Voices of the Bar 10/13/16: What is your favorite thing about fall?

The fall is the BBA’s busiest time, and the same is likely true at many of the law firms, offices and organizations where our members are employed. We thought it would be fun to hear this week about some plans for leisure time from now until the leaves are all down.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“What is your favorite thing about fall?

Michael Sugar – Bosley Till Neue & Talerico
“My favorite things about fall are the butternut squash soups and pumpkin pies.”

 

James McGrath – Seyfarth Shaw
“My favorite thing about the fall is the return of the New England Patriots.  My longtime law partner, John Skelton, hosts a tailgate at the “Touchdown Lounge” —  a 36 foot Patriots emblazoned RV — where friends, family, colleagues and clients gather outside Gillette Stadium before and after each Patriots game for food, drinks and revelry.   We’ve celebrated many great victories together as loyal members of Patriot Nation!”

Inna Dahlin – Mintz Levin
“My favorite thing about Fall is to observe and feel it.  I love the crisp freshness of the air in the morning. The coolness of the air pleasantly emphasizes the smell of freshly brewed morning coffee.  I like seeing changing colors in everything, and although there is always something melancholic about the fall with its busier mornings and shorter days, I see in it the future awakening of the spring.”

Brandon Scruggs – Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers
“My favorite things about fall are the crisp, cool weather, the beautiful fall foliage, apple picking, football, and my 7-year-old twin daughters’ interesting choice of Halloween costumes.  This year they have chosen the grim reaper and the devil in a red dress, much to their mother’s chagrin and my amusement.”

Jason McGraw – Hirsch Roberts Weinstein
“An autumn in New England wouldn’t be the same without a hike around the beautiful trails of the Blue Hills Reservation.  The views are scenic, the foliage is fantastic, and the trails provide plenty of opportunity to get off the grid and get lost in nature.  So, as a wise person once told me, ‘take a hike.'”

Michael Bogdanow  – Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow
Having grown up in Houston, I had never seen fall foliage until I moved here. The smorgasbord of colors continues to knock me out year after year. And I love our annual pilgrimage to apple orchards to pick numerous varieties of fresh apples. The picking is as much fun as the eating!

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 10/6/16: Members Share Meaningful Public Service Experiences

As you may already know, October is officially Pro Bono Month! At the Boston Bar Association and Boston Bar Foundation, public service is a huge part of what we do all year round. We are proud to host experts from legal services organizations to lead pro bono training session on a variety of topics. We also know that many of our members are active in various volunteer projects and pro bono activities, through the BBA and elsewhere. 

In recognition of Pro Bono Month, we’re reaching out to ask:

“What has been a meaningful public service experience for you?

Michael Denham – Lawyers for Affordable Justice
“As a law student, I helped work with Election Protection, a non-partisan election observation organization that aims to protect the right to vote. We observed polls in Boston and worked a hotline to help voters facing problems in their states. If we don’t have fair, functioning elections where every citizen has the right to be heard, then we don’t have the rule of law.”

Rebecca Cazabon – Foley Hoag
“I was staffing the Pro Bono Civil Appeals Clinic at the Appeals Court and a woman came in needing help with her housing case. She said that she was being evicted from her home, and in between sobs, told me that she and her children would be homeless, as they had nowhere else to live. She was certain that her landlord was evicting her because of the color of her skin — she is Haitian — and because she is poor. She said that her landlord had tried to evict her three times before. She felt completely defeated and didn’t think she had the strength to fight it. To make matters worse, the move-out date was scheduled for the next day! Amazingly, and thanks to quick collaboration with the Volunteer Lawyers Project, we were able to find her a lawyer to represent her. ”

Jane Tyrrell – Massachusetts IOLTA
“One project close to my heart  is the national movement to Expand the Right to Counsel in civil cases.  It has been 53 years since the passage of Gideon v. Wainwright,  establishing the right to counsel in criminal cases.   Fifty three  years after Gideon,  a woman caught shop lifting is entitled to an attorney but a woman with children who is being evicted from her home is not.”

