Posts Categorized: Training

BBA Interns – Learning from Lawyers (Part Two)

Last week, you heard from three attorneys who conducted training sessions for BBA interns and Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff. When we asked the attorneys why they donated their time to participate, the response was overwhelming. Here’s a look at what others had to say:

Mary LeeMary Lee (Mary K.Y. Lee P.C.) conducted a training session on Landlord/Tenant and Real Estate & Law.

“Conducting this training provided a chance to help LRS staff better pinpoint, screen, and identify potential cases for the LRS attorney panel. It was fun to share with eager and engaged learners, and the experience energized the rest of that particular day. It was a wonderful reminder why I need to continuously share, because it’s part of the profession and part of my ongoing development/improvement as an attorney. I hope that I was able to convey to the interns that regardless of how much fear one is challenged with by the legal process, by not giving into that fear, the law and knowledge of the law will eventually help them resolve their problems. I think it’s important for the interns and potential clients to know that philosophy to sustain the spirit of moving forward.”

Dino SantangeloDino Santangelo (Law Office of Dino R. Santangelo) conducted a training session on Public Benefits & Social Security.

“I always enjoy being able to talk to these trainees and let them know that there is more to the learning process than just being in the classroom and that they should make the most of this experience of being able to deal with real life matters that are important to potential callers. I make a point of letting them know that they will be receiving calls from people who come from all walks of life. Some are very poor, homeless, and have never spoken to a lawyer and have difficulty in even explaining why they need a lawyer. They were told to get a lawyer and it is our job to figure out what they need and help as best we can. You have to establish a trusting relationship with client’s in order to be able to get the information needed and be able to properly represent them.”

Robert BertlingRoger Bertling (Law Offices of Roger Bertling) conducted a training session on Bankruptcy Law.

“I volunteered to conduct the training session because I believe strongly in the work that the BBA LRS staff does in assisting people who need an attorney in finding the right attorney. If I can help them in any small way do that better, that is great.

I wanted the interns to know that in this day of the internet and social media, there still is no substitute for the assistance of a capable, experienced attorney to help guide one through their legal situation. Also, as an attorney, one of the greatest satisfactions lies in determining the roots of a legal problem and devising a way to resolve it.”

Joseph Sommer (Sommer & Associates) conducted a training session on Trusts & Estates.

“Fundamental changes occurred in Massachusetts Trust and Estate law within the last two years. It is important to educate referral staff regarding changes to more effectively refer cases. Moreover, I hope to inspire referral staff and interns to become more involved in Massachusetts Trust and Estate law to better the profession. I attempted to convey the importance of versatility and transparency in the areas of Massachusetts Trust and Estate law. Versatility and transparency are important concepts that could be employed in most areas of life.”

If you are interested in becoming involved in future training sessions, please contact Solana Goss, the LRS Intake Coordinator, at

BBA Interns – Learning from Lawyers (Part One)

Attorneys Roger Bertling & Bill McLeod discuss just how complex the Bankruptcy process can be.

Attorneys Roger Bertling ( Law Offices of Roger Bertling) & Bill McLeod (U.S. Bankruptcy Court) discussed the complexity of the bankruptcy process.

Throughout the month of July, volunteer attorneys conducted eleven training sessions at the BBA for summer interns and Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff about various practice areas.  We caught up with some of the volunteers to see what they had to say about their participation, and asked them why they felt motivated to volunteer their time.

Biagiotti, DanDan Biagiotti (The Legal Advocacy and Resource Center) conducted a training session on Legal Services.

“The Legal Advocacy and Resource Center works closely with the BBA LRS to make the best referrals between the programs. There are many callers to the LRS that do not have enough income to hire an attorney but that have a serious legal problem and it is important that these clients get directed to an agency that is most likely to assist them. By understanding which clients should be directed to LARC and which should be directed to another agency is a valuable service to callers who often have a very difficult time navigating the legal services delivery system. I enjoy conducting the training for these students because they bring such enthusiasm and desire to help others and learn about the legal profession.”

EngdahlRachel Engdahl (Law Office of Rachel L. Engdahl) conducted a session on Family Law

“Family Law is an exciting and changing field of law. I am inspired to see young people interested and proactive in learning about the process and daily practice. It is never too early to get involved and begin meaningful relationships.”


Ilir Kavaja (Kavaja Law) conducted a training session on Criminal Law.

“One thing in particular that I enjoyed sharing and talking about with the trainees was the importance of helping all those in need of legal representation, regardless of the ability to afford full, or partial legal fees. I shared this tidbit with the interns because it is a cornerstone of my legal philosophy; “Justice Above All”!”


Stay tuned for part two of the LRS intern training sessions.

If you are interested in becoming involved in future training sessions, please contact Solana Goss, the LRS Intake Coordinator, at

Trainings Spark Interest in Legal Careers

Throughout the month of January, BBA attorneys volunteered their time to conduct training sessions on a variety of legal topics for new interns working at the BBA.  These interns are undergraduates in the Northeastern University Co-op program.  The training sessions helped the interns sharpen their legal acumen, and gave them the tools to do their jobs effectively.  This is what they had to say about the training sessions:

Matathia, GaciruJPG“The trainings gave me the opportunity to sit down and understand the legal system through the eyes of different attorneys.  I started my internship at the BBA with a definite interest in law, but I wasn’t sure how I would weave that interest into my career path.  Despite practicing in different areas of law, all of the attorneys had one thing in common–their desire to ensure that each client was provided with the tools to understand their rights and seek appropriate legal services.  As an International Affairs major with an interest in human rights, the underlying compassion of the attorneys expressed during the trainings appealed to me.  The pursuit of justice in both law and human rights helped me realize that there are many avenues I can pursue with my interest in law.

The trainings have also been a critical aspect of the progress I’ve made since beginning of my internship at the BBA and have made it significantly easier for me to streamline the intake process for the Lawyer Referral Service.  The trainings provided a huge foundation of knowledge about the different areas of law; consequently, this information makes it easier for me to provide suitable referrals for each client.”

Gaciru Matathia is working in the BBA Lawyer Referral Service for 6 months.  Gaciru studies International Affairs, and is pursuing a minor in Social Entrepreneurship.    

Powers, AlixThe LRS trainings with BBA members were extremely helpful to me as an intern, especially because of my plans to attend law school in the future. The attorneys who were selected for the training were all very knowledgeable in their respective fields, and the passion they exhibited for their work was even more impressive. I was able to learn about specific laws in particular practice areas, something that a lot of prospective law school students don’t have the opportunity to do. With the help of the attorneys’ advice and instruction, I feel confident in my decision to go to law school and to pursue the career I’ve always wanted.”

Alixandra Powers is working in the BBA Membership Department for the next 6 months. Alixandra is a History major, and is a cadet in the school’s ROTC program.  She hopes to attend law school after graduation, and is interested in becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Military.

The trainings were organized by the Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association, dedicated to helping members of the public in need of assistance connect with attorneys.  We would like to thank the following attorneys who volunteered their time to conduct training sessions for the BBA’s new interns:

Roger Bertling (Law Offices of Roger Bertling) – Bankruptcy

Dan Biagiotti (Legal Advocacy & Resource Center) – LARC & Legal Services Overview

Kyle Crossley (Audax Group) – Torts

Robin Gorenberg (Law Office of Robin Gorenberg) – Trusts & Estate Planning

Joseph Gregory (Joseph Gregory Esq.) – Immigration Law
Andrea Lance (Lance Law, LLC) – Criminal Law

Mary Lee (Mary K.Y. Lee P.C.) – Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant Law

William McLeod (United States Bankruptcy Court) – Bankruptcy

Chik Mone (Pierce, Davis & Perritano, LLP) – Torts

Dino Santangelo (Law Office of Dino R. Santangelo) – Public Benefits & Health Law

Nancy Shilepsky (Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP) – Employment Law

Laura Unflat (The Law Office of Laura M. Unflat) – Family Law

If you are interested in joining the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, or becoming involved in training sessions in the future, please contact Solana Goss, the LRS Intake Coordinator, at .

To reach the BBA Lawyer Referral Service please call (617)742 0625 or (800)552-7046 Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. You can also email us at or visit us on the web at