Monthly Archives: November 2015

Pro Bono Trainings Draw Crowds Aiming to Give Back

The BBA teamed up with Greater Boston Legal Services and the Legal Service Center of Harvard Law School for the second in a series of three pro bono trainings to assist low-income taxpayers.

The BBA teamed up with Greater Boston Legal Services and the Legal Service Center of Harvard Law School for the second in a series of three pro bono trainings to assist low-income taxpayers.

Last week the BBA hosted two popular pro bono trainings to recruit volunteers to address unmet legal needs in our community. The trainings included the annual Landlord Tenant Law & Practice Pro Bono Training for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program and the second training in the series pro bono trainings for the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

So far this year, the BBA has held six pro bono trainings and trained over 200 attorneys to take pro bono cases through local legal service organizations. We are so grateful to our members who attended the trainings and who volunteer in the community.

Attorneys who attended the Landlord Tenant Law Pro Bono Training last week can now volunteer for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program pictured above.

Attorneys who attended the Landlord Tenant Law Pro Bono Training last week can now volunteer for the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program pictured above.

If you’re interested in getting involved, don’t miss the pro bono trainings coming up this winter:

Volunteer Lawyer Training: Representing a Pro Bono Debtor in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Thursday, January 21, 2016 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM

CORI Matters— Learn How to Help Low Income Clients Seal Criminal Records
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Representing Low-Income Taxpayers When the IRS and/or DOR Audits Their Return: Part Three
Thursday, March 3, 2016 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

BBA Veteran’s Day Reception Draws Crowd

Congressman Seth Moulton spoke about the VA Healthcare System and the need to support veterans at the BBA's Veterans Day Reception last week.

Congressman Seth Moulton spoke about the VA Healthcare System and the need to support veterans at the BBA’s Veterans Day Reception last week.

The Claflin Center at 16 Beacon Street was buzzing with energy last Thursday. Attorneys mixed and mingled and talked to one another about their shared experiences serving in the military. The event, which was chaired by former Navy Lieutenant John J. Regan (Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP) and retired Marine Corps Colonel William F. Sinnott (Donoghue Barrett & Singal, P.C), also featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. In particular, the Congressman discussed his own experience with the VA Healthcare System and his plans to help improve the system for veterans. He encouraged everyone in the room to focus on helping servicemembers transition from active duty.

This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges. If you missed this event but want to get involved, don’t miss the follow up Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon on January 29th at noon. Click here to learn more.

Take a look below for more images:

BBA President Lisa Arrowood, founding partner at Arrowood Peters, and Congressman Seth Moulton during a Veterans Day Reception held at the BBA on November 12.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood, founding partner at Arrowood Peters, and Congressman Seth Moulton during a Veterans Day Reception held at the BBA on November 12.

 

Six-year Army veteran Fritz Barthelemy, an intern at WilmerHale through the BBA’s Veteran Internship Pilot Program, Congressman Seth Moulton, and Dwayne Smith, an aspiring lawyer studying at Suffolk University and former intern at Edwards Wildman (now Locke Lord) who served in the Marine Corps, at a Veterans Day Reception.

Six-year Army veteran Fritz Barthelemy, an intern at WilmerHale through the BBA’s Veteran Internship Pilot Program, Congressman Seth Moulton, and Dwayne Smith, an aspiring lawyer studying at Suffolk University and former intern at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP (now Locke Lord LLP) who served in the Marine Corps, at a Veterans Day Reception.

PILP Meets with Carol Fulp

Carol Fulp (The Partnership, Inc.) met with PILP about the importance of diversity in the legal field.

Carol Fulp (The Partnership, Inc.) met with PILP about the importance of diversity in the legal field.

On November 4, 2015, Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc. addressed members of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP). The Partnership is an organization dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining and convening multicultural professionals. In addition to being the President and CEO of The Partnership, Ms. Fulp is a Trustee of the Boston Public Library, and was appointed by President Obama as a Representative of the United States to the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

During the discussion, Ms. Fulp gave an outline of the work that The Partnership, Inc. does, and why diversity is important not just in the legal workplace, but in all sections of civil society. She emphasized that Boston is a city of innovation, and from a business perspective, having a diverse work place isn’t just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. “The world is changing, and we, Boston-the city of innovation- need to be at the forefront of this change and stay ahead of the curve in every way we can.”

