Blizzards and slow public transportation didn’t stop our volunteers from getting out in the community and giving back during 2015. Take a look below for highlights from the BBA’s 2015 public service efforts:
Posts Tagged: Financial Literacy
Are you coming to Passport to Pairings next Thursday? If you can pull yourself away from the delicious food and drinks, be sure to ask our volunteers and staff about the programs featured at the event. Take a look below for a cheat-sheet highlighting the programs:
Law Day in the Schools: Every spring, join lawyers from all over the city to visit classes across the Boston public school system to teach students about different topics related to the law. This year our volunteers taught over 1000 students from kindergarten to seniors in high school about the Magna Carta.
Military & Veterans Legal Help Line: The BBA Lawyer Referral Service has a dedicated line to connect servicemembers and their families to legal assistance. The line has fielded over 600 calls since the BBA LRS became home to the Military& Veterans Legal Help Line in September 2013.
Pro Bono Trainings: Every year the BBA partners with legal service organizations and the Courts to hold pro bono trainings to address the unmet legal needs in our community. Over the past two years, the BBA has held 34 pro bono trainings on topics, including Veterans Discharge Appeal, Special Advocacy for At-Risk Youth, and Landlord Tenant Law.
M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program: Volunteers work in pairs to teach high school students throughout the state about personal finance & budgeting, using credit, buying a car, and the consequences of making poor financial decisions. Since the program began 11 years ago, volunteers have taught over 4,500 students statewide how to make informed financial decisions. This program is conducted through a partnership between the United States Bankruptcy Court of the District of Massachusetts and the BBA.
Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court: Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys offer legal assistance to landlords and tenants at the Boston Housing Court. Since the program began 15 years ago, over 13,000 volunteers have helped more than 16,000 pro se landlords and tenants.
Reentry Education Program: The program provides information to federal probations through monthly workshops on key civil legal issues that they may face in reentering society, including finding affordable housing, CORI management and public benefits.
Click here to buy tickets and to learn more about the event.
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
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.
It’s no surprise that the never-ending snow this winter caused a few hiccups in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program . Nevertheless, our dedicated volunteers braved the elements (and the trains!) to travel to high schools throughout the state to teach students about the importance of making sound financial decisions. We want to extend a special shout out to Liberty Mutual, the Security and Exchange Commission, and Sun Life Financial for adopting classrooms through the program. In this model, the legal offices committed to providing 3-6 volunteers to cover each of the three classroom-based sessions.
Thank you to the following individuals for volunteering this year:
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Stephanie Babin, Parker & Associates
Joe Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell
Elizabeth Barrett, Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court
Joshua Beiser, Liberty Mutual Group
Scott Bell, Liberty Mutual Group
Christopher Brine, Culik Law P.C.
Danielle Byrdsong, New England Law Boston
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green- NH
Jennifer Cardello, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Fred Chase, Liberty Mutual Group
John Cohan, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Stephen M. Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Tara Colby, Liberty Mutual Group
Michele Collins, MetLife
Christopher Condon, Murphy & King, Professional Corporation
Scott Davis, Sun Life Financial
Jeanette Demasi, Liberty Mutual Group
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Elizabeth Duffy, State Street Corporation
Anne Farina, Sun Life Financial
Megan Fein, Liberty Mutual Group
Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell
Brendan Furey, American Student Assistance
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial
Nancy Gregory, BlumShapiro
Joshua Grinspoon, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
William Harrington, Office of the U.S. Trustee
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
John Kacoyannakis, Law Offices of John Kacoyannakis
Shiva Karimi, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Geraldine Karonis, U.S. Department of Justice-NH
Elizabeth Kayatta, Arrowood Peters LLP
Justin Kesselman, Supreme Judicial Court
Lindsay Kosan, Supreme Judicial Court
Kimberly Kroha, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King, Professional Corporation
John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Lauren McCarthy, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Michele McCormick, Liberty Mutual Group
Kathleen McGrath, Liberty Mutual Group
Richard Mikels, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Peter Moores, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
David Moynihan, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Ian Pinta, Todd & Weld LLP
Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP
Jaimeson Porter, KJC Law Firm LLC
Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP
Cathy Schmidt, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association
Mary Sharon, Pro Se Debtors Bankruptcy Clinic
Barry Smith, Liberty Mutual Group
Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang
David Travers, Todd & Weld LLP
Jethro Trenteetun, Liberty Mutual Group
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Jacob Walker, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Keri Wintle, Murtha Cullina LLP
Please note: this list does not include everyone who offered to help. A number of other individuals stepped up to volunteer as well, but unfortunately due to snow days and changes in the school calendar, their sessions were cancelled. Additionally, the program’s still underway. Students begin heading to the Boston and Worcester Bankruptcy Courts next week to learn about the consequences of making poor financial decisions. Stay tuned for more.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak can sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
A good way to help people get – and stay – on solid financial footing is to teach them the basics before they start making the big purchases in life. On Tuesday night volunteers gathered at 16 Beacon to get the inside scoop on teaching high school students how to make smart financial decisions through this year’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.
