BBA Week Thanks Outgoing Council

As the BBA prepares for the start of the 2015-2016 program year, we wanted to highlight the work of our governing Council. The Council is a group of 34 elected and appointed members who guide the Association everything from public policy decisions to initiatives for new lawyers.

You can read outgoing BBA President Julia Huston’s personal reflections on her term here. To add to her sentiment, Voices of the Bar reached out to a few outgoing Council members and asked them to reflect on their Council term. Here’s what they had to say:

Susan M. Alexander – Biogen
“Throughout my tenure on the BBA Council I have been impressed by the unwavering commitment of the BBA leadership, my fellow Council members and the BBA membership to the integrity of our legal and judicial system, the highest standards of legal practice and assuring access to justice for all. I am grateful to have had the chance to participate in this important work.”

Dustin F. Hecker – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
“It is amazing how quickly three years of service as a member of the BBA Council can pass by. The issues that come before the Council, from fundamental public policy such as the death penalty, to the nuts and bolts of whether lawyers should be taxed on an accrual or a cash basis, were always interesting to think about and occasionally to debate at the meetings. I welcomed the insight into the operations of a tremendous organization with a great staff. As importantly as anything else, I appreciated very much the opportunity to work with and to get to know a bit better the members of the Council and the other leadership of the BBA. At the end of the day, the law is a people business, and I had the honor of working for three years with a great group of people.”

The BBA would like to thank the outgoing Council members and officers for their support, guidance, and dedication to our mission for the past three years. Thank you and we look forward to continuing our partnership.

Outgoing members:
Susan H. Alexander –Biogen
Roberto M. Braceras –Goodwin Procter LLP
Paul T. Dacier – EMC
Joseph M. Griffin – Law Offices of Joseph M. Griffin
Dustin F. Hecker – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
Geoffery A. Howell – DLA Piper
Sheila Hubbard – Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
Kelly Leighton– Barnes & Leighton
Christine Netski – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.

Voices of the Students 8/20/2015: What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?

This summer, a record breaking 65 Boston Public School students participated in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Not only did they gain valuable on-the-job professional experience, the students also participated in a series of enrichment seminars, attended a Mock City Council hearing, and visited Bankruptcy Court.

As the program comes to a close, we reached out to the students to find out,

“What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?”


Deluisa Depina – Intern at Department of Public Health
Rising Freshman at Umass Dartmouth
“The most memorable part of the job at the Boston Bar Association has to be the Friday morning. This is when everyone comes together for breakfast at the law library brought by one of the attorneys or staff. I think it’s a great way to just have a moment with each other to laugh and share stories. I also enjoy the conversations I had with my co-workers on a daily basis. I laughed and learned a lot from them. They made me feel welcome and that I could contribute to the job by helping them with their work.”


Angus Cusack – Intern at Nixon Peabody LLP
Rising Freshman at Boston College
“Nixon Peabody has been both informative and exciting. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the legal practice from associates and partners and the chance to examine how law influences many aspects of the professional world. ”


Marcos Hernandez – Intern at Proskauer Rose LLP
John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“The most memorable part of the summer program has been the opportunity to network with litigators, paralegals, and lawyers to help decide my own career path.”


YingYu Guan – Intern at U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Charlestown High School
“I was very happy to be part of the Boston Bar Association in this summer. I studied a lot of different things in the U.S Bankruptcy Court. I met the Judge in the Court and I learned what did the Judge at work. This helped me understand whether I want to be a lawyer in the future. I also learned to have more patience and work hard in life.”


Nick Santiago – Intern at Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Boston Latin School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program has undoubtedly been the time when we acted as members of the city council making a decision regarding a curfew for teenagers. This was a very unique opportunity and I’m happy to say that I’ve learned a lot from the experience.”


Karen Wang – Intern at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Rising Freshman at Emory University
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program for me has been talking to various people in the legal field, whether it be at Mintz Levin or during the weekly seminars, and gaining new perspectives about the different types of law that interest me.”


Kevin Truong – Intern at Goodwin Procter LLP
Boston Latin School
“My most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program is that I was able to file documents with the Supreme Judicial Court and the First Circuit Court. I think that it was quite an experience to see and interact with the centers of the legal world.”


