Monthly Archives: June 2015

Thank You to This Year’s PILP Speakers

PILP Dinner Group Photo

PILP 11 wrapped up its program year with a dinner at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse.

This week, the BBA’s PILP 11 class held its final meeting. This group of 16 exemplified the mission of the Public Interest Leadership Program: to promote civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership role of lawyers in service to their community, their profession, and the Commonwealth. To do so, PILP 11 invited leaders from the legal community and beyond to discuss current legal needs and trends, leadership fundamentals, and how to be involved within the community.

The PILP 11 class and Beyond the Billable would like to thank all of the guest speakers for their time, support, and insight. Our slate of amazing speakers included:

  • Leadership and management consultant Glenn Mangurian
  • Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston Eugene L. O’Flaherty
  • BBA Reentry Education Standing Committee members
    • Eric Haskell, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office
    • Brendan St. Amant, Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP
  • District Court
    • Mark Wolf
    • Denise Casper
    • Leo Sorokin
  • Jeffrey Rudman, WilmerHale and Boston Public Library Trustee
  • Richard Page, Executive Director, BBA and BBF
  • Local Politicians
    • Barry Finegold, former State Senator for Second Essex and Middlesex District, Massachusetts;
    • John Connolly, Boston mayoral candidate in 2014 and founder of the non-profit 1647; and
    • Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor At-Large
  • Chief Justice Roberto Ronquillo
  • Caroline Robinson, Director, MassLegalHelp
  • Lonnie Powers, Executive Director, MLAC
  • Mentors
    • Lisa Tittemore, Partner, Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
    • Joel Buenaventura, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    • Jack Regan, Partner, WilmerHale and Past BBA President

As you can see, PILP 11 had quite the year. Stay tuned for news on the new PILP 12 class!

Explore BBA Public Service at Passport to Pairings

BtB Edit

Attendees of Passport to Pairings will travel throughout the offices of 16 Beacon Street to stations holding different food and beverage pairings, each representing a project benefited by the event.

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.

BBA LRS Celebrates Boston Pride

The theme of this year’s festivities was “Wicked Proud,” evidenced by the city draped in rainbow flags.

The theme of this year’s festivities was “Wicked Proud,” evidenced by the city draped in rainbow flags.

This past Saturday, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) joined thousands of participants and spectators at the 45th Annual Boston Pride Parade to support the LGBTQ community.

The festival is part of “Pride Week,” 10 days of events, parades and live performances organized by the nonprofit, Boston Pride. More than 200 companies, schools and other institutions participated.

A number of public officials took part in the festivities, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey.

BBA staff set up their booth at City Hall Plaza to reach out to Boston’s diverse community, informing attendees how to obtain legal assistance through the LRS.  The LRS attends outreach events throughout Boston year round to spread the word about the services offered to public.

BBA employees set up shop at Government Center’s City Hall Plaza.

BBA employees set up shop at Government Center’s City Hall Plaza.


For more information on the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service, please contact Solana Goss, LRS Intake Coordinator, at

Celebrating a New PILP Chapter

PILP Class 2015-2016

PILP Class 12

As our beyond the Billable readers know, the BBA recently announced the class for our twelfth iteration of the Public Interest Leadership Program. The BBA is pleased to welcome 16 attorneys into our Public Interest Leadership community!

On Tuesday, the new PILP class, a.k.a. PILP 12, held its first meeting at the BBA and discussed plans and goals for the upcoming year. Afterwards, PILP 12 met and mingled with the outgoing PILP 11 class and celebrated the achievements of the current class. For those of you needing a refresher ,the PILP 11 class spent the past year partnering with the BBA Reentry Education Program to deliver civil legal education workshops to probationer’s ages 18-24 participating the CHOICE program at the Boston Municipal Court in Roxbury.  Take a look below for more images from the evening:


PILP alums discussed the program



PILP 12 gets to know each other


To learn more about PILP, contact Galen Byrne at

Meet Our 2015 BBA Summer Jobs Students


Every year the BBA brings in a bright group of Boston public school students who are eager to experience working in the legal field.

We have a great group of Summer Jobs students who will be heading out to their legal internships at various offices on July 1st. You’ll get the chance to meet our students throughout the summer as we feature them on the blog, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek at our interns. Take a look below to learn more about this impressive group of students:

13Neighbor-hoods 15Languages 20 Schools

Stay tuned to learn more about our students throughout the summer!

BBA Reentry Education Program Heads to Coolidge House

Coolidge HouseLast week, the BBA Reentry Education Program changed locations and held a session at the Coolidge House, a Residential Reentry Center for offenders under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Ashley Mann-McLellan, the Deputy Director at New Lease for Homeless Families, met with a group of probationers and case managers to give participants practical tips on navigating the affordable housing application process.

Beyond the Billable reached out to Ashley to learn more about the importance of this session. Here’s what she had to say:

“If you ask someone without a home what their most pressing need is, generally the answer is simply a home.  It can be extremely daunting to try to thrive in a homeless situation; finding jobs, maximizing income, and tending to health and wellness issues can be almost impossible during a precarious housing situation.  Additionally, there is no text book or simple map sheet to figure out how to obtain affordable housing; the training was so important to the audience because it provided concrete tools, directions and strategies to access affordable homes.”

Celebrating 5 Years of Opportunity: The Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Judicial Internship Program


On Monday, June 1, 2015, the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section hosted a celebration to mark its Judicial Internship Program’s fifth year.  Participating judges, interns past and present, and members of the BBA gathered to recognize this important milestone in the BBA’s efforts to retain a diverse and inclusive population of young lawyers in Boston.

