Law Students & New Lawyers Explore Public Interest Careers and Pro Bono Opportunities at the Summer Kickoff Breakfast

Attendees mingle at the Summer Kickoff Breakfast

On Monday, June 24th, the Delivery of Legal Services Section and Law Student Forum hosted a Summer Kickoff Breakfast for Law Students and New Lawyers Exploring Public Interest Careers and Pro Bono Opportunities. Over 80 people attended the networking breakfast, which offered an opportunity for new lawyers and law students to talk with attorneys from non-profit organizations that provide legal services, as well as attorneys who work in government agencies and those who coordinate pro bono efforts at law firms.  Whether the law students and new lawyers were  considering careers in the public interest, or seeking pro bono opportunities, it was a great chance to connect with attorneys experienced in those areas.  Thanks to all who attended!

Prisoners’ Legal Services Briefs PILP on Incarceration Trends and the Organization’s Work

Guest Post: Caroline Donovan (Foley Hoag), Sophia Hall (Lawyers for Civil Rights) and Susanna Jones (Foundation Medicine) are members of the BBA’s 2018-2019 Public Interest Leadership Program.

On January 7, 2019, Prisoners’ Legal Services* (“PLS”) presented to the 2018-2019 class of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (“PILP”), about current trends and PLS’s ongoing advocacy on behalf of incarcerated persons. Presenting for PLS was Executive Director Lizz Matos and Staff Attorney Jesse White. PLS is a non-profit legal organization that provides civil legal assistance to people who are incarcerated in Massachusetts state prisons, county jails and houses of correction.

By way of setting the stage, Matos shared some startling statistics, including that 22,000 people from Massachusetts are behind bars today and the rate of imprisonment has grown dramatically in the past 40 years. Furthermore, African Americans are incarcerated at a rate six times higher than their White contemporaries, and Latinos at a rate four times higher. Furthermore, Massachusetts is one of the least progressive states when it comes to parole, only granting parole in approximately 34% of cases, and having a tremendously high return rate for technical violations, rather than new criminal offenses. In 2016, for example, Massachusetts returned almost a quarter of its entire parole population to prison for technical violations.

After setting the stage, Matos and White shared some of the most recent work being managed at PLS. In terms of litigation, for example, they shared challenges with water conditions at MCI Norfolk, asbestos at MCI Framingham, and the 5-person visitor cap at Souza-Baranowski Correction Center. As for legislative work, Matos and White talked about their efforts on behalf of the Criminal Justice Reform bill, particularly as it relates to medical parole, improving the Prison Rape Elimination Act, and efforts surrounding solitary confinement. Finally, PLS shared some insight into a new project regarding the treatment of ICE detainees being held at houses of corrections.

*Prisoners’ Legal Services is a 2019 Boston Bar Foundation grant recipient.

Massachusetts Bail Fund Seeks to End Pre-Trial Incarceration by Providing Resources for Court-Appointed Counsel and their Clients

Guest Post: Caroline Donovan (Foley Hoag), Sophia Hall (Lawyers for Civil Rights) and Susanna Jones (Foundation Medicine) are members of the BBA’s 2018-2019 Public Interest Leadership Program.

On Monday, January 28, 2019, Atara Rich-Shea, the Director of Operations for the Massachusetts Bail Fund, described current bail practices in Massachusetts to members of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program and invited engagement with and support for Massachusetts Bail Fund’s efforts to eradicate the system of pre-trial incarceration.

Empirical research evidences the myriad problems of pre-trial bail. For example, as compared to individuals who can post bail, individuals who cannot post bail and are thus held pre-trial are more likely to:

  • Be convicted
  • Receive harsher sentences
  • Plead guilty

To address these and other inequities, the Massachusetts Bail Fund covers bails of $500 or less. Beyond avoiding some of the unjust outcomes described above, the posting of bail allows individuals to work, attend school, and spend time with their families while they resolve their charges.

The Massachusetts Bail Fund can provide bail of $500 or less; if the bail amount is greater than $500, the Massachusetts Bail Fund can provide up to $500 if the individual can obtain the difference in funds from other sources. Court-appointed counsel whose clients would benefit from a referral to the Massachusetts Bail Fund should go here to review the requirements and make a request.

Students Practice Interview Skills with BBA Summer Jobs Program

Last Wednesday, 14 of this year’s BBA Summer Jobs Program students arrived at 16 Beacon Street for Interview Day, an opportunity to meet with their employers ahead of their summer internships.  The Summer Jobs Program, which is a partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council, places high school students from Boston Public Schools in paid legal internship positions in law firms, courts, legal services organizations, and government agencies.  The seven-week program includes weekly enrichment seminars where student interns have the chance to develop professional skills and explore legal careers. 

While the students who participated in Interview Day were guaranteed a position with the program regardless of the outcome of the interview, the afternoon represented a great opportunity to practice professional interview skills and learn more about the projects they will be working on over the summer.  This is just one of many professional development opportunities that the students will engage in during the program.  Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!

Thank You to all Law Day in the Schools Volunteers!

