Posts Categorized: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

Financial Literacy Volunteer Registration Open

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re looking for a new volunteer opportunity, this may be the perfect fit for you. After participating in a training, you’ll be equipped to educate high school students about the importance of making smart financial decisions. As a volunteer, you’ll work in pairs to lead a one-hour session in the classroom. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

Click here to sign up for a volunteer slot and click here to register for the program training on Wednesday, January 17th at 5:00 PM at the Boston Bar Association (16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108). If you cannot attend the training in person, a video recording will be sent to each volunteer.

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2017

From teaching a record 1,700 students through Law Day in the Schools to releasing a compelling report on criminal justice reform, 2017 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public service initiatives over the past year.

The 2017 Public Service Award presented at the Boston Bar Foundation’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit Ball honored Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall in January. Chief Justice Marshall addresses the crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts, reminding every one of the importance of being good and just in their work.

MIT Bhangra, an award-winning dance group, entertained the crowd at the Adams Benefit. 2017’s Ball raised over $650,000 in support for local legal services organizations providing civil legal services to those in need. In June, the Foundation granted $960,000 to 20 such organizations.

Each January, hundreds of attorneys travel to the State House to Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The Equal Justice Coalition coordinates this annual event to call on our legislators to adequately fund the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation through the state budget. Carol Starkey, 2016-2017 BBA President, highlights the importance of civil legal aid as noted in the BBA’s Investing in Justice report, which details that 2 out of 3 income eligible clients are turned away from legal services due to a lack of resources.

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, then BBA President Carol Starkey reaffirmed the BBA’s aim to “support the rule of law, as well as the core values of access to justice and diversity and inclusion, which help keep the fundamental promise that all of us will enjoy due process and equal protection under the law.” Over the course of the year, the BBA worked with many legal services organizations to connect attorneys to volunteer opportunities. Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project presented a number of Know Your Rights trainings for attorneys wishing to present to community groups about their immigration rights. Here, attorneys William Graves (Graves & Doyle) and Seth Purcell (PAIR Project) welcome over 60 attorneys to the first training at the BBA.

Paulette Brown (left, Locke Lord) accepts the Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion for her work as president of the American Bar Association convening the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. One result of the Commission’s work was the passage at the ABA of Resolution 113, an initiative designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. In November of 2016, the BBA announced its strong support for the Resolution and is working with other partners in Boston on its implementation.

Raquel Webster (right, National Grid) introduces presenter Brian McLaughlin (McLaughlin Law) to a group of probationers at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA’s Reentry Education Program, which was developed by the Public Interest Leadership Program, engages with dozens of probationers annually on useful topics related to community reentry, including family law, reinstating a driver’s license, public benefits, and more.

Secretary Francisco A. Ureña (Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services) addresses the crowd at a Memorial Day reception hosted by the BBA’s Active Duty Military & Veterans Forum. The reception was held after the annual pro bono training for attorneys representing veterans in discharge upgrade cases. Since 2015, the BBA has worked with the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School to hose these trainings to support their Veterans Legal Clinic.

One night a year, the BBA is transformed from a meeting space to a casino floor. Seventeen organizations sponsored this year’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs, the proceeds of which support the Summer Jobs Program and support internships for high school students at legal services organizations, government agencies, and courts. Attendees at Casino Night celebrate beating the house and eagerly await the mystifying reveal of a magic trick.

Law Day in the Schools, one of the BBA’s most popular volunteer opportunities, introduces Boston Public School students to the legal profession and particular areas of the law. This year, volunteers including Jill Brenner Meixel (left) and Allison Belanger (right) of Krokidas & Bluestein introduced students to due process and the importance of having fair rules and laws for all. There were a record 15 schools and over 1700 students in the program this year.

Throughout the year, the New Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee coordinates volunteer events with organizations throughout the city. In addition to serving food at the Pine Street Inn, attorneys also helped sort donations at Cradles to Crayons, keep the esplanade clear at the Charles River Clean-up, and other important volunteer initiatives in the area.

