Posts Tagged: Community

BBA LRS Reaches 10,000 at the Massachusetts Conference for Women

The BBA staff explained the role of the BBA and the Lawyer Referral Service in the community for both attorneys, law students, and the public.

The BBA staff explained the role of the BBA and the Lawyer Referral Service in the community to attendees, including attorneys, law students, and the general public.

Drawing a notable crowd of nearly 10,000, the 10th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women took place last Thursday at the Boston Convention Center.

The BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) participated in this event as an exhibitor, raising awareness about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association.  For those who aren’t familiar with the LRS  – last year the program connected more than 8,000 members of the public with quality legal assistance, and became the permanent home of the Military & Veterans Legal Helpline.  For more than 50 years, the LRS has been a trusted resource for those looking for legal help.

This year’s conference culminated in a keynote address from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She discussed the importance of continued progress for women socially and economically, mentioning equal pay for women and paid leave, and remarking about justice for all individuals across the globe.

The Massachusetts Conference for Women is the largest community outreach and marketing event of the year for the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service.  Here is what the LRS Intake Coordinator Solana Goss had to say about the Conference:

“This is my 3rd year attending the conference with the BBA/LRS.  I am always impressed with the sheer number of attendees who are there to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of women not just in the city we live in, but nationally and internationally.  As an exhibitor participating in grassroots community outreach to those needing legal assistance, I was compelled to hear the real life stories of those in our community who need to access our services. It’s been a little over a week since the conference, but we have already had a few people call and specifically mention they met us at the conference. It’s gratifying knowing that we can make real connections with individuals in our community.”

Take a look below for more images from the event:

The BBA set up shop as an exhibitor.  This is the 5th year that the LRS has participated.

The BBA set up shop as an exhibitor. This is the 5th year that the LRS has participated.

The 10th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women drew nearly 200 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees.

The 10th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women drew nearly 200 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees.

For more information on the Lawyer Referral Service, please contact Solana Goss, LRS Intake Coordinator, at [email protected].

The BBA and Busing in Boston

Ed Barshak and Julia Huston

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.

A Snapshot of Our Summer Jobs Students

The BBA Summer Jobs Program places students from various Boston neighborhoods and schools at internships at law firms and legal departments throughout the city.

The BBA Summer Jobs Program places students from various Boston neighborhoods and schools at internships at law firms and legal departments throughout the city.

As the start of the BBA Summer Jobs Program approaches (Kickoff is scheduled for June 30th), we are hard at work finalizing job placements for the 64 Boston public high school students who will be interning at various law firms and offices throughout the city. One thing that stuck out to us was the incredible diversity of this year’s students. Check this out — this year’s students hail from

  • 12 of Boston’s neighborhoods,
  • 19 different Boston Public Schools,
  • and perhaps most incredibly, speak 15 different languages.

We broke down the amazing variety of schools, languages and neighborhoods for our readers below. Take a look:

Languages
Amharic
Arabic
Bengali
Cantonese
Cape Verdean Creole
English
French
Haitian Creole
Hindi
Mandarin
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Vietnamese
Yoruba

Schools
Another Course to College
Boston Community Leadership Academy
Boston International High School
Boston Latin Academy
Charlestown High School
Codman Academy
Community Academy of Science and Health
Cristo Rey High school
East Boston High School
Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
English High School
Excel High School
Fenway High School
Jeremiah E. Burke High School
John D. O’Bryant High School of Math & Science
Josiah Quincy Upper School
New Mission High School
TechBoston Academy
West Roxbury Academy

Neighborhoods
Allston
Brighton
Charlestown
Dorchester
East Boston
Hyde Park
Mattapan
Roslindale
Roxbury
South Boston
South End
West Roxbury

Stay tuned for more the students, we’ll be regularly updating our readers on the students’ progress this summer as they head off to work at the end of the month.

Law Day Dinner Honors the Strength of Boston!

Monday night, over 1,400 attorneys came out for the annual Law Day Dinner held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. At the Dinner, friends, colleagues, judges, and legislators joined together to welcome Boston’s new Mayor, honor achievements, and celebrate the strength of our city.

This year, awards were presented to the Marathon Assistance Project’s volunteers, whose quick response to a tragedy through legal assistance changed the lives of many who had been affected by the atrocities and helped them to recover.

 

BBA President Paul T. Dacier presented a special award to over 60 volunteer attorneys who provided critical assistance to victims and small business affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

BBA President Paul T. Dacier presented a special award to over 60 volunteer attorneys who provided critical assistance to victims and small business affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

 

Following the honoring of the Marathon Volunteers, the BBA recognized the tireless work of the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) for their dedication to providing educational and career opportunities to Boston youth, as well as their longstanding support of the BBA Summer Jobs program. This celebration of the PIC’s commitment to students comes as the BBA’s Summer Jobs 2014 Program is about to begin: currently the PIC and BBA are working to place over 60 Boston Public High School students in paid legal positions for the summer.

