Posts Tagged: Volunteers

Thank You to the 2018 Bar Exam Coaches

The BBA is grateful for the below attorneys who supported bar applicants ahead of the February and/or July exam in Massachusetts. They worked with bar applicants offering encouragement and assisting with time management and developing effective study techniques.

Ruth Adeyinka, Massachusetts Trial Court Administrative Office
Eunice Aikins-Afful, Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC
Ana Alvarado
Anne Archbald, Beaumont Financial Partners
Brittany Besler
Rose Billeci, Housing Opportunities Unlimited
Olympia Bowker, McGregor & Legere, P.C.
Elmira Cancan-Zenger
Kate Cook, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Susan Corcoran, Community Legal Services and Counseling Center
Jessica Corr
Shaneka Davis, Boston Children’s Hospital
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray
Jasmine Elatab
Tony Faillaci, Mintz
Natalie Feigenbaum, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Joseph Flynn, Molina Flynn Law Offices/Latino Law Center
Brian Galletta
Laurel Gilbert, Hinckley Allen
Caitlin Gossett, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Naitasia Hensey, State Street Corporation
Christopher Huntsman, Goodwin
Paul Koch, Jr., Finard Properties LLC
Robert Kubica, The Davis Companies
Szeman Lam, Proskauer
Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Jin Lin
Michael McDermott, Dain Torpy
Marc Parsons, Ascensus College Savings
Robert Quinan, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Carla Reeves, Goulston & Storrs
Alexandra Rubin, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Jonathan Schreiber, Iron Mountain
Alicia Selman, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
Shane Setalsingh, Competition Dynamics
Pamela Swanson, Sherin and Lodgen
Sheba Varughese, Greater Boston Legal Services
Robert Ward, Law Offices of Kenneth V. Kurnos, PC
Doyon Won, Fish & Richardson P.C.

If you’re interested in acting as a Bar Exam Coach ahead of the February 2019 exam, you can read more and sign-up on our website: http://www.bostonbar.org/in-the-community/bar-exam-coaching

We Thank Our 2017-2018 Financial Literacy Volunteers!

Over the summer, 45 of the 542 high school students that participated in the past year’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program heard from volunteer attorneys about the importance of finance and budgeting and visited the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA is proud to have reached so many students through this statewide program and is grateful for the support of Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Judge Frank J. Bailey, Judge Joan N. Feeney, Judge Elizabeth D. Katz, and Judge Christopher J. Panos, as well as the Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations.

This past year, over 160 volunteers taught in 13 schools and to the interns participating in the U.S. District Court’s Nelson Fellowship and the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Prior to the first sessions, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee updated the materials provided to the students, which now include an expanded focus on financing “large purchases”, including automobiles, furniture, renting an apartment, and paying for college.

Thank you to all of this year’s volunteers who make the program possible!

