Monthly Archives: June 2018

Public Interest Leadership Program Learns about Trauma-Informed Legal Advocacy

In March, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) heard from Erin Miller, Manager of the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Erin Miller presented on understanding the dynamics of trauma and trauma-informed legal advocacy.

Miller addressed the neurobiology of trauma and how trauma and particularly long-term chronic trauma, can affect the brain and subsequently our clients’ behavior and presentation in court and meetings. Although Miller works specifically with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, her presentation was relevant to working with survivors of trauma in many different contexts.

Below are some tips and tricks Miller shared for working with clients experiencing trauma:

  • Let the client know up front how you are going to approach the meeting. Explain why you are going to ask him or her certain questions and how long the meeting will be. This way, your client can prepare for what is ahead and any triggering or personal questions you may have to ask.
  • Let the client have control of the meeting as much as possible. Let him or her decide where to sit, whether you can take notes, how the temperature in the room is, etc. Letting the client know that he or she has agency in the attorney-client relationship can go a long way in building trust.
  • Validate the client’s feelings and experiences and make sure his or she knows you are listening. Thank your client for sharing his or her experience and acknowledge that it is not an easy thing to do. Make sure that your client feels heard and understood.

Miller also addressed secondary trauma and vicarious trauma and the emotional toll that working with survivors of trauma can have on attorneys. She stressed how important it is for attorneys to practice the same self-care that they would encourage their clients to practice.

For more information on Erin Miller’s program, visit:

Meeting recap provided by PILP Member Anne Sheldon (DOVE, Inc.)

Massachusetts’ Housing Trends and Needs Presented to PILP

Last month, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) heard a presentation from Judith Jacobson, Calandra Clark, and Tom Hopper of Massachusetts Housing Partnership (“MHP”), where Jacobson is the Deputy Director and General Counsel, and Clark and Hopper are the Co-Directors of MHP’s Center for Housing Data. MHP is a statewide public non-profit that works in concert with the Governor and the state Department of Housing and Community Development to increase the supply of affordable housing in Massachusetts.

Jacobson began by providing an overview of MHP, its history, and the reach of its projects. MHP was established in 1985 to increase the Commonwealth’s overall rate of housing production and to work with municipalities to meet the growing need for affordable housing. In 1990, the Massachusetts legislature passed legislation that requires companies acquiring Massachusetts banks to make funds available to MHP for affordable housing. Since its creation, MHP has provided assistance for affordable housing in over 330 Massachusetts communities. That includes more than $1.1 billion in loans and commitments for the financing of over 23,000 units of rental housing. Those financial resources have gone toward new construction as well as renovations of existing properties.

Clark and Hopper then discussed the affordable housing problem in Massachusetts in more detail, noting that annual production of housing has been in decline in Massachusetts since the 1960s. Housing prices have surged, resulting in Massachusetts having the 7th highest rents in the country and the Metro Boston area having the 4th highest rents after San Francisco, San Jose, and New York. Vacancy rates are incredibly low statewide, not just in the more densely populated counties like Suffolk and Middlesex, but also in western counties with smaller populations, like Hampshire and Franklin, both of which have rental vacancies below 2% and homeownership vacancies of less than 1%. MHP estimates that Massachusetts needs 38,000 housing units to meet current statewide demand.

One of the issues preventing the construction of that housing is restrictive zoning laws, according to Clark and Hooper. Many communities in Massachusetts have enacted zoning laws that make it difficult if not impossible for developers to build affordable housing. On a related topic, many zoning ordinances require new housing that looks little like the current housing in those municipalities. For example, only 22 residential buildings in Somerville meet the current zoning code. The others are too dense, too close to the road, too tall, etc. The meeting ended with a question and answer session, as Jacobson, Clark, and Hooper discussed how to get involved locally and what statewide measures were under consideration within the legislature to address affordable housing.

More information on Massachusetts Housing Partnership may be found at More information on the Center for Housing Data may be found at

Meeting recap provided by PILP Member John Weaver (McLane Middleton). 