Since 2010, the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section has facilitated this Judicial Internship Program to provide law students with the valuable professional experience of access to internships in the Commonwealth’s Trial Courts, including the Boston Municipal Court, District Court, Superior Court, and the Probate and Family Court.  Students are also placed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit (“BAP”). More than 125 law students have participated since the program’s inception.

Offering remarks about the program’s launch at the BBA, the 2010 Diversity Inclusion Section’s Co-Chair, E. Macey Russell of Choate Hall & Stewart, reflected on the win-win impact of a judicial internship.  Students obtain immeasurable benefits from the education and career development opportunities related to working with a Judge, and the understaffed trial courts are appointed some extra pairs of hands.  Hon. Robert N. Tochka spoke about the importance of offering opportunities to students of all backgrounds.  It was his personal effort to bring on rising 2L law student interns when he was a judge in the Boston Municipal Court that inspired the BBA to formalize the internship program.  But for Judge Tochka’s support and persuasive skills in recruiting judges to take on BBA interns, this program would not have reached this milestone.


Massachusetts District Court Judge Paul M. Yee, Jr. , E. Macey Russell of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, and Superior Court Judge Robert N. Tochka

This year’s class of 24 Summer Judicial Interns  includes students from Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, George Mason University School of Law, New England Law | Boston, Suffolk University Law School, and Western New England University School of Law.  The interns are fully immersed in what is shaping up to be a very busy summer.

In addition to their work in the courts, interns will attend weekly enrichment activities held at the BBA where they will be introduced to practitioners from various corners of the profession.  The interns will also attend the various programs and events sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Section this summer that seek to increase engagement and understanding among law students and attorneys of all backgrounds.


Judge Robert N. Tochka of the Superior Court, flanked by Paulette Pagan, his 2014 Judicial Intern, and Chris Boutin, who will be interning with Tochka this summer.



Suffolk Law Professional and Career Development Counselor Quaime Lee with Suffolk Law Students


Training Lawyers to Represent Veterans in Discharge Upgrade Cases

Panelist share their personal knowledge about veterans discharge cases with attorneys interested in taking on cases.

Panelist share what they know about veterans discharge upgrade cases with attorneys interested in taking on similar cases.

Did you know that veterans who receive a less than honorable discharge may not be eligible for VA health care or other veterans benefits that they need to maintain a stable life? This past Tuesday, attorneys gathered at the BBA for training on how to best represent veterans in discharge upgrade cases.

Panelist Dana Montalto (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School), Daniel Nagin (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School), Major Susan Lynch (U.S. Army Reserve), Dr. Sandy Dixon (William James College), and Betsy Gwin (Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) gave an in depth training that prepped attorneys with information about relevant military review board procedures and regulations. The attorneys who attended this training are now eligible to join the inaugural pro bono discharge-upgrade panel of the Veterans Legal Clinic of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. The clinic allows attorneys and law students to represent veterans and their families in cases to obtain maximum stability and well-being.

Here is what panelists Dana Montalto and Dan Nagin had to say about why they believe it is important for attorneys to join the veteran’s pro bono discharge-upgrade panel:

Montalto-Website-Photo-Cropped“Despite a consistently high demand for assistance, remarkably few lawyers are available to represent veterans separated under less than honorable conditions in correcting that status and even fewer available to represent low-income veterans pro bono. By uniting the experience and expertise of the Legal Services Center with the dedication and civic-mindedness of private attorneys, the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership can help close that gap. We look forward to working with the many attorneys who have joined to Pro Bono Partnership to ensure fairness and justice for those who served our country.”


Dan“Providing pro bono representation to veterans who have unmet legal needs is our shared obligation as a profession.  Veterans who unjustly received a less-than-honorable discharge are among the veterans who need our help.  Providing pro bono representation in discharge upgrade and correction of military record cases can help restore honor to these veterans’ military service and remove barriers that deny them critical services and resources.”

If you missed the training but are still interested in getting involved, please contact Katie D’Angelo at

BBA Summer Jobs Students Impress Employers

BBA Summer Jobs Students got a chance to meet with employers  to get more information about what their upcoming summer will look like

BBA Summer Jobs students got together at the BBA for a meet and greet with their summer jobs employers.

Last Thursday, 25 of our BBA Summer Jobs students dressed up and headed to 16 Beacon to interview with legal employers for this year’s program. For many of the students, this interview day marked their first professional job interview. While the students were guaranteed a position through our program regardless of the outcome of the interview, nerves were still running high. We are happy to report that all of students and employers came out of the interviews smiling and excited for the upcoming summer.

This year marks the 23rd time the BBA has partnered with the City of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) to provide internships to Boston teens. If you caught this article in the Boston Globe last week, you already know that teens from affluent families are twice as likely to secure a summer job as teens from low-income families. As such, these internships are as important as ever. Here’s what the article says about long-term impact of teen employment:

“This teen employment gap is another illustration of why the nation’s income divide is persistent and growing, as better-off families start with advantages that help their children get ahead, while low-income households struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Research shows that teens with summer jobs learn responsibility, punctuality, and other skills that give them a leg up when they enter the labor force as adults, helping them advance their careers and earn more over their working lives.”

Our program aims to provide meaningful work experience and professional development opportunities to prepare students for their future careers. Stay tuned for more on our students’ professional adventures this summer.