Posts Categorized: Summer Jobs

Last Chance to Hire a Student Intern for the Summer

In two months, Boston public high school students will gather at the BBA on the morning of their first day of a 7-week summer internship. Each of the students applied to the program hoping to gain insight into the legal profession while honing critical office skills. Throughout July and August they will work with attorneys and office staff assisting with general administrative tasks such as data entry and front desk coverage, as well as more specialized project including translation. Over 20 firms and law offices have already pledged to hire a student this summer, but there’s still time for your office to come on board.

The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is one of many programs partnering with Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Initiative, which aims to employ over 10,000 Boston teens each summer. However, it is the only opportunity available to BPS students interested in pursuing a legal career, and these opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of numerous firms, in-house departments, government agencies, courts, and legal services organizations.

To learn more about how to hire a student this summer or if you’d like to donate to support a student’s position at a non-profit or government agency contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected] by May 15th.

To learn more about the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund which supports projects benefitting Boston’s Youth including the Summer Jobs program, click here or contact Erica Southerland at [email protected]

#TBT | BBA Summer Jobs Student Spotlights

Each year, the BBA connects with outgoing Summer Job Students to hear how their experience in the program shaped future goals, helped to develop personal and professional skills, and what lessons were learned during this one-of-a-kind mentorship opportunity. With warm weather and the BBA Summer Jobs Program quickly approaching, let’s dive into the archives of the Summer Jobs Student Spotlights and revisit a few of the most memorable student recounts.

After walking down memory lane with us, consider hiring a student in your office this summer. If your firm or office is interested in participating, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].

Relationship Building at Mintz – Vivian Tran – 2018

While Tran isn’t sure whether she wants to go to law school or pursue a career in a law firm, she picked up many administrative skills that are transferable to any office environment. Perhaps more importantly, Tran feels that she learned how to come out of her shell in a professional setting.

“Everyone talks about how important it is to develop relationships, so I’ve tried to really overcome being shy. Compared to when I started, meeting people is much less awkward,” she said.

#tbt to 2002 when these interns were eagerly awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in theaters that fall

Personalities Shine Through at Nelson Mullins – Lily Doyle – 2017

Working at a law firm helped to prepare her for future office experiences.

“I got a sense of a nine-to-five job for the first time. This is also my first job where I am the only person my age,” she said.

Doyle says she could see herself becoming a litigator in the future, because she finds litigation to be the most fascinating aspect of practicing law. She also enjoyed learning more about city government during the BBA’s mock city council hearing, which the students participated in by debating a fictional city ordinance.

“Working here was different than I expected. From the outside, law firms can seem bureaucratic and not as personal, but I saw the attorneys laugh with each other a lot and everyone seems very close. I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn more about the people,” she said.

“A Foot in the Door” Peabody & Arnold Summer Jobs Student Shares Her Experience – Alicia Zhang – 2016

Alicia said she has fun working with the legal secretaries because she enjoys learning more about cases, especially trials, by reading the notes. The area of law to which she has had the most exposure to so far – insurance law – is not where she wants to focus in her own career, but Alicia said she has enjoyed getting to see the workings of the firm from a variety of perspectives.

“I like how I get to work for a lot of different departments, like human resources and accounting,” she said. “I definitely feel more comfortable than when I started with talking to people and asking what I can do to help.”

#tbt to when the BBA’s Conference Center sported floor length curtains and Michael Phelps won 6 gold medals at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics

The International Experience at DLA Piper – Hermuna Taib – 2015

Hermuna may not know yet what type of law she’d want to focus on if she continues on to law school, but she has no shortage of opportunities to learn at DLA Piper, including seminars and training programs with different firm attorneys coming up. “I know a lot more than I did my first day here, and I’m so glad I’m working here and know all of these great people,” Hermuna said with a smile. “If I decide to go to law school and already know all of this legal knowledge, it could really help me. It’s been a great opportunity for me.”

A Different Type of Law at LPL Financial – Erik Solis – 2014

Erik says he was previously interested in law and criminal justice, and wanted to learn more about how lawyers practiced in a company like LPL Financial. “The most interesting part is seeing myself grow and getting a new perspective. It’s different from a normal law firm – what I do has a financial basis, and I’m not working with specific cases. I wanted to explore this side of the law because I’d never thought about it before.”

#tbt to blue BBA banners and Wicked opening on Broadway in 2003

Straight from the Students: David Lozano Shares His Summer Experience at Graduation Ceremony – 2013

“Thanks to the Boston Bar Association and Nixon Peabody, and all the amazing, dedicated people I met there from the mail rooms to the corner offices, I’m going into my senior year with skills that some only acquire after college, experience that is usual for second-year law students, and I’m very grateful for that chance. I sincerely hope that this program can continue and keep giving kids like me and all my fellow students in the audience this kind of chance to make money, learn, and excel.”