Meet the 2018-2019 Public Interest Leadership Program Class

The Boston Bar Association is pleased to announce the members of its 15th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) Class. PILP participants connect with prominent community leaders at meetings and events, learn about the challenges confronting local organizations and take part in efforts to address specific community needs. After completing the 14-month program, graduates enter a growing network of over 180 accomplished alumni who provide mentoring and support to their successors. We look forward to working with these impressive attorneys over the coming year!

Genevieve Aguilar
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Genevieve Aguilar focuses her practice on representing corporations in a wide range of litigation matters, with primary emphasis on complex trial and appellate litigation, labor and employment issues and government investigations. Ms. Aguilar also maintains an active pro bono practice representing clients in a range of matters, including asylum, housing, and sealing criminal records. Ms. Aguilar has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Ms. Aguilar serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys.  Additionally, Ms. Aguilar volunteers with Citizen Schools, coaching a mock trial program for middle school students at underperforming Boston schools. Ms. Aguilar also serves as a mentor to first-year law students through Boston Lawyer’s Group, whose mission is to support the efforts of its member organizations to identify, recruit, advance and retain attorneys of color.

Prior to joining Choate in 2014, Ms. Aguilar worked in the Homicide Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where she assisted in the prosecution of homicide cases.

Ms. Aguilar received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received the Earle K. Shawe Labor Relations Award, and her B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College.

Erin Brummer
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Erin is an Associate in Fragomen’s Boston office, where she works with clients across a variety of industries, including premier high-technology corporations. She has represented corporate and individual clients on a wide array of immigration matters, encompassing nonimmigrant petitions for a number of visa categories, and employment and family-based immigrant visa applications. Prior to joining Fragomen, Erin was an Associate in the immigration department of Mintz Levin, where she focused on preparing extraordinary ability and outstanding researcher petitions, national interest waivers, nonimmigrant visa petitions and adjustment of status applications. She has experience working with clients spanning a broad range of industries, including healthcare, research and development organizations, and multinational retail companies.

Erin is also the Pro Bono Coordinator in Fragomen’s Boston office, where she works with several organizations to provide representation to individuals needing immigration assistance.  This includes representing unaccompanied minors in proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and helping unaccompanied minors and domestic violence survivors obtain permanent resident status.  Erin has also coordinated citizenship clinics, staffed “Know Your Rights” community events, and held immigration compliance workshops for small business owners.

Erin received her B.A.  from Alfred University and J.D. from New England School of Law, where she competed as a member of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team.

Christopher Dodge
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Chris Dodge is a senior associate at WilmerHale who focuses on complex litigation matters, including commercial and intellectual property trial litigation and appellate litigation.  Chris maintains an active pro bono practice focusing on LGBT, voting rights, and electoral reform issues.  He is a frequent volunteer at the Massachusetts Civil Appeals Clinic run by the Volunteer Lawyers Project.  Chris is an active member of the Massachusetts LGBT Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association, where he serves on the steering committee of the Senior Associates Section.

Prior to working at WilmerHale, Mr. Dodge clerked for the Hon. Alison J. Nathan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and for the Hon. Chester J. Straub of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He obtained his B.S., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and his J.D., also magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law.

Caroline Donovan
Foley Hoag LLP

Caroline Donovan is a litigator at Foley Hoag whose practice focuses on complex civil litigation in state and federal courts, where she regularly represents clients in cases involving contract disputes and business torts.  In this capacity, she has successfully represented clients through trial, mediation, and arbitration. Caroline also advises clients in connection with internal and government investigations. She works with public companies, closely held corporations, and individuals, in a diverse array of industries.

Janette Ekanem
Greater Boston Legal Services

Janette A. Ekanem is an attorney in the Employment Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) where she represents individuals in a variety of employment litigation matters in state and federal courts, and provides legal counsel for worker-owned cooperative businesses.  Prior to joining GBLS, Janette practiced commercial real estate law at Kotin, Crabtree & Strong LLP.   During law school, Janette served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland (Ret.) of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and as a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office.

Janette is the Vice President for the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston as Chair of the Litigation Committee.  Janette also serves on Clark University’s President Leadership Council, and as a judge for Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournaments.  Additionally, Janette has served multiple terms on the Steering Committee of the Real Estate Section of the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Bar Foundation’s Summer Jobs Fundraising Committee, and the Community Service Committee of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.