Katherine Schulte – Casa Myrna
“I’m fortunate enough that I do public service every day in my job at Casa Myrna, a domestic violence advocacy organization. Helping survivors navigate the legal system and witnessing their courage and resilience on a daily basis is very rewarding.”

 

Daniel Heffernan – Kotin Crabtree & Strong
“I have had a number of meaningful public service experiences, including working as a legal services attorney in Central Massachusetts.  However, serving on the boards of directors, with long stints as board presidents, of Community Legal Services and Counselling Center and the Federation for Children with Special Needs has been have been deeply meaningful.  As a career litigator, it was great to work in a non-adversarial arena, helping to guide the work of two amazing organizations in challenging times. ”

Julia Huston – Foley Hoag
“Serving on the board of directors of Greater Boston Legal Services for 10 years was an amazing experience.  I have nothing but respect for the legal aid attorneys who work in the trenches every day, and it was an honor and a privilege to support their work.”

 

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/29/16: Choate Colleagues Help Us Get to Know Chief Justice Marshall

The Boston Bar Association is very pleased to announce that Hon. Margaret H. Marshall, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, will be honored at the Boston Bar Foundation 2017 John & Abigail Adams Benefit.

A quick internet search or conversation with someone who has been practicing in the legal field in Massachusetts for long enough will provide a laundry list of her many accomplishments. Chief Justice Marshall was the first female Chief Justice of the Massachusetts SJC, and during her 11 years in the position, she gained a national reputation for both her landmark decisions and her reforms of the Massachusetts court system.

Chief Justice Marshall rejoined Choate, Hall & Stewart in 2012 after her retirement from the bench. For this week’s Voices of the Bar, we asked some of her colleagues at Choate to share a little bit about their personal experiences with her.

“How has working with Chief Justice Marshall impacted you personally or professionally?”

Diana LLoyd – Choate, Hall & Stewart
“I met Chief Justice Marshall when she interviewed me for a lateral associate position at Choate, Hall in 1992.  I was immediately taken with the Chief’s warmth, obvious brilliance and impressive success as a litigation partner at a major law firm.  At the time, few women had achieved that type of success.  In my first months at Choate, I came to learn about the Chief’s background fighting apartheid in South Africa, and her remarkable achievements in this country.  I also marveled, though, at the Chief’s focus on the personal side of those she met.  She learned and cared about the details of people’s lives – their spouses, their children, their concerns.  Many people now link the Chief, first and foremost, to her courageous and ground-breaking decision on same-sex marriage in Goodridge.  However, if you ask the Chief whether she views Goodridge as her most important decision, she will tell you that is not the way to look at it – that for all litigants who come to a court seeking justice, their own case is most important to them and deserves equal attention and consideration.  To me, that sentiment encapsulates the Chief  – a person who cares for the people in our system as well as the principles and a lifelong crusader for justice for all.”

Melissa Bayer Tearney – Choate, Hall & Stewart
“As President of the Board of Directors of Greater Boston Legal Services, I know I speak for the entire organization in expressing our gratitude to Chief Justice Marshall. She has been an avid supporter of social justice throughout her life, and she has made extraordinary efforts to help ensure that legal representation is available to all, regardless of an ability to pay. Her commitment is unwavering, and she is a true leader in this effort.”

John Nadas – Choate, Hall & Stewart
“It’s hard to know where to begin, as Chief Justice Marshall has influenced so many of us in so many ways, both professionally and personally, over the span of her extraordinary career. I want to emphasize one of her unusual personal qualities. Every day she demonstrates to us the importance of trying to make day-to-day connections with people, including strangers. When you walk with the Chief you’re well advised to set aside extra time to get to your destination because she often  stops to talk with people, whether she knows them or not. It’s not superficial. She does so out of genuine interest in, and caring for, people. To an unusual degree, she wants to see, connect, and get to know everyone. It is a reflection of her warmth, kindness and curiosity which, given her stature in the community, has a particularly profound and meaningful impact on others. ”

Jack Cinquegrana – Choate, Hall & Stewart
“When I learned that I would have the opportunity to serve as the Boston Bar Association’s President, the first person I called was Chief Justice Marshall.  She took most of a morning out of her busy schedule to meet with me, over breakfast on a rainy day in Harvard Square.  I recall our meeting quite well, because the more she spoke about the BBA, the greater my ambition for what the organization could accomplish.  I am sure The Chief has been an inspiration to every BBA President through her example of leadership, and I want to express my personal thanks for the wise counsel she has given me over the years, beginning on that rainy morning.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

The Most Interesting Lawyer of the Week: Robinson+Cole’s Matt Lawlor

It all lawlorstarted with a coffee table book.