Amy Azza, Bendett & McHugh, P.C.
Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Ana Balcarcel, Charles River Associates
Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Tristan Benoit
Amanda Blaske, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA – NH
Paul Carey, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office
Michael Cavoto
David Chenelle, Perkins & Anctil, PC
Ariel Clemmer, Hampden County Bar Association
Christopher Condon, Murphy & King
Kali Crocker, Fidelity Investments
Gary Cruickshank, Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank
Kathleen Cruickshank, Murphy & King
John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Jessica Drew, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. – Fall River
Magdalena Ellis, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Julie Evrard, Liberty Mutual Group
Lisa Fassberg Weller, Liberty Mutual Group
Hon. Joan N. Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court *
Frederick Fierst, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Eric Forni, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC
Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC
Alice Giannino, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial
William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee
Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Ruth Anne Heselbarth, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Hon. Melvin S. Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Caitlin Jacques, DiFilippo Corporate Finance Group, Inc.
Matthew Jacques, AlixPartners
D. Ethan Jeffery, Murphy & King
Kevin Jourdain, The Law Offices of Kevin Jourdain
Hon. Elizabeth D. Katz, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Kristen Kearney, LibbyHoopes, P.C.
Ginger Kelly
Justin Kesselman, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Ann King, Sun Life Financial
Anna Kordan, Liberty Mutual Group
Eric Kornblum, Law Office of Eric D. Kornblum
Peter Lane, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Donald Lassman, Law Office of Donald R. Lassman
Amy Lipman-White, Lipman & White
Lisa Lippiello, Olin Lippiello LLP
Marques Lipton, Parker & Associates
John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP *
Cornelio Lozada
David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Alexandra Mansfield, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office
Carolyn Marcotte, Barclay Damon, LLP
Janice Marsh, Janice G. Marsh, LLC
Laura Martin
Alex Mattera, Demeo, LLP
Martha Mazzone, Fidelity Investments
Dragica Mijailovic, Sun Life Financial
Cara Murphy
Sarah Murphy-Holroyd, Maged & Rost, PC
Thomas Murray, Sun Life Financial
Patrick Noone, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Martin O’Connell, Morisi & O’Connell
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
David Ostrander, Ostrander Law Office
Bridget O’Sullivan Somogie, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division
Maureen Pachucki, Liberty Mutual Group
Hon. Christopher J. Panos, U.S. Bankruptcy Court *
Mark Papirio, Law Offices of Mark A. Papirio
Marc Parsons, Ascensus College Savings
Steffani Pelton Nicholson, Madoff & Khoury LLP
Mark Powers, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Diane Rallis, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Kara Rescia, Rescia & Shear, LLP
Stephen Reynolds, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Louis Robin, Law Offices of Louis S. Robin
Alex Rodolakis, Fletcher Tilton, PC
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC *
Natalie Rowles
Adam Ruttenberg, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Kathleen Ryan, Morgan Lewis
Robert Sacco, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP
Armand Santaniello
Natalie Sawyer
Megan Schaubhut, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Tony Scibelli, Barclay Damon, LLP
Molly Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Gordon Shaw, Community Legal Aid
Denise Shear, Rescia & Shear, LLP
Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Jacob Simon, Simon Law
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Shipra Singh, Sun Life Financial
Stephen Smith, National Association of Consumer Advocates
Leslie Storm, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Erica Sullivan, Liberty Mutual Group
Christina Turgeon, Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
Kevin Walsh, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson
Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP
Jessica Youngberg, Veterans Legal Services *
David Zou, Harvard Kennedy School

*Denotes members of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Committee

Doug Rosner (Far right, Goulson & Storrs) moderates the final Financial Literacy session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston. Summer Jobs interns look on as they learn about bankruptcy.

Summer Jobs Students Learn About the Importance of Money Management

Over the course of two seminars, our Summer Jobs interns rounded out the real-world experience from work with a financial literacy program designed to provide guidance as they begin to make impactful financial decisions.

Molly Sharon (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) and Leslie Storm (Bankruptcy Appellate Panel) guided the students through financial basics, such as the differences between checking and savings accounts, what to look for in a bank/credit union, and how to read credit card statements. They emphasized the importance of making your money work for you by researching the benefits and fees associated with certain accounts and credit cards. The students also learned about creating a budget that takes all their expenses into account and ensures they can meet their obligations. The students were able to ask questions they had about the taxes withheld from their paychecks and learned how to understand their pay stubs.

The lesson served as a foundation for the following week’s seminar, in which students witnessed a simulated meeting of creditors that explained the consequences debtors face when they can no longer keep up with their expenses. While the lesson itself illustrates someone filing for bankruptcy in part because of irresponsible money management, the bankruptcy attorneys who conducted the presentation emphasized that most of their clients are forced to file for bankruptcy due to circumstances beyond their control.

Alex Mattera, a partner at Demeo LLP, played the role of the debtor during the faux bankruptcy hearing the students observed.

“In this case, I (the debtor) didn’t have to get into this situation, but most people have no choice. For example, many people file for bankruptcy because of mounting medical bills due to something like a catastrophic injury,” he said.

Co-chair of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Committee Douglas Rosner (Goulston & Storrs) and attorneys Jessica Youngberg (Veterans Legal Services), Gary Cruickshank (Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank) and Kathleen Cruickshank (Murphy & King) also participated in the mock hearing.