Janette holds a B.A. in Government and International Relations, Magna Cum Laude, and a Master of Public Administration from Clark University.  She received her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

Lynda Freshman
BlueWave Solar

Lynda Freshman is Senior Legal Counsel at BlueWave Solar, a solar development and fintech company. She advises BlueWave on proactive compliance with laws and regulations applicable to community solar, consumer lending, data privacy, and business operations.  In addition, Lynda analyzes regulatory requirements for expansion into new markets, designs products to meet strategic initiatives, negotiates commercial transactions, and enhances the company’s policies and procedures for a comprehensive compliance management program.

Prior to joining BlueWave, Lynda spent time in government as an Assistant Attorney General with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and as an intern with the Department of Justice, the Honorable Denise J. Casper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Department of State.

Lynda is also an active volunteer in the Boston community.  On Saturday mornings, she can be found volunteering at the Boston Public Library, where she teaches English as a Second Language.  In addition, she serves as a mentor for law students and undergraduate students through the Boston Lawyers Group, and is a member of the Boston Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association, and New England Women in Energy and the Environment.

Lynda is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  She received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, M.A. from Stanford University as a Hugh & Josephine Knowles Fellow, and J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law.

Alexander Gray
Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, City of Boston

Alex joined the Administration of Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston in 2014. He is currently the Senior Policy Manager in the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. Previous to this, he served as a Policy Analyst for Mayor Walsh’s Chief of Policy. Prior to his time in the City, Alex served as a Policy Analyst for Governor Deval L. Patrick. He is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and Boston College.

Alex grew up in North Quincy, MA, and now lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife, Lauren. Lauren and Alex met in Sacramento, CA, while the two were completing their service in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where they worked with homeless individuals at a local Non-Profit Organization, Loaves and Fishes. They are proud season ticket holders of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston College Football.  Alex and Lauren are also active theater-goers and enjoy taking in shows in Boston and New York. For the past two years, Alex has served as the Chair of The Sports Museum’s Young Leaders Council.

Sophia Hall
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

Sophia joined the Lawyers’ Committee as a Staff Attorney in July 2016. As an experienced litigator, Sophia handles a broad range of civil rights matters. Sophia actively represents people of color and immigrant women to protect their rights in the workplace and in the community. Most recently, she filed a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against a prominent national restaurant chain expanding #MeToo to #YoTambien. She also successfully resolved a precedent-setting racial profiling matter creating a blueprint for police departments across the country to implement comprehensive implicit bias and search/seizure training. Additionally, Sophia has a growing practice focused on dismantling barriers to diversity in public agencies. Her work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe.

Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Sophia was a Staff Attorney with AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization. There, she represented low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS in a wide range of issues and advised the organization on legal matters.

Sophia is a graduate of Boston College Law School, where she served on the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University. Sophia currently serves as the chair of the Women of Color Committee for the Women’s Bar Association, and the secretary of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the Boston Chapter of the NAACP.

Hillary Harnett
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Hillary Harnett is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Office of Regional Counsel in Boston.  Hillary represents HUD in a wide array of affirmative and defensive cases including fair housing enforcement actions, federal tort claims, breach of contract disputes, and employment litigation.  She also provides legal advice on HUD’s multifamily housing, public housing, fair housing, community development, and health care programs.

Prior to joining HUD, Hillary served as a law clerk to Justice Mark Green of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.  Hillary received her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was a managing editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review.  She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University.

Nicholas Hasenfus
Holland & Knight LLP

Nicholas M. Hasenfus is a Boston intellectual property attorney who concentrates his practice on intellectual property licensing (IP), data privacy and security, and information technology (IT). His practice includes the resolution of disputes over intellectual property rights through alternative dispute resolution channels as well as litigation. Mr. Hasenfus drafts and negotiates agreements and advises clients on a wide range of IP and IT matters, including software development and licensing, cloud computing, master services agreements and revenue sharing agreements. Mr. Hasenfus also has significant experience drafting online terms of use and privacy policies. Mr. Hasenfus advises clients on best practices in data privacy and information security, including policies related to data security, privacy and acceptable use.