Jorgiana Martin – Intern at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Snowden International High School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program was the enrichment seminar Exploring Legal Careers. This was the most memorable part the program for me because not only did the attorneys enlighten me, but meeting an actual lawyer in Boston, where I am from, and learning about the steps they took to become a lawyer, changed my life. I now am sure of my inner ambitions of what type of lawyer I want to become and the type of law I want to pursue. This is thanks to Adam J. Foss, you are a true inspiration and the BBA for this unforgettable experience.”

Voices of the Students 8/13/2015: What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?

This summer, a record breaking 65 Boston Public School students participated in the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program. Not only did they gain valuable on-the-job professional experience, the students also participated in a series of enrichment seminars, attended a Mock City Council hearing, and visited Bankruptcy Court.

As the program comes to a close, we reached out to the student to find out,

“What has been the most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program?”


Kamay Gordon – Interned at Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Rising freshman at Emory University
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program was the seminar where BBA interns, like myself, got to meet different professionals in the law field. It was very eye-opening to not only see the different careers in law but also, to learn about the various types of law that one could practice. Overall, this seminar was very enlightening and showed me that within the law field, there isn’t one set path or career that I can pursue. The opportunities are endless. ”

Huang_JoyceJoyce Huang – Intern at Brown Rudnick LLP
Rising first year at Mount Holyoke College
“The most memorable part was having other interns in the same firm that I was in and being able to have the connection as peers. Occasionally, there would be projects where I was able to work with my peers and seek advice on approaching certain subjects or tasks to my supervisor and they helped a lot. I had a great experience at Brown Rudnick.”

Smith_TyTy Smith – Intern at Nutter Mclennen & Fish LLP
John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
“The most memorable aspect of BBA Summer Jobs Program has to be the opportunity of getting to watch how people older than you manage themselves. Being able to speak to the many people in a firm and interact with them is what I found valuable and was critical to my growth. Not many people are exposed to this, so I definitely appreciated this experience.”


Tateyauna Wilson – Intern at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Urban Science Academy
“There are so many ways I can answer this question. Mainly, the most memorable part has been growing as a person. When you surround yourself with positive people, it reflects on you. This program has been awesome for me to be a part of because I learned so much and found so many ways to reach success.”


Nensi Gjata – Intern at Goodwin Procter LLP
Boston Latin School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs Program so far would be drafting various Motions and knowing that such documents would be an integral part of an actual case. I mean, either that or the view from when I snuck onto the 28th floor of the Exchange Building.”


Venus Pimentel – Intern at Prince Lobel Tye
Snowden International High School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Program would be the actual opportunity to work in the office. You get to learn something new every day along such talented and understanding individuals. The office is so welcoming and kind, I wouldn’t have wished for anything else.”


Lasaunna Powell – Intern at Committee for Public Counsel Services – Roxbury Youth Advocacy Division
Rising Freshman at UMass Boston
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs program was experiencing what happens in the court room. I’ve always wanted to experience the process of what really happens in the court room and how judges decide who is innocent and guilty. I was granted the opportunity to sit in on trials multiple times, and I think observing the process was memorable for me.”


Lenita Lee – Intern at City of Boston Legal Department
East Boston High School
“The most memorable part of BBA would be the law office I worked in. This summer internship really helped me explore my interest and dislikes because of that I’m able to figure what career I want to gear towards later in life.”


Danielle Miles-Langaigne – Intern at Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Boston Latin Academy
“The most memorable aspect of the BBA Summer Jobs internship so far has been the ability to network with various people. Although all tied to the legal profession in some manner, every being I have encountered through the program has brought a different yet informative insight on their life experiences and careers. The persons I have met through the program have been all so diverse, and have given me some token of knowledge that I plan on using for my future endeavors.”


Meggie Noel – Intern at Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman, & Fink LLP
Boston Latin School
“The most memorable part of the BBA Summer Jobs so far has been … daily observations of what really goes on behind the scenes in a law firm. The attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants and office staff all put in countless hours of work and dedication to do what they are passionate about and help others prepare for their future. It’s simply inspiring, and I am blessed with the opportunity to be a helping hand.”

