As you may remember from this article, the Boston Bar Foundation funded 14 Boston public high school students to work in legal service and government agencies through the BBA Summer Jobs Program with the help of Boston law firms. In addition to money allocated from the Foundation itself, local firms donated to the BBF to help support a summer job. This morning, the sponsoring firms had the opportunity to hear first-hand from the students at the BBF Summer Jobs Breakfast, where the students shared stories of their experiences going to court and helping with large office projects.
The BBF would like to thank the following firms for their generous contribution to the BBA Summer Jobs Program:
Take a look below for more highlights from the morning:
Students and supervisors from LARC, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court discussed their experiences in the BBA Summer Jobs Program.
Supervisors and students from the Department of Labor Standards, Massachusetts IOLTA, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services told BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo about their internship highlights.
Cesaltina Barros, who is interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Roxbury, told Michael McDermott (Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.), who’s firm sponsored a student this summer, BBF Director of Marketing & Development Megan Leppert and her supervisor, Keisha Taylor (Committee for Public Counsel Services), about her experience.
The interns and supervisors at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Volunteer Lawyers Project discussed their job responsibilities with BBF Trustee and BBA President-Elect Julia Huston.
In April, members of the Society of Fellows were invited to an exclusive Spring Fellows reception to honor their contributions.
While our readers know about the Boston Bar Foundation’s impact in our community, you may be less familiar with the group of people who make this work possible—the BBF’s Society of Fellows Program. The Fellows are a community of philanthropic lawyers dedicated to advancing the BBF’s mission of increasing the availability of legal help to those in need, supporting innovative legal services projects and programs, and providing meaningful ways for lawyers to connect with our community. We’ve noticed amazing growth from the Fellows Program since the beginning of this year, so we crunched some numbers to calculate how the Society of Fellows impacts the BBF.
As of today, 45 Fellows have either joined or upgraded their memberships for this year alone, pledging a total of $335,000. This support has allowed us to use fundraising revenues for specific causes. For example:
This year, 100 percent of the proceeds from Casino Night will be dedicated to the BBA’s Summer Jobs program, helping to provide paid summer employment for Boston teens. In addition, the upcoming Passport to Pairings event (formerly Justice is Sweet) will be dedicated to funding the full portfolio of BBA public service programs.
The BBF devoted $300,000 in Adams Benefit proceeds this year to legal service grants that advance access to justice for those in need, including immigrants, victims of domestic violence and low income children and families – a need that continues to grow as IOLTA funding continues to decline.
The BBF is only $1.4 million away from its long-term goal of $5 million for the endowment, which will provide invaluable long term support for the BBF’s efforts.
Don’t just take it from us. Hear firsthand from some of the individuals who have joined this year on why they made the decision to pledge as a Fellow:
“The BBF’s mission to support pro bono work and access to justice for Boston’s needy is so critical to us as lawyers and citizens, and I am really grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with the BBF and the Society.” – Karen M. O’Toole, Fidelity Investments
“Each day, too many of our fellow citizens must face serious legal issues – from the loss of disability benefits to eviction – while being unable to afford having a lawyer at their side. I am proud to support the Boston Bar Foundation’s mission of expanding legal service, assistance and access to all in our communities.” – Scott A. Roberts, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
“All lawyers have a professional responsibility to assist those with limited means. I admire the work of the Boston Bar Foundation and the tangible, positive impact of the Foundation in the lives of those who most need its help. I am proud and thankful to be a Junior Fellow and to assist in this work.”—Kimberly Butler-Rainen, Tamkin & Hochberg, LLP
If you are interested in supporting the BBF’s public service, find out more about joining the Society of Fellows here. Take a look at the current list of fellows here.
The BBF hosted a breakfast this morning for the 13 BBF-funded Summer Jobs students, their employers, and the sponsoring firms.
This morning, the BBA’s Claflin Center was abuzz with Summer Jobs students exchanging stories about their summer positions, including interesting office projects and recent courtroom experiences at the BBF Summer Jobs breakfast. Thanks to donations from a number of local law firms, the BBF increased its support of the Summer Jobs Program by funding 13 positions at nonprofit and government agencies this year. In order to celebrate this record-breaking year and the hard work of the students, the BBF hosted a celebratory breakfast to thank the firms for their donations and congratulated the students on their hard work this summer. Last week BBF students shared their favorite experience of the summer with BBA Week, and this morning they had the chance to share with those who made their summer experience possible.
Christina Miller (Suffolk District Attorney’s Office) and her summer intern Benjamin Haideri and Georgia Katsoulomitis (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) and her summer intern Sarah Williams shared their summer experiences with Kate Carter (Dain Torpy, P.C.). Dain Torpy, P.C. generously donated to the BBF to support the Summer Jobs Program.
Summer Jobs Steering Committee Co-Chair Ned Notis-McConarty (Hemenway & Barnes) thanked the sponsoring firms for their support of the program and encouraged the students to share what they have learned this summer.