Nathaniel Koslof and Ryan Rosenblatt (Sullivan) with fifth grade students from Samuel Adams Elementary School

As we head into summer, we’re grateful for the commitment made this spring by 120 lawyers and law students to introduce Boston’s youth to the law and legal profession. The Boston Bar Association’s Law Day in the Schools Program reached over 1,700 Boston Public School students in kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms in 18 schools. The volunteers worked with the students to help them understand the importance of the First Amendment and their ability to speak out against injustice. Elementary students learned about the bravery of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist working to ensure educational opportunities for all girls, and the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize. Middle and high school students engaged in discussion and debate through mock City Council hearings that addressed the question of Confederate monuments. Students impressed the attorneys with their thoughtfulness, questions, and engagement.

Please click here to see pictures from the program.

Thank you to all of those who helped the students understand the importance of free speech and the First Amendment and who answered students’ questions about what it’s like to be a lawyer!

Jonathan Albano, Morgan Lewis
Nieve Anjomi, Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Alijah Arah, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Leslie Arsenault, Law Office of Leslie J. Arsenault
Angela Atchue , Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Cathleen Augusto, Arrowood LLP
Heather Baer, Fitch Law Partners LLP
Paula Bagger, Law Office of Paula M. Bagger, LLC
Allison Belanger, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Ritika Bhakri, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Mitali Biswas, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
William Boesch, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Jordan Bowne , Burns & Levinson LLP
Jill Brenner, Meixel Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
David Brody, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Betsy Byra, Boston University School of Law
Brendan Carter, AGCMA – Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts
Kate Carter, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Alison Casey, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Alexandra Clionsky, Boston University School of Law
Brandon Clippinger, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Megan Coneeny, McLane Middleton
Kathleen Cruickshank, Murphy & King
Bernardo Cuadra, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Allen David, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Joan Densberger, Boston University
Andrew Farrington, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Edward Ferrante, D’Ambrosio Brown LLP
David Ferrera, Nutter McClennen & Fish
John Fiske, Healy, Fiske, Richmond & Matthew, LLP
John Fitzpatrick, Laredo & Smith, LLP
Ben Franklin, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Heather Gamache, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Lindsey Gil, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Caitlin Glynn, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Cortney Godin , Peabody & Arnold LLP
Maria Granik, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Peter Haley, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Adam Hamel, McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Eric Haskell, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Dorothy Heebner, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Jennifer Henricks, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Lillian Hirales , Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Andra Hutchins, Kerstein, Coren & Lichtenstein LLP
Matt Iler, Law Office of W. Matthew Iler, Esq.
Ethan Jeffrey, Murphy & King
Daniel Johnston, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Hannah Joseph, Beck Reed Riden LLP
Matthew Kane , Laredo & Smith, LLP
Kristyn Kelley, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Erica Kim, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Brian Killoy, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Kelly Kirby, Burns & Levinson LLP
Nathaniel Koslof, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Caroline Kupiec, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Mark Larsen, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Brian Lee, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Chris Lindstrom, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Lisa Locher, Greater Boston Legal Services
Ann Lowery, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Victoria Lu, Boston University School of Law
Carolyn Marcotte, Barclay Damon, LLP
Stephanie Mariani, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Mary Martin, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Julie Martin, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Sa’adiyah Masoud, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Katy Mezaros, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Michael McDermott, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Louis Mercedes, Jones Day
David Michel, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Christina Miller, Suffolk University Law School
Michael Millett, Marsh, Inc.
Laura Mittelman, Burns & Levinson LLP
Patricia Natale , Rockland Trust Company
Sean Nehill, Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)
Joseph Nevins , Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Emily Notini, Goodwin Procter LLP
Wadner Oge, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Alexa O’Keefe, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Barbara O’Toole, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Greg Pakhladzhyan
Gregory Paonessa, Burns & Levinson LLP
Andrea Peraner, Sweet Fitch Law Partners LLP
Cassandra Prince, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Susanne Reardon, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Timothy Rennie, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Lauren Reznick, Massachusetts Land Court
Margaret Hoyt Rupert, Nutter McClennen & Fish
Ryan Rosenblatt, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Michael Rossi, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Payal Salsburg , Laredo & Smith, LLP
Glenn Schley, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Leanne Scott, Baker Newman Noyes
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Gary Smith
Mariel Smith, Nutter, McClennen & Fish
Amy Spector, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Samantha Spellman, Nutter, McClennen & Fish
Jared Spinell, Rubin and Rudman, LLP
Carol Starkey, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Danielle Starr, Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster
Aaron Staudinger, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Margaret Strauss, Arrowood LLP
Xiaoxue Sun, Boston University School of Law
Glen Tagliamonte, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Viktor Theiss, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Alexis Theriault, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Erika Todd, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sudeshna Trivedi, Public Health Advocacy Institute
Chelsea Tryder, Locke Lord LLP
Marilyn Wellington, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Brian Whiteley, Barclay Damon, LLP
Edward Whitesell, Jr., Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Connie Wong, Boston Fire Department
Kristin Youkana, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Liuyang Yu, Boston University School of Law

If you’re interested in volunteering for this program next year, please email Hannah Poor at

Lawyer for the Day in the Eastern Housing Program Celebrates 20 Years of Helping Pro Se Litigants

Hon. MaryLou Muirhead, Hon. Jeffrey Winik, and Hon. Wilbur P. Edwards, Jr., (Ret.) of the Housing Court with Court staff at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Lawyer for the Day in Eastern Housing Court Program. Click here for the full photo album.