High school students convene with Chief Justice Melvin S. Hoffman (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) after listing to a mock hearing in bankruptcy court. This session, which teaches students about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy is part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which began in 2005. Since it began, over 5800 students statewide have been introduced to the importance of budgeting, understanding credit, and financing a large purchase.

Over 1,000 attorneys came together for this year’s Law Day Dinner in Back Bay. Congressman Seth Moulton provided keynote remarks and highlighted the importance of lawyers and upholding the rule of law now more than ever.

This year’s Thurgood Marshall Award, honoring an attorney in private practice in Greater Boston for their extraordinary efforts in enhancing the human dignity of others by providing legal services to Massachusetts’ low income population, went to Elaine Blais (Goodwin). Blais volunteers with both the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) representing both children and adults in various immigration cases.

Anne Mackin (Greater Boston Legal Services) accepts the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award, an award presented to professional legal services attorneys for their outstanding work on behalf of indigent people in the Boston area. Mackin has worked in legal services for nearly 30 years, and joined GBLS’s Immigration Unit in 2013. Since then, she has helped people from all over the world who have witnessed or experienced unspeakable tragedies and faced severe persecutions. Her efforts have ensured that many who are fleeing extreme discrimination and danger are able to seek justice and safe harbor.

Members of the Society of Fellows experience a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts’ summer exhibit, Matisse in the Studio. Each Fellows pledge supports the work of the Boston Bar Foundation’s many public service initiatives. The growing number of Fellows, now over 400, learn about the work their gifts support, including programs supporting Boston’s youth and grants to legal services organizations, at events throughout the year.

Boston Public High School students stand with Natashia Tidwell (center left, Collora) and Mark Smith (center right, BBA President, Laredo & Smith) on the morning of the first day of work with the Summer Jobs Program. The program, a partnership with the City of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council, employs students in internships at legal offices across the city. In 2017, 52 students gained valuable office experience and were given insight into the legal profession.

Attorneys network surrounding the chocolate fountain, a staple at this year’s Boston Bar Foundation Summer Fundraiser. Guests at the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the public service programs their contribution supports.

The Public Interest Leadership Program’s class of 2016-2017 hosted their symposium, Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape, earlier this year. The event’s speakers addressed a number of issues recently in the national spotlight, both in the media and the courts. Nearly 100 attorneys and interested members of the community packed the BBA to hear insights from the panels of experts.

This fall, the 14th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) started their term. Twenty attorneys were selected for the program based on their experience and dedication to public service and civic engagement. The program now includes nearly 200 alumni who’ve gone on to serve the BBA in other capacities and carry their passion for serving the public interest into the community.

Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, addressed the audience at the BBA’s Annual Meeting. Kerman, a former prisoner, discussed her work bringing prison issues to the forefront of national conversation. She also acknowledged the BBA’s report No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System, which was released this fall. The report commends the reforms proposed earlier this year by Massachusetts leaders based on research by the Council of State Governments (CSG), but strongly urges lawmakers to enact broader reforms designed to further reduce recidivism, and make the criminal justice system fairer and more cost-efficient.

Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women to introduce the public to the services it offers. Thousands of requests come through each year and referrals are made out to experienced attorneys practicing nearly 350 areas of law. The LRS also houses a dedicated Military Legal Help Line, which connects veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources appropriate to their needs.

The three award recipients at November’s Beacon Award for Diversity & Inclusion stand with members of the Beacon Award Selection Committee. Brent Henry received the Voice of Change Award for his work recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent while at Partners Healthcare. The Empowerment Award went to Iván Espinoza-Madrigal for his work on civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality, as the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Susan Alexander accepted the Corporate Champion Award on behalf of Biogen. Biogen’s legal department has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel.
Above, left to right: Brent Henry (Mintz Levin), Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (Lawyers’ Committee), Susan Alexander (Biogen), Sarah Kim (Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts), Kate Cook (Sugarman Rogers), Stephen Hall (Holland & Knight), and Damon Hart (Liberty Mutual).

