The BBA's Public Service blog, Beyond the Billable is your one stop shop for everything Public Service at the BBA. Check it out here.
How We Got Here. For the full post, click here.
Joanna Allison (Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association) welcomed attendees and encouraged them to get involved in VLP’s pro bono efforts at the annual Pro Bono Fair, one of the many events that took place during Pro Bono Month.
As October comes to a close, that means another Pro Bono Month is in the books. This month has been packed with pro bono trainings, volunteer opportunities, and of course, the release of the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid report, Investing in Justice. Many of our members took advantage of all the opportunities available this month, but we created a comprehensive recap for those who may not have stepped through the doors at 16 Beacon,
Take a look below for highlights from this month:
October 9th: GBLS & the BBA teamed up for the annual CORI Training to train attorneys to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Click here for more on this training.
October 15th: The BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts released its long-awaited report called Investing in Justice, which found that the majority of clients seeking legal assistance are turned away and made the business case for $30 million in civil legal aid funding. For more on the report, click here.
October 18th: Members of the New Lawyers and Environmental Law Sections spent the morning outdoors working on the farm and supporting The Food Project.
October 20th: Crowds of law students and new lawyers showed up to find out about pro bono opportunities with legal service organizations and local nonprofits at the Pro Bono Fair, which is co-hosted by the BBA and Suffolk Law School. Read a full run down of the event here.
October 25th: Members of the New Lawyers and Environmental Law Sections headed back outside to partner with the Franklin Park Coalition’s Woodland Volunteer Team to remove invasive species and plant flowers
October 28th: The BBA and VLP trained attorneys to work with pro se landlords and tenants through the BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program at the annual Landlord Tenant Pro Bono Training.
October 29th: At the Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking: An Introduction for Attorneys Program, an expert panel walked attendees through two human trafficking case studies, highlighting common challenges and identifying helpful resources to keep in mind when representing clients.
The post Wrapping Up Pro Bono Month at the BBA appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Executive Director Barbara Mitchell (Community Legal Services and Counseling Center) introduced herself to attendees and shared volunteer opportunities for law students and new attorneys at her office.
Law students and New Lawyers lined up on Monday evening to attend the annual Pro Bono Fair, co-hosted by the BBA and Suffolk Law School. Twenty-nine legal service agencies and local nonprofits showed up to recruit new volunteers and to meet the next generation of attorneys.
New Lawyers Public Service Committee Co-Chair Kate Swartz (Torres, Scammon & Day, LLP), who helped recruit legal service organizations to participate in the Fair and assisted with check in, explained that the Fair is a great opportunity “to network with experienced attorneys and learn about ways to give back to their community.”
Bummed you missed the event? Don’t worry, the BBA snagged a copy of the Pro Bono Fair Guide. Click here to find your next pro bono opportunity.
Take look below for more images from the Fair:
Joanna Allison (Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association) welcomed attendees and encouraged them to get involved in VLP’s pro bono efforts.
Steve Russo (LARC) told attendees about volunteer opportunities at his office.
The post Annual Pro Bono Fair Draws Large Crowd appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
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.