Casino Night: Support the Summer Jobs Program & Boston’s Youth

The Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program employs dozens of teens each year and is an integral component in connecting high school students with law firms and offices looking to make a positive impact in a student’s life. During employment, students develop invaluable skills in an educational and hands-on professional environment.

Erica Juris, a former intern at Nelson Mullins and current freshman at Pace University, spoke about her time participating in the program. “Last summer I was exposed to so many new aspects of the law that I was unaware of. Between informational interviews with attorneys in the office and having the opportunity to sit in on a hearing in a current case, and just working day-to-day in the office on ongoing cases, I got to learn so much and have experiences I wouldn’t be able to have unless I was a working attorney. This opportunity was crucial in helping me decide the path I want to follow in my future, and my decision to attend law school and become a lawyer.”

Erica shares the same reflective memories with Sarah Ramírez, a former intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, a position that was sponsored by the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund. “The best part of my internship was second sitting ADAs on jury and bench trials at the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court. There, I studied the cases (the charges, defendants’ and victims’ story) before the trial dates. It was a really good experience for me to witness objections and hear the judges’ rulings on them, in addition to listening to the witness’s testimonies and feeling the tension when cross examination happens.”

Now a junior at Fenway High School, Sarah understands the unique opportunity the Summer Jobs Program provided. “Overall, I got to do office work and witness court proceedings and would recommend this program because this experience opened my eyes to a whole new world about prosecution and it was really interesting to see and learn about talking to witnesses and defense lawyers.”

As we ramp up to celebrate the 10th Annual Casino Night on April 18, 2019, we must recognize that Sarah’s position, as well as seven other positions in 2018, were made possible by the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund. Proceeds from Casino Night support the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, which provides stipends to a handful of student interns in the Summer Jobs Program, as well as supporting other youth initiatives of the BBA. The interns sponsored by the Carpenter Fund work at public interest organizations, including legal services and courts, over the summer. These students participate in the program alongside interns hired directly by law firms and other legal offices.

Legal offices that choose to participate in the Summer Jobs Program find the experience equally as rewarding as the students. Connecting, mentoring, and educating the youth of Boston creates a brighter and more meaningful future for all.

If you are interested in hiring a student in 2019 or would like more information, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]. And don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the 10th Annual Casino Night to support the M. Ellen Carpenter Fund!

Need an Extra Hand around the Office this Summer?

We’re already looking to summer here at the BBA and are gearing up for our much loved Summer Jobs Program. The program is an integral part of Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Initiative to hire over 10,000 Boston teens each summer. With the help of 24 law offices to secure jobs for nearly 40 teens last year, our program is one of the top eight largest private sector employers in the city. The program is a long-time partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), and provides students who attend public high schools in the city of Boston the chance to gain professional experience and earn a paycheck.

We’re seeking legal offices that have the capacity to hire and support a youth intern for seven weeks over the summer. Our Summer Jobs students have had a successful record helping with many tasks in a busy professional environment, including data-entry, filing, research, receptionist duties, and more. Many of the students selected for the program have prior work experience and all are invested in learning more about the legal profession. We encourage you to contact us to find out how hiring a student can make a difference, for them and for your office!

For more information on the program, please click here. If your office is interested in providing a Boston public high school student with a meaningful professional experience in 2019, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected] for additional information.

Thank you to the firms and law offices that have already pledged to hire a student intern this summer. We’re grateful for your support and dedication to youth employment:

Chu, Ring and Hazel LLP
Conn Kavanaugh
LPL Financial
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Mintz
Nixon Peabody
Nutter
Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston*
Proskauer
Ropes & Gray*
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Sunstein Kann Murphy Timbers LLP
Verrill Dana LLP
WilmerHale*

*Hiring more than one student intern

Last year’s interns posed together after their orientation in July. The BBA works with the Boston Private Industry Council to recruit applicants who reside in and attend school across Boston’s 23 neighborhoods.

Summer Jobs Spotlight: Avi Nguyen and Katie Krom at Nixon Peabody

Many of our Summer Jobs students have worked alongside interns from multiple organizations – some in high school, some in college, and even some in law school. But only a small number have the chance to work alongside fellow BBA Summer Jobs interns in the same office.

Boston Latin School’s Avi Nguyen and Katie Krom are a dream team, according to the attorneys and professional staff they worked with at Nixon Peabody over the summer. The interns and their supervisors all touted teamwork as an asset the two had in spades. Rather than tackling distinct pieces of a project they were assigned, they were more likely to collaborate on each step.

For Nguyen and Krom, that collaboration was a valuable way to get ready to work in future offices and collaborate with colleagues.

