The BBA continues to support the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
You may remember this article, which highlighted the Mayor Walsh’s personal phone calls to employers asking them to hire Boston youth this summer. Well, the Mayor’s at it again. This time, he’s reaching out to the larger business community with a personal call to hire Boston teens through an article in the Boston Business Journal.
In the article he wrote, “We take pride in how highly Boston ranks in so many measures of success. But we also rank among the cities with the greatest inequality. We are fighting it on many fronts. But none is more important than getting our young people the opportunities they deserve. They are the next generation of Boston’s workers, innovators, and leaders. Help me prepare them—and us—for success. All they need is a chance.”
While 43 legal offices have stepped up to support Boston youth, there is still a greater need. Every year the BBA receives over 100 applications and we have to turn away talent and eager Boston public high school students because we don’t have enough positions. However, this is where your office can help. Are you interested in joining Mayor Walsh’s efforts to provide Boston teens with a valuable summer job? Click here to learn more.
Don’t forget to check out the list below to see if your office has already committed to the program:
Look what our partners near Springfield just received in the mail!
The Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations shared a few thank you notes they received from students who participated in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program this fall. Under the leadership of Financial Literacy Co-Chairs Elizabeth Katz (Rescia & Katz, LLP) and John Davis (Cooley Shrair) and Judge Henry Boroff, volunteers teach roughly 100 students at Holyoke, Easthampton, and Northampton High Schools how to make sound financial decisions through the program every year.
We want to pass on some thanks of our own! Thank you to the following volunteers for donating their time to the program:
John Davis, Cooley Shrair
Elizabeth Katz, Rescia & Katz, LLP
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge:
Hon. Henry Boroff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Karen Adamski, O’Brien & Adamski
Jennifer Butler, Weiner Law Firm, PC
Henry Geberth Jr., Hendel & Collins, PC
Nicholas Grimaldi, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Lisa Halbert, Bacon Wilson, PC
Michael Katz, Bacon Wilson, PC
Eric Kornblum Peter Lane Joseph Lange, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP Karen Murphy, Pioneer Valley Legal Associates, LLP
Andrea O’Connor, Hendel & Collins, PC
Kara Rescia, Rescia & Katz, LLP
Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office
Spencer Stone, Bacon Wilson PC
Mikal Weiss, Burrows, Weiss Mintz & Lippiello LLP
Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson
The program is administered by the Hampden County Bar Association with the help of Executive Director Noreen Nardi and the Hampshire County Bar Association with the help of Executive Director Rebecca Ryan. Read more about the BBA’s partnerships in Western Massachusetts in an upcoming edition of Beyond the Billable.
Thanks to our sponsors, ticket holders and our silent auction winners the BBF raised nearly $35,000 last night to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program, and put 13 students to work this summer! Click here to see a full list of the 2015 Casino Night sponsors.
This year’s event featured a raffle, snacks and drinks, and authentic casino games that gave the 200 attendees a chance to test out their gambling skills. As always, the famed silent auction table got heated as bidding wars broke out over prize packages including luxury box seats to the Celtics, hotel stays on the cape, and various Boston adventures. The most sought after package included a private butchering lesson at The Butcher Shop, a hand crafted cutting board from Birch Barn Designs and a gift certificate to the South End Formaggio that went for a winning bid of $450.
So who were the big winners of the evening? Rob Lashway (Floyd Advisory, LLC), Andy Caffrey (Birnbaum & Godkin, LLP), and Jen Lynn (Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young, LLP) “cashed in” the most chips at the end of the evening. However, the real winners are the Boston teens who get the opportunity to earn money and gain professional experience by interning in a legal office this summer.
Thornton Law Firm LLP participated in the PIC’s Job Shadow Day last week and then decided to hire a student through the BBA Summer Jobs Program after enjoying the experience.
Can you spare half a day for the next generation? Once again, the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), one of our partners for the BBA Summer Jobs Program, is gearing up for its annual Job Shadow Day. With nearly 1,000 Boston public high school students participating each year, Job Shadow Day is a great place for employers to meet high school students who are eager to explore careers through hands on experience. This event, which serves as a precursor to the citywide teen employment efforts, allows students to shadow professionals during a normal day of work to give them a firsthand look into the skills and education needed to pursue a number of different careers.
Don’t miss this opportunity to introduce a Boston teen to the legal field. In the past, many of our Summer Jobs employers have identified eager students through this program to work in their offices through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.
Interested in getting involved? This half day program will take place on Friday, February 6th. Click here to learn more.
The BBA had another year full of public service. For a look back at our members’ work in the community, take a look at the photos below:
The John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $640,000 last January to help fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas, such as domestic violence and homelessness. The BBF honored Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with the Public Service Award for his commitment to the City of Boston, including his efforts to find employment for thousands of Boston teens each summer.