As you may have heard, the Boston Bar Foundation has generously sponsored 13 Boston Public High School students to work at government agencies and nonprofit organizations through the BBA’s record setting Summer Jobs Program. These students will have the opportunity to gain experience in a professional setting and participate in enrichment seminars on professional development, financial literacy, and student loans. Students will head off to their first day of work on July 8th following a kickoff event with Mayor Thomas Menino at the BBA.
Through the support of the BBF, 13 Boston Public School students will gain professional experience and exposure to the legal field while working in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
To learn more about how the BBF supports the Summer Jobs Program, please visit the BBF’s new website here.
The BBF would like to thank Jackson Lewis, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, Hemenway & Barnes, and Brennan, Dain, Le Ray, Wiest, Torpy & Garner, P.C. for their generous donations to the BBF to fund Summer Jobs positions.
As we move into some of the coldest months here in New England, we have been reflecting on some of the bright spots over the past year. For example, last summer, ten Boston Public high school students had paying jobs at non-profit legal services organizations, government agencies and in the courts. One student told us about her experience –“I have been exposed to brilliant people who shared their experiences with me, and helped me form an idea of the career path I might want to take.”
US Bankruptcy Judge Joan Feeney talking with students during the final Module of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the US Bankruptcy Court and the Boston Public Schools, we have impressed the importance of prudent financial management upon young minds through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. This program not only helps teens see how they might be able to save for a car, but hopefully can help them avoid bankruptcy later in life.
And in the Housing Court, BBA volunteers assisted more than 1,000 individuals struggling to navigate a complex, overburdened court system. This program gives hope and relief to pro se landlords and tenants at a time in their lives when one of their basic needs is at stake.
What do these programs have in common? They are all run with funding provided by the Boston Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the BBA.
The BBF is perhaps most well-known for its role in granting funds to legal services organizations in our community. These Boston-based programs operate in all areas of need – from giving children access to equal education and life opportunities, providing counseling and advice to homeless and at risk veterans, and helping thousands of families facing foreclosure learn their legal rights and fight displacement. But what many people don’t know is that the BBF is also providing a helping hand on the community service front, and working with the BBA to improve lives and strengthen neighborhoods.
As the holiday season approaches, the BBF will be launching its Annual Campaign to help support this work. The tax-deductible donations made to the Annual Campaign help provide a solid base of support as the BBF renews its commitment to increasing access to justice for those who need it most, providing opportunities for young people and engaging lawyers in the kind of projects that improve the lives of those in our community.
Learn more at http://www.bostonbarfoundation.org/Support/annual_appeal.html.
4) No Being Stuck at a Table with People You Don’t Know
5) Getting dressed up for an exclusive night out at Boston’s premiere art museum.
Those are just five of the reasons why attendance at the Boston Bar Foundation’s John & Abigail Adams Benefit has nearly doubled since the event was reformatted in 2010. On the night of January 26, 2013, expect to see some 1,000 lawyers, their best clients, and their friends and neighbors when the event is held once again at the MFA.
While some guests take to the dance floor others will schmooze while sipping fine wine, nibbling on assorted delicacies, and admiring the art – which brings up another bonus to the new format – no date required.
Understand that this is an opportunity to connect or reconnect with people you might see nowhere else.
More than just your run of the mill, ho-hum black-tie ball, the annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit has become the Boston legal community’s most popular charitable event. With the ultimate goal of highlighting public service and raising money for legal services, the event brings together members of the legal and business communities who are committed to advancing the mission of the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) – to promote justice by funding and promoting innovation in legal services, enhancing access to justice for the underserved and supporting the public interest activities of the bar.
Over the years, the benefit has provided the BBF with a significant source of funds for grants to legal services organizations – totaling over $600,000 last year alone. In 2012, proceeds from the Adams Benefit were combined with other sources to provide grants of $1 million to 24 Massachusetts community organizations that provide legal aid in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness to our communities most vulnerable citizens.
The BBF advances this worthy cause while putting on an event unlike any other in Boston. Instead of a traditional ball in a hotel ballroom with sleep inducing lectures, the BBF will support a fellow community non-profit – taking over the entire Museum of Fine Arts and allowing guests to freely wander the galleries, mingle and network on their own schedule.
There is one feature presentation at the event, and that is the Public Service Award to an honoree exemplifying a commitment to proven leadership and a commitment to public service initiatives. This year, the award will be presented to Carol Fulp, President & CEO of The Partnership, a nonprofit devoted to helping New England employers retain and develop professionals of color.
“Carol Fulp is the embodiment of what we look for in a Public Service Award recipient,” said Tom Gallitano of Conn Kavanaugh, Co-Chair of the John & Abigail Adams Benefit Committee. “From the strides she has made in the areas of diversity and advancement in the professional sphere, to the creation of the largest corporate summer jobs program in the country at John Hancock Financial, Carol represents the BBF’s core values of professionalism, service, compassion, and responsibility. We are excited to be able to recognize her record of accomplishments and her determination and spirit of service.”
With many legal services organizations facing declines in funding and enduring the effects of the recession, we as lawyers must all do our part to ensure their work is able to continue. Spending Saturday, January 26 at the MFA is one way that you can help provide a brighter future for individuals in need and better access to justice.