Not many attorneys can attribute their professional life to a photography book displayed in his or her childhood home, but Matt Lawlor is one who can. Lawlor, a partner at Robinson+Cole and a member of the firm’s Real Estate + Development Group, focuses his practice on matters involving transit-oriented, affordable, and mixed-use development, a subject that appealed to him early on.

“I grew up in Brooklyn, and in my house we had a book called Lost New York that has pictures of all kinds of buildings and places in New York that are no longer there,” said Lawlor. “One of the most important and tragic was the original Penn Station – the beaux arts masterpiece that was demolished in the early 1960s. That, to me, represented how the city had done things to itself that just didn’t make sense.”

It didn’t make sense to Lawlor until he came across another book, The Power Broker by Robert Caro. As Lawlor read the biography of New York City master builder Robert Moses, the pieces began to fall into place.

“Moses was a guy who was a little like Ed Logue in Boston, though Moses was around longer and did more to the city,” Lawlor explained. “He’s the guy who started in the late 20s by building Jones Beach, a big public beach on the south side of Long Island. He then went into New York City and built literally dozens of highways, bridges, tunnels, roads, and parkways over several decades. But he built them in a way that made the city worse off than he had found it.”robert-moses

As Lawlor read about the building of many urban freeways, most notoriously the Cross Bronx Expressway, and the damage that was done to neighborhoods, especially poorer neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color, in their making, he began to see his home city in a new light.

“That kind of scenario happened over and over in New York during this time period. And so it all made sense to me, now I knew why the city looks this way; we spent a lot of money on things that ultimately made our city less livable and made it a less desirable place to be. And at the same time we spent next to nothing on things like better transit that would have made the city more livable. So I was mad. I was mad at my city, that it had done this to itself and its people. I wanted to go into a profession that would help restore the damage that had been done.”

After earning his B.A. at Amherst College, Lawlor headed to UNC Chapel Hill for a masters degree in regional planning. (Not coincidentally, this is where Lawlor met his wife, who is also an urban planner.) Upon graduation, he landed a job at a consulting firm in Washington, DC, but was too far-removed from the action to feel that he was having an impact on how communities looked and operated. That’s where Robinson+Cole comes in.

“The senior land use partner here at R+C, Dwight Merriam, graduated from my planning school before he went to law school,” said Lawlor. “When I was in grad school, he actually came to the campus at Chapel Hill and gave a talk about Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, a groundbreaking regulatory takings case in the Supreme Court case that had just been handed down. I remembered that connection, so when I was thinking about law school I spoke to him. And when a position in the land use section opened up here I spoke to him again.”

In the years since graduating from Boston College Law School, Lawlor has found himself considerably closer – in both professional and pro bono capacities – to the action of shaping our communities. One such site is the Hamilton Canal District in Lowell, which was the first place in Massachusetts to use a form-based code, a zoning approach that fosters high-quality public spac02_hamiltoncanaldistrictmasterplanes by focusing on a building’s physical form rather than its intended use; a significant departure from use-based conventional zoning.

Lawlor also worked on Waterfront Square, a mixed use development project along a half mile stretch of Revere Beach adjacent to Wonderland station.

“We were the development counsel from the very beginning, and it was a great, exciting, and complicated project that we worked on for a long time with a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, planning consultants, engineers, traffic engineers, architects, the whole range,” said Lawlor. “I learned a lot about how the state and a city can work together and how various permitting regimes fit together.”

So what does a planner and lawyer who credits Lost New York (there’s a Lost Boston, too!) with launching his career aspirations think of the Boston’s current development boom?

