Spring/Summer 2016: Pro Bono Spotlight

by Pete Jameson

Over the past two years, the Boston Bar Association has been offering Brown Bag Seminars on fundamental issues in divorce law to practitioners who are new to family law.  During these “Brown Bags”, seasoned practitioners and judges of the Massachusetts family law bar cover entry-level topics such as an overview of Supplemental Rule 401 Financial Statements or how to properly submit and argue motions.  As a former chair of the Family Law Brown Bag Committee and someone who has presented and appeared on many panels for numerous organizations, I can say with certainty that the Divorce Fundamentals Brown Bag program is a truly exceptional offering.

These “Brown Bags” are beneficial to everyone involved.  The attendees want to be at these programs and they are engaged from start to finish.  As a result, the presenters are met with robust discussions and involved questioning from practitioners who want to learn more.

These presentations are also streamlined for the benefit of the attendees.  By limiting the discussion topics to discrete family law topics that can be covered in an hour, “just the facts” are provided and the attendees can choose for themselves which areas they should improve upon without getting overwhelmed by massive presentations on the entire divorce process.

Finally, the Divorce Fundamentals Brown Bags have been some of the most rewarding panels I’ve been on as a presenter.  Every time I’ve appeared on one of these Brown Bags, I’ve walked away feeling like I’ve contributed something valuable to the family law bar.  Because of these presentations, less experienced family law attorneys are armed with information to represent their clients effectively.  It truly is an invaluable feeling to know that someone will be a better family law attorney because seasoned practitioners simply took the time to impart their knowledge to others.