Posts Categorized: Summer Jobs

Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards Addresses BBA Summer Jobs Students

The BBA Summer Jobs Students with Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards

The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program finished off with an exciting final week.  On Wednesday, August 21, the Summer Jobs students participated in “Exploring Legal Careers,” a speed networking event designed to help them consider the various career paths open to them within the legal profession.  In seven rounds of 15 minutes each, the students had the opportunity to meet with Manisha Bhatt, a senior staff attorney in the Family Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services; Karen Castaneda, an attorney for the Boston Public Schools’ Legal Advisors Office at the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston; Sam Faisal, a law student at Suffolk University Law School; Nigel Long, Corporate Counsel for Liberty Mutual; Mikerline Paul, a paralegal at the Volunteer Lawyers Project; Walter Rodriguez, an associate at Locke Lord LLP; and Christina Simpson of The Law Office of Christina Simpson, Esq.  The students greatly enjoyed meeting with attorneys and legal professionals from a wide range of practice settings, and asked lots of questions about the speakers’ career paths and the advice they have for young people interested in the legal profession. 

The next day, the students closed out the summer with the Summer Jobs Celebration, where the students, their colleagues, and their families celebrated the students’ accomplishments with a speaking program and reception.  The program started with BBA President-Elect Christine Netski discussing the history of the Summer Jobs Program, which started in 1993 when now-retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Sandra Lynch, was a partner at Foley Hoag and the President of the BBA.  She spearheaded the program in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, and to-date the program has facilitated summer internships in legal offices for hundreds of Boston high school students.

The audience then heard from student speaker Shakira Jean, a rising junior who interned at the Volunteer Lawyers Project this summer.  Shakira discussed the challenges and rewards of working in a legal services office, and talked about how using empathy to put herself in the shoes of clients facing difficult situations had been an important skill set during her summer work.  She ended her speech by saying, “If I have the opportunity to be able to do something about [unfairness in the justice system], then I’m going to take it. I just want to be there to make our justice system better and bring justice to people who may not have access to it.”

Rising high school junior Shakira Jean speaks to the audience at the Summer Jobs Celebration

Following Shakira’s remarks, the students heard from Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents Boston’s District 1.  Councilor Edwards discussed her own journey into the legal profession, community organizing, and city government.  She noted that she was the first attorney in her family and discussed the challenges she faced in feeling out of place during her time in law school, saying “Statistics would have put me in a different place than where I am right now… I didn’t know any lawyers… I felt like I had to conform.” 

However, she talked about the shift that she made into community organizing after the 2008 recession, and how she felt that her career only truly came together when she was able to be her authentic self.  She pointed to the legal protections for domestic workers that she helped to pass in her time as a community organizer, saying, “We had no money [for that advocacy work]… We did that being unapologetically ourselves, with the talents that we have.” 

Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards speaking at the BBA Summer Jobs Celebration

She also spoke about her campaign to be a Boston City Councilor, noting that her seat had never before been held by a person of color, and only by one other woman.  However, she pointed to the strengths that she was able to bring to the table – and win the campaign on – by being her true self, saying that the Portuguese and Spanish language skills she gained as a community organizer; her background in a military family; and her commitment to knocking on doors and talking face-to-face with members of the community, all helped her connect with voters.  She said, “All those ‘nos’ [that we heard], we used to run our campaign… I was doing things differently.  And I could only do it because I was doing it as myself.”  She encouraged the students to take this advice to heart, in whatever career paths they pursue, saying, “You can’t win without being your true self.  The person who you’re faking will win – but not you.”

Following these inspiring remarks by Councilor Edwards, the students and their guests headed upstairs for some refreshments to celebrate the end of a successful summer! 

Thank you to each law office that hired a student intern through the program, to our partners at the Private Industry Council and the Mayor’s Office, and, of course, to the 36 students who dedicated themselves to learning about the legal profession this summer – this program would not be possible without you!

BBA Summer Jobs Students Gain Legal and Professional Skills

With the summer flying by, the Boston public high school students participating in the BBA Summer Jobs Program have continued to gain professional skills working in legal offices throughout the city, and have participated in a number of exciting enrichment seminars hosted by the BBA!

Law 101
The students began their series of enrichment seminars hearing from attorneys Katie Stock of Miyares and Harrington, LLP, and Nicole Phe of Nelson Mullins, about the basics of the legal profession, including the path through law school, the functioning of the court system, and key legal terminology. The students then tested out their new knowledge in an exciting Jeopardy game!

Students test their knowledge in a “Law 101” Jeopardy Game

Financial Aid: What You Need to Know
On July 17, Daniel Forster, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Westfield State University, walked the students through the ins and outs of college financial aid, including FAFSA, different types of scholarships, work study, and student loans. This presentation made the complicated process of seeking college financial aid much more accessible.

John Adams Courthouse Tour
The following week, the students took a tour of the John Adams Courthouse, learning about the historic building and the legacy of John Adams, particularly Adams’ representation of British soldiers following the Boston Massacre due to his conviction that even the most unpopular defendants must have a fair trial. The students had the opportunity to meet with Associate Justice Joseph M. Ditkoff of the Appeals Court, and asked him many questions about his career and the practice of law.

Students explore the John Adams Courthouse

Financial Literacy
At the end of July, the Summer Jobs students participated in a program on Financial Literacy, led by Bridget O’Sullivan Somogie and Jeremy Bardsley of the Massachusetts Securities Division. In order to increase the students’ awareness of basic financial skills, the presentation covered personal finance and budgeting; using credit and credit cards; and financing large purchases.