Ms. Fulp ended the talk by asking each of the attendees to mention why they believe diversity is important, or what actions they hope to see in the future in order to have a more diverse legal community.  PILP member Christopher Hart said the following about the meeting :

Carol led an engaging, productive, and eye-opening discussion about diversity in each of our professional environments and in the greater Boston area.  I felt like I learned a great deal from my PILP peers about what concerns they have, and issues they’re facing, when it comes to diversity in the workplace.  And I thought Carol did a great job not only encouraging our candor, but making us feel empowered to act to shape and improve diversity in the legal community.  Aside from all of that, Carol’s optimism and enthusiasm is infectious; the time we had with her was incredibly well-spent and appreciated.

PILP and the BBA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Fulp for taking the time to speak at this meeting.

BBA President Gets Firsthand Look at BPS Middle School

BBA President Lisa Arrowood had teh opportunity to observe teacher planning meetings during her morning at Frederick Pilot Middle School through the Principal for a Day Program.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood had the opportunity to observe teacher planning meetings during her morning at Frederick Pilot Middle School through the Principal for a Day Program.

Yesterday morning, BBA President Lisa Arrowood observed a humanities teacher meeting, greeted students, and visited classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through the Principal for a Day Program. Every year the BBA President heads out to visit a local school through the Program, which aims to build support for the local school system by pairing corporate and community leaders with school administrators for a morning. Lisa shadowed Principal Pauline Lugira and saw the innovative steps the school is taking to help their students achieve academic success, as well as the challenges in the community and school system that play a role in the students’ ability to learn.

“I was really impressed with everyone I met at every level: the teachers, principal and superintendent,” reported Lisa at a meeting of the BBA Council. “These people are fully invested in helping the kids succeed.”

BBA President Lisa Arrowood learned about new techniques for teaching middle school math while observing the math teachers content meeting.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood learned about new techniques for teaching middle school math while observing the math teachers content meeting.

 

Inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast a Great Success!

Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) spoke about the impact of the Boston Bar Foundation's support for the BBA Summer Jobs Program at this morning's Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast.

Teresa Alleyne (Boston Private Industry Council) spoke about the impact of the Boston Bar Foundation’s support for the BBA Summer Jobs Program at this morning’s Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast.

This morning, the Boston Bar Foundation held its inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston. The Breakfast was an opportunity to recognize members of the Society for their support of the BBF and to celebrate what their generosity has allowed the BBF to accomplish in the last year.

Nearly 75 members of the Society of Fellows joined 20 representatives from legal services organizations receiving BBF grants in the coming year to mingle and discuss the essential funding provided by the Society of Fellows program.

BBF President Lisa Goodheart expressed her gratitude for the commitment of the Fellows and introduced speaker Teresa Alleyne, Senior Career Specialist at the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). In her role at the PIC, Teresa counsels high school students on professionalism and connects them with paid summer internships. She has worked closely with the BBA on one of its public service initiatives, the Summer Jobs Program.

The Boston Bar Foundation funds all of the pro bono and public service initiatives of the BBA, including the administrative coordination for all 65 jobs in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program as well as the complete funding for 15 nonprofit and public sector positions for teens.

Teresa shared with the Fellows the positive impact of the program on the diverse group of young people she supports.

“You are at this breakfast because of your generosity and dedication to expanding access to justice and improving our community,” Teresa said. “You provide such invaluable training, and it means so very much in their life. They learn way more than you can possibly imagine.”

As Senior Career Specialist, she teaches young people about how to find success in a professional setting.

“But from my office, it is mostly theory,” she remarked. “It is because of the generosity of the Boston Bar Foundation that Boston public school students – my students – get a chance to put their skills to the test.”

She contrasted the decreasing availability of jobs for young people with the BBF’s increasing support of the Summer Jobs Program.

“I appreciate the BBA and BBF stepping up and providing increasing opportunity for young people over the years,” she emphasized, “When as a nation, the only thing increasing for young people was unemployment.”

Teresa’s poignant and lively remarks about just one of many, many programs the BBF is able to support with the help of the Society of Fellows were truly inspiring.