After the meeting of the creditors, students watched a mock court hearing play out over the debtor’s continued failure to pay his car payments. Judge Joan N. Feeney presided over the matter, and students had the opportunity to volunteer to play the role of counsel on either side and as volunteer law clerks. Afterwards, Judge Feeney answered their questions about how she got into bankruptcy law and the interesting and challenging aspects of being a judge. She and the bankruptcy attorneys in the room described pursuing bankruptcy law because they wanted to help people and businesses with their chance to start over financially after facing a hard time.

Holland & Knight intern, Lily Kelly, confers with Mary Murray (Courtroom Deputy) with Judge Joan N. Feeney presiding.

VLP’s January–March Lawyer for the Day Honor Roll

On a quarterly basis, we share the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association‘s* Honor Roll of attorneys who have stepped up to take a pro bono case through its Lawyer for the Day at the Eastern Housing Court program. With the need to volunteer as important as ever, with this installment of the VLP Honor Roll, we wanted to do something a little different.

Three of the attorneys appearing on the Honor Roll this year, Rachael McCarthy, Lillian Maguire and Madelyn Morris, checked in with us to tell us why volunteering in the Housing Court is so important to them.

“Participating as a Lawyer for the Day in Boston Housing Court is important to me because it helps me keep perspective on what is important in life,” McCarthy said. “It gives me the opportunity to use my training to help people navigate a confusing legal process in order to avoid eviction and stay in their homes.”

“I participate in the Lawyer for a Day program at Boston Housing Court because such little time on our part can make a tremendous difference in the lives of the people we serve. Navigating the legal system is incredibly complicated. Our clients may have significant defenses or options for remaining in their current housing that they would not discover on their own. Even lawyers who don’t specialize in landlord/tenant law can make a difference with their knowledge of basic civil procedure,” Maguire said.

She went on to emphasize how crucial this program is.

“Without a lawyer’s help, clients may not know what their best legal options are, but more importantly, they are left without an advocate. The simple act of listening to a client’s story and advocating on their behalf can make a huge difference when something as vital as housing is at stake.”

For Morris, the program meant using her skills as a lawyer in a new way to benefit the public good when she retired in 2015. During her 34 years of practice, she practiced environmental law first at the Environmental Law Division of the Office of the Attorney General and then at the Department of Environmental Protection.

“After volunteering for almost 3 years, I have gained so much from this experience. I have met many exceptional people who are working hard under difficult circumstances to provide a home for their family.  I have been inspired by the staff of the VLP and the Housing Court who are devoted to making the Edward Brook Courthouse a place where disputes between landlords and tenants can be resolved promptly and fairly.  I encourage other retirees to join this effort,” Morris said.

To get more information on volunteering, please contact attorney Milton Wong.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases January, February, and March through Lawyer for the Day at the Eastern Housing Court:

Adam Minsky
Alex Intile
Alexandra Slavet
Alyce Chen
Andres Garron
Ann Baum
Anne Bowie
Arlene Kasarjian
Avana Anderson
Brian Dunphy
Brian Reichart
Camala Richardson
Cameron McGinn
Caryn Mitchell-Munevar
Charles Wyzanski
Christopher Clark
Christopher John Freeland
Daniel Klubock
David Goldman
David Soutter
Deborah Bondzie
Earl Finn
Edward Burns
Eileen Henderson
Elaine Nichols
Elisia Lau
Erica James
Evelyn Venables Moreno
Gail Jones Klopfer
Greg Moscatel
Heather LaCount
Helen Lee
Huntern Shu
Ilene Klein
Jacob Simon
James Benjamin
James Franchek
James Tourkistas
James Downes
Jasmine Etesse
Jason Marshall
Jenelle DeVits
Jinanne Elder
Jiyan Yan
Joel Gardiner
John Allen
Jonathan Guest
Jonathan Marshall
Joseph Makalusky
Joseph Lally
Joshua Bone
Joshua Duncan
Judy O’Neil
Julia Katz
Kate Nicholson
Katharine Milton
Katherine Hughes
Katherine Insogna
Kathleen McGrath
Kelsea Médard
Kenneth Corson
Kevin Mortimer
Krzysztof Momot
Larry Booz
Lauren Donaldson
Laurie Freeman
Lawrence Wind
Leigh Gilligan
Lillian Maguire
Lisa Bernt
Madelyn Morris
Maegan Hurley
Margarett Grandoit
Matthew Feiner
Maureen Jones Devine
Mia Friedman
Michael Horan
Michael MacDonald
Michael Giarrusso
Moe Yasin
Monica Chou
Natasha Nese
Neil Warrenbrand
Nina Parker
Patrick Brown
Patrick Daly
Paul Newman
Peter A. Biagetti
Rachel McCarthy
Raymond Dougan
Rebecca Cazabon
Richard Maidman
Rizwanul Huda
Roger Bertling
Roger Geller
Sabrina Rocco
Samuel Ames
Samuel Brenner
Sara Jones
Sarah Smith
Seth Davis
Sharon Toffler
Sharon Jones
Soraya Sadeghi
Starlene Alves
Stephanie Biggs
Stephen Provazza
Steven Greenzang
Steven Cohen
Tamara Lauterbach Sturges
Teresa Jeanne Walsh
Theodore Prizio
Thomas Ayres
Thomas Beauvais
Tia Wallach
Tristan Axelrod
Tyler Lewis
Vanessa A. O’Connor
Victor Rivera Colon
Victoria Rothbaum
Vikas Dhar
Wei Xie
William Valletta
Yu Lu

