From teaching a record 1,700 students through Law Day in the Schools to releasing a compelling report on criminal justice reform, 2017 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 service initiatives over the past year.
Posts Tagged: Diversity
The Boston Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Summer Internship application deadline has been extended to Monday, March 7, 2016. Placements are available in the following courts: Boston Municipal Courts, Land Court, Massachusetts District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. Placements are also available with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Roxbury and Quincy offices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). The application period for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office placements has ended.
The BBA’s internship experiences are complemented by a series of career exploration programs at the BBA, observation in a number area courts, as well as opportunities to connect with leaders in the BBA community and our affinity bar partner organizations. Law students of all backgrounds are invited to participate in this valuable opportunity to grow in understanding of one another and to ask deeper questions about what they can expect as they move forward in the profession.
There are specific guidelines and requirements for each placement. Students are encouraged to carefully read the application requirements and specifications for each position sought before submitting your application. Application instructions are available on our program website along with instructions for how to apply.
Are you – or do you know – a law student looking to spend their 1L or 2L summer gaining professional legal experience? The BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Internship Program is an unpaid, non-credit internship in which students work directly with a judge or public agency legal team during their 1L or 2L summer. The program provides law students with the valuable mentoring and professional experience needed to succeed after graduation. The program also has a long-term goal: to bolster efforts to retain a diverse and inclusive population of young lawyers here in Boston. Throughout the course of the summer, interns observe courtroom proceedings and enhance their legal research and writing skills. In addition to their work, they engage with BBA Members and one another at professional development seminars and career exploration programs held at the BBA.
The Diversity & Inclusion Section launched the Judicial Internship Program in 2010, and for six years has facilitated this unique opportunity for Boston area law students to gain access to internships in the Boston Municipal Courts, Massachusetts State District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. More than 100 law students have participated in this program since 2010.
This year we are expanding the program to include placements in state government. Interns may apply for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Internship Program, with placements in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Roxbury and Quincy offices of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS).
To apply, students must have completed the 1L or 2L year (or the equivalent) and must be able to work a minimum of 15 hours per week for a total of 8 weeks for most placements. There are specific guidelines and requirements for each placement. Students are encouraged to carefully read the application requirements and specifications for each position sought before submitting your application.
An information session will be held on Friday, January 22, 2016 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at the Boston Bar Association. Click here to register.
Details about the following internship placements for these internships are available on our program website along with instructions for how to apply.
Thank you to these courts for their ongoing participation: The Boston Municipal Courts, the Massachusetts State District Courts, the Massachusetts Superior Court, the Probate and Family Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. And a warm welcome to our new internship providers: The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) – Quincy, the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) – Roxbury, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), and the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General.
Law students may contact our program administrator, Joe McKenzie [email protected] with questions or concerns.
We invite government agencies, legal services offices, and courts seeking talented law student interns to connect with us to get involved engaging students through this initiative. Please contact our Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Pipeline and Recruitment Committee Co-Chairs, Sarah Kim, General Counsel to the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts and Redi Kasollja of Foley & Lardner LLP.
On November 4, 2015, Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc. addressed members of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP). The Partnership is an organization dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining and convening multicultural professionals. In addition to being the President and CEO of The Partnership, Ms. Fulp is a Trustee of the Boston Public Library, and was appointed by President Obama as a Representative of the United States to the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
During the discussion, Ms. Fulp gave an outline of the work that The Partnership, Inc. does, and why diversity is important not just in the legal workplace, but in all sections of civil society. She emphasized that Boston is a city of innovation, and from a business perspective, having a diverse work place isn’t just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. “The world is changing, and we, Boston-the city of innovation- need to be at the forefront of this change and stay ahead of the curve in every way we can.”
Ms. Fulp ended the talk by asking each of the attendees to mention why they believe diversity is important, or what actions they hope to see in the future in order to have a more diverse legal community. PILP member Christopher Hart said the following about the meeting :
Carol led an engaging, productive, and eye-opening discussion about diversity in each of our professional environments and in the greater Boston area. I felt like I learned a great deal from my PILP peers about what concerns they have, and issues they’re facing, when it comes to diversity in the workplace. And I thought Carol did a great job not only encouraging our candor, but making us feel empowered to act to shape and improve diversity in the legal community. Aside from all of that, Carol’s optimism and enthusiasm is infectious; the time we had with her was incredibly well-spent and appreciated.
PILP and the BBA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Fulp for taking the time to speak at this meeting.
Beyond the Billable would like to congratulate the 2015 Judicial Interns on all of their hard work volunteering in the courts. The program gives law students the opportunity to gain firsthand experience while working closely with a judge at one of nine participating courts in and around the Greater Boston area.