Hosted at Suffolk University Law School, the annual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair and Open House connects law students and attorneys to volunteer opportunities across the state. Over 25 organizations recruited at the fair this year.

BBA President Mark Smith (right) met with Principal Danladi Bobbitt of the John D. Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale. As a participant in the Principal Partners event, hosted by Boston Public Schools, Boston Plan for Excellence, and Bank of America, the BBA President has the opportunity to visit a school and engage in meaningful conversations about the role of education in our society.

Interested in Teaching Kids about Financial Literacy?

Since 2005, the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been providing high school students in Massachusetts with the tools to make informed financial decisions. Through classroom presentations and a visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, over 5,800 students have been reached by our volunteers. Topics include Finance & Budgeting, Using Credit & Credit Cards, Financing a Large Purchase, and the final session, Consequences of Poor Financial Management.

If you’re interested in volunteering, the session dates and times for 2018 will be released prior to the new year and will be available for sign-up online. As a volunteer, you will present at least one classroom session lasting about an hour and will receive training and resources prior to visiting the school. Participating high schools are located in the Greater Boston, Worcester, and Springfield areas.  This volunteer opportunity is available to lawyers and law students.

To be included on the program notification email list and to be alerted when sign-up has begun, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Summer Jobs Students Learn Financial Responsibility

The final Enrichment Seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students centered on making responsible financial decisions and planning for the future. First, the students heard from Dan Forster, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Westfield State University, on the basics regarding college financial aid and admissions. Most of the Summer Jobs students are rising juniors and seniors currently considering their options after graduation and navigating the world of student loans. Forster reviewed how to calculate the expected financial need for each school based on the total cost of attendance and what one can expect to pay before considering loan options. In addition to financial aid, Foster oversees Westfield State’s admissions office and fielded the students’ many questions about what universities are looking for in potential students. While there’s no one answer for every student and every college, Forster stressed the importance of doing well in high school to signal to colleges potential future success. With so many options out there, Forster also stressed that there is a college out there that will meet the needs of each student financially, academically, and socially. After the session, students noted how useful it was to have an open dialogue and hear information very relevant to their lives.

At their last seminar for the summer, the students visited the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program to learn about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy. The students participated in a mock 341 meeting and mock relief from stay hearing, which introduced them to the types of questions one may have to answer during the bankruptcy process. They learned that student loan debt is nearly impossible to discharge through bankruptcy. Most importantly, the students had an opportunity to ask Chief Judge Melvin Hoffman questions about bankruptcy, and hear firsthand about what it’s like to be a judge in federal court. With many aspiring lawyers in the Summer Jobs Program, the students enjoyed learning the attributes of a good candidate for judgeship.

Attorneys John Loughnane (Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP), Jessica Youngberg (Veterans Legal Services), Kathleen Cruickshank (Murphy & King), Ethan Jeffery (Murphy & King), and Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs P.C.) led the mock 341 hearing in the U.S Bankruptcy Court’s historic library.

Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman discusses facts presented during the mock relief from stay hearing with students Jennie Chang, Lily Kelly, Jackson Petrella, and Simone Gerald-Burns.

A Year in Photos – Public Service in 2016

From teaching over 1,500 students their Miranda Rights to instituting a Bar Exam Coaching Program, 2016 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public services initiatives in 2016.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We're grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Over 1,000 guests attended the 2016 John and Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each year, our premier fundraiser provides support for the legal services organizations in our community. We’re grateful for the over $600,000 raised in 2016.

Molly Baldwin, Executive Director of Roca, accepts the 2016 Public Service Award on behalf of the organization. Roca was recognized for their work reducing recidivism and improving employment rates for young men in Massachusetts.

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, addresses the crowd at Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Each year, hundreds of private attorneys and civil legal aid advocates converge on the Massachusetts State House to demonstrate their support for state funding of civil legal aid.

Anuj Kheterpal, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, leads a session of the Reentry Education Program at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Presenting on topics ranging from family law, affordable housing, and CORI sealing, the Reentry Education Program provides useful information and resources to probationers in our community.