The BBF’s popular Casino Night had a new twist this year—100 percent of the proceeds supported the BBA Summer Jobs Program. As you may remember, the BBF funds paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program. The event raised more than $35,000 for the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund to benefit the Summer Jobs Program.
The BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program celebrated its 15th year anniversary of providing legal assistance to pro se landlords and tenants at the Boston Housing Court. Since the program began, over 12,000 volunteers have helped more than 15,000 landlords and tenants navigate complicated legal issues.
In April, Boston commemorated the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The following month, the BBA honored the volunteers who stepped up to offer pro bono legal assistance to over 80 small businesses and individuals affected by the bombings at the Law Day Dinner through the BBA’s Marathon Assistance Project.
The BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program took off this year. Ninety-four attorneys taught over 1,300 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about voting rights.
In June, the BBF unveiled its newest fundraising event, called Passports to Pairings, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $37,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.
The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 64 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 14 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.
On September 1, 2014, the BBA celebrated the one year anniversary of the Military & Veterans Help Line’s move to the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, connecting 161% more servicemembers to legal assistance. Later in the fall, the BBA announced that four firms—Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Nixon Peabody LLP, Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius, and Nutter McClellen & Fish LLP—had stepped up to offer pro bono assistance to servicemembers who do not qualify for traditional free legal services, but cannot afford the fees of attorneys.
The BBA welcomed Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, who discussed her work and commitment to combating military sexual trauma. This program is part of the BBA’s ongoing commitment to addressing the needs of military personnel, veterans, and their family members.
October, proclaimed Pro Bono Month, once again brought a flurry of trainings and events to 16 Beacon. The lineup included the annual Landlord Tenant Law and Practice Training, the CORI Training, the Pro Bono Recruitment Fair, and the Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking: An Introduction for Attorneys Program.
The BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding.
The BBA kicked off the Community Reentry Readiness Program once again this November. The program, which was originally started by PILP 9, aims to reduce the risk of recidivism by sending volunteer attorneys to deliver civil legal education workshops to federal probations in the CARE/RESTART Program on issues that they may face upon reentry. The pilot program was such a success that the BBA and Federal Court once again teamed up to continue the program.
In November, BBA President Julia Huston spent the morning shadowing the headmaster of Mary Lyon Pilot High School in Brighton through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program. As a former teacher in special education, Julia found the program particularly interesting because every single class at the Mary Lyon Pilot High School is fully inclusive, incorporating both general education and students with emotional and behavioral impairments.
The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,900 calls last year.
In December, the BBA geared up to kick off an exciting new pilot program in the Land Court with a training on assisting homeowners facing tax foreclosure. Now that a number of attorneys are up to speed on the issue, they can volunteer to be on call to assist homeowners at the Land Court’s Thursday Tax Title Sessions and help homeowners hold onto their property.
Greater Boston Legal Services Attorneys Nancy Kelly, Anne Mackin, and Patricia Ann Tellis-Warren walked family law attorneys through steps they can take to assist unaccompanied minors.
The influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America made headlines earlier this year. In an effort to offer assistance to these children, the BBA’s Immigration and Family Law Sections teamed up for a training on expediting the immigration process.
Experienced family law practitioners gathered at the BBA last Wednesday for an overview of the steps needed to obtain a predicate order from the Probate and Family Court, thus allowing an immigration attorney to later apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for the immigrant youth. An expert panel made up of attorneys from Greater Boston Legal Services, including Nancy Kelly, Anne Mackin, and Patricia Ann Tellis-Warren, outlined common issues and challenges and discussed sample pleadings with the audience.
What do you hope attendees learned at the training?
“We hope that attendees learned basic information about the avenues for immigration relief for unaccompanied children and various ways in which family law practitioners can provide pro bono services to immigrant children.”
Why should attorneys assist with these types of cases?
“Working with unaccompanied children is incredibly rewarding. Often, these children are fleeing violence, abuse and neglect in their countries. Having a lawyer can mean the difference between life and death.”
Marlies Spanjaard (Edlaw Project) walked attendees through the different ways that attorneys can get involved in special education advocacy efforts
On Monday, the BBA teamed up once more with the Edlaw Project to host a pro bono training on assisting at-risk youth. You may remember the popular training, “School Discipline Advocacy for At-Risk Youth,” held at the BBA last December. This time, attorneys gathered in the Conference Center to learn about special education advocacy from the Edlaw Project’s Director of Education Advocacy Marlies Spanjaard.
If you caught BBA President Julia Huston’s blogpost on the topic of education advocacy last week, you’re up to speed on the issue. However, if you missed it, here are a few of the surprising – and alarming – statistics:
Only about half of Massachusetts third-grade students score proficient or above in reading on the MCAS.