 

BBA President Paul T. Dacier presented the Boston Private Industry Council Executive Director Neil Sullivan, School-to-Career and Employer Engagement Director Josh Bruno, and several Career Specialists with an award for their continued collaboration with BBA on the Summer Jobs Program and their work to help Boston Public High School Students find jobs and transition into the workforce

BBA President Paul T. Dacier presented the Boston Private Industry Council Executive Director Neil Sullivan, School-to-Career and Employer Engagement Director Josh Bruno, and several Career Specialists with an award for their continued collaboration with BBA on the Summer Jobs Program and their work to help Boston Public High School Students find jobs and transition into the workforce.

BTB BONNIE

Last but definitely not least, the BBA honored Bonnie Sashin, the BBA’s former Director of Communications & External Relations, for her 26 years of outstanding service and her contributions to the organization and the legal community.  Bonnie received a standing ovation from attendees, while guests and people not in attendance were able to tweet their congratulations to Bonnie at #thankyoubonnie, where the messages were broadcasted live on stage.

 

LDD 4 Walsh

 

The ceremony concluded with a speech from Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, who spoke to attendees about his commitment to community and equality, and how the bar and legal professionals can play a role in his vision for the city of Boston. The Mayor began by thanking all of the volunteers of the Marathon Assistance Project, emphasizing the unique role that as attorneys they were able to play in helping the city recover.

Mayor Walsh also spoke to attendees about public service, and giving back the community in which we all live or work.  The BBA’s Summer Jobs program was highlighted as one of the many parts of Mayor Walsh’s personal vision for diverse youth employment in Boston, stating that “in a time of growth, no one should be left behind.”

Along with Mayor Walsh, Beyond the Billable would like to thank the Boston Marathon Assistance Projects volunteers, PIC, and Bonnie for their tremendous contributions to making the Boston a stronger, happier, and more progressive city – thank you!

BBA LRS Honors Victim Rights Month at MOVA Conference

Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director opens the conference with remarks about the 30th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights and the federal Victim of Crime Act.

Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director opens the conference with remarks about the 30th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights and the federal Victim of Crime Act.

 

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service (BBA LRS) kicked off a the season of community outreach at the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance’s (MOVA) 2014 Victim Rights Conference in honor of Victim Rights Month in Massachusetts and National Crime Victim Rights Week.  Last Friday’s conference brought survivors and victim service providers together at Seaport World Trade Center for a day of learning and networking via multiple workshops and exhibits. As an exhibitor, the BBA LRS spread the word about the services of the program to the conference attendees.  In addition to highlighting the LRS and its reduced-fee panels, the LRS table had information about special projects for those affected by the Marathon Bombings, and the Military Legal Helpline.

If you would like more information about the Lawyer Referral Service please contact Solana Goss at [email protected].

Legal Offices Share Their “Adopting A Classroom” Stories

Students from Another Course to College learning about Using Credit and Credit Cards, as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

Students from Another Course to College learning about Using Credit and Credit Cards, as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

While students are still traveling the Boston and Worcester Bankruptcy Courts, the classroom based sessions of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program have wrapped up in the Greater Boston area. This year, four legal offices stepped up and “adopted a classroom” to help meet the growing demand for the program in fifteen schools. In this model, legal offices commit to providing 3-6 volunteers to cover each of the three classroom based sessions. In return, the legal offices were able to provide their employees with an opportunity to give back while partnering with a fellow colleague.

Beyond the Billable reached out to the legal departments of Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual, both of whom participated in the “adopt a classroom” model last year as well, to hear more about the experience. Sun Life Financial adopted a classroom at Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham and Liberty Mutual adopted four classrooms at Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park.

Here’s what they had to say:

Why did your legal office choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?

“As in house counsel and compliance professionals in the financial services industry, supporting a financial literacy program has been a great way for us to give back to the community and utilize our skills. We selected the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Program for a few reasons. First, volunteers don’t have to be attorneys and this allows us to make the opportunity available to more people in our department. We also like being able to sponsor the same school every year. We have found that consistency of the same teacher, class format and class size every year enhances the success of the program. Volunteers know what to expect and can build off of best practices from prior years to improve upon our delivery of the program for a technical high school. Lastly, the volunteer materials provided by the BBA are very comprehensive, which helps cut down on preparation time, and are designed such that the volunteers can be flexible about deciding how to select content of an organization for a particular session.” – Michelle Greco, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial

“The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program provides a unique opportunity for both the students and the Liberty Mutual Insurance volunteers. Students have the opportunity to learn about finance-related topics from volunteers who have significant real-world knowledge, which we think enables the students to continue to build practical skills as they enter young adulthood. The volunteers enjoy interacting with the high school students and having the chance to make a difference in their lives. In addition, the program gives some of our volunteers with backgrounds in finance a chance to make an impact and help students avoid financial pitfalls in advance, rather than merely helping after the fact.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual

What was the highlight of the program for your volunteers?

