Monthly Archives: May 2015

Attorneys Pick Up Tips on How to Tackle Special Immigrant Juvenile Cases

Panelist share useful tips with attorneys who may support immigrant children in special juvenile cases.

Panelist shared useful tips to help attorneys support immigrant children in special juvenile cases.


Panelist Laurie Carafone (Kids in Need of Defense), Elizabeth Badger (Kids in Need of Defense), Jay McManus (Childrens Law Center of Massachusetts), and Jennifer Klein (Committee for Public Service Counsel –Somerville) gathered at the BBA last Monday to discuss special immigrant juvenile cases. The panelists shared their personal experiences and gave the attendees some advice on how they can approach similar proceedings to gain the best outcome for children involved.

Beyond the Billable reached out to Elizabeth Badger for more information. Here’s what she had to say about why she believes it’s important for attorneys and judges to educate themselves about special proceedings in immigrant juvenile cases:

“Noncitizen children appearing before the juvenile courts are often the children most in need of stability, which SIJ can provide them.  That same court proceeding to address those needs is able to provide them with the orders needed to petition for SIJ status.  However, very few families and attorneys are aware of the court’s ability to provide this relief and pathway to stabilize the children’s lives.”

VLP Announces March and April Honor Roll

VLP relies on dedicated volunteers, such as the attorneys who volunteer at the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, to carry out its program.

VLP relies on dedicated volunteers, such as the attorneys who volunteer at the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program, to carry out its programs.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association thanks the following attorneys who accepted cases or provided consultation during March and April.

Scott Adams
Sam Ames
Michael  Avitzur
David Bean
Thomas Beauvais
Mark N. Berman
Arlene L. Bernstein
Stephanie Biggs
Sarah Boonin
Edward Burns
Jerald D. Burwick
Lisa Callahan
Christopher  M. Candon
Philip Chan
Michael R. Croteau
Michael Diener
Christine Dieter
Audrey Donovan
Sean Doran
James T. Downes
Nicholas Drew
Dahlia S. Fetouh
Jennifer Fournier
Brendan Furey
R. Andrew Garron
Genevie Gold
David Goldman
Steven Greenzang
Celia Harnson
Celia J. Harrison
Meredith Havard
Karen Hoffman
Alana B. Holly
Susan Howards
Scott Hubbell
Sharon  Jones
Veronica Kane
Panagiotis Konstantilakis
Katie Kosinski
Ryan Krupp
Brian B. Kydd
Michael Lavesque
Laura Lerner
Michael  Levesque
Patrick Long
Corrine Lusic
Michael MacDonald
Paula Mangum
Stephen  Mooney
Joanne Moses
Justin Murphy
Sarah Murphy-Holroyd
Emily Nelson
Katherine Newman
Erik Nordahl
Lynn Norton
Judy O’Neil
Walter Oney
Allison Orpilla
William Patton
Nicholas Planty
Steven D. Pohl
Stephen Provazza
Anita W. Robboy
Victoria C. Rothbaum
Lou D. Saban
Jenna Scinicarello
Lisa Sears
Leah Segal
Peter Shapland
Matthew Shea
Michelle Sideris
Jason P. Sinclair
Anna O. Slyuzberg
Elizabeth Julia Smith
Danielle M. Spang
Kerry Spindler
Emily Unger
Irina Vaglica
Valletta Vaglica
William Valletta
Evelyn Venables
Donald Whitmore
Betsy Whittey
Lawrence  Wind
Ajay Zutshi

Practice Makes Perfect! Media Training Puts Potential Spokespeople in the Interview Hot Seat

Attorneys learn how to use the media to their advantage.

Attorneys learned some useful tips and tricks about how they can use the media effectively.


If a reporter called you right now, would you be pleased or panicky? Confident or concerned? Members of the Affinity Bar Leadership Institute now place themselves comfortably in the former category, having attended this week’s “Media Preparedness and Training” workshop at the BBA.

