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Deluisa DePina, a recent graduate of Madison Park High School in Roxbury, is interning at the Department of Public Health this summer. Her position is one of the 15 positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation.
The BBA Summer Jobs Program is all about helping Boston public school students to discover and develop their future career paths. For many students who go into it with dreams of becoming lawyers, the program can be an illuminating look at the legal profession; but students from all backgrounds, and with many different dreams for their futures, stand to gain from the program – sometimes in surprising and unexpected ways.
Deluisa DePina came to the U.S. four years ago from Cape Verde and has been a student at Madison Park since. As a student at the vocational school, Deluisa has chosen a potential career path early on: she has been working in the nursing assistant program and learned about the medical profession firsthand at a young age.
But working in that field is a lot more than just understanding medicine and health. “There is a legal, regulatory side that we started to learn about, and I decided I wanted to learn more about the law in the BBA Summer Jobs Program,” says Deluisa, who has also considered pursuing a legal career.
So her placement at the Department of Public Health, a position funded by the Boston Bar Foundation, couldn’t have been more fitting. With her genuine interest and engagement with the subjects and cases that the DPH handles, Deluisa has shown herself a willing and capable intern.
“Deluisa is really helping us to cover some of our administrative duties,” said her supervisor, Office Manager Catrice Williams. “And she has a very sunny disposition. I have received so much positive feedback about her and her work – the attorneys in the office are absolutely floored by what she can do, since she takes initiative and is so thorough. Having Deluisa here is a bright spot in our office.”
And by being there, Deluisa also has the chance to learn not just about the legal profession as a whole, but how it and the medical and health fields intersect. “I do a little of everything in the office,” she explains, describing her tasks of entering guardianship files in the computer, delivering public records to the courts, creating indexes in the department’s library, and much more.
“If I do end up being a paralegal,” she added, “this will give me the background knowledge and expectations of an office that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
With plenty of time left to figure out her career path, Deluisa has a head start on valuable office experience through her Summer Jobs internship. “What a student can gain from a summer job like this depends on their career path. For Deluisa, who comes from a nursing program background, she’s learning more about the documentation we handle, the claims and complaints that are relevant to the medical profession, and the difference between a general legal career and a regulatory career,” Williams says.
“It’s important that students have the chance to see an atmosphere that is concerned with the wellbeing of the public,” she adds; and with her chosen paths of the law and public health ahead of her, Deluisa is sure to contribute to that public wellbeing one way or another.
The post Summer Jobs Snapshot: Department of Public Health Internship appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
The BBA interns headed to Housing Court last week to see the Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program in action.
Guest Post: Elijah Oyenuga is one of the Summer Jobs Student working at the Boston Bar Association. He recently graduated from Another Course to College in Brighton and will be attending Lesley University next year.
Imaging the chaos of Boston Housing Court was one thing, but viewing it was a whole different experience. My fellow interns and I paid a visit to the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse last week. We didn’t exactly get a standard tour, but we were able to see what Housing Court is really like for the people involved. There were lots of people crowding around the volunteers participating in the Lawyer for the Day Program, carts filled with filed paperwork and people waiting adamantly for roll call to begin. I have to say that it wasn’t what I expected. The day began with people crowding into the courtroom, squishing themselves in seats or standing against the wall as the court officer ordered everyone to stay clear of the doors.
I believed that we were going to be here for hours as they went through each individual case. Instead, each case went rapidly as they called for the tenant and the landlord and for a lot of the cases; one or both parties were not present. But for those who were, they were asked whether they were willing to go to mediation or go to trial and most chose mediation over trial. In all honesty, it was a tedious process; we probably went through forty different cases, so to say the least, I was glad when we finally transitioned to trial.
The Housing Court trials were a great learning experience and they really opened my eyes to the importance of representation. There was a specific case in which one of the parties, the tenant, was pro se and the landlord was represented by a lawyer. There was a significant difference in the way they were able to articulate themselves. The lawyer, who was more articulate, had too much of an advantage over a woman who clearly spoke English as a second language. In addition to that, she had gotten some awful advice from a lawyer stating that if there was construction being done in the apartment, she wouldn’t have to move out if she missed a payment. I could clearly see the difference between having a lawyer standing up for you and not having one. There were other trials that were very engaging and I am very thankful to the BBA for giving me the opportunity to visit the court.
The post A Student Perspective: Visiting Boston Housing Court appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Photo courtesy of U.S. State Department
“The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency. Right now, across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage…We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true.” – John F. Kerry, Secretary of State
On Monday the U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking on Persons Report, which ranks 188 countries on their efforts to combat trafficking. The report aims to assist international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations to examine where resources are most needed.
Want to know what you can do to help? In an effort to raise awareness about this important issue and to prepare attorneys to assist victims of trafficking, the BBA is holding a training on Wednesday, September 30th from 4-6 pm called “Justice for Trafficking Victims: Civil Litigation, Vacatur, Criminal Restitution and the Pro Bono Bar.”
We are honored to host Martina Vandenberg, the President and Founder of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in Washington, DC. She will join local expert, Julia Dahlstrom, a Clinical Legal Fellow at the Boston University School of Law Human Trafficking Clinic, for this much anticipated program.
Don’t miss this important and compelling program. Click here to learn more.
The post BBA to Welcome Prominent Human Trafficking Speakers in September appeared first on Beyond the Billable.