The BBA’s Military and Veterans Committee works throughout the year to both address the legal needs of our veterans community and also provide a space for attorneys who have served or are serving in the military the chance to connect. Luncheons held throughout the year provide an informal, conversational means for veteran attorneys to connect.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is always the BBA’s Casino Night for Summer Jobs. Inside the BBA, the rooms are transformed into a functioning casino spaces for guests to enjoy throughout the building. All proceeds from the event support our Summer Jobs program. Specifically, donations allow high school students the opportunity to work at legal services organizations, courts, and government agencies that may not otherwise have the resources to hire a student.

For over ten years, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program has taught high school students financial responsibility. Above, students from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School visit Judge Joan N. Feeney’s courtroom to learn the consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

Members of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows gaze at an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts last spring. The Society of Fellows is a group of over 400 attorneys who’ve pledged their support for the BBA’s public service initiatives.

An active group within the BBA, the New Lawyers Public Service Committee plans nearly monthly volunteer events for attorneys to give back to their community through direct service. Here, BBA volunteers are working with the Charles River Watershed Association to clean-up the banks of the Charles River.

As part of the annual Law Day activities each spring, the BBA hosts its Law Day in the Schools program through which attorney volunteers introduce students in kindergarten to 12th grade to the legal profession and legal issues. In 2016, Law Day in the Schools focused on Miranda Rights, which seemed especially to resonate with students during a year marked by discussion of the balance of power between law enforcement and citizens.

At the 2016 Law Day Dinner, former BBA President Jack Regan, WilmerHale, was presented the Thurgood Marshall Award for his commitment to public service. Regan has tirelessly worked to support pro bono services for military personnel, veterans, and their families.

The John G. Brooks Legal Services Award was presented at Law Day Dinner to Daniel Nagin, founder of the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Nagin also helped start the Low Income Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

Pairings: A Gourmet Evening for Public Service supports all of the public service programs of the BBA. Guests of the event are treated to delicious dishes from area restaurants while learning about the programs their contribution supports.

Throughout the year, the BBA hosts numerous pro bono trainings on a range of practice areas. We partner with many legal services organizations to connect our members to their pro bono opportunities. Above, attorneys lead a training on how to volunteer for the Family Law Court Clinic at the Court Service Center.

Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge addresses the audience at the BBA’s Juvenile Restorative Justice Program. The symposium focused on restorative justice initiatives in the Commonwealth as particularly related to the state’s youth. This event was the culmination of the 12th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class’ 14-month program. PILP promotes civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership roles of new lawyers. Throughout the program, the class examines various issues facing our community and concludes with a symposium of entirely their design.

Summer is a beloved time at the BBA because it means that law firms, courts, government agencies, and legal services organizations across the city will host high school student interns as part of our Summer Jobs Program. Students gain valuable insight into the legal profession and office work experience as they intern during their summer break. Students are also provided Enrichment Seminars, which enhance their experience and provide exposure to various legal careers, the workings of the Supreme Judicial Court, and more.

Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC, was acknowledged this past year for her devotion to the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Bostwick was appointed head of the Financial Literacy Committee by her dear and late friend, M. Ellen Carpenter in 2004 and has since grown the program to teach over 500 students a year. Bostwick stepped down from the Committee after 12 years and we’re thankful for her service.

Law students and attorneys met with various legal services organizations and government agencies as they browsed the Pro Bono Fair & Open House in October. The event draws scores of people each year and provides organizations the chance to attract new volunteers.

BBA President Carol Starkey, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP, meets with Katy Buckland, principal of UP Academy Boston. The BBA President participates in Principal for a Day each year to gain insight into the day-to-day activities of the students many of our public service programs impact.

 

Thank you for a wonderful year, we can’t wait to kickoff 2017 with you!

Thank You to Our 2016 Financial Literacy Volunteers

With the end of the BBA Summer Jobs Program comes the end of another successful year for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. Because of the attorneys who volunteer their time to this unique educational experience, students all over Massachusetts are able to better understand how to manage their finances.