New faces, new programs, new….carpet?

It’s that time of the year, again. As we enter late summer and enjoy the long, warm days, the BBA staff is anxiously preparing for a new program year! With only 25 days until September 1, the team at 16 Beacon Street is busy putting everything in order for our 12,000 members.

When you come through our front door in less than a month, what will be different? The BBA staff is here to give you the rundown:

  1. New BBA Leadership. Have you met the members of the 2015-2016 Council?
  1. New Programming – Have you visited our calendar lately? September and October programs are already on the books. Be sure to save the date for the BBA’s Fall Forums Kick-off on Wednesday, September 16th.
  1. New Law Students – Once again, the BBA is proud to partner with the five Boston law schools and welcome their law students as BBA members. On Thursday, September 3rd, our New Lawyers Section will host a Law Student Welcome Reception. We hope to see you there!
  1. New Look – Yes, you guessed it! The BBA ushered in a lot of upgrades this summer – new member space rooms, updated meeting spaces with new carpets (yay!), and a new front desk area. You may not know, but there are many talented photographers on the BBA staff, so Voices of the Bar is taking you on a virtual tour of 16 Beacon Street. Hold onto your hats and get ready for a sneak peek…
The Front Desk

The Front Desk

Sanding the Conference Room

Sanding the Conference Room

Clafin Start

Clafin Start

Claflin In Progress

Claflin In Progress

Almost There

Almost There


Voices of the Bar would like to give a special thanks to the BBA’s Facilities Supervisor Bill Santry for managing the renovations!

The BBA staff wishes you a fantastic August, and we are thrilled to welcome you back in September!

Voices of the Bar 7/30/2015 – If you could go on any dream vacation to any destination, where would you go?

This week’s Reception for International Lawyers got us thinking about exciting locales and far-off destinations. It’s the time of year when, if you haven’t gone on vacation already, you may have one planned – whether it will end up happening, or it’s all in your head!

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“If you could go on any dream vacation to any destination, where would you go?”

Alexis B. Kaplan – Law Offices of Alexis B. Kaplan, LLC
“I would travel to Italy, where my husband and I went on our honeymoon.  Venice in particular was beautiful and I would love to explore the city.  This time around I would share in my daughter’s excitement with riding the boats along the Venetian canals.”


Cassie Ramos  – Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
“I would love to visit Turkey. I’ve been interested in the intersection between the Christian and Muslim cultures in that country since I took a class on Turkey while studying abroad in Strasbourg, France. I’d especially like to visit the different religious sites and see the history of the country through art.”


Phelps T. Turner – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
“Without a doubt, I would go to Nepal. The country is currently recovering from the tragic earthquake of April 2015 and its aftershocks, but one day I would love to explore the Himalaya.”


Kathryn Rattigan – Robinson & Cole LLP
“If I could go on any dream vacation, I would love to visit the Greek islands –from the beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, exotic harbors and volcanoes, I’m sure there would be so much to see! ”


Lindsay Manning Burke – Kenney & Sams, P.C.
“I would visit the Portuguese Madeira Islands, where my grandfather’s family is from. I would go for the hiking, old churches, beautiful lace, a glass of Madeira wine at the end of the day, and maybe dinner with some long-lost cousins. Preferably right in the middle of a Boston winter!”

Matthew Yospin – The Law Office of Matthew M. Yospin
“It’s hard to choose, because there are so many great places to explore: Cape Cod, Maine, Paris (France, though Paris, Maine is nice too), Greece, Acadia, Yellowstone, Utah and Wyoming for dinosaur fossils, Puerto Rico, and plenty more. For a dream vacation, though, I’d go back to Hawai’i. Great weather, amazing and varied beaches, terrific mountains and hiking, great food, horse country, a huge mix of terrain and different islands to explore, active volcanoes, fantastic snorkeling and SCUBA diving… I could go on, but I’d rather go to Hawai’i.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a
 headshot, and contact Galen Byrne at

What’s It REALLY Like Working at a Bar Association

You’ve probably seen updates and notices for the BBA’s popular Summer Career Series, which famously tells attendees “what’s it REALLY like” to work in certain areas of law.

