Posts Tagged: Boston Public Schools

September Shines with Public Service Opportunities

The Boston Debate League judges' training is one of the many public service-related events taking place at the BBA this month.

The Boston Debate League judges training is one of the many public service-related events taking place at the BBA this month.

If you are interested in diving into public service this fall, Beyond the Billable has you covered. The month of September offers a number of occasions to receive specialized training and information on opportunities to get more involved in the community.

Here is a look at the upcoming events:

• Calling all new lawyers— join the New Lawyers Section for a Pro Bono Kick Off Meeting and Info Session on September 11th from 5:30-7:30 to learn how you can get more involved in public service activities through the BBA. Click here to register.

• Are you looking for a new pro bono opportunity? Attend to the CORI Training on September 16th from 3-6 pm. The training will prepare you to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Click here to sign up.

• Learn how to be an effective volunteer judge for the Boston Debate League (BDL) at the training on September 24th from 4:30-6 pm. BDL offers busy attorneys low-commitment and meaningful volunteer opportunities. Attorneys can use their unique skills to help Boston Public High School students improve their critical thinking, public speaking, and argumentation skills. Click here to sign up for the training.

Stay tuned for more public service opportunities coming up later this fall. With Pro Bono Month fast approaching in October, the calendar will continue to fill up.

A Trip to the Court – Summer Jobs Students Learn Consequences of Poor Financial Decisions

The Summer Jobs students participated in the Consequences module of the Financial Literacy Program this morning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The Summer Jobs students participated in the Consequences module of the Financial Literacy Program this morning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

At the last session of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, the Summer Jobs students received firsthand lessons about the consequences of poor financial decision-making directly from the source — the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. With the help of Judge Joan Feeney and a number of volunteer bankruptcy attorneys, the students witnessed a mock Meeting of Creditors and mock Chapter 13 hearing.  The session finished with a brief presentation by Beatriz Mejia, a BBF-funded students who interned at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this summer. She outlined the different chapters of bankruptcy and reiterated the importance of saving and planning your finances for college, especially because students loans are nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

Here’s a look at the morning:

Beatriz Mejia, a Summer Jobs intern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, walked the students through the different chapters of bankruptcy.

Beatriz Mejia, a Summer Jobs intern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, walked the students through the different chapters of bankruptcy.

Judge Joan Feeney showed the Summer Jobs students how the court’s computer system works during their visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Judge Joan Feeney showed the Summer Jobs students how the court’s computer system works during their visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

 

Mentoring Boston Debate League Youth – Real Commitment Means Real Impact

Boys Taking Notes

The Boston Debate League teaches Boston Public High School students valuable skills, such as public speaking and critical thinking.

Are you a former debater looking to get more involved in the community? Beyond the Billable has the perfect volunteer opportunity for you — the Boston Debate League (BDL) is seeking mentors for the 2013-2014 program year. As a mentor, you will attend a weekly, after school debate practice and work with debaters to cultivate public speaking, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

So why get involved? Academic debate teams have a significant impact on the future of the participants. According to BDL, nearly 100% of students who participate in an urban debate league graduate from high school and more than 80% graduate from a four-year college.

Beyond the Billable reached out to current BBA mentor Stephanie Hoeplinger for a firsthand perspective of this volunteer opportunity.

What was your experience volunteering as a Boston Debate League mentor?

“I originally chose to volunteer as a mentor because I wanted to get more involved in the community. I am a big proponent of public schools, so I thought it would be a great fit. I think that, for me, it was a great volunteer experience because I got to see the kids grow and develop over the debate season, so for others looking for a long-term volunteer activity it is a great choice, as the ability to work with a group of kids throughout the year is really rewarding.”

Why do you think lawyers make good debate mentors?

“Lawyers are uniquely qualified to serve as mentors because of our skills as debaters — it is basically what we do in court on a daily basis. Students argue their side and even to cross-examine the other team. I think lawyers, in particular, can help them to think of good questions to ask and can push them to think about the issues in varying ways.”

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

Summer Jobs Students Contribute to Record Breaking Financial Literacy Numbers

David Rozenson taught the Summer Jobs students about car loans and the cost of purchasing a car as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

David Rozenson taught the Summer Jobs students about car loans and the cost of purchasing a car as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

This morning, BBA Summer Jobs students participated in “Buying a Car,” a module of the BBA’s  M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. This module is just one session of the four part program, which teaches high school students about the importance of making informed decisions regarding their finances. The program has set records this year, reaching more than 1,300 students across Massachusetts. Here’s another incredible stat: the program provided financial literacy education to more students during the 2013 program year than it reached in all of its previous years combined, 2005-2012. This incredible growth is thanks to the BBA’s volunteers and the quality of its programming.

Teesdale_RaenelleRaenelle Teesdale, a recent graduate of John D. O’Bryant School who is interning at Chu, Ring, and Hazel LLP this summer, has been thinking about buying a car.

Here is what she had to say about this morning’s session:

“The session had me thinking about all of the possible expenses when buying a car including gas, insurance, and the payments. I’m not saying I won’t buy a car, but I now know that I need to be more financial stable before purchasing one.”

In mid-August, the Summer Jobs students will visit the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the final module—Consequences—to learn about the repercussions of poor financial decision-making.

Summer Jobs Alum Returns to BBA

Alexandra Williams, a 2008 Summer Jobs alumni, is interning with the BBA's finance department this summer.

Alexandra Williams, a 2008 Summer Jobs alum, is interning with the BBA’s finance department this summer.

After her sophomore year at Boston Latin School, Alexandra Williams landed her first office job as a summer intern at Holland & Knight through the BBA’s 2008 Summer Jobs Program. Now a rising senior at Georgetown University majoring in operations and information management, Alexandra again connected with the BBA to procure a summer job – but in a new role. She is interning with the BBA’s finance department this summer, compiling data for the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts launched by BBA President J.D. Smeallie earlier this year.