Mr. Hasenfus graduated from Suffolk University Law School (summa cum laude) where he taught constitutional law to inner-city high school students as a Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Fellow, as well as privacy education to middle school students in Cambridge, Mass. He also represented indigent juveniles as a Rule 3:03 student attorney through his participation in the Juvenile Defenders Clinic.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Hasenfus was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps where he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently volunteers as a mentor to veterans participating in treatment at the Boston Veterans Treatment Court and actively provides pro bono representation to service members, veterans and their families with the unique legal challenges they face before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and with state law issues.

Within the Holland & Knight, Mr. Hasenfus serves on the Boston office’s Hiring Committee and as national co-vice chair of the firm’s Veterans Group.

Previously, Mr. Hasenfus was a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Susanna Jones
Foundation Medicine, Inc.

Susanna A. Jones is a Compliance Associate at Foundation Medicine, Inc., a medical device company offering comprehensive genomic profiling services for individuals diagnosed with cancer. She specializes in diverse corporate and healthcare matters, including HIPAA conformity, fraud and abuse compliance, risk management, data privacy, internal audit, promotional review, patient advocacy, risk assessments, and transparency reporting. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine’s Compliance Department, Ms. Jones held various finance, accounting, and general corporate compliance roles for local biotechnology companies, in both the private and post-IPO environments.

Ms. Jones has devoted substantial time to volunteer and pro bono projects in the United States and internationally. After her second year of law school, she lived in Kampala, Uganda, working for a legal non-profit which represented juveniles held in detention centers. She has worked on disaster relief projects domestically and in the Philippines. Ms. Jones has also worked with local non-profits, schools, small businesses, and orphanages in Haiti, South Africa, Colombia, and Guatemala. Additionally, she traveled to France to volunteer with a humanitarian NGO in its efforts to support the refugee and migrant community in Calais. Most recently, she worked in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and its surrounding communities with a local non-profit committed to empowering and educating vulnerable women and children.

Ms. Jones is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she received her B.A. in Political Science, cum laude with Honors in the Liberal Arts. She received her J.D. from New England Law | Boston and her M.B.A. from Suffolk University.

Noah Kaufman
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Noah J. Kaufman is an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he advises clients in appellate, antitrust, and general litigation matters.  Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Noah served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.  Noah also previously served as a member of the adjunct faculty at Northeastern University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School, where he taught Legal Research and Writing.

Noah maintains an active pro bono practice and regularly represents survivors of domestic violence in trial and appellate proceedings against their abusers.

Elizabeth Levitan
The EdLaw Project

Elizabeth is a Skadden Fellow with the EdLaw Project, a partnership between the Youth Advocacy Foundation and the Committee for Public Council Services that provides educational advocacy to court involved youth in Massachusetts.  Prior to law school, Elizabeth ran a high school transition program that supported young people in north Philadelphia with their high school applications and soft skill development. During law school she founded the Penn Law Youth Advocacy Project, which provided mitigation and reentry support to young people being charged in the adult criminal justice system. She joined the EdLaw project in September, 2017. As a Skadden Fellow with EdLaw Elizabeth provides young people involved in the juvenile delinquency system with post-disposition representation on matters such as school discipline, academic failure, and undetected specials needs.  She earned her J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A. from Haverford College. She is the recipient of the Toll Public Interest Excellence in Leadership Award and the Benjamin Jones Award for Humanity and the Law.

Natasha Lewis
Volunteer Lawyers Project

Natasha Lewis is a staff attorney at the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP), where she is a supervising attorney at Eastern Region Legal Intake (ERLI).  At ERLI, she supervises advocates who provide intake, information, referrals and advice to low-income clients in the greater Boston area in a myriad of civil legal aid areas, including housing, family, consumer, employment and public benefits law.  She finds the work she does to be selfishly rewarding because while she has the incredible opportunity to educate clients and provide them with services they otherwise would not have and inform them of their rights, she is also educating herself.  Natasha participates in both the Family Law and Guardianship Clinics that VLP offers, as well as provides representation in 209A Abuse Prevention Order hearings and Unemployment Insurance hearings.