Two-thirds of children who can’t read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up imprisoned at some point in their lives.
Only 17% of students in grade K-12 across the state receive special education services.
The good news? Monday’s training helped to bolster the Edlaw Project’s pro bono panel to assist children in need of special education services. Click here to read her full post.
Last week, BBA Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs Mike Avitzur headed across the street to Boston City Hall to discuss key policy issues. However, this time he was meeting with a different group of representatives—Boston teens from the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC). As you may know, the BBA is a longstanding partner of the MYC, teaming up with the City of Boston and Northeastern University. Mike was invited to lend his policy expertise to help the 85 teens who represent their Boston neighborhoods refine their policy recommendations to the Mayor. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“It was great to have a chance to talk with young people who are so interested in public policy and so engaged with trying to make a positive difference in the world around them.”
So what types of policy ideas are on the table? Here are a few of the representatives’ ideas:
Tax incentives for small businesses that employ young people;
Community policing training for MBTA police;
Tax incentives for organizations that provide advertising for non-profits; and
Banning alcohol advertising on city and state owned property.
Mike presented key questions to think about before their meetings with officials, such as how much will this policy cost and who are the key stakeholders who will support or oppose it? The representatives then worked to outline answers to each question and identify areas for additional research. So what’s up next? The MYC will continue to research and hone their ideas before making formal recommendations to the Mayor.
Ed Barshak (Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.) received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at last week’s Annual Meeting Luncheon for his leadership on issues, such as the desegregation of the Boston schools through busing.
Our dedicated readers know about our partnership with the Boston Public Schools through a number of our public service initiatives, including the BBA Summer Jobs Program, Law Day in the Schools, and the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. However, you may not know that our support for Boston youth precedes these longstanding initiatives. If you were one of the 1,200 attorneys who attended our Annual Meeting Luncheon on Friday, you know BBA President Julia Huston referenced the BBA’s involvement in the City of Boston’s efforts to desegregate schools through busing in the 1970’s in her remarks about the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Ed Barshak. Here’s what happened: under then President Ed Barshak’s leadership, the BBA worked to educate the public about desegregation and the busing movement—a movement which fundamentally changed the structure and makeup of the Boston public schools we work with today. If you want more specifics about the BBA’s role in this issue, our friends at Issue Spot, the BBA’s Public Policy blog, offer a full rundown of events in their post, A Retrospective – The BBA and Busing, 40 Years Later.
Ben Haideri, a recent graduate of Boston Latin Academy and intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, spoke with the audience about his experience in the program.
Our loyal readers may remember Ben Haideri, who interned at the Suffolk DA’s Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program during the past two summers and served on the Mayor’s Youth Council (see article here and here). With all his BBA experience and impressive resume, we selected Ben to speak to students, their families and employers at the BBA’s Summer Jobs Celebration. Ben’s remarks were great (no surprise there) so we felt compelled to share Ben’s takeaways from his two summers in the program. Read Ben’s speech in full, below:
“Thomas Hobbes once stated that “The law is the public conscience.” The law in general is an amazing enigma because it morphs to reflect society while at the same time being one of the few places to turn towards for an unwavering base in an ever-changing world. I personally have had the great pleasure of seeing law in live action while working with the District Attorney’s office at the Dorchester Court. Almost every day, I was able to watch all sorts of legal events from civil disputes to full trials during my time. I read through and summarized cases, ordered evidence, and much more. I also had the pleasure of seeing some of the brightest legal minds from both sides at work. Not only did I get to see the gears of the legal world turning, but I also faced the calming realization that those behind the gears at the District Attorney’s office are some of the kindest, hardest working, and most motivated people I have ever met. An example being Christina Miller, who has been a mentor of mine for the past two and a half years, since my time on the Mayor’s Youth Council. A woman whose job is about as far away from a 9-5 as possible, Ms. Miller is an Assistant District Attorney, but it does not end there. She is a leader in the Boston legal community, and dedicates much of her free time to giving back to the community as a whole in many different ways. She is a prime example of how the law doesn’t begin or end in a courtroom, rather, many times, is dictated by the temperature of a community. Because of this and through what I witnessed day in and day out at the court, I have been reminded both not to take for granted the laws that we have in place while also to keep my eyes open to the changes that are necessary for the betterment of society.
Building off of the words of Thomas Hobbes; the law is in fact dictated by the decisions that we make as a collective group, and we, in this room today, hold the future of the law in our hands and it will be our job to make sure it grows with the time while maintaining its base. We have taken our first steps thanks to the Boston Bar Association, and I know that we will maintain this upward trajectory in the years to come.”
Hat’s off to Ben for a great two years (and an excellent speech) and all the students who participated in this year’s program!