“Boston was like New York in lots of ways,” said Lawlor. “During the post-war period Boston did things that weren’t in the city’s best interest, the elevated Central Artery being an example, as well as the widespread use of urban renewal and eminent domain, most notoriously in the complete demolition of the West End. All of this tore at the urban fabric of Boston, and it’s taken a long time to find the development boom that could finally repair all of the damage that’s been done.”

This one, thinks Lawlor, looks like it might be the one. It’s not just a reshuffling of the deck, but a substantial new wave of people coming to Boston for the first time.

“There is a huge opportunity right now to build buildings that make our city better. I think we’re a lot smarter about how to do that in a way that makes sense and fits in with the city, so I’m glad this particular boom is happening today as opposed to years ago. The Walsh administration has been very good not only in realizing that this population increase is coming (it’s already here), but also in realizing that it is going to require a very substantial number of new residential units, and then being clear that these units are not just going to be downtown, but also in neighborhoods – like Washington Village in South Boston and Fairmount in Hyde Park, where I’ve been involved in a 27-unit transit-oriented development that is scheduled to break ground this spring.”

When asked how this growth relates to growing concerns over neighborhood gentrification, Lawlor points out that, at one level, the reality is actually different from public perception.

“People often perceive that because new construction is going on, that’s what gentrification is. But if you don’t build new units, you gentrify faster,” explained Lawlor. “Like it or not, Boston is in high demand. If we don’t build more supply, the prices will rise faster. It’s not so much the new units but the fact that more people now want to live in this city, in every neighborhood. The administration has been open about their intent in boosting housing production, and there’s been some data released recently that shows that the increase in residential rents has started to level off. I think that’s got to be, at least to some extent, a result of the increase in housing.”

“The administration has also been good on building new units in the affordable range, like Parcel 1B in the Bulfinch Triangle downtown. For that project, they did a lot of work in terms of tax treatment so that the residential component is entirely workforce affordable. The city appears to want to replicate that as much as possible.”

But as Boston moves in a positive direction on the housing front, Lawlor is giving his time and skills as both a volunteer and pro bono counsel to make sure that the city’s public spaces and walking, cycling, and transit infrastructure aren’t left behind.

“One area that hasn’t been moved forward as much has been the public realm parts of Boston – how our streets are configured, whethewest-endr they promote livability and safety or whether they are working against those priorities,” said Lawlor. “I think generally speaking there is still way too much space given over to cars. If you’re increasing housing and population in Boston, we really ought to be thinking about getting people around the city in different ways than just by car, and urgently improve our infrastructure for walking and biking and, yes, the T.”

To that end, Robinson+Cole has acted as pro bono counsel for The Congress for the New Urbanism’s New England Chapter (CNU), a non-profit that promotes walkable cities, towns, and neighborhoods where people have options for how they live, work, shop, and get around.

“New Urbanism is a philosophy around city building that is very much about restoring walkability to cities and new development,” said Lawlor. “In the post-war period, by and large, the U.S. decided that we weren’t going to be getting around in any way other than by car. So we didn’t invest in transit or walking, and we certainly didn’t invest in biking. That had huge consequences for the way we designed and built things and the way we have lived and continue to live now. That kind of auto-oriented development in our cities has had a lot of negative consequences.”

He points to the auto-oriented pattern of locating large parking lots in front of buildings rather than behind them, separating the building from the sidewalk and street.  “So, part of what CNU strives to do is bring the building close to the street. That creates a public realm that people want to be and walk around in.”

Lawlor also volunteers on the board of Walk Boston, where he works to make streets safer through traffic-calming design measures and increasing opportunities for walking and other active transportation modes.

“I become more involved  with WalkBoston and at the community level with the transition from the Menino to the Walsh administration, because I thought the opportunity was there for change. It’s an exciting period for Boston, and I think to get the most out of what we’re seeing, there needs to be a more fundamental change in how we’re managing our streets.lost_new_york_cover

One prime example of that fundamental change is Mayor Walsh’s adoption of Vision Zero in 2015, which is a policy and plan to reduce the number of traffic deaths of all kinds in Boston to zero by 2030. Pioneered in Stockholm in 1997, the Vision Zero concept is widely credited with a significant reduction in fatal and serious crashes on Sweden’s roads.