*The Volunteer Lawyers Project is a 2018 Grant Recipient of the Boston Bar Foundation.

Volunteers are crucial to many of VLP’s programs, including the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program pictured above.

Bar Exam Coaching Program – Call for Bar Applicants and Attorney Volunteers

As we move into the summer, recent law school graduates are preparing to take the July Bar Exam. The Boston Bar Association is continuing to support bar applicants, especially those who are retaking the exam, with the mental, emotional, and practical preparation required. We’re currently recruiting bar applicants signed-up to take the July exam and attorneys who’d like to volunteer as coaches. See below for specific information and to sign-up!


Bar Applicants – Are you taking the Uniform Bar Examination in Massachusetts in July 2018?

We know you’ve got the academic part of your bar prep under control, but let us help out with the mental, emotional, and practical preparation. We are ready to connect you with attorney-coaches from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to offer guidance on:

  • time management
  • effective study techniques
  • stress management

If you are taking the July exam and would like to be connected with a coach, please fill out this online information form. Please note that this program is designed for those who are retaking the Bar Exam. However, we will accept applications for the program from first-time exam takers and assign you to a coach based on availability.


Attorneys – Could you offer a helping hand to an applicant sitting for the July 2018 Bar Exam?

We are seeking attorneys to serve as coaches to bar exam applicants sitting for the Bar Exam this July. This is a short-term commitment with a big impact. Coaches are not expected to answer substantive law questions, but will be trained to offer guidance on mental preparation, confidence, study tips, and time & stress management. Coaches will communicate with their applicant by e-mail, by phone, or in person.

Training and program guidelines will be provided.

If you would like to volunteer as a coach, please fill out this online information form.


If you have any questions, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

Thank You to all Law Day in the Schools Volunteers!

As we head into summer, we’re grateful for the commitment made this spring by over 130 lawyers and law students to introduce Boston’s youth to the law and legal profession. The Boston Bar Association’s Law Day in the Schools Program reached over 1650 Boston Public School students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade classrooms in 16 schools. The volunteers worked with the students to help them identify issues in the community that resonated with them and to develop supporting arguments around those issues. Countless students voiced their support for longer recess and even more wanted to be more proactive against bullying, increase measures to slow climate change, and find solutions to make students feel safe in school. When this year’s program kicked off, we caught up with Jill Brenner Meixel and Allison Belanger of Krokidas & Bluestein to hear about why they volunteer for the program. For a peek into a high school class and to read their story, click here.

Thank you to all of those who helped the students identify what changes they want to see in their communities and for answering students questions about what it’s like to be a lawyer!

