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Annual Judges Meetings - The BBA Meets with the Courts. For the full post, click here.
Last spring, nonprofit employers gathered at 16 Beacon to learn about the new Employment Law Pro Bono Project, a partnership between Lawyers Clearinghouse and the BBA’s Labor & Employment section
Our dedicated readers may remember this post about the launch of the Lawyers Clearinghouse and BBA Labor and Employment Section’s Employment Law Pro Bono Project last spring. If you happened to miss it, here’s the deal. This new project pairs pro bono attorneys with local nonprofits who need help with employment related issues, such as compliance, wage and hour law, and more. The program is officially underway and volunteers have been helping local nonprofits on a range of issues.
While we can’t share the specifics of the cases, we can find out more from our lawyer volunteers. Mike Birch (Lurie, Lent & Friedman, LLP), for example, recently assisted a local nonprofit with a complicated employment termination. We asked him why other attorneys should get involved in this initiative. Here’s what he had to say:
“I believe there are many reasons to get involved with the program and assist nonprofits with employment issues.
From a professional development standpoint, it provides the opportunity to gain additional experience with employment law issues. The employment law issues that arise in an employment lawyer’s practice and the factual settings in which they arise are almost innumerable. The more I am able to think through employment law issues in different factual contexts, the better able I am to address them as they arise in my practice, for all of our employer clients.
Also, nonprofits often operate on limited financial resources. Nonprofits are often spread thin and the time of the people who run them (such as Executive Directors) is limited. These people often wear multiple hats, juggling the administration of the nonprofit and provision of the nonprofit’s valuable services to the community. Dealing with unfamiliar employment law issues can be overwhelming, worrisome, and time consuming. With us assisting, the nonprofit can devote its limited resources and time to doing what it does best—providing the services that are at the core of its mission. By assisting nonprofits with their employment law issues, we are playing a meaningful part by assisting them to focus on their provision of those services.”
The post Lawyers Lend a Hand to Local Nonprofits appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services) taught the audience about CORI sealing last Thursday.
Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services) taught the audience about criminal record sealing at the annual CORI Training last Thursday.
Pro Bono Month officially kicked off at the BBA last Thursday with the annual CORI Training—the first of many pro bono trainings to be held at 16 Beacon this month. Our longtime readers may remember our write-up of last year’s CORI Training, but for those of you who are new to Beyond the Billable, here’s the breakdown. The BBA teams up with long-time partner Greater Boston Legal Services each year to train attorneys to seal criminal records in an effort to combat unemployment and break the cycle of poverty. This year’s panel featured Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services). Beyond the Billable checked in with Pauline to hear what guests took away from the training. Here’s what she had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“Hopefully, attendees left with a basic understanding of how to seal records as well as an understanding of the devastating consequences of having a criminal record. Work is the pathway to a better life and out of poverty. CORI traps people in a cycle of unemployment, poverty and often hopelessness.”
Why should attorneys volunteer for GBLS’ CORI Program?
“CORI sealing work is racial justice work. Mass incarceration and disproportionate involvement of people of color in the criminal justice system are the new Jim Crow. The stigma related to having a criminal record has caused an epidemic of joblessness and underemployment in Boston’s predominately black communities. The destruction of life opportunities through criminal records means not only that individuals suffer, but that communities of color are pushed toward a permanent underclass in Boston. Sealing a criminal record can put an end to a person’s chronic unemployment, homelessness and inability to provide for his or her children.”
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Last week, BBA Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs Mike Avitzur headed across the street to Boston City Hall to discuss key policy issues. However, this time he was meeting with a different group of representatives—Boston teens from the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC). As you may know, the BBA is a longstanding partner of the MYC, teaming up with the City of Boston and Northeastern University. Mike was invited to lend his policy expertise to help the 85 teens who represent their Boston neighborhoods refine their policy recommendations to the Mayor. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“It was great to have a chance to talk with young people who are so interested in public policy and so engaged with trying to make a positive difference in the world around them.”
So what types of policy ideas are on the table? Here are a few of the representatives’ ideas:
Mike presented key questions to think about before their meetings with officials, such as how much will this policy cost and who are the key stakeholders who will support or oppose it? The representatives then worked to outline answers to each question and identify areas for additional research. So what’s up next? The MYC will continue to research and hone their ideas before making formal recommendations to the Mayor.
The post BBA Schools Mayor’s Youth Council on the Ins and Outs of Policy appeared first on Beyond the Billable.