Thank you to Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman, Hon. Frank J. Bailey, Hon. Henry J. Boroff (Ret.), Hon. Joan N. Feeney, and Hon. Christopher J. Panos for their support of this program.

We would also like to thank our partners at the Hampden County Bar Association and Hampshire County Bar Association for bringing the Carpenter Financial Literacy Program to students throughout the Commonwealth.

Thank you to all of this year’s volunteers!

Amane Abdel Jaben

Karen Adamski, O’Brien & Adamski

Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC

Jesse Angeley, McLane Middleton, Professional Association

Joseph Baldiga, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office

Amanda Blaske

Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC

Christopher Candon, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green- NH

Jeffrey Cedrone, Sun Life Financial

Stephen M Cohen, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Michele Collins, MetLife

Christopher Condon, Murphy & King

Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps

Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.

Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Danielle D’Onfro, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Deborah Dong

Max Ferullo, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Kellie Fisher, Brown Rudnick LLP

Kate Foley, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office

Harrison Freeman

David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC

Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC

Talia Gee

Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law

Jonathan Goldsmith, Law Office of Jonathan R. Goldsmith

Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial

Nancy Gregory, BlumShapiro

Nicholas Grimaldi, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP

Lisa Halbert, Bacon & Wilson, PC

David Hansen, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA

Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

William Harrington, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Lee Harrington, Nixon Peabody LLP

Benjamin Higgins, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

D. Ethan Jeffery, Murphy & King

Kevin Kam, Mirick O’Connell – Worcester Office

Geraldine Karonis, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Elizabeth Katz, Rescia & Katz, LLP

Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson, PC

Ryan Kelley, Pierce Atwood, LLP

Justin Kesselman, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Eric Kornblum

Peter Lane

Deborah Levine

Amy Lipman-White, Lipman & White

Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King

John Loughnane, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Cornelio Lozada

David Madoff, Madoff & Khoury LLP

Janice Marsh

Wendy Mead, Kressler & Ehrhard PC

Dragica Mijailovic, Sun Life Financial

Rose Miller, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Rebecca Mitchell, Brown Rudnick LLP

Vanessa Moody, Goulston & Storrs PC

John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP

Karen Murphy, Pioneer Valley Legal Associates, LLP

Sean Nehill, Boston Redevelopment Authority

Andrea O’Connor, Hendel & Collins, PC

Laura Otenti, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance

Jessica Pettit, Sun Life Financial

Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP

Jesse Redlener, Dalton & Finegold, LLP

Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs PC

David Rozenson

Adam Ruttenberg, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP

Patricia Saint James, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, PC

Megan Schaubhut

Mary Sharon, Pro Se Debtors Bankruptcy Clinic

Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office

Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office

Deborah Sonnenschein

Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang

Jennifer Spavins Holme

Leslie Su, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Ryan Swartz, McLane Middleton, Professional Association

Lisa Tingue, U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the U.S. Trustee

Tali Tomsic, Feinman Law Offices

Christina Turgeon

Jacob Walker, Block & Leviton LLP

Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Gary Weiner, Weiner Law Firm, PC

Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson

Toby Wilson

Keri Wintle, Duane Morris LLP

Amy Zuccarello, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

 

Peabody HS at Bankruptcy Court

Students from Peabody High School visited Judge Feeney’s chambers at the Bankruptcy Court in April to learn the consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

Janet Bostwick Honored for Financial Literacy Work

img_0823

Hon. Joan N. Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, Bankruptcy Section Co-Chair D. Ethan Jeffery, Janet Bostwick and Bankruptcy Section Co-Chair Lee Harrington

After ten years, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program is still going strong at the BBA. That is in no small part due to the hard work of Janet Bostwick (Bostwick Law), an experienced bankruptcy attorney who believes passionately in the importance of educating high school students about financial responsibility.