This summer marks the fifth year since the internship was created by the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section, with the goal of retaining a diverse population of young lawyers here in Boston. Additionally, the program aims to provide law students with the valuable mentoring and professional experience needed to succeed after graduation. This year we had a total of 24 students from our five sponsor schools, George Mason University School of Law, and Western New England School of Law collectively volunteer over 4,000 hours!
We caught up with Alexander Conley (New England Law | Boston Class of 2017) to hear more about his experience working with Judge Catherine K. Byrne in Boston Municipal Court; here’s what he had to say:
“One of the most memorable moments during my internship happened after being on the job for only a little while. After observing a motion to suppress, the judge that I was working with asked me if I ’wanted to take this one.’ At first I had no idea what she meant. However, when she explained that she wanted me to draft the opinion for her I was very surprised. It was the first time during the internship that I was asked to do something of such substance, and when I got the assignment I was both excited and nervous.”
When we asked Christopher Boutin (Suffolk University Law, Class of 2017) what his most memorable moment during the internship was, here’s what he told us:
“The most memorable experience of the summer was getting the opportunity to watch the Tsarnayev sentencing hearing in the Federal Courthouse. Judge Tochka urged us to attend so we could experience how a high profile case differs from other cases.
I would highly recommend the judicial internship to ALL law students. Overall, this experience provided me with the kind of knowledge that you cannot learn in the classroom. It provides with the knowledge that only comes from years of experience.”
Congratulations to all of the 2015 summer interns, and we wish you all the best of luck during this upcoming school year!
Wednesday, July 8th marked the 17th annual “Strategies for Success Luncheon for Diverse Summer Associates, Summer Interns, and New Lawyers,” where a diverse panel of Boston-based lawyers met and spoke with an audience of seventy new and future attorneys about their own individual journeys and experiences within the legal profession.
The panel offered encouragement and valuable insight to these undergraduates, law students, and new lawyers as they face difficult career decisions. This year’s panelists included Adrian Bispham, an Assistant District Attorney in the Major Crimes Unit of the Suffolk County DA’s office, Christina Chan, an Assistant Attorney General, Salomon Chiquiar-Rabinovich, an attorney at HUD and also the current President of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA), Jennifer Fang, an Associate at Goodwin Procter LLP, and Jennifer Watson, who serves as Corporate Counsel at Liberty Mutual. Kevin Nolan of Proskauer Rose LLP chaired the program for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section. The lunch and discussion was expertly moderated by Marguerite Fletcher of Fletcher Legal Consulting. Those in attendance learned that despite the challenges sometimes associated with the expression of one’s personal identity; including race, gender, and sexual orientation, each one of the panelists have been able to find success as lawyers in the Boston area.
The first topic to be discussed by the panel was to describe why the Boston area is a great place to practice. Since none of the panel members were native to the city of Boston, the audience was introduced to diverse opinions and point of views on their adopted city. Each panelist happily agreed that Boston is now much more diverse than they could ever have imagined and that the size and culture of this city has created an appropriately-sized legal community where reputation, connections, and personality truly matters. Jennifer Fang pointed out that Boston’s pace matches extremely well with the legal profession when compared to the laid-back lifestyle of California or the stress-filled life of New York City. Christina Chang made a note that Boston has always been at the forefront of education, innovation, and legislative changes, making it “a truly exciting place to be an attorney.”
When asked to discuss the challenges associated to their personal identities within the legal profession, the panel opened up about personal obstacles they have faced and the best way to overcome them. Whether these challenges related to race or gender, the entire panel agreed that making as many connections as possible is the best course of action to feel less isolated in the workplace. “Talking to people allows you to get to know someone on the individual level,” Adrian Bispham pointed out, “try not to perceive people a certain way without first getting to know them. You never know, you might have more in common than you can believe.” Moderator Marguerite Fletcher explained that while equality has been improving and will continue to do so, it is up to each individual to make the difference by networking and communicating about perceived social injustices with people similar to you in an attempt to help fix them.
Since most in attendance had yet to graduate from law school, Fletcher took time to ask the panel to give advice on the transition from school to practice. In general, the panel discussed that you truly need to understand what part of law you want to focus on. Christina Chan who graduated from Northeastern University School of Law described that Northeastern’s unique Co-Op program, which allows law students to participate in four paid or non-paid internships, allowed her to gain a sense of direction. Her advice: no matter which law school a student attends, apply to as many internships as possible—even if it extends the time it takes to graduate. Networking in and out of school was also heavily discussed.
As the event came to a close members of the audience began to ask their questions. With no surprise the students and recent-graduates all asked questions revolving around the same topic: How exactly do I get a job? Salomon Chiquiar-Rabinovich explained that while grades are extremely important to an interviewer, job-seekers need to act calmly and be themselves while interviewing. Extracurricular activities, Fletcher pointed out, are great ways to connect with the interviewer since they can provide potential discussion topics. Fang, who has served as an interviewer herself for some time, explained that “if you cannot advocate for yourself, how can I expect you to do the same for your clients?”