“Well,” we thought to ourselves, “knowing about different practice areas and learning about them at the BBA is great…but what if we gave our members an inside peek at what it’s REALLY like to work at the BBA itself?”

What a mystery to delve into! First of all, working at a bar association is made rewarding by virtue of our enthusiastic volunteers and great members. (What can we say? We’re a little spoiled!) But there is much more to it than that.


So…What’s It REALLY Like to Work at the BBA?

Many of our members come to the BBA every month – sometimes every week! – for lunch programs, Section and committee meetings, and many other reasons. Along the way, they meet (eminently competent and, let’s face it, totally lovable) BBA staff members working across all areas of the organization.

The front line of the BBA staff is the membership department – those who help to coordinate programs, launch committee initiatives, and generally support our members in all areas. Working in Membership is a little something like this:


…by which we mean, calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling furiously as they keep the organization afloat.


Then there’s our marketing and events team…


Always confident in directing people where to go and where to be for the best event experience possible, it’s a busy, high-energy world in events. Also, they know where the best snacks are.


Team Communications is always waiting to pounce on the next media opportunity and tends to be glued to the phone – kinda like this guy:



(Definitely less fuzzy, but also definitely as good-looking.)



Wondering how the BBA is always able to adapt to the ever-changing legal and political climate of the city? Thank Team Government Relations for having their eyes in all directions looking out for the latest legislative updates. It has moments of being slow, but when there’s movement, watch out – these guys are ready to move fast.

Public service is some of the most heart-warming work of all at the BBA, as it sees a direct impact on the community. It does include coordinating and overseeing a lot of volunteers and community members, meaning that working in public service is a little something like this:

Labrador-Welpen im Korb


The final front line of the BBA – that is, staff members you’re most likely to see around the building – is the executive team, which handles working with the BBA’s leadership. It’s a job that requires a great memory for details and the ability to balance projects effectively. Maybe a little bit like this:

African elephant balancing on a beer barrel.


And then there are the staff members who are rarely seen, rarely heard, but incredibly valuable. Think of them as the BBA deep cut, if you will.

Like our finance & administration team:


On the move ready to put their financial plans in action; known for their sound survival mechanisms; and…surprisingly cuddly?


Or how about our IT team? There are a surprising number of tech issues that come up at the BBA, so for them, working at a bar association is about quickly, quietly, and discreetly solving these issues before anyone notices them.


And last, but certainly not least, our facilities team takes expert care of the BBA’s historic headquarters, 16 Beacon Street, making sure that all meetings and events inside its walls can run full steam ahead.




We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what it’s REALLY like to work at a bar association – and finding out what the different BBA spirit animals are. With the busy program year coming up, I guess you could say…

….sometimes it’s a zoo over here!

Voices of the Bar 7/23/15: What is your advice to those taking the bar exam next week?

Cue the ominous music: next week is the bar exam. We’re sure that many recent graduates are busy cramming – and worrying – about this test. Do you have anything to say that might help ease their nerves?

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“How did you prepare for the bar exam? What words of advice and encouragement do you have for those who are preparing to take it next week?”


Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez – Probate & Family Court
“I passed on my second try and my focus was to not allow my lack in confidence of not passing the first time to get in my way of preparation and studying. I made a sign for myself that said “Never Again” and kept that in front of me so that I would stay focused. You have worked hard to be ready now go in there and showcase your preparation.”


Christina E. Miller – Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
“You are about to complete a marathon. Trust your training – everything you did to prepare is all you need to finish the race. On a practical note, make a rule with friends that you will not talk about the test while you are taking the test. It will only create unnecessary anxiety. Remember what you did to keep yourself calm during a law school exam? Do that. You’ll do great!”


Robert Ward – Law Office of Kenneth V. Kurnos
“I strongly urge test takers to go and see a light/funny movie Sunday evening. Something like “Trainwreck” or the Minions flick are perfect. Decompress, relax and clear the mind for a few hours.   Watching something at home is just not the same. Get out of your studying space.”