She graduated magna cum laude from Fitchburg State College and worked as a Program Manager in the electronics field for seven years before pursuing her dream of becoming an attorney.  Natasha attended New England Law| Boston and was the recipient of the President Anna E. Hirsch Award for ‘dedicated service to fellow students, the law school, and the legal profession’ at graduation.  During law school, she was a Barbri representative, became the Chair of the Communications Committee of the Student Bar Association and was the Day Vice President of the Student Bar Association in her third year.  She also interned with Greater Boston Legal Services in the Family Law Units’ Divorce Workgroup working with victims of domestic violence providing representation in domestic relations matters including divorce, child support, custody and visitation.

Currently, Natasha manages both the Annual and Summer Unemployment Insurance Project in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services.  She also manages the advice panels at ERLI, which include client consultations by volunteer attorneys in the areas of family law, housing, employment and trust and estates.  Natasha is VLPs’ chairperson for the state-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.  Outside of the office, she is working toward learning how to be successful in the world of real estate as she recently obtained her Attorney Broker license.

Joseph Lucia
Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Joe Lucia is an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s Trial Division where he defends lawsuits brought against the Commonwealth and its agencies.  Prior to being sworn in as an AAG in 2014, Joe worked for four and a half years as an Associate in the Litigation Department of Foley Hoag LLP.  Joe has served as a law clerk to both the Honorable Ariane D. Vuono of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Honorable Margaret Hinkle of the Massachusetts Superior Court.  A native of Dorchester, Joe is a 2008 graduate of Boston College Law School, a 2003 graduate of Williams College and a 1999 graduate of Boston Latin School.

Micah Miller
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Micah is an associate in Nutter McClennen & Fish’s Litigation Department.  He represents clients in a variety of litigation matters, particularly in intellectual property litigation.  He also has experience assisting clients with patent prosecution, intellectual property portfolio development, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office post-grant proceedings.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a software engineer at IBM, where he developed hardware management functions within the i5 operating system.  Micah is also committed to pro bono work. Working with the Victim Rights Law Center or the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Pro Bono initiative, he has assisted several pro bono clients in obtaining abuse prevention orders.  In addition, he has represented clients in immigration and asylum proceedings.  Micah attended Stanford University and Washington University School of Law.

John Moreschi
Office of Senate Counsel, Massachusetts Senate

John is an Assistant Senate Counsel in the Massachusetts Senate, where he reviews legislation to ensure that it is constitutional and legally sound and advises Senators on legal and legislative matters as they arise. Prior to his time in the Office of Senate Counsel, John served as Counsel to Congresswoman Katherine Clark in both the Massachusetts Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, helping her to draft and pass legislation to protect children from abuse, to improve the criminal justice system and to ameliorate the harm caused by the opioid crisis.

John lives in Malden with his fiancée, Lauren Fowler, where he serves on the board of the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, as a trustee of the Malden Public Library and as Ward 1 Chair for the Malden Democratic City Committee. He received his B.A. in English from Merrimack College and his J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Emily Oldshue
Ropes & Gray LLP

Emily Oldshue is an associate in the capital markets group at Ropes & Gray. Emily focuses primarily on advising public and private companies, investment banks and investment funds in mergers and acquisitions and private equity and capital markets transactions. Emily also advises clients on corporate governance, commercial law matters and securities law compliance and reporting. Emily represents clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences, healthcare, energy, technology, manufacturing and retail.

Emily also spends significant time on pro bono matters, including representation of clients through Ropes & Gray’s partnership with Medical Legal Partnership | Boston and as a leader of the firm’s Transgender ID Project, in which the firm has partnered with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders  (GLAD) and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) to represent clients as they navigate the process of obtaining legal name change orders and updating their state and federal identification documents.

Emily is a graduate of Wellesley Colley and Yale Law School and was recently named one of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

Rebekah Provost
JRI Health Law Institute

Rebekah is a Staff Attorney at JRI Health Law Institute where she represents individuals living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS with the goal of improving client health. JRI Health Law Institute is a statewide nonprofit that provides free legal assistance in partnership with individuals and the community to achieve the health and justice we all deserve. Rebekah strives to provide culturally competent, client-centered, trauma-informed legal services to all clients. Rebekah’s practice is primarily focused on helping clients with SSI/SSDI appeals, public benefits, eviction defense, fair housing litigation, CORI sealing and estate planning.