The 17th annual Summer Associates Luncheon was a great success and the guests left with useful and encouraging tips for taking on a legal career in Boston.
The BBA’s Group Mentoring Program officially kicked off year six last week, as 65 eager young attorneys in pursuit of expanding their professional support network stopped by 16 Beacon Street. The mentees got to connect with one another and to get a taste of the meetings and career development programs on tap for the current year thanks to an orientation and kickoff reception.
This year, eight seasoned attorneys from various practice areas have volunteered to serve as mentors. The Program has two main goals: to encourage leadership and success of diverse lawyers while exposing them to the Boston legal community by building personal relationships.
Stay tuned for more on this program.
The BBA’s Summer Judicial Interns have started off their summers strong, not only putting in the hours in the courtroom but also getting first-hand knowledge of the profession thanks to BBA enrichment programs. Earlier this month they got their first taste of the BBA’s Summer Career Series, designed to give the interns a better sense of what lies ahead for them after graduation. In addition to volunteering at least 15 hours per week in the courts, they are taking part in numerous enrichment activities put on by the BBA. A particularly engaging day of enrichment activities for these law students took place early this month to expose the students to the practice of criminal law.
The series kicked off with “What’s It Like to Practice Criminal Law,” featuring speakers Christina Miller (Chief of District Courts and Community Prosecutions at the Suffolk County DA’s Office) and Lisa Medeiros (Committee for Public Counsel Services Supervising Attorney for Roxbury, Dorchester and West Roxbury), sharing stories about their respective career paths and cases they had worked on “while in the trenches.”
Beyond the Billable wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t check in with our interns to see how the session was, so we asked Boston University School of Law student Chris York for some feedback on the talk:
“It was interesting to hear their humorous, candid, and differing views on the judicial process and their respective roles in it.”
We have more judicial intern takeaways from the talk here.
While others might have called it a day after that session, our interns did the opposite – they took a walk to the John Adams Courthouse to observe and also serve as jurists for the 2014 Advanced Trial Training Program’s final competition. Initiated by Judge Robert N. Tochka, the Program pairs newer prosecutors and defense attorneys from across Massachusetts with seasoned mentors for a trial advocacy skills competition (it’s friendly, we promise). Essex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and Worcester County with seasoned mentors for friendly competition on trial advocacy skills.
Our interns observed and judged opening statements through direct and cross examinations, the two-person advocacy teams argued the mock case, “Commonwealth v. Green” with students from the Another Course to College charter school making a guest appearance as witnesses.
Silvia Stockman, a law student at Boston University, gave Beyond the Billable her impressions of the experience:
“The event was an entertaining way to observe real lawyers engaging in a colorfully written case, followed by a very moving reception that honored two fallen members of the legal community. It was a great way to bond with our fellow interns and do some networking with the competitors and audience members!”
As you can see, our Summer Judicial interns have a packed summer ahead of them, so be sure to check Beyond the Billable regularly for updates!
As 25 Summer Judicial Interns finish up their busy summers, the Boston Bar Association is already looking forwards its fall program, where it will provide semester-long internships in Boston Municipal, District and Probate & Family Courts. The program offers diverse law students the opportunity to work directly with a judge, observe courtroom proceedings, enhance their legal research and writing skills and building meaningful connections within the legal community.
Take it from program founder Judge Robert Tochka of the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court:
“The positive impact the Internship program has made on the participants has surpassed all our expectations. These diverse groups of students have demonstrated their determination to enhance their lawyering skills by working diligently on their assignments. Additionally, they have eagerly jumped at the opportunity to soak up real life experiences from such diverse venues as the Bulger trial and a conference in a judge’s lobby to lunch meetings at the BBA to hear personal stories of the career trajectories of various bar members. It has been a very rewarding and enriching experience for everyone.”
Students who have completed their first year of law school and are able to work at least 15 hours per week will be considered. Diverse students are strongly encouraged to apply. A flexible schedule is available to accommodate other commitments. The internship program begins in early September and runs through the end of the semester.
Interested students should complete the application and submit it along with a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation from a law school professor. Enrollment is limited so early applications are strongly encouraged. Applications will be collected on a rolling basis with priority placement given to early applicants. The application deadline is September 6, 2013. Interested students should send completed applications to Susan Helm at [email protected]. More information is available here.
On Tuesday evening, mentees and mentors from the Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Group Mentoring Program braved the sweltering heat to celebrate a successful year of group mentoring at the BBA.
The program brings together diverse Boston-based attorneys in mentoring groups composed of 10 new lawyer mentees and 2 seasoned mentors, for monthly meetings designed to address the common professional development challenges that all new lawyers face while fostering supportive professional relationships. If you are interested in participating in the program in the upcoming year, contact Susan Helm at [email protected] for more information or see the program handbook here.