Financial Literacy Committee Co-Chair Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs PC) and Veteran Volunteer Adrienne Walker (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.) walked volunteers through each of the classroom sessions and gave the group tips on activities to engage the students. This year, volunteers will be heading out to 11 high schools in Eastern Massachusetts to teach on topics including personal finance and budgeting, using credit, and buying a car.
Did you miss the training but still want to get involved? Please contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] for a video of the training session. Volunteer sessions are filling up at lightning speed. Click here to sign up.
Happy 2015! If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution, here’s one: commit to getting more involved in the BBA’s public service efforts. Take a look below at upcoming trainings and events:
M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Program Training
Tuesday, January 13th 4:30-6:00 pm
The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program may be the perfect fit for you. After completing this training, volunteers go into high schools and educate students about the importance of making smart financial decisions.
Representing Debtors in Debt Collection Suits: Making Creditors Prove Ownership of Debts
Thursday, January 15th 4:00-6:00 pm
If you’re searching for a new pro bono opportunity, look no further! The Volunteer Lawyers Project is seeking volunteers to represent debtors in collection suits. Seasoned debt collection defense practitioners, Thomas Beauvais and Danielle Spang, will discuss their strategies and insights for discovery in debt defense cases.
Learning From City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board: Environmental Justice Strategies and Collaboration
Friday, January 16th 12:00-1:00 pm
Don’t miss the Environmental Law Public Service Committee’s upcoming brown bag where practitioners Lisa Goodheart and Gene Benson share their perspective on the SJC’s decision in City of Brockton v. EFSB. The program will cover the environmental justice implications of the decision and the role of pro bono representation in environmental justice issues.
Building Your Practice Through Pro Bono
Wednesday, January 21st 4:00-6:00 pm
Learn how other solo and small firm attorneys have successfully incorporated volunteer service into their law practices and share your own successes as well.
4th Annual Charitable Board Service Program (Free)
Thursday, January 22nd 8:00 -11:30 am
Serving on a charitable board is an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause or mission. You will also gain meaningful experience, broaden your career horizons, and use your skills to serve your community in an area of your interest. This program will address what you need to know in order to be an effective member of a charitable board, as well as how to find the right board for you.
Victim Rights Law Center’s Rape Survivors’ Law Project
Wednesday, January 14th 9:30-11:30 am
Proskauer Rose, One International Place, Boston, MA
Join our friends at the Victim Rights Law Center for a training that will address the realities and dynamics of sexual assault, how to effectively and sensitively work with a victim of sexual assault, and the best practices applicable to our most common pro bono cases. To attend, please RSVP to [email protected].
Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid Meet Up
Thursday, January 29th 10:00-11:00 am
Want to Walk to the Hill? Join the New Lawyers and the Solo & Small Firms Sections for a networking breakfast before walking over to the State House as a group. Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is one of the largest lobbying events held at the Massachusetts State House. This annual event is critical to obtaining funding for civil legal services. Following “Investing in Justice,” the report of the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, we now know more about the justice gap than ever before.