At Nixon Peabody, they participated in several legal research projects – assisting attorneys with looking up domestic violence laws in every state. They also did projects on affordable housing statutes and gaming laws all over the country.

“I truly didn’t realize how much an intern can do to help with a case,” Nguyen said.

Another major responsibility was helping prepare for an office move – Nixon Peabody will have a new address come January 2019. Nguyen and Krom also helped manage the firm’s media contacts and worked on other projects with the marketing and communications team.

While neither is sure they want to pursue a career in the law, they both received a lot of advice on the next steps available to them after high school. Krom also said she learned to be less shy, while Nguyen said he learned a lot about filing, and came to really enjoy making sure records are in the right place.

Outside the office, they both enjoyed the BBA’s Wednesday seminars for the students. Specifically, Krom said she enjoyed the financial literacy sessions and felt like she was on the right path toward good money management habits.

“I actually created a savings account as soon as I got home,” she said.

Katie and Avi (center and second from right) pose with their colleagues Ruth Silman (far left), Rick Pedone (second from left), and Jackie Cunio (far right) in the Nixon Peabody lobby.

Summer Jobs Spotlight: Vivian Tran at Mintz

Before she started in the finance department at Mintz, Vivian Tran never gave much thought to the business side of running a law firm. The recent Boston Latin School graduate, who worked at the firm over the summer, knew they were big businesses with a lot of employees, but thought of the labor force as being made up of lawyers.

During her time as a summer intern through the Summer Jobs Program, however, Tran learned about the many moving parts in the finance and administration of a large firm like Mintz. She received instruction on why cutting checks in a timely manner is important, as well as keeping neat and detailed records.

Tran even helped the firm as they switched filing systems, in some cases transferring paper copies of records to an electronic recordkeeping method. Without the department that handles those tasks, Tran realized, lawyers couldn’t do their jobs.

She also got to learn firsthand from her attorney mentor for the summer, who offered advice on getting the most out of college and what to do if Tran is interested in applying to law school. Tran said all of the professionals she encountered at Mintz were happy to weigh in on different educational and career paths, and explain how they got to the point where they are in their careers.

“It was really helpful and interesting to get a lot of different opinions, and it’s helpful to keep in the back of my mind,” Tran said.

While Tran isn’t sure whether she wants to go to law school or pursue a career in a law firm, she picked up many administrative skills that are transferable to any office environment. Perhaps more importantly, Tran feels that she learned how to come out of her shell in a professional setting.

“Everyone talks about how important it is to develop relationships, so I’ve tried to really overcome being shy. Compared to when I started, meeting people is much less awkward,” she said.

Tran said she hopes to stay in touch with her colleagues at Mintz, who were extremely welcoming to her, as she starts college at Suffolk University this fall.

Vivian Tran smiles from her desk, where she tacked up a picture of her cute dog smiling at her!

Summer Jobs Students Learn About the Importance of Money Management

Over the course of two seminars, our Summer Jobs interns rounded out the real-world experience from work with a financial literacy program designed to provide guidance as they begin to make impactful financial decisions.

Molly Sharon (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) and Leslie Storm (Bankruptcy Appellate Panel) guided the students through financial basics, such as the differences between checking and savings accounts, what to look for in a bank/credit union, and how to read credit card statements. They emphasized the importance of making your money work for you by researching the benefits and fees associated with certain accounts and credit cards. The students also learned about creating a budget that takes all their expenses into account and ensures they can meet their obligations. The students were able to ask questions they had about the taxes withheld from their paychecks and learned how to understand their pay stubs.

The lesson served as a foundation for the following week’s seminar, in which students witnessed a simulated meeting of creditors that explained the consequences debtors face when they can no longer keep up with their expenses. While the lesson itself illustrates someone filing for bankruptcy in part because of irresponsible money management, the bankruptcy attorneys who conducted the presentation emphasized that most of their clients are forced to file for bankruptcy due to circumstances beyond their control.

Alex Mattera, a partner at Demeo LLP, played the role of the debtor during the faux bankruptcy hearing the students observed.

“In this case, I (the debtor) didn’t have to get into this situation, but most people have no choice. For example, many people file for bankruptcy because of mounting medical bills due to something like a catastrophic injury,” he said.

Co-chair of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Committee Douglas Rosner (Goulston & Storrs) and attorneys Jessica Youngberg (Veterans Legal Services), Gary Cruickshank (Law Office of Gary W. Cruickshank) and Kathleen Cruickshank (Murphy & King) also participated in the mock hearing.

After the meeting of the creditors, students watched a mock court hearing play out over the debtor’s continued failure to pay his car payments. Judge Joan N. Feeney presided over the matter, and students had the opportunity to volunteer to play the role of counsel on either side and as volunteer law clerks. Afterwards, Judge Feeney answered their questions about how she got into bankruptcy law and the interesting and challenging aspects of being a judge. She and the bankruptcy attorneys in the room described pursuing bankruptcy law because they wanted to help people and businesses with their chance to start over financially after facing a hard time.