Haritha Ambros, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
Daryl Andrews, Andrews DeValerio LLP
Nieve Anjomi, Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Justin Ansel, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Azure Aronsson, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Cathleen Augusto, Arrowood LLP
Heather Baer, Fitch Law Partners LLP
Paula Bagger, Law Office of Paula M. Bagger, LLC
Kathryn Barry
Allison Belanger, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
William Boesch, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Stephanie Bougas, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Jordan Bowne, Burns & Levinson LLP
Stephen Brake, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Jill Brenner Meixel, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Julie Bryan, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Natalie Cappellazzo, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Joshua Carroll, Ropes & Gray LLP
Jillian Carson, Beck Reed Riden LLP
Brendan Carter, AGCMA – Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts
Cameron Casey, Ropes & Gray LLP
Michael Cavoto
Smriti Choudhury, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Brandon Clippinger, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Carol Coakley
Ian Coghill, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Stephen Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Jessica Conklin, Laredo & Smith, LLP
Emily Crowley, Boyle, Shaughnessy, & Campo, PC
Allen David, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Joan Densberger, Boston University School of Public Health
Jennifer Durand, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Rebecca Edmondson, Levine-Piro Law
Isi Ehikhamhen
Edward Ferrante
John Fiske, Healy, Fiske, Richmond & Matthew, LLP
Colin Forbes, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Katherine Galle, Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston
Ayla Geller, EF Education First
Galen Gilbert, Gilbert & O’Bryan, PC.
Maya Ginga, Washington & Lee University
Maria Granik, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Haley Grissom
Adam Hamel, McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Julianna Hanlon, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Bryce Helfer, Burns & Levinson LLP
Jennifer Henricks, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Rachel Hershfang, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Sheila Hubbard, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Christopher Huntsman, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division
Andra Hutchins, Kerstein, Coren & Lichtenstein LLP
Valerie Jackson, Jackson Lewis P.C.
Daniel Johnston, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Marc Jones, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Robert Kaitz, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
Stephanie Kao, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Sarah Kelly, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Kelly Kirby, Burns & Levinson LLP
Michael Koehler, Keegan Werlin, LLP
Nathaniel Koslof, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Eric Labbe, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Mark Larsen, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Brian Lee, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Paul Levenson, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Sarah Lewis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Christopher Lindstrom, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Ann Lowery, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Tony Lu, Dentons US LLP
Brian MacDonough, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Stephanie Mariani, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Laura Martin
Justin Masterman, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Michael McDermott, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Louis Mercedes, Jones Day
Christina Miller, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
R. Scott Miller, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Michael Millett, Marsh, Inc.
Laura Mittelman, Burns & Levinson LLP
Peter Moores, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Cheron Morris, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Joshua Nadreau, Fisher Phillips
Sean Nehill, Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)
Joseph Nevins, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Wadner Oge, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Alexa O’Keefe, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Julia Ong, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Barbara O’Toole, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Gregory Paonessa, Burns & Levinson LLP
Nina Pelc-Faszcza, Jones Day
Andrea Peraner-Sweet, Fitch Law Partners LLP
Charles Pierre, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Cassandra Prince
Susanne Reardon, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Lauren Reznick, Massachusetts Land Court
Michael Riley, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Michael Rossi, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Payal Salsburg, Laredo & Smith, LLP
Armand Santaniello
Lauren Schaefer, Beck Reed Riden LLP
Glenn Schley, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Susan Schorr, McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Catherine Scott, Peabody & Arnold LLP
Leanne Scott, John Hancock Financial Services
Courtney Scrubbs, Sanofi, US
Priya Selvam, Jones Day
Jacob Simon, Simon Law
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Lynne Sollis, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Jared Spinelli, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Lorraine Stark, Burns & Levinson LLP
Carol Starkey, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Susan Stenger, Burns & Levinson LLP
Margaret Strauss, Arrowood LLP
Pamela Swanson, Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Glen Tagliamonte, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Miosotti Tenecora
Alexis Theriault, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Erika Todd, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sudeshna Trivedi, Public Health Advocacy Institute
Chelsea Tryder, Locke Lord LLP
Amanda Varrichione
Bradford Vezina, McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Sara Walker, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
Joseph Wang, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Ying Wang, State Street Corporation
Marilyn Wellington, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Kristin Youkana, Schmidt & Federico, P.C.
Alexandra Youngblood, Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
Jill Ziter, Massachusetts Land Court

If you’re interested in volunteering for this program next year, please email Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

Observations from Boston Housing Court’s Lawyer for the Day

 Guest Post: Jack Caplan is the current Lawyer Referral Service Co-op Intern at the BBA. Jack is a sophomore year at Northeastern University studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. After spending the morning shadowing the Lawyer for the Day table at Boston Housing Court, he shared his experience with Beyond the Billable.