“Spending any amount of time in a high school is like taking a step back in time. As you think about the decisions that are on the horizon for the young adults who will soon be graduating, you realize that while you may have come to talk about the specifics of buying a car, what you are really there for is to impress upon the students the important differences between what they want, and what they really need and can afford. That theme runs through the various modules, and hopefully our discussion about the realities of owning a car helped the students understand the kind of tough financial decisions they will have to make when they are on their own. The students were interested and active, which made the session a lot of fun, and I hope I can participate in this program again in the future.” — Scott Davis, SVP & General Counsel, Sun Life Financial

“Without a doubt, the primary highlight for our volunteers was the chance to provide guidance to young adults through a live, interactive classroom session with a dynamic group of students. Most of our volunteers do not regularly teach high school classes, and they reported that the experience was energizing and exciting. They enjoyed the hands-on exposure and fielding questions from their classrooms both on the finance topic of the day and other matters the students might raise.”— Andrew Fagenholz, Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual

Our volunteers were so excited to share their experiences that we had to turn this into a two part statement! Stay tuned for part two when we hear from Choate Hall & Stewart and the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission volunteers about their experiences.

 

 

Prepping Volunteers to Offer Financial Literacy Education to 15 Schools

Janet Bostwick (Janet E. Bostwick, PC)

Janet Bostwick (Janet E. Bostwick, PC) discusses her experience volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program with new volunteers.

Volunteers braved the pouring rain on Tuesday night to attend the annual M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Training. Judge Joan Feeney (U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Jeanne Darcey (Sullivan & Worcester LLP) joined ), Janet Bostwick to walk the packed room through the volunteer materials and discussed tips for engaging high school students.  As you may have heard from this article, 15 schools have signed up for the program, which means one thing—we need lots of volunteers.

Are you interested in volunteering? Click here to view the available sessions.

BBA Lawyer Referral Service Reaches Out to Thousands at the Massachusetts Conference for Women

BBA Interns help staff the LRS booth at the 9th Annual MA Conference For Women.

BBA Interns help staff the LRS booth at the 9th Annual MA Conference For Women.

Last Thursday, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff set up shop at the 9th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, which drew more than 10,000 women from across the state and New England.

This year’s conference, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center featured keynote addresses and breakout sessions led by more than one hundred experts in the fields of business, philanthropy, finance, media and professional development. The theme the conference was “The Power of Us,” and gave conference attendees many opportunities for business networking, professional development and personal growth.

Hundreds of attendees stopped by the BBA’s booth, inquiring as to how they could receive referrals through the Lawyer Referral Service, and about the BBA’s Mission and role in the community.

The Massachusetts Conference for Women is the largest outreach and marketing event of the year for the BBA LRS, who participates in approximately 10 outreach events yearly. Next on the calendar is the 26th Annual Quincy Lunar New Year Festival in February. Stay tuned for more details!

Continuing to Support Those Who Served Our Country

Attendees attend a primer to Veterans Benefits and discuss some of the challenges facing veterans when they return from the service.

The panel discussed some of the challenges that veterans face veterans when they return from the service.

Last Thursday, the BBA hosted the final training in the CLE series on Representing Military Personnel and Families.  Even though this training series has concluded, the BBA’s commitment to helping veterans and military personnel with the legal challenges that they face is far from over.  With the adoption of the Military Legal Help Line and the BBA’s involvement in the Yellow Ribbon Project and the Massachusetts “Stand Down” event, the BBA’s support of this initiative will continue.

To encapsulate why it is important for the BBA and lawyers as a community to give back to veterans, military personnel and their families, check last week’s responses to  Voices of the Bar.

Michelle Wolf (Veterans’ Disability Benefits), a panelist on last week’s training on Veterans Benefits, stated,

“We all owe a duty to those who have volunteered to serve and protect our country, especially with the growing recognition of the toll military service takes on our soldiers, veterans and their families. Lawyers can truly make a difference in the lives of these individuals and families by assisting with legal issues that might otherwise distract soldiers currently serving.”

Keep an eye on the BBA calendar for additional training opportunities this winter and into the spring.  If you would like to know more about joining the Military and Veterans’ Panels for the Military Legal Help Line, please contact Solana Goss at [email protected].

New Lawyers Team Up with Cradles to Crayons to Provide Essentials for Children

Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons

New Lawyers Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons Warehouse

This past Saturday, a group of New Lawyers spent the morning volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton. For those of you who are not familiar with the organization, Cradles to Crayons provides essential items like clothes, shoes, books and school supplies, for children who are homeless or living in low-income situations with the help of volunteers. During their shift, the BBA volunteers inspected donated books and sorted them into categories based on gender and age group, which helped provide books for 85 kids, ages 12 and under.

This opportunity, along with the recent Franklin Park Clean Up and Food Project events, allows New Lawyers with busy schedules a way to positively impact their local community while meeting other Boston-area attorneys.

If you’re a new attorney interested in socializing and giving back, be sure to check out the New Lawyers Section’s Holiday Extravaganza on December 5th where you can donate items to Toys for Tots. Click here for more information.