“It’s all about vehicle speed,” explained Lawlor. “If you get hit by a car going 20 miles per hour, your chances of surviving that crash are much, much better than if the car was going 30mph or faster.  You might walk away 85% of the time at a speed of twenty, but just 50% of the time at thirty, and just 15% of the time at forty. The default or background speed limit in Boston has been 30 mph forever, and we built the vast majority of our streets in a way that’s designed to let cars go even faster.

“As part of Vision Zero, Boston will very soon lower that default limit to 25 miles, and that’s a good start. But you also have to alter the streets to make them safer, because people won’t slow down just because the sign says so. This is an area that has been especially frustrating for advocates in this space because there’s so much to do and, so far, not enough resources dedicated to doing it. This is not to say that the agencies responsible for Vision Zero aren’t doing the best they can and are working extremely hard, or that Boston is not already a great place to live – all of that is true. Boston is a very walkable city with great people working in our government, but the last 10-15% – where our streets are just failing us – is what we’re missing, and we’re not going to get there by 2030 at the rate we’re going. We’ve got to pick up the pace.”

Picking up the pace on that last 15% is why Lawlor devotes time both in and out of the office to the subject that first drew him in from the pages of Lost New York.

“It’s both what I do for work and what I do outside of work as something I’m deeply interested in,” he said. “The two definitely go together.”

Voices of the Bar 9/22/16: What Is the Most Unique Way a New Client Has Heard About You?

In the coming weeks, the BBA will host several programs where experts will discuss marketing strategies and resources for attorneys. In the 21st century, it’s increasingly within reach for lawyers to build their own brand. However, there is always the old adage that word of mouth represents the best form of advertising  – and we think there’s something to be said for that, too.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

“What is the most unique way a new client has heard about your practice?

Jacquelyn Redmond – J. Redmond Law PC
“I represent clients in their home purchase and sales. I had a client who owned his own hair salon. He was chatting with one of his customers while cutting their hair. The topic turned to home buying. My client told his customer about me and recommended me. I ended up helping my client’s customer buy his first home the next month. It is so rewarding to be referred by past clients and fun when the connection comes about in unexpected ways.”

Gayle Stone-Turesky – Stone, Stone & Creem
“My mother, Ida Stone, graduated law school in the 30’s when there were five women in her class.  She started our practice with my father, Jacob.  Our firm concentrates in family law and my mother would often network at the supermarket and the bakery.  It was not unusual for a client to call for a consultation and tell us that they met a woman lawyer at the bakery who recommended our firm.   I don’t believe that my mother realized it at the time but she was developing the “old girls” network.”

Jamy Buchanan Madeja – Buchanan & Associates
“Twenty years ago, diving for abalone in the Pacific Ocean, I nearly drowned and, incongruously, discussed my environmental law practice back in Massachusetts with my rescuer on the flailing swim back.  Still a client and close friend.”

Kristen Scammon – Torres, Scammon, Hincks & Day
“The vast majority of my new clients are referred to me by other attorneys, many of whom I have known since law school (20 years ago).  While this is a fairly traditional path to obtaining clients, I can safely say that my law school classmates who refer clients to me are definitely unique and interesting!”

Ellen Kief – Law Office of Ellen S. Kief
“I was on a bicycle trip crossing with a team of riders round-trip from US to Canada. Some folks had questions about passports and entry. Speaking French to the officer at the crossing, no one understood what was going on, and we had a fun time of it. Folks soon realized I practice U.S. immigration law and asked for my contact information. Thankfully, no immigration work was necessary at that time, but I did get some referrals!”

Zoe Zhang-Louie – Zhang-Louie Immigration Counsel
“The most interesting way that I made a connection was through LinkedIn. I have in my short introduction under my profile picture that I am a Business Immigration Attorney. I was going through adding almost everyone that came up as suggested connections. Recently, an international business owner, with whom I connected through this method, actually sent a message to me. Though this has not yet resulted in paying clients, I am optimistic that it will in the future.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/15/16: What Do You Wish You Had Known in Law School?