Bert S. Ng – Health Policy Commission
“I did bar preparation as a 9 to 5 full time job, 5 days a week. I took weekends off by taking trips to Fenway when the Sox were in town. To de-stress each night before the exam, I had a nice dinner and a glass of wine.”


Melissa Conner – Conner Law Offices
“This is not a time for self-doubt. Forge ahead. You’re nearing the end, and most of what you’re doing now is about making yourself feel better, which is very important at this time. Practice thinking without relying on the carafe of coffee beside you, sharpen an unreasonable quantity of no. 2 pencils, download “Eye of the Tiger,” and schedule a break with the worst attorney you know. That person passed the bar, and so will you.”


Grace L. McGuire – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
“Triage is key at this point in your preparation. Focus on the areas where you know you are weak. Come up with a list of the top five most tested subareas for each type of essay and focus on knowing that law cold, and let the rest go. Focusing on the main subjects that are tested on both the essays and the multistate is also a good way to double your study productivity.”


Adam C. LaFrance – Lawson & Weitzen, LLP
“Like training for a race: start early, be diligent and consistent, pace yourself, and rest. By the last week, I appreciated that cramming in the final days would be less helpful than resting. In the end, do what works for you—you’ve made it this far and you know your study habits by now, so work to your strengths; don’t stress about deficiencies. On Exam day, stay quiet and focused. (And, while you may think you’re not anxious, it’s probably best to avoid shaving the morning of the Exam….) Afterwards, have something fun planned and don’t look back!”


Debra N. Lally – Law Office of Barry V. Grunin
“To prepare for the bar exam, I enrolled in a Barbri course. After following the syllabus and completing the coursework, I created several condensed outlines to determine the areas in which I felt confident and those on which I needed to focus my time. In the last few days before the bar exam, I found it was more important to focus on self-care and combating anxiety rather than trying to cram in additional memorization. My strongest piece of advice for the day of the exam is to make sure you keep an eye on the clock, especially during the essays. It’s easy to get engrossed in one essay and end up with insufficient time to finish the others. Don’t be fooled by your seemingly super-confident peers on the day of the exam; everyone who’s taking the bar is just as nervous as you. Try your best to remain confident that your preparation will lead to success.”


Kevin M. Yurkerwich – WilmerHale
“After I graduated from law school, I took a prep class for the California bar exam, which I took in the summer of 2013. During the fall, I prepared for the Massachusetts exam by answering Massachusetts essay questions under simulated conditions. There is no substitute to writing out full length answers to essay questions under simulated exam conditions. One interesting aside: during the essay portion of the actual bar exam my laptop was stuck in a Windows update spiral for about a half an hour. Once my laptop went down, I did not immediately start hand writing my answers. Instead, I used that time to outline a response to each question. The outlines provided a useful framework to answer each question once my laptop was back online. In the end, it all worked out. I’d recommend trying to stay even-keeled over the course of the exam.”


Briana Cummings – Branch Legal
“The best preparation is doing practice questions, especially essay questions. I put all my study materials away a day before the exam, and from that point until the end of the bar exam I focused on not thinking about anything law-related for any minute I was not actually taking the exam. That made me much calmer!”


Phil Picillo – WebsterBank
“I prepared by taking two practice exams using all of the same materials I was taking to the exam, wrist watch, pens (erasable). Reminded myself that I prepared for this day for the past 3 plus years. Took a deep breath. It can be done and many do succeed, you will be one of them.”


Kevin Larivee – MA House of Representatives
“I reviewed topics I knew I was weak in the nights before the exam, but nothing too strenuous. It paid off. I also gave myself plenty of time to get to the exam site so I wouldn’t be unnecessarily stressed. That strategy was a partial success—someone fainted in the red line car I was riding in the first morning of the exam, stopping the train, and I ended up sprinting to find a cab. I got to the test site on time, but it wasn’t exactly a stress-free morning. It sounds hokey, but the most important thing you can do at this point is trust yourself: you’re prepared, you’re capable, and it’s an exam of minimum of competency. Are you minimally competent? Sure you are.”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Voices of the Staff 7/16/15: What is your favorite outdoor event or activity to do in Boston during the summer?