Just after 9 am last Thursday morning in the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston, over 200 attorneys and members of the public crammed into one hot courtroom.  It was standing room only as people tried to find any space they could to claim as their own.  The physical bar which typically separates court observers from lawyers (the same bar from which the exam and Association get their names) was soon ignored, thus blurring the line between who’s an attorney and who isn’t.

The Clerk began calling out each case number and the respective plaintiffs and defendants answered with whether they wanted to try mediation or go straight to a bench trial.  Looking around the room you could see a microcosm of Boston itself: an MBTA driver searching for a seat before giving up and standing, much like her passengers at rush hour; a mother and father trying to quiet their young children with toys; and who EMT missed the first call of her case because of a last minute emergency at the end of a long night shift.  The atmosphere was understandably tense considering people’s homes were on the line, but the Clerk and Court Officer kept the mood light through jokes and banter.

A vast majority of those present elected to go to mediation and were directed to a lower floor of the sprawling Courthouse.  This sent them straight past the tables of the Volunteer Lawyers Project where landlords and tenants alike could stop by to ask questions, get help filing motions, and even get representation for mediation as part of a Limited Assistance Representation structure.  Attorneys were running around and talking to clients and the scene upstairs at the peak of the morning could only be described as chaotic.  But speaking with the volunteer attorneys it quickly became clear that they didn’t mind at all – in fact they loved it – their passion was palpable.  They had the chance to help out the roughly 95% of tenants who go into housing court without counsel.  Results for litigants with some level of representation are so vastly and almost unbelievably better than for those who go in totally alone.

Indeed, going to Housing Court while Lawyer for the Day is running can be one of the best antidotes to the otherwise negative feelings brought on by statistics like the one above.  It’s statistics like that, statistics which cast a tragic light on the state of justice in Massachusetts and America, which compel many of these attorneys to volunteer their time.  The impact that the dozen or so attorneys were able to make last week is truly a sight to behold.  Tenants who were convinced that they would lose their homes suddenly had hope provided by the attorneys.  The impact of donated time and expertise was noticed, appreciated, and sometimes immediate.

The Volunteer Lawyer’s Project administers frequent trainings for attorneys interested in helping out.  The Lawyer for the Day program itself occurs each Wednesday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (public housing cases) and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (private housing cases) in front of Courtroom 15 at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 24 New Chardon Street, Boston, MA. If you have questions about volunteering or would like to learn more, please contact Cassandra Shavney the Boston Bar’s Public Service Programs Coordinator, or Milton Wong of the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

The need is constant, the difference is instant: consider volunteering today.

VLP Announces September – November Lawyer for the Day Honor Roll

Every Wednesday and Thursday volunteer attorneys assist landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for a Day at the Boston Housing Court Program.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association* thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation in September, October, and November through Lawyer for the Day at the Boston Housing Court:

Samuel Ames
Thomas Beauvais
Stephanie Berdik
Stephanie Biggs
Sean Boulger
Edward Burns
Peter Chi
Reuven Dashevsky
Kellie Desrochers
Jenelle DeVits
Mirna Diaz
Patrick Diaz
Raymond Dougan
Matthew Fisher
James Franchek
Joel Gardener
Roger Geller
Dave Gold
David Goldman
Ben Greene
Steven Greenzang
Bonnie Heiple
Karen Hoffman
Katherine Hughes
Katherine Insogna
Jared Iverson
Paul Jakubowski
Sharon V. Jones
Kevin Kirby
Emily J. Koruda
Donald R. Lassman
Helen Lee
Michael MacDonald
Rachel McCarthy
Caryn Mitchell-Munevar
Madelyn Morris
Greg Moscatel
Full Name
Yavor Nechev
Kate E. Nicholson
Judy O’Neil
Stephen Provazza
Stephanie Ragland
Lou D. Saban
Kelly Schwartz
Katerina Sheerin
Sharyn T. Sooho
Julia Sternman
Harel Talasazan
Sharon L. Toffler
Al Uluatam
Arianna Vasquez
Neil Warrenbrand
Emily Whelan
Lawrence A. Wind
Jacob Wolk
Yilu Zhang
April Zhou

*The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association is a 2017 Boston Bar Foundation grant recipient.