A program we enjoyed presenting this week was“What I Wish I’d Known in Law School,” and it was just what it sounds like. As our law student members get back into the swing of the school year, we wanted to hear from some of our more seasoned members about what they wish they’d known as they worked hard studying the law. Our panel was not the only place to sound off!

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to ask:

“What do you wish you had known in law school?”

Lauren Corbett – Beck Reed Riden
“Practical skills are much more valuable as a new lawyer than theories and cases. Take advantage of every opportunity to get hands-on experience, whether its through an internship, clinic, or coursework. This will have the double advantage of preparing you for practice and growing your network. ”

Meredith Hiller – Holland & Knight
“I wish I had known in law school that it’s hard to know exactly what you want to do until you’ve tried some different things.  I wish I’d also known how important I find it to have a job that is interesting and that constantly allows me to learn.”

Valerie Moore – Ferriter Scobbo & Rodophele
“I wish I had known the importance of starting to build my network early and had acted on it. There are many opportunities available to law students to network with the Boston legal community and I wish I had taken more advantage of them while in school.

Joel Reck – The Mediation Group
“As a young guy who is about to participate in his 50th law school reunion next month, I have mixed positive and negative memories of my law school experience.  I never loved it.  I wish that I had known how much I would come to love our profession and the doors that it would open to participate in our society in a variety of ways.  My head was too much in books and classes.  I did not think enough about how the law could provide a platform for giving back, which would, in turn, provide a profound sense of professional and personal fulfillment.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 9/8/2016: What Are You Most Looking Forward To This Program Year?

With the new program year just beginning, we thought it would be great to hear from some of our section co-chairs about what’s ahead.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

What Are You Most Looking Forward To This Program Year?”

Real Estate Section

Daniel P. Dain – Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
“I am the co-chair of the BBA’s Land Use and Development Subcommittee. Last year, our theme for our monthly brown bag lunches was working with the professional team, including civil engineers, architects, permitting consultants, and others. This year, our theme is going to be hearing from real estate developers themselves about how they do their business, how they work with outside counsel, what their concerns are, and what are their thoughts and strategies for the future.”

Labor & Employment Law Section

William E. Hannum III – Schwartz Hannum PC and Robert A. Fisher – Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Section Co-Chairs

“Our goals for the Labor & Employment Section Steering Committee are: to provide timely continuing legal education; to promote discussion regarding new or important issues facing labor and employment law practitioners; to promote friendship and professionalism; and to help fulfill President Carol Starkey’s vision of providing programs offering thought leadership.”

 

Voices of the Bar 9/1/2016: A Year in Voices of the Bar

Our new program year begins today, and we have so much to look forward to! With a change in the BBA’s volunteer leadership and new programs filling up the calendar, September is always an exciting time here.

But as one program year ends and the next one begins, we also have many occasions to reflect. So for this week’s Voices of the Bar, we thought it would be fitting to look back at some of our favorite questions from last year.

We asked members:

…What first brought them to 16 Beacon:

Kathryn Van Wie – Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“Having just finished law school in North Carolina, I relocated to Boston to take the bar exam and begin the job search in a state I had visited only twice. The BBA was my first stop and an integral step in connecting with the Boston legal community. I had my sights set to work in house, but I was aware I would be fighting an uphill battle to find an entry-level attorney position. Through the BBA’s industry-specific events, as well as general networking events, I was able to better hone my search, develop my network, and eventually found a role that continues to challenge and excite me. ”

…About their most memorable moment practicing in front of a judge:

J.W. Carney – Carney & Associates
“I will never forget the day that a District Attorney moved to dismiss three criminal convictions against Dennis Maher after he was exonerated by DNA testing. He had served 19 years in prison, and I had been his prosecutor.”