Fellows are invited to social and networking events throughout the year and recognized in BBF publications, on the BBF website and at BBF fundraising events. To learn more about joining Boston’s leading attorneys in the Society of Fellows, click here or contact Tara Trask at [email protected] or (617) 778-1984.

Click here to view more images from the event.

PILP Gets a Close Look at Boston’s Veterans Treatment Court from Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott

Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott (Veterans Treatment Court) spoke with PILP about the Veteran Treatment Courts work to help treat military veterans arrested for crimes linked to trauma caused by their service

Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott (Veterans Treatment Court) spoke with PILP about the Veteran Treatment Court’s efforts to help treat military veterans arrested for crimes linked to trauma caused by their service

On October 28th, Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott addressed the members of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP).  A former Navy officer, Judge Sinnott presides over Boston’s Veterans Treatment Court session in the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, which launched in the spring of 2014. Designed to help treat military veterans arrested for crimes linked to trauma caused by their service, this is the first veterans court in Suffolk County and the second in the state..

Boston’s Veterans Treatment Court is available to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who face service-connected misdemeanor or felony charges in Suffolk County, and who have a service-related mental health issue, substance abuse problem, or other co-occurring disorders. The Veterans Treatment Court model requires regular court appearances, mandatory attendance at treatment sessions, and frequent and random testing for substance use (drug and/or alcohol).  Judge Sinnott noted that Veterans respond favorably to this structured environment given their past experiences in the Armed Forces.

PILP member Michael B. Homer of Ropes & Gray LLP observed, “Having launched the Boston Veterans Treatment Court, Judge Sinnott was able to provide unique insight into the need for these specialty courts and the challenges such courts face.  It was very encouraging to hear Judge Sinnott explain how, despite these challenges, her court is able to provide desperately needed services, mentoring, and an alternative to incarceration to those veterans whose criminal behavior is linked to service-related trauma.”

The collaborative multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation that this court undertakes includes the judge, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, probation officers and medical treatment providers from the VA and other community –based treatment providers. Together with the veteran and a special veteran peer mentor, rigorous treatment and probation plans are put into place, enabling the veteran to focus on sobriety, recovery and stability.

As the country turns its attention to veterans in preparation for observance of Veterans Day next week, we are grateful for the dedicated team in the Veterans Treatment Court, working to connect men and women with service-related criminal issues to the services and stability they so desperately need.

The BBA will be bringing together its own community of attorney-veterans for a special Veterans Day Reception at 16 Beacon Street on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at 5:00PM, hosted by veterans Bill Sinnott of Donoghue Barrett & Singal, P.C. and John “Jack” Regan of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.  The welcome address will be delivered by Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA-6).  If you would like to join us, please email Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] .

From Farm to Table…to Briefcase

A group of attorneys volunteered at the Food Project last month.

A group of attorneys volunteered at the Food Project last month and helped to harvest and cultivate the land.

BBA members have been taking advantage of this fall’s beautiful weather by spending weekends outside and giving back. During October, the Environmental Law Public Service Committee, New Lawyers Public Service Committee, and Bankruptcy Public Service Committee participated in the Franklin Park Clean Up and Food Project. These events give attorneys an opportunity to give back, while meeting other attorneys in a more informal, relaxed setting.

If you’re committed to helping the environment but you want to get involved in a legal-related volunteer opportunity, check out the Conservation Law Center’s Legal Services Food Hub Program. Here’s more information on the opportunity:

Because many farmers and food entrepreneurs in New England struggle to overcome the high legal fees associated with doing business, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has established the Legal Services Food Hub (Hub), which is designed to connect eligible lower-income farmers, food entrepreneurs and food related organizations/groups with experienced attorneys from a growing network who work on the farmers’ legal issues on a pro bono basis.  Participation in the Hub program is based on an income cap for the farmers, and the initial focus is on cases involving transactional issues, such as land acquisition/transfer, estate issues, taxes, contracts and incorporation.  The Hub has already provided pro bono legal services to numerous clients, including a group of farmers seeking to form an agricultural cooperative in New Hampshire, and a fruit-based ice cream company in Massachusetts seeking trademark advice.  For more information, check out the Hub website at: http://www.legalservicesfoodhub.org.