Beyond the Billable sat down to talk to Alexandra about her Summer Jobs experience and the impact of the program. She explained that was the first time that she worked in a professional setting with adults:

“I remember being scared before my first day because it was my first office job working with adults. [The Holland & Knight employees] treated me like a regular employee. It gave me more confidence because no one was treating me like a child anymore. That confidence not only helped me that summer, but as I went on to college and worked at other jobs and internships.”

Alexandra is yet another example of the lasting impact of the program on the students’ professional experiences—even outside of the field of law. After another legal internship, Alexandra decided that becoming a lawyer was not the right career choice for her. Nevertheless, the program helped prepare her for her future professional and academic endeavors by giving her confidence early in her career.

For the record, Alexandra stills calls Holland & Knight her favorite job and highlighted the benefit of participating in the program’s enrichment seminars while working throughout the summer.

After hiring Alexandra this summer, the BBA can personally attest to the quality of the students that the program produces.

Mentors Make a Difference at Mayor’s Youth Council

This past year, Christina Miller (Suffolk District Attorney’s Office) and Ed Gorman (Law Office of Ed Gorman) served as mentors for the group of Boston Public High School juniors and seniors who have been selected to represent their neighborhoods in the Mayor’s Youth Council. In their role as mentors, Miller and Gorman helped guide students thought their program goals and develop skills in various capacities including executing and leading meetings. The BBA has co-sponsored the Mayor’s Youth Council with the Mayor’s Office and Northeastern University since 1994.

The Mayor’s Youth Council, a partnership between the BBA, Mayor’s Office and Northeastern University, gives young people the opportunity to reach out to other Boston teens. The BBA provides the Mayor’s Youth Council lawyer-mentors.

Beyond the Billable asked Miller about her favorite moment of the year. Here’s what she had to say:

“I have so many favorite moments that it is difficult to pick just one. If I have to pick, it would be the time I conducted a mock interview for a student who is on the Mayor’s Youth Council. She came across as shy at first and minimized her achievements. Instead of minimizing, we worked on her maximizing her experiences. She worked on positively presenting her work and how that work contributed to the public and made her a better leader. We worked on her handshake and posture, as well as other markers of confidence. She reported that she felt great about the interview and felt more confidently about herself – focusing on maximizing! It felt great to help her find the confidence within herself.”

For more information on the Mayor’s Youth Council, please contact Katie D’Angelo, public service programs coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

58 Boston Public High School Students Start Their Summers

This morning, 58 Boston Public High School students traveled to 16 Beacon Street for the annual BBA Summer Jobs Program orientation. To help prepare students for their first day of work on July 8th, the orientation included sessions on workplace professionalism, as well as two financial literacy enrichment modules, on personal finance and budgeting and credit cards.

Here are a few photos from the morning:

2003 Summer Jobs Alumni Emmanuelle Renelique (Wilmer Hale) spoke with the students about her own experience as a Summer Jobs intern.

2003 Summer Jobs Alum Emmanuelle Renelique (Wilmer Hale) spoke with the students about her own experience as a Summer Jobs intern.

Melissa O’Berg (Rocket Software, Inc) taught the Financial Literacy module on using credit and credits cards to the 58 Summer Jobs students.

Melissa O’Berg (Rocket Software, Inc) taught the Financial Literacy module on using credit and credits cards to the 58 Summer Jobs students.

Please stay tuned for more highlights from the program throughout the summer. For more on the Summer Jobs Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, public service programs coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.

Boston Bar Foundation Funds Summer Jobs for 13 Students

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.

Through the support of the BBF, 13  Boston Public School students gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Through the support of the BBF, 13 Boston Public School students will gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

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.

Former Summer Jobs Student Shares Experience – 12 Years Later

Through the BBA's Summer Jobs Program, Boston Public School students gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Through the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program, Boston Public School students gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

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.

Law Day Volunteers Step Up – Reach Record Number of Students

With the help of 41 volunteers, the Law Day in the Schools Program taught 782 Boston public school students about the issue of equality. Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the attorneys who volunteer their time to make this program possible.

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.

Daryl Abbas, The Law Office of Daryl Abbas
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Laurie Alexander-Krom, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
Jeffrey Becker, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Susan Bernstein, Susan Bernstein Attorney of Law
Peter Berry, Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis & Holland, P.C.
Kristin Casavant, Jones Day
Kyle Childers, Boston University Law School
Veronica Contreras, Biogen Idec Inc.
Zeke Davisson, Pierce Atwood LLP
Timmery Donahue
Peter Durning, Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC
Jeremy Eisemann, Liberty Mutual Group
Matthew Fitzsimmons, Law Office of Matthew P. Fitzsimmons
Adam Foss, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Jamie Frank, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Patrick Hanley, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Kathleen Henry, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Matt Iler, Law Office of W. Matthew Iler, Jr.
Kate Isley, Pierce Atwood LLP
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Michelle Kalas, Riemer & Braunstein LLP
Joe Keeney, Biogen Idec Inc.
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Deborah Levine
E. Chouteau Levine, Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC
Anthony Low
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Igor Novikov, Law Office of Igor Novikov, P.C.
Michelle O’Brien, Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC
Erika Reis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Staci Rubin, Alternatives for Community & Environment
Kristen Scioli White, Boston Bar Association
Nancy Shilepsky, Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP
Jennifer Sieczkiewicz, Biogen Idec Inc.
Caroline Simons, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP-Boston
Gary Smith
Ilene Sunshine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Amy Zahler, Biogen Idec Inc.
For more information on the Law Day in the Schools Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at kdangelo@bostonbar.org.