me a tour of the school under her care of first through eighth graders.  On a daily basis, Principal Buckland overcomes challenges of providing a safe environment for all of her students, while assisting her teachers and colleagues in providing a quality education to children distracted by surviving on low incomes, witnessing violence in the streets and sometimes in their homes, or understanding – and not in a good way – what it means to identify as a minority.

But I left that school feeling invigorated and hopeful, not only because of the dedication and wisdom of the Principal I shadowed that day, but because I saw the hope and excitement in the faces of all of the children under her care, embracing their class room lessons and teachers with trust and enthusiasm.  It takes the innocence of our youth to remind us that we are all grappling with what it means to fit into society – to obtain and retain our rights as citizens – to achieve and develop dreams while overcoming challenges.  And isn’t that at the heart of what it means to be a lawyer – to help others through challenges – to advance the principles from which we can all live and work together?

I wish all of our members at the bar could have shadowed a Principal for a day in our great city of Boston.  It was an important reminder that as lawyers, we can and must be mentors for our youth, and perhaps more importantly, we must be educators as well.