Prior to joining JRI Health Law Institute, Rebekah worked at Community Legal Aid, first as an AmeriCorps Attorney and later as a Staff Attorney in the Housing Unit. At Community Legal Aid Rebekah was a medical legal partnership attorney for a Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund grant, where she partnered with medical providers and community-based organizations in an effort to address and reduce pediatric asthma in the City of Worcester. She received her B.S. from Bryant University and J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Abbigail W. Shirk
MetroWest Legal Services

Abbigail W. Shirk is a Staff Attorney at Metrowest Legal Services where she specializes in domestic violence advocacy in family and immigration law matters. Prior to MetroWest Legal Services, Abbigail worked as a staff attorney for DoVE Inc. (Domestic Violence Ended) and Greater Boston Legal Services where she won her first trial during law school. As a Program Manager for Thurston County Family Justice Center in Olympia, Washington, she managed comprehensive, multi-disciplinary team of professionals serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence in housing, advocacy, and criminal justice matters. During that time, she chaired the Thurston County Domestic Violence Task Force and ensured federal grant compliance with the Office of Violence Against Women. She also helped launch the first camping and mentoring initiative in Washington state for children exposed to domestic violence, as part of Camp HOPE America.

Abbigail is a graduate of University of Southern Maine where she studied political science and was awarded the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship to study in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She later studied Arab-American relations in Amman, Jordan, and served as an NGO Observer for the National Institute of Military Justice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She is a graduate of New England Law | Boston, where she graduated cum laude and was a Sandra Day O’Connor Merit Scholar. Abbigail is licensed in Massachusetts and Washington state.

Jared Shwartz
Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

Jared is an associate in the corporate and health care practice groups at Hinckley Allen.  He advises large and small businesses on mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiation, and commercial leasing matters.  Jared also serves as outside counsel to medical and dental practices, providing guidance on buy-sell arrangements, regulatory issues, and transaction structure.  He is an active member of the Boston Bar Association’s Health Law and New Lawyers Sections, and a member of the Boston Bar Foundation Junior Fellows Society.  Additionally, he volunteers with the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, and is a member of the Executive Board of Boston Young Healthcare Professionals.

Jared received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law.  While in law school, he served as a legal intern to the pro se law clerk of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court, to the Elder, Health, and Disability Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, and to the office of the General Counsel at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  An active member of the law school’s Student Government Association (SGA) and President of the SGA during his third year, Jared received the Sylvia Beinecke Robinson Award for significant contributions to student life.  Most recently, he chaired the Student-Alumni Relations Committee of the Boston University School of Law Young Alumni Council.

Prior to law school, Jared worked in senior care administration and operations at an Assisted Living Residence and Specialized Care Residence in the Greater Boston area.  He received his B.A. from Emory University, and is a proud native of Peabody, Massachusetts.

Ying Wang
State Street Bank & Trust Company

Ying Wang is Associate Counsel at State Street Bank & Trust Company, where she practices financial services law and specializes in contract drafting, review, negotiation, and distribution services. She is also a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, providing legal assistance to military service members on a diverse range of topics as well as supporting legal operations to national strategy during peacetime, contingencies, and war.

Ying grew up in Boston and remains active in her community. She currently volunteers for Boston’s Community Preservation Committee, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s SPARK Boston Council, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Asian American Commission, and New Leaders Council. Ying is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Emerson College (magna cum laude), and New England Law | Boston, where she was Editor-in-Chief of “Due Process” and received the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship for demonstrated commitment to public service and providing legal assistance to underrepresented individuals and communities in the state.

Lavinia Weizel
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Lavinia is an Associate in the litigation section of Mintz Levin where her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation across a variety of areas, including securities litigation, shareholder suits and insurance disputes in both state and federal court.  Lavinia is also active in the firm’s pro bono practice, focusing on representing survivors of human trafficking in criminal matters and post-conviction relief proceedings. Lavinia recently assisted in advocating for the passage of legislation in Massachusetts to streamline the procedure for human trafficking survivors to seek to vacate criminal convictions related to their trafficking. She is the current co-chair of the BBA Human Trafficking Sub-Committee of the Delivery of Legal Services Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Mintz Levin, Lavinia was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Bruce M. Selya of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and before that clerked for the Honorable Francis X. Spina of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Lavinia graduated first in her class from Boston College Law School and upon graduation received the Philip Joseph Privitera ’95 Award for outstanding scholarship and exceptional contribution to the law school community.