Holland & Knight intern, Lily Kelly, confers with Mary Murray (Courtroom Deputy) with Judge Joan N. Feeney presiding.

Summer Jobs Goes to City Hall

We often ask Summer Jobs students about their favorite enrichment seminars, and they usually respond that they enjoy the mock City Council hearing the most. It’s not surprising, as they get to visit the real City Council Chamber at City Hall in Boston, hear from a past City Council President about his experiences, and debate and vote on a hypothetical proposed ordinance.

Attorney Lawrence DiCara opened the morning by highlighting the importance of City Council and how the Council’s decisions directly impact the lives of those living, working, and visiting Boston. DiCara knows firsthand what tough decisions the Council faces, as he was a member of Boston’s City Council for 9 years and served as the President in 1978.

He then led the students through a mock hearing where they separated into interest groups in support/opposition to a faux ordinance regarding a teen curfew. The interest groups included “Pediatrician’s for Peace,” an elder’s council, a teen council, and a business alliance. After hearing from both sides, the four students acting as City Councilors decided not to pass the proposed curfew.

Afterwards, the students spoke to DiCara about a range of subjects, from the highlights of his career in City Hall and as a practicing attorney, to his opinion on some issues in the city today. Many students commented they came away from the day with a more sophisticated understanding of city government, and the power that all Boston residents have to make their voices heard on an issue of importance.

Summer Jobs students participate in a mock City Council hearing.

An Introduction to the Profession

For their second enrichment seminar, our Summer Jobs Students met with five individuals working in different legal settings. This seminar is designed to acquaint them with the wide array of jobs attorneys can do and practice settings they can work in.

Genevieve Aguilar (Choate Hall & Stewart) explained what working for a large, corporate law firm is like, noting the fast-paced environment and rewarding pro bono opportunities that come her way. Some students noted that her job was the most like a “traditional lawyer” as they had envisioned the job prior to listening to all the seminar’s speakers.

Boston Latin School graduate Ying Wang (State Street) spoke about how working in-house varies from firm work in that you have one “client.” Many of the students currently attend Boston Latin School (BLS) and were curious about how her experiences at BLS prepared her for her legal career.  She noted that the rigor of BLS classes readied her for the focus and diligence she needed in law school. Wang is also a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the U.S. Army Reserves, and she spoke about her experience offering legal assistance to soldiers in the region. She discussed the military as an option to fund a college education, though she did not personally pursue that route.

Janette Ekanem (Greater Boston Legal Services) highlighted the rewarding nature of legal services work and the complex, life-altering challenges her clients face. The students were interested in the difference she found when she switched from practicing real estate law in a firm to a legal services organization that helps the underserved.

Mark Zglobicki (Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General) discussed how important making and keeping professional connections can be for one’s career and that the students should start by staying in touch with those they’re working with this summer. Many students asked about the everyday work of the Inspector General’s Office, as it was an agency they had never heard of prior to speaking with Mark.

Finally, Solana Goss (Boston Bar Association) shared how her work with the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service engages her in a legal career without having obtained a J.D. She fielded many questions about preparing for life in college and later in the professional world and spoke about what she learns from interacting with attorneys and clients on a regular basis.

Summer Jobs students hear from Ying Wang (State Street Corporation) during an Enrichment Seminar on Exploring Legal Careers

High School Interns Meet Financial Aid Expert

The Summer Jobs interns met with Daniel Forster, the VP of Enrollment Management at Westfield State University earlier in the month. Forster is a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and he described the types of financial aid available, guided the interns through determining the actual cost of attending different universities, and provided important tips for completing the FAFSA.

With approximately half of the interns headed to college this fall and the other half considering their options as they apply in the next few months, the presentation was peppered with questions. From scholarships for left-handed people or those with the last name Zolp to corporate grants and federal and private loan options, there are many ways for students to obtain funds for tuition. Forster reminded the interns that all of these sources have different applications and terms & conditions. It’s important to apply to as many scholarships as possible and to seek out scholarship and grant sources before turning to loans.

At the start of the seminar, Forster described the various higher ed institutions he’s worked for over the past 28 years, including Simmons College and Wheelock College. After hearing about the many components of financial aid and the steps students can take to ensure they’re covered for college, one intern asked Forster what he felt was the biggest takeaway from his presentation. “Do not borrow more than you need,” he responded. Forster explained that many fall into the trap of borrowing more from a private loan institution than they really need to while attending college. Instead, he recommended searching and applying to scholarship programs and saving as much as possible from summer employment. Any amount paid up front is going to be better than paying that amount back later, with interest.