The training answered questions like: Why seek media coverage? What do I need to know before developing a communications strategy? When should I use a press release, a statement or a pitch? How do I decline an interview tactfully? In addition, participants learned interview tactics and techniques, and had the opportunity to practice their skills in one-on-one mock interviews.

For a copy of the presentation, contact Communications Director Kerry Crisley at

67 Boston Public High Schools Students to Participate in BBA Summer Jobs Program

68 Boston Public School students will soon start at internships  Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

This summer, 67 Boston Public School students will start paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

While the sections and committees are wrapping up their work for the year, the BBA is preparing for a new group of professionals to take over 16 Beacon—67 Boston teens who will be participating in the BBA Summer Jobs Program. Next Thursday, employers will have an opportunity to meet the students who will be interning in their office at the first BBA Summer Jobs Program Interview Day.

Take a look below at the law offices who have committed to support our city’s youth by hiring a student (and in some cases, multiple students!) to work in their office this summer:

100 sponsors_December 2014-page-001

This is your last chance to sign up for the BBA Summer Jobs Program! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a Boston teen. Please contact Katie D’Angelo at for more information on how your office can help.

Senior Lawyers Get the Scoop on How They Can Increase Access to Justice

The Access to Justice Fellows program seeks to reduce the impact of funding cutbacks that impact legal services by engaging retired lawyers who wish to remain active.

The Access to Justice Fellows program seeks to reduce the impact funding cutbacks have had on legal services by engaging retired lawyers who wish to remain active through pro bono work.

Last Friday, a group of senior lawyers got together with a panel of current and former Access to Justice Fellows (ATJF), as well as a representative from one of the host organizations, to discuss their experiences with the program.  The ATJF program pairs lawyers who are retired or transitioning to retirement with non-profit and legal services organizations to provide critical assistance to underserved individuals. The panelists Samantha Morton (Medical Legal Partnership), Martha Koster (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.), William Patton, and Jordan P. Krasnow (Goulston & Storrs PC) shared some advice about how to get involved with the program.

Here’s what panelist Bill Patton had to say about why he believes it is important to get involved:

“The Access to Justice Fellows program is an opportunity for lawyers in retirement or in transition to continue to use their skills and experience in helping people or non-profit organizations that would otherwise have no access to legal advice or representation. One of the best things about the program is the monthly lunches with other fellows to learn about what others are doing and to share ideas.”

If you are looking to get involved in the Access to Justice Program, please contact Mia Friedman at

Thank You to Our Law Day in the Schools Volunteers

Lawyers and judges from all over the city to visit Boston public school classes to share their passion for the law.

Lawyers and judges from all over the city visit Boston public school classes to share their passion for the law with students.


Last week, you read about our successful Law Day in the Schools Program in this article. Our program wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our volunteers who helped draft the curriculum and teach the sessions to 1,000+ Boston public school students. Beyond the Billable would like to thank the following individuals for donating their time to this program:

Curriculum Writers:

Jeremy Eisemann, Liberty Mutual Group
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Anuj Khetarpal, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Matthew Welnicki, Melick & Porter, LLP

Volunteer Teachers:

Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Thomas Ahmadifar, Sullivan & Worcester
Stephen Brake, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Heidi Brewster, Biogen
Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green
Alison Casey, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Christine Chilingerian
Stephen M. Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Rebecca De Chellis
Joan Densberger
Ty Edmondson, Biogen
Nathan Edwards, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Albert  Elia
David Ferrera, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Sheila Flaherty
Tammie Garner, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Emily Gianetta, Jones Day
Galen Gilbert, Gilbert & O’Bryan, PC.
Daniel Gleason, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Marcia Gookin, Biogen
Alexandra Gorman, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Richard Goulding, Sullivan & Worcester
Jeffery Habenicht, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Yomarie Habenicht, Ernst & Young LLP
Brenda Hansen, Biogen
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Kelly Haynes
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Emily Hodge, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Erin Hogan
Yalonda Howze, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Elizabeth Kayatta, Arrowood Peters LLP
Bethany Keating, Biogen
Sarah Kelly, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Justin Kesselman, Supreme Judicial Court
Jennifer King
Lindsay Kosan, Supreme Judicial Court
Nathaniel Koslof, Sullivan & Worcester
Stacy Krause
Eric Lockwood
Anthony Low, Shapiro Law Group, PC
Stephanie Macholtz, Biogen
Andrew McArdell, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Jonathan Meindersma
Rakel Meir, Tufts Health Plan
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Laura Miller, Sullivan & Worcester
Rebecca Morton, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Maxine Norgard, Biogen
Elianna Nuzum, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Wadner Oge, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Alexa O’Keefe, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Shirley Paley, Sonus Networks, Inc.
Michael Parran, Biogen
Kathleen Patton
Catherine Robinson
Nency Salamoun, The Victim Rights Law Center, Inc.
Jordan Scott, Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young, LLP
Gregory Shiferman, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Jennifer Sieczkiewicz, Biogen
Sophocles Sophocles
Alex Sugerman-Brozan, Segal Roitman LLP
Shagha Tousi, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Stephen Vander Stoep, Biogen
Robin Walker

VLP and Mintz Levin Launch Pro Bono Pilot Program in Appellate Court

Appellate attorneys and legal services attorneys discuss appellate procedure and strategies, and highlight special considerations for housing and family law appeals.

Appellate and legal services attorneys discuss appellate procedure and strategies, and highlight special considerations for housing and family law appeals.

Every day, self-represented litigants make their way through the justice system bringing appeals before the court; and until now, they were doing so entirely on their own.

In response to this unmet need, the Pro Bono Appellate Committee recently established a pro bono civil appellate program designed to assist low-income litigants recommended by the Volunteer Lawyer Project by offering brief legal consultations or legal representation in court.

The program, managed by the VLP and supported by Mintz Levin, will operate out of the established Court Service Center at the Brooke Courthouse, which houses the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court, the Boston Housing Court, the Suffolk County Juvenile Court, and Suffolk Probate & Family Court.

The BBA recently held an initial training for the clinic, featuring remarks from justices of the Appeals Court and panels consisting of representatives from across legal services, private practice, and the courts.

How was this need determined? In 2013, the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission established the Pro Bono Appellate Committee to study self-represented appellants in the court system and whether a pro bono program should be established to assist them.

The data doesn’t lie: It showed that a significant number of appeals-related cases were brought up in the SJC for the County of Suffolk every week – from formal appeals to informal requests for advice. As of January 2014, over 225 civil appeals that involved at least one self-represented litigant were pending. Most of these cases are based in family law or landlord-tenant law issues, as well as some prisoners’ rights, mortgage forfeitures, and contract or tort cases.

With this evidence in mind, and knowing that many self-represented litigants struggle with the complexities of the court system, the Pro Bono Appellate Committee began working with the VLP to create this pilot program. The program has three main aspects: a weekly Lawyer for the Day appellate clinic; referral to a Pro Bono Appellate Screening Panel that reviews potentially meritorious cases; and assignment of pro bono attorneys for cases selected by that Panel. This arrangement allows attorneys and court staff to give some guidance to cases that don’t necessarily need full representation, while also allowing for greater involvement if a case warrants it.

The program also represents the cooperation of the courts, legal services, and private practice. While the VLP is overseeing the program in the court, volunteers from Mintz Levin will assist with coordinating clinic volunteers and tracking cases. Over time, the program is expected to expand to include other legal services organizations in the Boston area and enlist the assistance of area law firms.

As with programs like Lawyer for the Day in Housing Court and the Court Service Center, the pilot pro bono civil appeals clinic could fundamentally change the way the court interacts with self-represented litigants and vice versa, and allow justice to be served properly.

If you are interested in volunteering, we at the BBA will keep you updated about the progress of the program and future training opportunities.