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2017

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.

The 2017 Public Service Award presented at the Boston Bar Foundation’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit Ball honored Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall in January. Chief Justice Marshall addresses the crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts, reminding every one of the importance of being good and just in their work.

MIT Bhangra, an award-winning dance group, entertained the crowd at the Adams Benefit. 2017’s Ball raised over $650,000 in support for local legal services organizations providing civil legal services to those in need. In June, the Foundation granted $960,000 to 20 such organizations.

Each January, hundreds of attorneys travel to the State House to Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The Equal Justice Coalition coordinates this annual event to call on our legislators to adequately fund the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation through the state budget. Carol Starkey, 2016-2017 BBA President, highlights the importance of civil legal aid as noted in the BBA’s Investing in Justice report, which details that 2 out of 3 income eligible clients are turned away from legal services due to a lack of resources.

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, then BBA President Carol Starkey reaffirmed the BBA’s aim to “support the rule of law, as well as the core values of access to justice and diversity and inclusion, which help keep the fundamental promise that all of us will enjoy due process and equal protection under the law.” Over the course of the year, the BBA worked with many legal services organizations to connect attorneys to volunteer opportunities. Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project presented a number of Know Your Rights trainings for attorneys wishing to present to community groups about their immigration rights. Here, attorneys William Graves (Graves & Doyle) and Seth Purcell (PAIR Project) welcome over 60 attorneys to the first training at the BBA.

Paulette Brown (left, Locke Lord) accepts the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion for her work as president of the American Bar Association convening the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. One result of the Commission’s work was the passage at the ABA of Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. In November of 2016, the BBA announced its strong support for the Resolution and is working with other partners in Boston on its implementation.

Raquel Webster (right, National Grid) introduces presenter Brian McLaughlin (McLaughlin Law) to a group of probationers at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA’s Reentry Education Program, which was developed by the Public Interest Leadership Program, engages with dozens of probationers annually on useful topics related to community reentry, including family law, reinstating a driver’s license, public benefits, and more.

Secretary Francisco A. Ureña (Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services) addresses the crowd at a Memorial Day reception hosted by the BBA’s Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum. The reception was held after the annual pro bono training for attorneys representing veterans in discharge upgrade cases. Since 2015, the BBA has worked with the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School to hose these trainings to support their Veterans Legal Clinic.

One night a year, the BBA is transformed from a meeting space to a casino floor. Seventeen organizations sponsored this year’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs, the proceeds of which support the Summer Jobs Program and support internships for high school students at legal services organizations, government agencies, and courts. Attendees at Casino Night celebrate beating the house and eagerly await the mystifying reveal of a magic trick.

Law Day in the Schools, one of the BBA’s most popular volunteer opportunities, introduces Boston Public School students to the legal profession and particular areas of the law. This year, volunteers including Jill Brenner Meixel (left) and Allison Belanger (right) of Krokidas & Bluestein introduced students to due process and the importance of having fair rules and laws for all. There were a record 15 schools and over 1700 students in the program this year.

Throughout the year, the New Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee coordinates volunteer events with organizations throughout the city. In addition to serving food at the Pine Street Inn, attorneys also helped sort donations at Cradles to Crayons, keep the esplanade clear at the Charles River Clean-up, and other important volunteer initiatives in the area.

High school students convene with Chief Justice Melvin S. Hoffman (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) after listing to a mock hearing in bankruptcy court. This session, which teaches students about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy is part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which began in 2005. Since it began, over 5800 students statewide have been introduced to the importance of budgeting, understanding credit, and financing a large purchase.

Over 1,000 attorneys came together for this year’s Law Day Dinner in Back Bay. Congressman Seth Moulton provided keynote remarks and highlighted the importance of lawyers and upholding the rule of law now more than ever.

