Remember Casino Night? Now that the temperatures have warmed and plans for the summer are on our minds, March feels like it was a long time ago. But we wanted to share where the proceeds went.
Thanks to the support of Casino Night sponsors, 10 Boston public high school students will have the chance to work at legal service and government agencies. The Boston Bar Foundation is funding students to work at the following organizations:
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
United States District Court – District of Massachusetts
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
Thank you to these organizations for hosting a BBF-funded student. We can’t wait to kick off this exciting program later this month!
Whatever the development project, large or small, if it goes up in Boston, there’s a good chance the Boston Redevelopment Authority was involved in the process at some point. And this summer, local teenagers will have the chance to see that process up-close.
The BRA has signed on to hire a Summer Jobs student through the Boston Bar Association, and we are thrilled to have their support.
Kathleen Joyce, Senior Counsel at the BRA, said the student will take part in hands-on work that is truly relevant to the BRA’s projects.
“At the BRA, we believe it is extremely valuable to play a part in educating our future leaders,” she said. “We are thrilled to join the legal community in their support of Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Initiative by hiring a student through the BBA Summer Jobs Program. We are proud to say that we will give the student in this position opportunities to take on a substantive role in our work, by participating in research projects and attending BRA trainings and other BRA meetings.”
While the staff at the BRA is eager to give the student a chance to build his or her skills and resume, the experience will also be valuable to the agency.
“Hiring a summer jobs student is a great way to bring on extra support for our legal department while providing a place for a student to learn professional skills and become acquainted with the processes that shape their community,” she said.
Want to find out more about the program? Visit our website or contact Cassandra Shavney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, Beyond the Billable is thrilled to feature Goodwin Procter’s Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI) in our “Pro Bono Spotlight” feature. There is a lot to say about all the good the program has done for low-income neighborhoods in the city of Boston, but no one says it better than the attorneys themselves.
We caught up with NBI Founder Anna Dodson, a partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity Group, to hear more about what the firm is doing to help grow the local economy while expanding access to justice.
Can you describe how the Neighborhood Business Initiative began?
In 2001, the idea of providing pro bono legal services to for-profit businesses was in its infancy. We began offering those services, which would later be formalized into Goodwin’s Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI). We believe that strong, owner-operated neighborhood businesses are fundamentally important for community development and healthy, vibrant city neighborhoods.
Fast-forward to today: Roughly 500 attorneys and other professionals at Goodwin have provided pro bono business legal services to hundreds of low-income entrepreneurs and small-business owners in underserved neighborhoods through direct representation and neighborhood-based legal workshops and clinics, and by partnering with community-based organizations.
Since 2001, how has the NBI program changed and grown?
Our workshops and other programs have grown both in number and in complexity. We started with the basics – Starting and Growing a Business, developed in collaboration with the Economic Justice Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Now our suite of 12+ programs includes negotiations, commercial lease, choice of entity, food labelling and doing business on-line.
Is there a particular workshop or clinic that has consistently been the most sought-after or well-attended? If so, what do you think draws people to that program?
As we worked with community partners in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain over the years, we noticed that many of our program participants were working in the food industry. These “culinary entrepreneurs” include restaurateurs, caterers and entrepreneurs looking to produce food for retail sale. Responding to the need for specialized assistance, we developed a food labeling curriculum.
Today, a multi-disciplinary team provides interactive workshops on Intellectual Property for food labeling and packaging, food labels and products liability and federal regulation of food labels. Our team frequently collaborates with a corporate partner, such as Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream. The Boston Beer Company’s team presents the business side of food labeling – creative design, marketing and branding, as well as niche expertise like the rules for beer labels. Our audiences for these business and law of food labeling programs frequently exceed 50 entrepreneurs. We hear from our audiences that the information can be hard to find and that an expert’s insight and strategic perspective is a valuable guide that makes the information more useful.
How does this program benefit specific business owners who participate, their neighborhoods, and the city’s economy? Can you describe why Goodwin Procter has made it a priority to foster the development of small businesses in underserved areas?
From the outset, Goodwin’s NBI program has reflected two core values. We value access to justice (access to all law for all people) and community development (building neighborhood businesses for diverse, vibrant neighborhoods). Often, low income business owners are isolated – they may lack sounding boards and advocates. They have to take risks and may have to make hard choices – and often it’s not on a level playing field. Our goal in providing individual representation is to provide legal services to business owners who would not otherwise be able to have the assistance, and to create value that supports the growth of a neighborhood business.
How does this differ from other pro bono opportunities and programs that are out there, both for attorneys and clients?
Business law attorneys typically have fewer choices than litigators to provide pro bono legal services in an area of law that aligns with their practice. NBI offers Goodwin business law attorneys an opportunity to do good doing what they do best – structuring an entity, negotiating a contract, advising on intellectual property strategy, negotiating a lease, and any number of corporate and transactional matters. It offers an opportunity to develop the strong listening skills needed to undergird strong counseling skills. For the firm’s NBI clients, working with the Goodwin team offers highly responsive, proactive counsel committed to leveling the playing field.
Is there a specific client story or anecdote that you would like to share that exemplifies the impact of this program?
We represented an entrepreneur who was a Brazilian immigrant in taking out a loan from Accion, a nonprofit lender. Goodwin prepared a loan release in Portuguese that would be enforceable in Brazil, a condition to the new loan. Our client used the proceeds of her Accion loan for working capital and to repay a predatory lender who used intimidation tactics. Our legal services were an important component of a transaction that yielded peace of mind and safety for a low income businesswoman, and a well-stocked, woman-owned corner market for the neighborhood.
What else would you like someone who has never heard of this program before to know?
One of the biggest challenges of a program like Goodwin’s NBI is reaching eligible clientele. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners do not think or expect that they would qualify for pro bono assistance, so engaging with them requires a lot of outreach and education. We have made a concerted effort to connect with local business owners through partnering with community organizations, and personally going out into the community and offering clinics and workshops. At the same time, we are ever sensitive to the need to support small law firms in the neighborhoods, so we dedicate a lot of time and effort to vet potential clients to ensure that, but for our pro bono assistance, they could not otherwise afford to engage legal counsel for the matter requested. We also define the scope of our representation to discrete requests and do not provide ongoing assistance. We have essentially created a self-contained legal services group within our firm, and lead it with the assistance of two dozen Goodwin attorneys who serve on local NBI steering committees in Boston, New York and San Francisco.
The BBA would like to congratulate and welcome the thirteenth iteration of the Public Interest Leadership Program. This group of seventeen attorneys represent a wide variety of practice areas, including attorneys from firms, legal services, and solo practice. We wish them the best of luck, and look forward to the accomplishments they will achieve as Public Interest Leaders.
Amanda Orcutt-Holland & Knight LLP
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, NY
Law School: Syracuse University College of Law
Amanda is an associate in Holland & Knight’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution group, where her practice encompasses a wide array of commercial disputes, including employment disputes, contract disputes, and business torts. Amanda also maintains an active pro bono practice representing individuals and non-profit organizations. She has successfully handled several prisoners’ civil rights claims, and recently obtained a large jury verdict for a client in federal court. Prior to joining the firm, Amanda served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. Amanda is a graduate of Syracuse University and Syracuse University College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of Syracuse Law Review.
Brian McLaughlin- Brian McLaughlin, Esq. LLC Hometown: Easton, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School
Based in Boston, Brian practices in the areas of family law, special education law, disability law, real estate law, and both unemployment and veterans benefits. He uses his experience with mediation and collaborative law to give the best legal advice to his clients. Brian zealously represents his clients, researching all possible legal issues to their fullest extent. Brian is currently undergoing CASA volunteer training where he will become appointed by the Court to write briefs to help judges determine the best interest of the child. He also currently collaborates with the Volunteer Lawyer Project, and serves on the board of Shelter Legal Services and the Assistive Technology Loan Committee, which seeks to provide low interest loans to folks seeking to obtain assistive technology. Brian is a co-chair of the Legal Policy Committee for the Special Needs Advocacy Network.
Prior to starting his own practice, Brian worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as an outreach coordinator for the Massachusetts Office on Disability. Brian has served in the private sector for the small litigation firm, Healy & Healy, assisting in civil tort litigation matters, both plaintiff and defendant.
David Scheffler- Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Hometown: Newton, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School
David M. Scheffler is an Assistant Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Division of the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey. He prosecutes criminal and civil cases involving fraud on the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth. He has investigated and prosecuted cases against physicians, laboratories, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and providers of in-home health care services, in connection with fraud schemes including false claims, kickbacks, and off-label marketing. In 2014, he received the Office of the Attorney General’s Outstanding Team Award for his work prosecuting a physician office laboratory that paid illegal kickbacks to the owners of sober houses to induce referrals of lucrative drug-screening business. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, David served as a law clerk to the Honorable George A. O’Toole, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and as an Associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, where his practice focused on complex business litigation and health care fraud. He serves as a basketball coach at the John H. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton and in the Middlesex Magic AAU program.
Emily Jennings- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Home town: Hingham, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School
Emily is an associate in the Litigation Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Her practice involves a wide range of complex commercial, securities, insurance and regulatory matters. Emily has litigated in state and federal trial courts within the Commonwealth and has advised clients in connection with various government and internal investigations. She also maintains an active pro bono practice and has represented individuals in connection with the Boston Bar Association’s Marathon Assistance Project and the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Family Law Project. Emily is a graduate of Villanova University and Boston College Law School.
Hannah Joseph- Beck Reed Riden LLP
Home town: Queens, NY
Law School: Boston College Law School
Hannah T. Joseph practices complex business litigation at Beck Reed Riden LLP, where she represents corporate and individual clients in matters involving restrictive covenants, trade secret law, close corporation shareholder disputes, employment law, and complex commercial disputes. Hannah is also very active within the Boston legal community, as a co-chair for the BBA’s Intellectual Property Committee (and former liaison between the New Lawyers Section and the Intellectual Property Section), and as a co-founder of the Boston Associates’ Networking Group. Hannah received her J.D. from Boston College Law School. At BC Law School, Hannah represented underserved populations through the school’s Legal Assistance Bureau. She also coordinated fundraising efforts for BC Law School’s Public Interest Law Foundation, which provides stipends to law students taking public interest summer internships. Hannah is proud to be a Big Sister through the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
Henry Tran– Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Home town: Mountain View, California
Law School: Northeastern University School of Law
Henry Tran is a litigation associate at Prince Lobel Tye LLP, where he practices in a range of civil litigation matters including employment discrimination, state and federal regulatory compliance, and complex commercial disputes. Before entering private practice, Henry completed placements at the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he developed specialties in state enforcement matters and high-stakes securities litigation. Henry previously served as the Executive Lieutenant Governor for the ABA Law Student Division and, prior to law school, spent two years abroad working in government relations and international development in China and the United Kingdom. Henry is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and the University of California, Irvine.
Jane Lovins-U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Law School: Boston College Law School
Jane is the career law clerk for United States District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. She recently served as the law clerk dedicated to the proceedings in United States v. Tsarnaev (Boston Marathon bombings case). Previously, she was a senior associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Her practice included complex commercial litigation and securities litigation and enforcement. She also maintained an active pro bono practice focusing on juvenile justice, education, and family law. While in law school, Jane served as Note Editor of the Boston College Law Review, was a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Office of the Governor’s Legal Counsel, and helped found the Pro Bono Pledge Program. Prior to attending law school, she taught in the South Bronx as a Teach for America corps member and in the Boston area as a research teacher at Tufts University. Jane is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Boston College Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Richard G. Huber Award, Equal Justice America Fellowship, and Pro Bono Excellence Award.
Michael Koehler- Keegan Werlin LLP
Hometown: Reading, MA
Law School: Suffolk University Law School
Michael J. Koehler is an associate at Keegan Werlin LLP specializing in energy and regulatory, public utility and environmental, municipal and land use law. He represents energy and utility clients before administrative agencies such as the Department of Public Utilities, the Energy Facilities Siting Board and the Cape Cod Commission, as well as various local authorities. His representative matters have involved rate issues, long-term power purchase agreements for renewable energy, net metering and the siting and permitting of an array of different energy infrastructure facilities.
Before joining the firm in 2008, Mike served as a law clerk for the Justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and is an active member of the Boston Bar Association, where he has served as co-chair of the Energy and Telecommunications committee; a member of the BBA’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force; and a member of the Education Committee. In addition to his professional pursuits, Mike serves on the Alumni Council of Phillips Academy (Andover) and on the Board of Trustees for Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center in Boston Harbor.
Matthew Connolly– Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Home town: Cambridge, MA
Law School: Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Matthew Connolly is a senior associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. Individuals and companies rely on Matt for a variety of litigation matters, especially in complex business disputes and white collar defense and investigations. A wide range of clients, from individuals and small businesses to some of the largest companies and banks in the United States, frequently select Matt to represent them in federal and state courts, and before multiple agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. In particular, Matt has extensive experience representing energy companies and traders in enforcement and compliance matters, including a matter that resulted in the largest public settlement in FERC’s history.
Mark Woodroffe– Cooley LLP Home town: Tampa, FL
Law School: Boston College School of Law
Mark Woodroffe is a corporate associate at Cooley LLP in Boston. His practice includes advising public and private life sciences and technology companies on matters ranging from entity formations and financings to M&A transactions, public offerings, and securities law compliance. Mark is an active member of Cooley’s Pro Bono Committee, representing low-income entrepreneurs and child immigrants. He also works to promote diversity through his involvement with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Boston Lawyers Group, and Cooley’s Diversity Committee. Mark is a cum laude graduate of both the University of Florida and Boston College Law School, where he served on the Executive Board of the Boston College Law Review and received the Richard G. Huber Award for Scholarship and Leadership in Extra- and Co-Curricular Activities. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mark worked for the Detroit Lions, The Honda Classic, and the Florida State Golf Association.
Max Riffin– Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP Home town: Newton, MA
Law School: Boston University School of Law
Max Riffin is a corporate associate at Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP. His practice focuses on the representation of investment funds, mature private companies, and emerging growth companies through all stages of the company lifecycle. He regularly counsels clients in connection with entity formation, capital structure, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, private placements, and general corporate matters. He also assists clients with licensing matters, the negotiation of commercial agreements, employee benefit and equity ownership plans, and employment matters. In addition, Max advises the firm’s investor clients in connection with equity and debt financings and matters related to their portfolio companies. Prior to joining the firm, Max practiced as a corporate bankruptcy and restructuring associate in the Delaware and Boston offices of a few national and international law firms.
Maria Granik– Sullivan & Worcester LLP Home town: Moscow, Russia
Law School: Boston University School of Law
Maria Granik is an associate at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where she focuses on complex commercial litigation, as well as on environmental law and employment cases. In her pro bono work Maria has helped clients in a variety of criminal, administrative and civil cases ranging from a habeas petition to asylum proceedings and restraining order hearings. She is also the firm’s representative on the Domestic and Sexual Violence Council, an advocacy organization for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. As a law student, Maria was selected as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, working at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services on issues such as equal access to healthcare and mental health law. Before becoming a lawyer, Maria earned a PhD in philosophy and taught at Boston University and at the College of the Holy Cross. Her teaching and academic research focused on questions of ethics, political philosophy, and history of philosophy. Maria is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston University where she earned both her PhD and JD.
Nicholas Brown-Pierce Atwood LLP Home town: Staten Island, NY
Law School: University of Connecticut School of Law
Nick is a litigation associate at Pierce Atwood LLP with a focus on business disputes, construction law claims, and land use matters. His practice involves both the prosecution and defense of contract claims on behalf of corporate clients, insurance companies, and contractors. In addition, Nick represents municipalities, businesses, and individuals in land-use and real estate disputes. Nick has also devoted substantial time to providing pro bono legal services to those in need. His pro bono work has focused on representing minors from Central America who have fled poverty, violence, and gang-related crime in their home countries. Nick represents his pro bono clients in both state and federal courts to obtain legal immigration status.
Peter Obersheimer-Murphy & King, P.C.
Home town: Elma, NY
Law School: Boston College Law School
Peter is an associate in Murphy & King, P.C.’s business litigation group. His practice includes representing both individual and corporate clients in a variety of fields, including business torts, commercial lease disputes, health care litigation, and employment law. In collaboration with the Disability Law Center, Peter has represented clients with intellectual disabilities in state eligibility appeals on a pro bono basis. Peter is an active volunteer leader with Best Buddies, a social integration program for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and serves on the Emerging Leaders Board for St. Francis House, the largest homeless day shelter in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Murphy & King, Peter worked as a litigation associate at a firm in New York State, and was recognized as the 2012 recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Award for the 8th Judicial District for his work on immigration and social security disability appeals. In 2015, Peter was named a New England Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business Litigation. Peter is a graduate of Boston College and Boston College Law School.
Rachel Irving Pitts-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC Home town: Pittsfield, IL
Law School: Boston University School of Law
Rachel Irving Pitts has been practicing in Mintz Levin’s Health Care practice since 2008. She relocated to Boston in 2002 from Illinois, and worked for the Massachusetts Medical Society before attending Boston University School of Law. Her practice primarily involves healthcare transactions and regulatory matters, and she has represented a variety of pro bono clients for Mintz Levin, assisting a small business and arguing for a client’s Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Rachel was a Special Assistant District Attorney as part of Mintz Levin’s rotation program with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Rachel is on the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Emerging Leaders Board, and is a member of the BBA, MBA, ABA and AHLA.
Richard Baldwin- Foley Hoag LLP Home town: Arlington, MA
Law School: Boston College Law School
Rich is a commercial litigation associate at Foley Hoag LLP. He regularly represents individuals, business and foreign sovereigns in state and federal court and in domestic and international arbitration. He also maintains an active pro bono practice representing individuals in housing, bankruptcy, special education and immigration matters and in obtaining court orders protecting clients from abuse. Last year, Rich coached a group of students as they became the first team from their school to compete in the Mass Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Program. In 2013-14, Rich served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. Rich is a graduate of Boston University and Boston College Law School.
Tovah Miller- New England Law | Boston
Home town: Manlius, NY
Law School: Syracuse University College of Law
Tovah is currently the Assistant Director of Career Services and Recruitment Coordinator for New England Law | Boston. Prior to joining New England Law, Tovah was the Program Specialist for the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights, where she counseled law students with disabilities on obtaining accommodations for law school and associated exams; campaigned to increase the inclusion and visibility of attorneys with disabilities in the legal field; and was a member of the ABA Staff Diversity Council. She is a member of the BBA Committee on Attorneys with Disabilities and their Allies and the BBA Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee.
Don’t miss the chance to give back to the community this spring. The BBA’s calendar is full of opportunities to expand your pro bono portfolio and make a difference in the community. Check out what’s ahead below:
Immigration Basics – What You Need to Know to Assist Low-Income Immigrants
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Learn how to assist low income immigrants in completing applications for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Expanding Access to Justice by Engaging Senior Fellows
Monday, March 28, 2016 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Explore how you can get involved in the Access to Justice Fellows Program, which enables senior lawyers and retired judges to partner with nonprofit organizations and courts to increase equal justice for all.
What You Should Know About Post-Conviction Relief: How to Help Noncitizen Clients with Criminal Convictions
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Mass. R. Crim. P. 30(b) can offer potent relief to criminal defendants for whom all other hopes have been exhausted. This brown bag program will provide an overview of the types of clients for whom R 30(b) litigation should be considered with a focus on relief for noncitizen clients.
Not everyone can say that her summer boss is the Massachusetts Attorney General, but this year, three local law students will be able to do just that: Vaishali Goyal of Boston College Law School, Holly Haynes of Boston University School of Law, and Courtney Person, New England Law | Boston.
The internships are part of a larger effort of the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section to support and retain diverse young lawyers here in Boston. This year, the program has expanded beyond the courts to include placements in government law offices, like the Attorney General’s.
In this unique opportunity, law students receive substantive and meaningful work – coupled with skill development, mentorship and networking – in an office committed to serving the needs of the Commonwealth’s communities.
Vaishali Goyal is originally from South Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston College. Prior to law school, Vaishali gained professional experience working at Boston College, at Teach for America in Houston, Texas, and in a law practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Vaishali attends Boston College Law School.
Holly Haynes is originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt, Holly focused her studies on Medicine, Health and Society, with minors in Spanish and Human and Organizational Development. In 2015, Holly co-founded and oversaw a school garden initiative program for two Nashville elementary schools called Kids & Kale to promote healthy child nutrition. Some of her other employment experiences prior to law school include working as a tutor, as an undergraduate research assistant studying childhood obesity and injury, and special events at the White House. Holly attends Boston University School of Law.
Courtney Person is originally from Columbia, South Carolina and attended Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where she majored in Politics and Justice Studies and minored in Psychology and English. While at Claflin University, Courtney received a number of accolades as she played on and captained the Women’s Volleyball Team. She tutored fellow classmates at the Claflin University Writing Center, tutored at risk high school students, and was involved in a number of student organizations and on-campus activities. Prior to starting law school, she interned at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, South Carolina. Courtney attends New England Law | Boston.
Congratulations to Vaishali, Holly, and Courtney! We look forward to getting to know you this summer!
Nixon Peabody Partner Larry DiCara leads a mock City Council hearing with 2015 Summer Jobs students
The City of Boston’s website will tell you all of the important reasons that Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Summer Jobs Program makes a big difference in the lives of the teens who participate, and that’s why we work to place students in law firms each summer.
But if you’re working at a law office, you may wonder – what impact do these students have on their employers?
Larry DiCara, a partner in Nixon Peabody LLP’s Boston office, has worked with Summer Jobs students for years, and it never gets old for him. Students have as much to teach adults as they do to learn from them, he said.
“It is a learning experience both for a firm and a student,” he said. “I have learned so much from the wonderful young people who have worked at Nixon Peabody through the years.”
While there are many highlights of the program for him, DiCara said conducting a mock city council hearing where students get to debate issues inside the real City Hall chambers “remains the highlight of (his) summer.”
In addition to having extra hands to help out at the officeand getting to know the students, DiCara said he looks forward to learning about the paths the students take after they have completed the program.
“I am proud that many are now at great colleges and thriving, and keeping in touch. Having a work experience is helpful for them as they look towards college,” he said.
We talk about the importance of summer jobs all the time, and now we have the President of the United States to back us up.
Recently, President Obama wrote a LinkedIn post on what his first job meant to him. Spoiler alert: it was scooping ice cream one summer in Honolulu.
“Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don’t have access to many resources and opportunities, Obama says. “Employment can also help bridge the “opportunity gap” we see in the summer months, when young people tend to fall behind in educational achievement.”
We highly recommend reading the whole post. If it has you feeling inspired, learn more about the ways that you can participate in the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program, a longstanding partnership between the BBA, the city, Boston Public Schools and the Boston Private Industry Council that aims to give high school students hands-on employment experience at law firms and other organizations.
Take a look below to see which legal offices have already signed on to support the BBA Summer Jobs Program:
On Friday February 20, 2016, a group of BBA Members, including law students and practitioners, toured the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. Many hanks to Tara DiCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court and her staff at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court for welcoming us for the tour.
Knowing that one’s first few times in court can be disorienting, the BBA hosts these tours to help demystify the first visit. Toni-Ann Natola, Deputy Assistant Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court served as our guide and certainly demystified a lot about the ways the Middlesex Probate & Family Court is unique in terms of scheduling and filing. She also gave the group a good look at the layout of the building at 208 Cambridge Street.
Those in attendance were even escorted to the elusive Courtroom 5, only accessed through a maze-like jaunt through the first floor through several twists and turns. Upon arrival at Courtroom 5, the group was lucky enough to sit in for the tail-end of a pre-trial conference before Judge McSweeney. After dismissing the litigants, the judge spoke to the group about his own career as a family law attorney prior to joining the bench.
BBA LRS Intern, Nicole Roth, a student at Northeastern University, had this to say about the experience, “He reinforced the importance of always being polite to judges and clerks, and to never become too emotionally attached to a case. He explained what it feels like to be a family attorney in a way that was so accurate I could almost picture myself practicing law. He then invited each of us to sit in his chair and try on his robe, which everyone found exciting. The tour helped the practicing attorneys learn where to go and how to behave in this court, and inspired the law students to look forward to their futures.”
With recruitment for the 2016 BBA Summer Jobs Program underway, law offices throughout the city are jumping at the chance to support Boston public high school students. The program places Boston public high school students in summer jobs at legal offices throughout the city, giving them experience working in an office environment, a chance to earn a pay check, and exposure to the legal profession. But don’t take our word for it. Look below to hear what two of last year’s students had to say about the program:
“Not only did the attorneys enlighten me, but meeting an actual lawyer in Boston, where I am from, and learning about the steps they took to become a lawyer, changed my life. I now am sure of what type of lawyer I want to become and the type of law I want to pursue.” Jorgiana Martin (Snowden International High School), intern at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
“I have always been someone interested in the legal field, though apart from watching glamorized versions of court cases on TV and hearing a few bad lawyer jokes over the years, I had not had a genuine look at what happens inside a law firm. This changed when I was accepted into the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program at the end of this past school year. I had been looking to sink my teeth into a more tangible representation of life in a law firm, and the BBA provided this for me by granting me the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment brimmed with an esteemed collection of people who practice various facets of the law.“ Hector Fajardo, a graduate of John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science and intern at McCarter & English
Is your office interested in supporting the BBA Summer Jobs Program? Contact Katie D’Angelo at email@example.com for more information.