Celebrating a Decade of Difference
As we approach the end of this decade, the Boston Bar Foundation is proud to look back on the thousands of lives touched by our programs and projects, all made possible by the dedication of our donors, members, and volunteers. Each day we will be highlighting a different project that made an impact every year from 2010 until today. As we head in to 2020, we are calling on you to make another decade of difference possible. Check back each day as we update the projects.
2010 The Yellow Ribbon Project
In 2010 we saw the launch of our Military & Veterans Pro Bono Project which addresses the unmet legal needs of military personnel, veterans, and families through programs such as Yellow Ribbon Events, and Military & Veterans Legal Helpline.
“Members of the BBA and BBF, representing many different practice areas, stepped up when asked and generously donated their time and talents to help address the varied legal needs of service personnel and their families at home. While the legal needs of the veterans of both recent and past conflicts persist, our mission continues to be fulfilled because of the unflagging financial support of the Boston Bar Foundation’s donors and Board of Trustees, and the continued participation by BBA members.”
– Jack Regan, Retired WilmerHale partner and former BBA President who launched this project
2011 Children’s Mental Health Guide
In 2011, the BBA published a comprehensive Parent’s Guide to Children’s Mental Health Services in Mass. This included info for the community-at-large on steps for getting help and navigating the mental health system. Today, publications like these are made possible via support of the Policy Research and Innovation Fund, which enables us to create programs and publications that focus on civil rights, access to justice, & Constitutional issues.
“When the BBA first published the Guide in December of 2004, little did we know that it would quickly become the most widely read publication in the history of the BBA. The Guide goes beyond the BBA’s traditional mission of improving the administration of justice and involves the BBA in an important issue of social and health justice.”
– Michael Blau, Foley & Lardner, Guide Editor-in-Chief and Task Force Co-Chair
2012 Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project
Through our longstanding partnership with the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), a Boston Bar Foundation grantee, the BBA continued to facilitate the provision of free legal services to low-income debtors in Ch. 7 bankruptcy cases by providing annual pro bono trainings on the topic. Today, the Charles P. Normandin Fund supports all of the BBA’s bankruptcy-related public service projects.
2013 Marathon Assistance Project
After tragedy struck our city, Boston Lawyers stepped up to support victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing through the Marathon Assistance Project, providing 400 hours of pro bono legal services to individuals and businesses that were affected by the bombing. Volunteers were honored for their efforts at the 2013 Law Day Dinner.
2014 Re-entry Education Program
The BBA piloted our Reentry Education Program, providing information to federal probationers on key civil-legal issues they will face when re-entering society. Topics covered included financial literacy, CORI management, employment rights, and domestic relations.
2015 Bar Coaching
Recognizing the difficulty of preparing for the bar exam, we launched our Bar Exam Coaching Program. This pairs bar applicants with attorney coaches who can help with the non-substantive aspects of the bar exam (study tips, time management, etc.)
2016 Human Trafficking pro bono training
Facing the lack of access to justice faced by trafficking victims, the BBA trained volunteer attorneys on using federal law to obtain justice for survivors of human trafficking, including legal rights overlooked for nearly a decade.Today, programs highlighting significant public policy issues are supported Policy Research and Innovation Fund.
“Human trafficking is often hidden and unacknowledged, leaving survivors without protections. This training was a tremendous opportunity to leverage the resources and skills of the Boston Bar to ensure that the voices of survivors are heard. It means that survivors will receive much-needed access to justice and no longer be silenced.”
– Julia Dahlstrom, Committee member
2017 Immigration/Know Your Rights
In response to a series of new immigration executive orders, we trained volunteer attorneys on the constitutional rights of immigrants when confronted by law enforcement, enabling attendees to volunteer to lead Know Your Rights community workshops with PAIR.
2018 Service Innovation Project
Focusing on new and innovative ways to harness the power of lawyers, the Service Innovation Project was launched. In its pilot year it investigated ways attorneys can use their specific skills to disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline. This project is made possible by a generous gift by Nonnie & Richard Burnes, who established the Burnes Innovation in Service Fund, which supports projects that leverage the unique skills of lawyers into innovative solutions for addressing major problems in our community.
“I am honored to be involved with the BBA’s Service Innovation Project, which since 2018 has examined the school-to-prison pipeline crisis in Massachusetts. I have learned from other members of the BBA, including experts in the field, and together we have assessed how we as lawyers can bring forth innovative solutions to help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.”
-Rebecca Cazabon, Foley Hoag, Committee Co-Chair
2019 Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship
The BBA launched the Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program to provide law students with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal field with paid summer internships.