This year’s Thurgood Marshall Award, honoring an attorney in private practice in Greater Boston for their extraordinary efforts in enhancing the human dignity of others by providing legal services to Massachusetts’ low income population, went to Elaine Blais (Goodwin). Blais volunteers with both the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) representing both children and adults in various immigration cases.

Anne Mackin (Greater Boston Legal Services) accepts the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award, an award presented to professional legal services attorneys for their outstanding work on behalf of indigent people in the Boston area. Mackin has worked in legal services for nearly 30 years, and joined GBLS’s Immigration Unit in 2013. Since then, she has helped people from all over the world who have witnessed or experienced unspeakable tragedies and faced severe persecutions. Her efforts have ensured that many who are fleeing extreme discrimination and danger are able to seek justice and safe harbor.

Members of the Society of Fellows experience a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts’ summer exhibit, Matisse in the Studio. Each Fellows pledge supports the work of the Boston Bar Foundation’s many public service initiatives. The growing number of Fellows, now over 400, learn about the work their gifts support, including programs supporting Boston’s youth and grants to legal services organizations, at events throughout the year.

Boston Public High School students stand with Natashia Tidwell (center left, Collora) and Mark Smith (center right, BBA President, Laredo & Smith) on the morning of the first day of work with the Summer Jobs Program. The program, a partnership with the City of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council, employs students in internships at legal offices across the city. In 2017, 52 students gained valuable office experience and were given insight into the legal profession.

Attorneys network surrounding the chocolate fountain, a staple at this year’s Boston Bar Foundation Summer Fundraiser. Guests at the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the public service programs their contribution supports.

The Public Interest Leadership Program’s class of 2016-2017 hosted their symposium, Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape, earlier this year. The event’s speakers addressed a number of issues recently in the national spotlight, both in the media and the courts. Nearly 100 attorneys and interested members of the community packed the BBA to hear insights from the panels of experts.

This fall, the 14th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) started their term. Twenty attorneys were selected for the program based on their experience and dedication to public service and civic engagement. The program now includes nearly 200 alumni who’ve gone on to serve the BBA in other capacities and carry their passion for serving the public interest into the community.

Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, addressed the audience at the BBA’s Annual Meeting. Kerman, a former prisoner, discussed her work bringing prison issues to the forefront of national conversation. She also acknowledged the BBA’s report No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System, which was released this fall. The report commends the reforms proposed earlier this year by Massachusetts leaders based on research by the Council of State Governments (CSG), but strongly urges lawmakers to enact broader reforms designed to further reduce recidivism, and make the criminal justice system fairer and more cost-efficient.

Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women to introduce the public to the services it offers. Thousands of requests come through each year and referrals are made out to experienced attorneys practicing nearly 350 areas of law. The LRS also houses a dedicated Military Legal Help Line, which connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources appropriate to their needs.

The three award recipients at November’s Beacon Award for Diversity & Inclusion stand with members of the Beacon Award Selection Committee. Brent Henry received the Voice of Change Award for his work recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent while at Partners Healthcare. The Empowerment Award went to Iván Espinoza-Madrigal for his work on civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality, as the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Susan Alexander accepted the Corporate Champion Award on behalf of Biogen. Biogen’s legal department has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel.
Above, left to right: Brent Henry (Mintz Levin), Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (Lawyers’ Committee), Susan Alexander (Biogen), Sarah Kim (Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts), Kate Cook (Sugarman Rogers), Stephen Hall (Holland & Knight), and Damon Hart (Liberty Mutual).

Hosted at Suffolk University Law School, the annual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair and Open House connects law students and attorneys to volunteer opportunities across the state. Over 25 organizations recruited at the fair this year.

BBA President Mark Smith (right) met with Principal Danladi Bobbitt of the John D. Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale. As a participant in the Principal Partners event, hosted by Boston Public Schools, Boston Plan for Excellence, and Bank of America, the BBA President has the opportunity to visit a school and engage in meaningful conversations about the role of education in our society.

Interested in Teaching Kids about Financial Literacy?

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re interested in volunteering, the session dates and times for 2018 will be released prior to the new year and will be available for sign-up online. As a volunteer, you will present at least one classroom session lasting about an hour and will receive training and resources prior to visiting the school. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

To be included on the program notification email list and to be alerted when sign-up has begun, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].