This week, the BBA’s Bankruptcy Law Section, together with the judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, honored Bostwick for her dedicated work on the program.  For twelve years, Bostwick co-chaired the Financial Literacy Committee, but stepped down at the end of the spring. John Loughnane (Nutter, McClennen & Fish) will join Doug Rosner (Goulston & Storrs) as the attorney co-chairs of the committee.

Hon. Joan N. Feeney, who has also co-chaired the program since its inception and will continue to do so alongside Loughnane and Rosner, praised Bostwick for her efforts to rally BBA members to volunteer and support the program. Judge Feeney said Bostwick “does not know how to say ‘no,’” which is how she came to be the Financial Literacy Program’s champion.

img_0820

The program is named for the late M. Ellen Carpenter, a bankruptcy attorney who knew Bostwick and Judge Feeney well. Carpenter was the BBA president in 2004 and   appointed the Joint Task Force on Financial Literacy for Students, charged with identifying the underlying reasons for financial problems among young adults and the need for financial literacy education. As a result of the task force’s work, Carpenter, Bostwick and Judge Feeney helped outline a course to teach financial literacy to high school students. At the time, there were no similar programs in nearby districts, Judge Feeney said.

“She created something out of nothing,” Judge Feeney said of Bostwick.

The room was filled with Bankruptcy Section members who warmly congratulated Bostwick. The Boston Bar Association is extremely thankful for her many years of dedicated service to the program.

img_0788

Janet Bostwick and Hon. Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts

Financial Literacy Program Wraps Up With Final Courthouse Session

IMG_9742

To begin one of their final enrichment seminars of the summer, our Summer Jobs students filed through security, rode the courthouse elevators and took their places in the courtroom to watch a bankruptcy case unfold.

The court session may have been a mock proceeding, but the goal was to teach the students real lessons about the consequences failing to meet financial obligations.

Janet Bostwick, a longtime co-chair of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, offered narration as other attorneys acted out the parts of a debtor, trustee and creditor in two hypothetical scenarios. Hon. Joan Feeney, who welcomes Financial Literacy participants into her courtroom multiple times throughout the year, walked students through a mock session in which a creditor repossessed a debtor’s car.

Both Bostwick and Judge Feeney emphasized that most debtors are law-abiding people who fall behind, and not criminals. During the play-acted scenarios, the debtors racked up interest on credit card bills or fell behind on car payments. Judge Feeney explained that bankruptcy exists so that people failing to make ends meet don’t have to spend time in prison.

“Bankruptcy is meant to be a fresh start for the honest but unfortunate debtor,” Judge Feeney said, quoting the decision in Grogan v. Garner.

Students asked insightful questions about the process. One student asked how a bankruptcy trustee acquires the money to pay back creditors if the person filing for bankruptcy has no money. When asked what the hypothetical debtors could have done differently, students observed that they could have done more to save, spent less money on frivolous items, and paid more than the minimum on their credit card statements.

Public Service: A Year in Photos

Blizzards and slow public transportation didn’t stop our volunteers from getting out in the community and giving back during 2015. Take a look below for highlights from the BBA’s 2015 public service efforts:

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

Lawyers braved the snow and marched to the Massachusetts State House for the annual Walk to the Hill. The 2015 Walk to the Hill was more important than ever. As you may remember, the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report in November called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for an additional $30 million in civil legal aid funding. The Legislature appropriated $17 million to fund civil legal aid, a satisfying increase in a year marked largely by level funding.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

In January 2014, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $650,000 to help to fund grants to 23 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

With the help of PILP 11, the BBA Reentry Education Program expanded to provide civil legal workshops to participants in the CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury. Overall, volunteers led 12 sessions with a total of 103 participants to prepare participants to address civil legal issues they may face upon reentry.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

In 2015, over 160 volunteers taught 570 high school students in 12 schools about personal finance and budgeting, credit cards, and buying a car through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. As you may remember, the BBA partners with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to run the program throughout the state.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The BBF’s popular Casino Night once again drew a large crowd. The event, which supports the BBA Summer Jobs Program by funding paid internships for Boston high school students in nonprofit and government agencies each summer through the program, raised more than $34,000.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

The Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program didn’t slow down this year! With the help of 350 volunteers, the program assisted over 1,213 landlords and tenants in the Boston Housing Court.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

This spring, 77 volunteer taught over 1,000 Boston public school students from kindergarten through seniors in high school about the importance of laws through the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBA presented three public service awards to deserving recipients at the annual Law Day Dinner. Barbara Mitchell, the former Executive Director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, received the John G. Brooks Legal Services Award to honor her leadership and commitment to legal services; Al Wallis, the Executive Director of Brown Rudnick Center for Public Interest, received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his leadership in public interest and corporate social responsibility; and Jack Ward, the former Associate Director for Finance & Development at Greater Boston Legal Services, received the President’s Award for this leadership and guidance at Greater Boston Legal Services.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBF held the second annual Passports to Pairings event, where 100 % of the proceeds supported the BBA Public Service Programs. The event raise nearly $34,000, featured food and beverage pairings, and gave attendees an opportunity learn more about the BBA and BBF’s work in the community.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

The BBA continued to step up its commitment to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program by placing a record-breaking 65 Boston high school students in paid internships at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. The BBF also increased its commitment to the program by funding 15 of these paid positions at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

While October is officially Pro Bono Month, the BBA celebrated pro bono all year-round. Since January 2015, the BBA has trained over 400 attorneys to take pro bono cases in a range of areas, including landlord tenant law, veterans discharge appeals, and debt collections.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. 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.

The BBF held an inaugural Society of Fellows Appreciation Breakfast at the Liberty Hotel in Boston this November. 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.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

The Claflin Center was packed on November 12th for the Veterans Day Reception, which featured a lively speech and Q & A with Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine Corps Captain who served four tours in Iraq. This event aimed to build a community for servicemembers in the legal field to share common experiences and challenges.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

BBA President Lisa Arrowood spent the morning observing a humanities teacher meeting, greeting students, and visiting classrooms at the Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester through BPE’s Principal for a Day Program.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service participated in a number of community events this year, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000. These events help to raise awareness of about the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, which fielded over 7,700 calls last year.

Financial Literacy Fan Mail

thank you notes Edited

Look what our partners near Springfield just received in the mail!

The Hampden and Hampshire County Bar Associations shared a few thank you notes they received from students who participated in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program this fall. Under the leadership of Financial Literacy Co-Chairs Elizabeth Katz (Rescia & Katz, LLP) and John Davis (Cooley Shrair) and Judge Henry Boroff, volunteers teach roughly 100 students at Holyoke, Easthampton, and Northampton High Schools how to make sound financial decisions through the program every year.

We want to pass on some thanks of our own! Thank you to the following volunteers for donating their time to the program:

Co-Chairs:
John Davis, Cooley Shrair
Elizabeth Katz, Rescia & Katz, LLP

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge:
Hon. Henry Boroff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Volunteer Teachers:
Karen Adamski, O’Brien & Adamski
Jennifer Butler, Weiner Law Firm, PC
Henry Geberth Jr., Hendel & Collins, PC
Nicholas Grimaldi, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP
Lisa Halbert, Bacon Wilson, PC
Michael Katz, Bacon Wilson, PC
Eric Kornblum
Peter Lane
Joseph Lange, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP
Karen Murphy, Pioneer Valley Legal Associates, LLP
Andrea O’Connor, Hendel & Collins, PC
Kara Rescia, Rescia & Katz, LLP
Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office
Spencer Stone, Bacon Wilson PC
Christina Turgeon
Mikal Weiss, Burrows, Weiss Mintz & Lippiello LLP
Thomas Wilson, Dunn & Wilson

The program is administered by the Hampden County Bar Association with the help of Executive Director Noreen Nardi and the Hampshire County Bar Association with the help of Executive Director Rebecca Ryan. Read more about the BBA’s partnerships in Western Massachusetts in an upcoming edition of Beyond the Billable.