Consequences of Poor Financial Management at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Last week, thanks to a group of BBA volunteers and the Hon. Christopher J. Panos, the students had the opportunity to participate in a skit and mock trial that explained the processes at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The students first engaged in a mock meeting of creditors, with students playing the roles of “creditor” and “trustee,” and learning about the complications involved in declaring bankruptcy and its effect on one’s credit score. Students then met with Judge Panos and the Court clerks for a mock trial that discussed whether the bankrupt individual should have his car repossessed. Students were able to debate the pros and cons of the situation and asked many inquisitive questions, ultimately determining that the bankrupt individual would not be able to pay his creditor enough to keep the car. Many thanks to Judge Panos, the Court clerks, and attorneys Gary Cruickshank, Jessica Youngberg, Jonathan Horne, Alex Mattera, and Donald Lassman for making this experience such a success!

Mock City Council Hearing
On August 14, attorney Sean Nehill of the Boston Planning & Development Agency led the students through a mock City Council hearing in the real Iannella City Council Chamber at Boston City Hall! The students learned about the workings of municipal government and had the chance to participate in a mock hearing debating the pros and cons of a fictitious ordinance that would ban non-resident motorized vehicles in the City of Boston, with only a few exceptions. The students broke into groups representing a community-based residents’ group, an environmental advocacy organization, a business association, and an interest group from the automobile industry, and came up with compelling arguments to represent their positions on the ordinance. They then presented their testimony to another group of students playing the City Councilors, who ultimately decided not to pass the ordinance. The hearing sparked a lively debrief discussion about civic engagement and the various ways in which students can advocate for issues that are important to them.

Students hone their skills of persuasive argument at a mock City Council hearing at Boston City Hall

The Summer Jobs program will wrap up next week with a final speed networking seminar titled Exploring Legal Careers, and then with the Summer Jobs Celebration, where the students will be recognized for their accomplishments this summer and hear remarks from keynote speaker Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards.

The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is a partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council.  Many thanks to the participating law firms that have hired students this year, and to the Boston Bar Foundation for funding six public interest positions through its M. Ellen Carpenter Fund.

BBA Summer Jobs Program Kicks Off!

The BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is up and running, following a lively kickoff event on Monday, July 8.

The Summer Jobs Program, which is in its 26th year, places Boston public high school students in paid, seven-week internship programs in law firms, courts, legal services organizations, and government agencies. In addition to gaining work experience, the students attend weekly enrichment seminars through the BBA to help them gain professional skills and explore legal careers. This year, 36 students are working in 29 legal offices across the city. Six of these are public interest positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, with students working at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the U.S. District Court, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Summer Jobs student Isis Franklin and Clerk of Court Molly Sharon (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) at the Summer Jobs Kickoff.

At the kickoff event, the summer interns and their supervisors had the opportunity to participate in a workshop hosted by Health Resources in Action, focused on building successful professional relationships. Both the interns and supervisors shared their “life maps,” highlighting three key moments in their lives that helped them become who they are today. Then, they created “partnership agreements,” to set expectations and goals for their work together over the summer, and start a dialogue about how they can best communicate with and support each other. The workshop not only formed a great foundation for this summer, but also gave the students tools for building strong professional relationships throughout their careers!

On Wednesday, July 10, the interns participated in their first enrichment seminar, “Law 101.” Attorneys Katie Stock of Miyares and Harrington, LLP, and Nicole Phe of Nelson Mullins, talked to the students about the basics of the legal profession, including the path through law school, the functioning of the court system, and key legal terminology. The students then tested out their new knowledge in an exciting Jeopardy game!

The Summer Jobs Program is a longtime partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council. Since its inception in 1993, the program has helped more than 800 Boston public high school students find summer employment in law firms and law offices in our community. We thank our partners, and all of the employers that have hired students this year!

Photos from the event can be found here.

Students and attorneys at the BBA Summer Jobs Kickoff

Students Practice Interview Skills with BBA Summer Jobs Program

Last Wednesday, 14 of this year’s BBA Summer Jobs Program students arrived at 16 Beacon Street for Interview Day, an opportunity to meet with their employers ahead of their summer internships.  The Summer Jobs Program, which is a partnership between the BBA, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Private Industry Council, places high school students from Boston Public Schools in paid legal internship positions in law firms, courts, legal services organizations, and government agencies.  The seven-week program includes weekly enrichment seminars where student interns have the chance to develop professional skills and explore legal careers.

While the students who participated in Interview Day were guaranteed a position with the program regardless of the outcome of the interview, the afternoon represented a great opportunity to practice professional interview skills and learn more about the projects they will be working on over the summer.  This is just one of many professional development opportunities that the students will engage in during the program.  Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!

BBF to Fund Positions for Six High School Students in Legal Offices this Summer

Each year, thanks to generous donations to the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund, high school students are provided with the opportunity to work in local legal services organizations, courts, and government offices through the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. This summer, six Boston Public School students will have the opportunity to earn a paycheck through Boston Bar Foundation funding while developing critical professional skills and providing support to a legal office in the city. The following organizations will be hosting BBF-sponsored interns:

• Executive Office of Health and Human Services
• Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
• Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
• U.S. Bankruptcy 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 22 law firms and government agencies that are directly hiring students this summer.

The Summer Jobs Program will kick off its 26th year on July 8. In addition to working at the employer offices, the students will participate in special enrichment programming at the BBA each week to learn about the legal field and gain professional skills. Stay tuned for updates on the students’ activities throughout the summer!

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.