Summer break is definitely upon us! You have to love the irony: we reached out to a random list of members to find out about their favorite outdoor activities and events in Boston, and it seems like pretty much everyone is out of the city on vacation! Special shout-out to Grace McGuire of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, who let us know, “There are a lot of great places to rent kayaks for a spin out on the Charles River. Try Paddle Boston in Waltham on Moody Street.”

Fortunately, the BBA staff has a ton of great ideas for summer fun up their sleeves. Summer associates who are in Boston just for the summer, take note — there is plenty of time to enjoy all of the below. And if you’re feeling like getting a little more legal education, you can always attend the BBA’s Summer Career Series. Coming up next week: what’s it really like to practice family law?

To find out the best of the best in Boston’s summer offerings, BBA Week reached out and asked the BBA staff:

“What is your favorite outdoor event or activity to do in Boston during the summer?”


Maggie DeMoura – Membership Outreach Coordinator
“Nothing beats the magic of watching a Sox game in Boston’s cathedral, Fenway Park.”


Christian LaVancher – Database & IS Administrator
“Get thee some cultcha by taking in Shakespeare on the Common. This year is King Lear – July 22nd to August 9th.”


Jonathan Schreiber – Legislative & Public Policy Manager
“I love SOWA market on Sundays in the South End. If you’re feeling up to braving the crowds, the food trucks and farmers market have delicious fare and the vintage market and arts and crafts dealers are creative and fun to explore. It’s a great event for strolling, people/dog watching, and getting some treats on a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon!”


Jing Li – Executive Intern
“My favorite (outdoor) activity to do in Boston is getting tea at the Boston Public Library. There’s nothing better than sipping tea and eating tiny pastries while reading a good book or chit chatting amongst friends. The Courtyard there is beautiful—especially in the summertime!”


Gabrielle Guarracino – Communications Assistant
“Have you been to the Lawn on D Street yet? From a giant, multicolored translucent maze to an installation of two-story inflatable glowing rabbits, their public art displays have been incredible (not to mention the food trucks). There’s also the Outside the Box Art Festival on the Boston Common coming up, as well as the Figment art exhibition on the Rose Kennedy Greenway next weekend. There’s funky outdoor art pretty much everywhere you look in Boston over the summer.”


Kathleen McCarran – Accountant GL
“The polo matches at Myopia in Hamilton are a fun way to enjoy a few hours outdoors on a Sunday afternoon. Bring a picnic for a field-side tailgate party and marvel as the ponies display their athletic prowess.”


Jamila Odeh – Assistant to the Executive Director
“My favorite outdoor activity is running, and Boston is full of great places for it. The top of my list of places to run is Jamaica Plain: Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum, and Franklin Park (all connected by the Emerald Necklace). Of course, the classic choice of the Charles River Esplanade is always great too.”


Beverlie Sopiep — Web & Technologies Project Coordinator
“Now I work on a different side of the Common, my new favorite thing to do is wandering through Beacon Hill — especially through those hilly streets. It is a great workout for my calves, and I get to do some imaginary house hunting. ”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Top 10 List of the Latest and Hottest Legal-Related Pop Culture Media

My Cousin Vinny, Ally McBeal, Anatomy of a Murder – lawyers have been a favorite part of contemporary media for decades. Sometimes hard-hitting dramatic players, sometimes comic relief, they’re always an intriguing glimpse at how people view the profession and how pop culture portrays them.

With so much to keep up with, you might have missed some depictions of lawyers and the profession in recent media. Fortunately, we at Voices of the Bar watch a lot of Netflix. (Kidding….or are we?)

Wondering what’s been happening in pop culture? Presented without further ado…


VoB’s Top 10 List of Current Legal-Related Media


  1. The Judge

We’ll start with the oldest first. Technically, The Judge came out in 2014, but we’re not going to hold that against it. The ever-charming Robert Downey, Jr. takes off his Iron Man suit for long enough to play a defense attorney who is the estranged son of a judge played inimitably well by Robert Duvall.