Yesterday, volunteers, court employees, and program leadership gathered at 16 Beacon to celebrate the continued success of the Lawyer for the Day Program in the Eastern Housing Court.  Since 1999, dedicated volunteers have helped more than 18,000 tenants and landlords navigate through the Eastern Housing Court – making all the difference for individuals and families who would otherwise have to go to court alone. This is a significant milestone for the BBA and all of the dedicated volunteers who make this program possible, and we had a lot to celebrate : just this year alone, over 160 volunteer attorneys have been able to provide representation to over 400 tenants and landlords.

Remarks were given by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants and Eastern Housing Court Justices MaryLou Muirhead and Jeffrey Winik. The Justices recognized the importance of the Lawyer for the Day program in the operations of the court, and expressed gratitude that volunteers improve unrepresented litigants’ chance to prevail every day.

Volunteer Lawyers Project Staff Attorney Geraldine Gruvis-Pizarro and Executive Director Joanna Allison also presented. They honored longtime volunteers and firm partners who are essential to the program’s longevity, remarking “it takes a village to assist our clients.”  WilmerHale, Ropes & Gray, and retired WilmerHale partner Andy Cohn were recognized for their dedication to the program since its start.

If you are interested in getting involved – help is still needed.  There were close to 30,000 eviction cases in Massachusetts last year, and 92% of tenants and 30% of landlords are unrepresented statewide. Interested volunteers can find out more here.

The program is a collaboration between the Eastern Housing Court, Boston Bar Association, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Greater Boston Legal Services and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, and Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and is supported by the Herbert Wiley Vaughan Fund of the Boston Bar Foundation.  The Vaughan Fund is used to support the volunteers that are the lifeblood of this program by providing supplies, equipment and training.

CORI Sealing Clinic

The BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic, which launched in January 2019, will have its fifth clinic date next Wednesday, June 5, at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse. This project, which engages volunteer attorneys in helping low-income clients seal their criminal records through the courts, has assisted close to 40 people over the past four months. We are excited to have volunteers from BBA Sponsor Firm Pepper Hamilton staff the clinic next week!

Such assistance is critical, as prior criminal records can create barriers to obtaining housing, employment, and educational opportunities. Massachusetts law permits people with a criminal record to have their records “sealed” from public view after a waiting period by meeting certain legal requirements. The CORI Sealing Clinic helps those who may not be able to undertake this process without the assistance of an attorney, but cannot afford to pay for counsel.

To learn more about the program, click here. If you are interested in volunteering with the clinic, please email Hannah Poor at

Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program

Two law students who were selected for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program began working at their respective offices this month. Anna Cardoso, a rising 2L at Boston University School of Law, is working at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, and Emaan Syed, a rising 3L at Suffolk Law School, is working at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, under Justice Melvin S. Hoffman. Both of these students have outstanding records of academic and professional accomplishments, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. To learn more about the 2019 Fellows and the program, please click here.

BBF to Fund Positions for Six High School Students in Legal Offices this Summer

Each year, thanks to generous donations to the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, high school students are provided with the opportunity to work in local legal services organizations, courts, and government offices through the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. This summer, six Boston Public School students will have the opportunity to earn a paycheck through Boston Bar Foundation funding while developing critical professional skills and providing support to a legal office in the city. The following organizations will be hosting BBF-sponsored interns:

• Executive Office of Health and Human Services
• Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
• Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
• U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Clerk’s Office
• U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Ward Fellowship
• Volunteer Lawyers Project

We’re also grateful to the 22 law firms and government agencies that are directly hiring students this summer.

The Summer Jobs Program will kick off its 26th year on July 8. In addition to working at the employer offices, the students will participate in special enrichment programming at the BBA each week to learn about the legal field and gain professional skills. Stay tuned for updates on the students’ activities throughout the summer!

Last Chance to Hire a Student Intern for the Summer

In two months, Boston public high school students will gather at the BBA on the morning of their first day of a 7-week summer internship. Each of the students applied to the program hoping to gain insight into the legal profession while honing critical office skills. Throughout July and August they will work with attorneys and office staff assisting with general administrative tasks such as data entry and front desk coverage, as well as more specialized project including translation. Over 20 firms and law offices have already pledged to hire a student this summer, but there’s still time for your office to come on board.

The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is one of many programs partnering with Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Initiative, which aims to employ over 10,000 Boston teens each summer. However, it is the only opportunity available to BPS students interested in pursuing a legal career, and these opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of numerous firms, in-house departments, government agencies, courts, and legal services organizations.

To learn more about how to hire a student this summer or if you’d like to donate to support a student’s position at a non-profit or government agency contact Cassandra Shavney at by May 15th.

To learn more about the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund which supports projects benefitting Boston’s Youth including the Summer Jobs program, click here or contact Erica Southerland at