John & Abigail Adam’s Benefit
Saturday, January 31st 6:30 pm
Museum of Fines Arts, Boston, MA
We couldn’t leave out the premier charity event in the legal field, the John & Abigail Adam’s Benefit. As you may know, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be used for direct grants to organizations that serve thousands of individuals and families struggling with issues such as homelessness and domestic violence. This year’s event will feature a new twist– Late Night at the Museum — a dessert and dancing event starting at 9:00 p.m. for young lawyers and law students. There will be a variety of live entertainment throughout the museum, an abundance of gourmet food and beverages and beautiful galleries and exhibits to explore.
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:
Our loyal Beyond the Billable readers are well aware of the plethora of long-term benefits of offering Boston public high school students professional experience. The short-term benefit (and a major plus for the students) is, of course, the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Now that the students have already earned their first summer paycheck, they are beginning to make decisions about how to spend it. Should they buy new clothes, see a movie, or save for their first semester of college? The BBA Summer Jobs Program enrichment seminars are offering the students guidance on educated decisions about their money via the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. So far, the students have learned how to create a budget, the importance of paying yourself first, how interest on credit cards work, and the difference between a debit and credit card. Over the next few weeks, the students will continue to acquire tools through additional sessions on buying a car and learning about the consequences of making poor financial decision at Bankruptcy Court.
Beyond the Billable checked in with two BBF-funded students working at the Volunteer Lawyers Project this summer to hear what they’ve learned so far. Here’s what they had to say:
“I thought the sessions were pretty good because I already have a debit card. I tell myself all of the time now that I shouldn’t go over a certain amount on my debit card because I want to save money. If I know I have enough money in my account, I’ll save my paycheck for something like school. [The volunteers] really taught me to budget.”
Liraniz Colon, a rising senior at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“In [the Using Credit and Credit Cards] seminar, I learned that you have to be really careful with your credit and how you spend your money and what company you choose. You have to choose wisely and you have to make good decisions about what you spend. You have to ask yourself do I need this or not; can I wait or can I not. You have to be very responsible.”
Mackaila Garcia, a rising senior at Charlestown High School
Last week, Beyond the Billable shared highlights from two legal offices’ experiences “adopting a classroom” through M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. While Sun Life Financial and Liberty Mutual participated in the model in the past, two new legal offices also stepped up to the plate to provide volunteers for the three classroom-based sessions at two Boston public high schools. The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission adopted a classroom at Snowden International High School and Choate Hall & Stewart adopted a classroom at Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers.
Beyond the Billable checked in with attorneys from Choate Hall & Stewart to hear more about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
Why did Choate Hall & Stewart choose to participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?
“Attorneys at Choate are long-time participants in and supporters of the Financial Literacy Program. When the opportunity arose for the Firm to adopt a classroom this year, we jumped at the chance to expand our work with the Program. Choate is pleased to serve the youth in our community by teaching them practical lessons in effective personal financial management.” – Meg McKenzie Feist, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
What was the highlight of the Program for your volunteers?
“As a volunteer, I was very impressed with the knowledge the students already possessed, as well as their eagerness to learn more about budgeting, saving, and credit. My group of students was engaged throughout the presentation and asked me pointed questions. It was a joy to work with the students and I look forward to engaging with a new group next year.” – Tyler Masse, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Last Friday, a group of students from New Mission High School in Hyde Park took a field trip to Boston Bankruptcy Court to meet “Sally Spender” and learn what happened to “Sally” when she failed to budget appropriately and accumulated high amounts of credit card debt. This lesson, Consequences, was fourth and final module of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. The experience wasn’t all about Sally’s mistakes, though. Students got a first-hand look inside a courtroom and had the opportunity to ask lawyers, Judges and court staff questions about what Bankruptcy Court is like.
The Program wraps up in Greater Boston area next Friday after two additional Consequences sessions once students from Woburn High School, Greater New Bedford Technical School, Snowden International High School, Peabody High School, and John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science make the trip to Post Office Square. Take a look below from highlights of the fieldtrip: