Spotlight on Supporting Small Businesses

As we approach the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Tragedy, the BBA reflects on the critical efforts made by our volunteer lawyers in the wake of the bombing. We start by spotlighting the work our volunteers did helping Back Bay businesses get back on their feet in the wake of the bombing. 

Aiding Individuals

After launching the project to help small businesses following the attacks, new needs began to emerge. The bar rose to the occasion again – an overwhelming number of BBA members volunteered to provide help individuals in need with One Fund claims, insurance and employment issues, and so much more. Hear the story here.

Assistance in Action: Jon Cowen and Robin's Candy

Robin’s Candy Store had been in business less than a year when disaster struck. In the days following the April 15th tragedy, Robin Helfand knew she needed to act. Still reeling from the devastation that took place only steps/blocks away, Robin was dealing with serious financial repercussions including business interruption, loss of revenue, and terrorism insurance issues. With her business on the line, Robin got proactive, contacting the City of Boston and BBA Marathon Assistance Project. 

Find out how a serendipitous connection provided the help she needed.

Corporation Counsel William Sinnott on the BBA's Marathon Assistance Project

We got in touch with William Sinnott, former Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston and past BBA Council member, to get his thoughts on the BBA response to the City’s request for volunteer attorneys to help small business with legal issues. Read his account of the BBA's involvement here.

The impact which BBA's staff and members had on the Marathon recovery was enormous. Victims and businesses were desperate for direction and professional assistance and BBA, partnering with the City, stepped up. As a runner, I was grateful. As a City official, I was impressed. As a lawyer...I was proud.”

The Boston Bar Journal

On Wednesday, April 2nd, the Boston Bar Journal released its Spring 2014 Edition, which included four feature stories about attorneys experiences representing clients in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Read the Spring 2014 Boston Bar Journal here.

Marathon Assistance Project Update: BBA on the Road

With a strict June 15th deadline, BBA volunteer attorneys worked tirelessly to help marathon bombing victims fill out One Fund claims. Our volunteer attorneys helped 14 victims complete One Fund claims, even conducting three home visits to meet with those who are still recovering from physical injuries and are unable to leave home. We touched base with volunteers, David Clancy (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP ) and Vanessa Pompei-Britt (Ropes & Gray LLP), who discussed their experiences. Read the article here.

Checklists Available for Victims and Small Businesses

Thanks to the help of three of our Sponsor Firms, the BBA has developed two legal checklists, which help guide those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing to identify their legal needs and connect them with pro bono legal assistance. The checklists were distributed to the Mayor’s Office, the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, and the One Fund.

View the small businesses checklist here.
View the victims checklist here.

Joe Bierwirth, Partner at Hemenway & Barnes, explains what the BBA is doing to aid victims and small businesses affected by the Marathon Monday bombing on Boston's Neighborhood Network News

The Boston Bar Association is connecting individuals and small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombings to lawyers who can provide legal assistance for issues such as insurance, labor and employment, relocation, health, and other issues. To access these services, please call the Lawyer Referral Service intake line at (617) 742-0625, or Toll Free: (800) 552-7046, or submit an online request here

The Bar Rises to the Occasion

The Boston Bar Association knows that in times of crisis, lawyers are uniquely positioned to provide assistance to those in need. In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Mayor’s Office reached out to the BBA to help provide legal assistance to those small businesses in the Back Bay affected by the bombing. Our members jumped at the opportunity to volunteer their time and talent to their community.

With nearly 200 individual volunteers, 26 law firms and 3 law schools offering assistance, members of the bar have sprung into action and taken dozens of pro bono cases, with more coming in every day. We asked our volunteers about their experiences providing pro bono legal assistance to those affected. Read more.

BBA Partnerships Provide Aid to Marathon Victims and and Businesses

The BBA is partnering with a number of organizations to provide free legal assistance to small businesses and victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Mayor’s Office: The Mayor’s hotline refers calls about legal assistance to the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service. More specifically, the BBA is working closely with the Mayor’s Office to provide legal assistance to small businesses in the Newbury and Boylston Street area.
The One Fund: The BBA is working with the One Fund to connect victims who need assistance filling out claims forms by the June 15th deadline with volunteer attorneys. For more information on filing a claim and the available services, please click here.
The Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance (MOVA): MOVA is referring victims and their families to the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service for free legal assistance. Click here to view MOVA’s resource guide.
The Department of Public Safety: The BBA is supporting the Department of Public Safety’s efforts to aid victims who are trying to make their homes accessible as a result of their physical injuries by providing volunteer attorneys who can offer free legal assistance with any legal issues that may arise, such as creating contracts and addressing insurance concerns.