 

…What they enjoyed most about volunteering for our Law Day in the Schools program, during which they traveled to schools in Boston and educated students about Miranda rights:

Bruce Falby – DLA Piper
“My partner Mike McGurk and I oversaw a trial of the big bad wolf in a fourth grade classroom at Samuel Adams School in East Boston.  I’ll remember two things.  First, the jury was out all of 2 minutes before coming back with a verdict finding the wolf guilty of deliberating blowing down houses and eating pigs, yet when we polled the witnesses, both prosecution and defense, they would have acquitted.  Second, the defense attorney departed from the script by making an extemporaneous  argument for reconsideration after the jury came back.  Procedurally irregular, but we admired his passion.”

…Which Supreme Court Decision is most important to them:

Carol Starkey – Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford (Current BBA President)
“The case that had the greatest impact on me personally, and in my view, on the country as a whole, was Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.  (2015), the landmark Unites States Supreme Court case in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Justice Kennedy pointed to the evolution of our understanding of injustice when he wrote, “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.” And so it was with the Obergefell decision.”

And finally, we asked members what they thought about the now-infamous government order that Apple unlock an iPhone on the grounds that it contained vital evidence pertaining to the San Bernardino shooting. So many attorneys weighed in on the conflict between investigating the crime and avoiding setting a dangerous precedent that it’s difficult to pick just one response to highlight! We encourage you to look at the original post and read the fascinating discourse.

Thank you so much to everyone who answered a question during this past program year!

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 8/25/16: What Was the Most Memorable Moment of the Rio Olympics?

Though the Olympics have come to an end, everyone is still talking about them. From scandal to successes, the Olympics have dominated the headlines and office discussions for weeks. We wanted to know what stood out to our members.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to ask:

” What was the most memorable moment of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio?”

Stacey Friends – Ruberto, Israel & Weiner
“For me, the highlight of the Olympics was cheering on the Women’s Gymnastics team from a ranch in Montana surrounded by guests and staff from France, California, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and of course, Montana, and all agreeing that it was the team’s artistic choreography, especially Simone’s, that made them stand out.”

Ruselle Robinson – Posternak Blankstein & Lund 
“My most memorable moment was the gold medal game for women’s basketball.  As the father of two daughters and a fan of women’s basketball, I loved watching the teamwork and remarkable skill level of the dominant USA National Team.  Terrific players led by a great coach, Geno Auriemma.”

Karl Fryzel – Locke Lord
“The Rio Games were spectacular. I always try to catch the swimming, gymnastics and track and field events, all sports where the US team usually excels and these Games did not disappoint. Of all the memorable moments, the one I found very special was the gold medal race in the women’s 100M freestyle which was won by Simone Manuel of the US. It was special because she was not expected to win this race but she gave it her all and surprised everyone including herself. It was also the first individual Olympic gold medal by an African-American woman in swimming and her time set a new Olympic record. The events resulting in ‘first’s’ in certain categories are the most memorable.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].

Voices of the Bar 8/11/16: What is the Highlight of Having a Summer Jobs Student in the Office?

It’s hard to believe our Summer Jobs students are already most of the way through their summer employment experiences.

Next week, we will host a celebration to commemorate their contributions to the law offices and legal services organizations over the course of the summer. But in the meantime, we wanted to see what their employers think.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to some of this summer’s employers to ask:

” What is the highlight of Having a Summer Jobs student in your office?”

J.D. Smeallie – Holland & Knight
“I would have to say his intellectual curiosity and initiative. Ben Tayag from Boston Latin attended a hearing with me on a major motion. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge asked counsel to submit post-hearing briefs. The next morning, I got an email from Ben. Without any instruction or prompting, he had found a very recent case right on point on the key issue. Needless to say, we were all very impressed. An offer to return next summer as an equity partner is in the works!”

Sharon Armour – Massachusetts Law Reform Institute 
“It’s nice seeing the interest that the kids come in and have. I like being able to make connections between the work we are doing and the things that interest them.”

 

Sean Nehill – Boston Redevelopment Authority
It has been an absolute pleasure working with our Boston Bar Association Summer Jobs Program intern, Sherley Muscade.  The energy, diligence, and humor that she brings to the office every single day has been a highlight of the summer.  We have been lucky to have such a superstar in the Office of General Counsel, and we are excited to see what is next for her.

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].