Prior to law school, Lavinia worked first as the community education and youth violence prevention program coordinator and later as the development director for WISE, a New Hampshire–based nonprofit serving victims of domestic and sexual violence. Lavinia is a 2004 graduate of Dartmouth College where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy.

Suffolk Law’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program Explained to PILP

Last month, the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) heard from James Matthews and Catherine LaRaia, Clinical Fellows in Suffolk University Law School’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP).  The HDTP studies trends in discrimination, provides training on rights and responsibilities in rental housing, and participates in the enforcement of fair housing laws.

Matthews and LaRaia began by giving the class an overview of the Fair Housing Act and the housing-related protections afforded under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B. They identified and explained the various protected classes under both Federal and Massachusetts law, as well as the scope of a landlord’s obligation to make reasonable accommodations for renters with disabilities.  They discussed the impact of the Massachusetts Lead Law, which requires landlords to remove lead paint in units with children under the age 6, as landlords sometimes try to avoid the expense of de-leading (which can be substantial) by steering families with young children away from their units.  The expense of de-leading does not, however, excuse a landlord from complying with its legal obligation not to discriminate on the basis of familial status.  Relatedly, Matthews and LaRaia discussed trends in housing discrimination, such as the use of coded language, which may make unlawful practices more difficult to spot.  For example, advertisements targeting “graduate students or young professionals,” while seemingly innocuous on their face, may signal an intent to discriminate on the basis of familial status, age, or other protected classes.

One tool for flushing out discriminatory intent is testing, which involves sending trained individuals into the community to pose as renters in order to collect information on whether housing discrimination is occurring.  HDTP researches rental advertisements and, after identifying potential violators, arranges for both “protected” and “control” testers to inquire about renting the advertised unit.  The testers then report their experiences, which HDTP staff evaluates to determine whether the landlord may be discriminating among rental applicants based on protected characteristics.  Matthews and LaRaia concluded the class with a robust question-and-answer session, ranging on topics from enforcement options to problems arising from roommate situations.

More information on Suffolk’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program may be found at

Meeting recap provided by PILP Member Justin Kesselman (Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP).

Ropes & Gray Transgender ID Clinic Update

This time last year, we spoke with Emily Oldshue at Ropes & Gray about the firm’s Transgender ID clinic, a partnership with GLAD that offers pro bono legal assistance to transgender individuals navigating the process of legally changing their name and gender marker on official documents.

Last June, Ropes attorneys had assisted 300 transgender individuals, and parents of transgender children, with updating records such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, mortgage titles, voter registration and more.

Today, Oldshue was proud to report that the clinic has matched more than 600 pro bono clients with over 200 attorney volunteers. Attorneys in all of the firm’s U.S. offices, and four out of five of its offices outside of the United States, have participated in the project.

“The response and participation that we have seen from the Ropes & Gray community in the past year have continued to be overwhelmingly positive. The involvement of so many attorneys, from all of our U.S. offices, as well as globally, has allowed us to match another 300 individuals with attorney teams ready to help them navigate the process,” Oldshue said.

Oldshue, an associate in Ropes & Gray’s capital markets group, has been involved with the clinic since its inception. Last year she was named one of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

The clinic currently covers all of New England, and Oldshue and her colleagues are hoping to expand to new cities in the coming years, domestically and abroad.

You can read the original Beyond the Billable piece on the Ropes & Gray Transgender ID Clinic here.

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.

Eight Offices Selected to Host BBF Funded Summer Jobs Students

Each year, thanks to generous donations to the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, a handful of high school students are provided the opportunity to work at legal services organizations, courts, and government offices through the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. This summer, eight Boston Public School students will have the opportunity to earn a paycheck through the BBA while developing critical professional skills and providing support to a legal office in the city. The following organizations have been selected as 2018 host sites for the BBF-sponsored interns:

  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI)
  • Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC)
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Clerk’s Office
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Clerk’s Office
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Ward Fellowship
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project

We’re also grateful to the 24 law firms and government agencies that are directly hiring students this summer.

The Summer Jobs Program will kick-off its 25th year on July 9th – stay tuned for updates on the students throughout the summer!


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

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