Expert Panel Presents on Veterans’ Employment Rights


Last week, attorneys gathered at 16 Beacon to learn about veterans’ rights in employment and education.  The panelists, Jennifer Serafyn (U.S Attorney’s Office), Donald d’Entremont (US Department of Labor), Kate Upatham (Sanghavi Law Office), and James Downey (US Department of Labor), outlined the rights afforded to veterans and active duty military under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Here’s what panelist Kate Upatham had to say about the importance of this program:

“There are over 21 million veterans in the United States today, making us likely to encounter veterans in our work as lawyers.  Members of our military give so much of themselves to our country, risking their very lives; it is the least we as lawyers can do to ensure that we are well versed in, and that we protect the rights of, our veterans.”

Last week’s program is part of the BBA’s continuing initiatives to increase access to justice for our military & veteran’s communities.  Mark your calendars! On June 2, we are holding a training on Representing Veterans in Discharge Upgrade Cases.  This training will guide attorneys through the process of helping less-than-honorable discharged veterans petition to upgrade their status.  There is an enormous gap in legal services available to veterans facing upgrade cases, so we encourage you to sign up now.

If you are able to help veterans or active duty military members with employment cases, or in other areas of law, please contact Solana Goss at

Beyond the Billable Congratulates Law Day Dinner Award Recipients

The BBA Law Day Dinner is the largest annual bench-bar event in Massachusetts. Each year, the event draws over 1,300 judges, policymakers and lawyers from all sectors of the bar.

The BBA Law Day Dinner is the largest annual bench-bar event in Massachusetts. Each year, the event draws over 1,000 judges, policymakers and lawyers from all sectors of the bar.


The 2015 Law Day Dinner, featuring Keynote Speaker Attorney General Maura Healey, is just around the corner! As the designated public service blog of the BBA, we are particularly excited for the public service awards, which will be presented to three of our members who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to our community.

Take a look below for more on the award-winners:

staffexecutive001The Boston Bar Association will present Barbara Mitchell, the Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, with the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services. Barbara is a long-term member and former co-chair of the BBA’s Delivery of Legal Service Section. More recently, she has spearheaded the section’s public policy committee, weighing in on key policy discussions within the BBA.  For the past eight years, she has served as the executive director of the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (CLSACC), a long-time grantee of the Boston Bar Foundation.

2e3cfa7Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, will receive the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility. He is also a member and former co-chair of the BBA’s Delivery of Legal Service Section. Additionally, he served on the BBA Council and as a co-chair and long-term member of the Public Service Oversight Committee. In addition to his work at the BBA, he has served as legal counsel for the BBA’s Summer Jobs partner, the Boston Private Industry Council, for over a decade.


Jack Ward, the Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, will receive the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services. Jack has helped the organization navigate the difficult funding environment in the wake of a decline in IOLTA funding and helped establish one of the most diversified funding bases of any legal program. He is a nationally recognized fundraising expert for legal service organizations.

Beyond the Billable congratulates and extends our gratitude to these award winners for their ongoing commitment to our community.

If you’re interested in learning more about the award winners, take a look at this recent Issue Spot post. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the honorees receive their awards in person. Click here for more information on attending the 2015 Law Day Dinner.


2015 Law Day in the Schools: Attorneys Trade Offices for Classrooms

Attorney Stephen Brake helps middle school students at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School draft their own Charters to help them better understand the Magna Carta.

Attorney Stephen Brake shares his knowledge of the law with middle school students at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School.

Seventy-seven attorneys are heading out to teach over one thousand Boston public school students of all ages about the Magna Carta through this year’s Law Day in the Schools Program. The Program, which aims to introduce students to the role of attorneys and the legal system, offers lawyers a way to engage with Boston public school students and share their passion for the law. While students in middle and high school drafted their own charters, elementary school students played a game and participated in a small group activity to learn about the importance of rules.

Attorney Emily Hodge teaches Bradley Elementary School student about why the Magna Carta is important.

Attorney Emily Hodge teaches Bradley Elementary School students about why the Magna Carta is important.

If you want to see a closer look at the program, check out this WBUR piece on one of our volunteers, Emily Hodge’s (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP) session in a fourth grade class at Manassah E Bradley School in East Boston.