Speaking of superheroes…

  1. Daredevil

Who wouldn’t be interested in the fantastical tale of a blind superhero lawyer? In this Netflix adaptation of a popular Marvel comic, Matt Murdock is an attorney by day, superhero-vigilante by night – think an exponentially more violent Batman, and in Hell’s Kitchen instead of the fictional Gotham. You may scoff at the idea of watching a show about superheroes, but it has been critically acclaimed and lauded as extraordinary – and we all know Netflix has a great track record in creating original series. (House of Cards, anyone?)

  1. Better Call Saul

For nostalgic Breaking Bad fans wanting to get a piece of that world back, you can always turn to Better Call Saul. It focuses on Saul Goodman in his former life as Jimmy McGill, a dubious scam artist-public defender with perhaps a few too many ties to the criminal underworld of New Mexico. We can’t wait for more!

  1. Truth or Die

We can’t give James Patterson top billing, but – it’s James Patterson. Classic guilty pleasure. The novel focuses on attorney Trevor Mann, whose life is upended after a startling discovery – and no, we’re not talking about legal discovery.

  1. GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

This one is a little different, but we felt this gripping tale that illuminates international legal proceedings deserved a spot on the list. Set in Israel, it focuses on an Israeli woman seeking a divorce from her unwilling husband, who refuses her request for three years. The tense drama is thrilling, and watching the legal arguments before a panel of religious leaders sheds light on the contrast between the law in the U.S. and in other countries.

  1. Suits

Perhaps one of the most popular currents depictions of lawyers, Suits has no problems bringing the drama and intrigue to the small screen. It may be a slightly romanticized view of the profession, but hey, we’re charmed by it. A brilliant college dropout faking a law degree and reminding a hardened cynical partner why he chose the law in the first place? Brilliant.

  1. The Good Wife

Give it up for Julianna Margulies and her portrayal of Alicia Florrick, who weathers her husband’s corruption scandal and returns to work as a litigator with something to prove. The cast really carries this show, earning it a spot in the top five of our list.

  1. Secret in Their Eyes

This hasn’t even come out yet and we’re already excited for it. While this upcoming thriller focuses on an FBI investigation, we can’t wait to see Nicole Kidman’s headlining turn as Claire, a District Attorney who discovers a murder that hits far too close to home.

  1. Law & Order

Oh, come on – you know this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Law & Order in all of its still-running iterations. We’ll be able to predict the Apocalypse on the day that there isn’t at least one episode of Law & Order in some form on a major TV station.

  1. Go Set a Watchman

The most recent and perhaps most controversial update in legal media: Harper Lee’s secret novel has been published at last, and – spoiler alert! – people have been dismayed to see Atticus Finch, a paragon of justice, change radically before their eyes. Beyond this, many feel that the book should not have been published in the first place, as it was unclear whether Lee, who was in ill health, ever intended for the book to be published.


Which is why we’re asking in a bonus poll:

Are you excited about the publication of Go Set a Watchman?

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Voices of the Bar 7/9/15: What are you reading?

Summer often gives us the opportunity to breathe a little easier and catch up on pursuits that may fall by the wayside during the rest of the year – like reading. Whether it’s a casual “beach read” novel or an intense work of nonfiction, there’s something out there for everyone to work their way through over the summer.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“What are you reading — or looking forward to reading — this summer?”


Alicia Downey – Downey Law LLC
“I’m reading The Hell Screen, the second in a mystery series by I.J. Parker, featuring Sugawara Akitada, a well-educated, emotionally-conflicted aristocrat and government functionary in 11th century Kyoto, Japan. My ambitious goal for this summer is to read all fourteen books in the series, in order of publication.”


Cory Lamz – Northeastern University School of Law
“I’m currently reading “The Velvet Rage” by Alan Downs. It’s an insightful read about the psychology of gay culture and coming out in a straight man’s world… It’s also very timely. Given the recent Obergerfell decision, it’s been an interesting exercise, from a cultural perspective, to think through how the ruling could impact a lot of the issues discussed in this book for future generations of people – LGBT or straight.”


John J. Carroll – Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, P.C.
“A great read for lawyers is “Inventing Freedom”, by Daniel Hannan. It’s about the role The Magna Carta and English common law played in the development of our American Constitution and common law. I just finished it.”



If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at