Equal access to justice. The eighth annual Walk to the Hill brought together the legal community to Beacon Hill to emphasize the need for funding civil legal services. The program included, from left, Jack Cinquegrana, president of the Boston Bar Association; Julia Huston, president of the Womens Bar Association; Mark D Mason, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association; Elizabeth Anderson, featured speaker and paralegal for the Middlesex District Attorney; and Stephen Oleskey, chairman of the Equal Justice Coalition.
A record turnout for eighth annual Walk to the Hill
Elizabeth Anderson, a former legal aid client, sums up the need for civil legal assistance this way: “For the first time in 17 years, I had the help and protection I needed to free myself and my sons from abuse.”
Anderson, a paralegal with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, addressed the more than 500 attorneys attending the eighth annual Walk to the Hill at the Statehouse, which was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and the Equal Justice Coalition.
The event is designed to emphasize the need for legal services. This year, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Coalition is asking lawmakers to increase funding by $5 million to address the shortage of civil legal services for the state’s low-income residents.
“Although the Massachusetts legal community continues to make strides in improving access to justice for all Massachusetts citizens, it is a frustrating reality that the available resources fall short of the need,” said MBA President Mark D Mason. “By properly funding legal aid, we will have an overwhelmingly positive impact in the livelihoods of many low-income families throughout our commonwealth.”
Two major economic studies have concluded that legal aid is the only service that consistently brings down the level of domestic violence in the communities it serves. In addition, legal aid in domestic violence cases often results in health care coverage and collection of child support, saving further state dollars.
Last year, MLAC-funded legal aid programs provided individual assistance that benefited a total of 124,000 Massachusetts residents, including family members. This assistance was provided by 207 attorneys and 60 paralegals who counsel, advise and represent the clients of local programs.
Legal aid programs deliver assistance to low-income residents efficiently and effectively, collaborating extensively with other providers of services to low-income people in order to make the best use of limited resources.
MBA debuts Lawyers in Transition Conference May 3
Expert from Flex-Time Lawyers LLC to serve as keynote speaker
The Massachusetts Bar Association will present its first Lawyers in Transition Conference at Bentley College in Waltham on Thursday, May 3. Distinguished panelists and informative sessions will provide those attorneys who are entering or transitioning back into the practice of law an opportunity to sharpen their skills and learn about achieving career success and satisfaction. Hear from keynote speaker Deborah Epstein Henry of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC as she discusses the dynamics of re-entry into the legal profession. The conference will conclude with a networking reception at which attendees can interact with MBA mentors who practice in similar areas of the law.
For more information or to register, visit http://www2.massbar.org/resources/store/seminars.php?prod_id=1199 or call Member Services at (617) 338-0530.
Next week’s CLE offerings focus on family law, use of translators and preparing for law exams
To sign up for any of the following programs, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or click here to view the CLE listings online.
Recent Developments in Family Law
Course #: FLI07
Tuesday, March 27, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, Springfield
At this program, our distinguished speakers will review important recent cases and legislation, as well as address some of the challenging issues facing family law practitioners today. Key issues to be addressed include:
- Child support;
- Division of assets;
- Custody and visitation;
- Unmarried couples; and
- Jurisdiction, including PKPA, UIFSA and UCCJA/MCCJA.
Effective Use of Translators in Legal Matters
Luncheon roundtable – lunch provided
Course #: BLF07
Wednesday, March 28, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Global business and multilingual Americans and foreigners require doing business and litigating in more than one language. Having competent resources to assist in coordination of such matters is vital. Specific topics will include:
- Understanding industry terminology;
- Translating legal documents;
- Providing foreign language deposition support;
- Putting a translation team together;
- Courtroom translation support;
- Using an interpreter effectively; and
- Interpreter ethics.
Exam Writing and Legal Analysis
*includes continental breakfast
Course #: YLE07
Thursday, March 29, 10 a.m.–noon
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Learn practical tips from our expert panel on preparing to take your next law school exam at this free seminar.
** A pair of tickets to the Friday, May 11 Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles game will be raffled off at this program. You must be present to win. To register, call the MBA Member Services Center at (617) 338-0530.
Space is limited. Register by noon on Wednesday, March 28.
Elizabeth Broderick, Esq., moderator
Law Office of Elizabeth Broderick, Lowell
James A. Janda, Esq.
Director of Peer Mentoring and Bar Preparation Programs, Suffolk University Law School, Boston
Property Law Section Council hosts open meeting, April 4
The Property Law Section Council will be holding an open meeting for Property Law Section members on Wednesday, April 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.
The guest speaker will be Peter B. Farrow, an attorney with more than 20 years of experience as a real estate lawyer providing services to municipal and state government agencies, nonprofit organizations, commercial developers, corporations and individuals.
Topics for this meeting will include:
- Pending condominium fees legislation;
- Homestead legislation; and
- Statutory housing covenants legislation.
Materials for the seminar can be found on the Property Law Section Web page.
The topics for this meeting will include proposed condominium fees legislation (House 1275), homestead legislation (Senate 917) and statutory housing covenants legislation (Senate 754).
Those interested in attending should [e-mail jstevens]. Pre-registration is required as seating is limited.
Law Practice Management Section hosts discussion on disaster planning and recovery, April 10
Are you prepared for a disaster? Do you have a recovery plan in place? Are your clients and their confidentiality protected by the loss of your paper files or electronic documents?
The Law Practice Management Section Council will hold an open meeting for all Law Practice Management Section and Young Lawyers Division members on Tuesday, April 10 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the MBA’s Springfield office, 73 State St., Springfield
The panel for this meeting consists of Law Practice Management Section Chair Denise Guérin, a solo practitioner with the law firm of Denise M. Guérin PC; Terry Welsh, president, MBA Insurance Agency; and Steven Snyder of AmeriVault, a national data protection company. Panelists will discuss the following topics:
- How to prepare your law practice and protect your clients and business in the event of a disaster;
- The installation of response and backup plans for your online files, libraries and court docket;
- Rapid recovery solutions; and
- Risk management.
Please [e-mail jstevens] indicating whether you are interested in attending this meeting. Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis, as seating is limited.
Mass. Law Consortium seeks local attorneys to volunteer at Small/Medium Firm Expo on March 27
The Massachusetts Law School Consortium is seeking Boston attorneys at small and mid-sized firms to attend its March 27 Small/Medium Firm Expo to meet local law students. To volunteer for this program, contact Sarah Coffey, New England School of Law, at (617) 422-7228 or [e-mail scoffey]. See details below:
Mass. Law Consortium Small/Medium Firm Expo
A walk-around event for law students to meet and learn from attorneys in the small firm community.
Tuesday, March 27, 5-7 p.m. (reception to follow)
Suffolk University Law School
This program is a meet-and-greet between small/medium firms from the Greater Boston area and Boston law students. Representatives from local firms will host tables at the expo while students move around the room speaking with employers to learn more about their organizations, practice areas and life at a small/medium firm.
Co-sponsors: Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
The Massachusetts Law Consortium comprises the state's seven ABA-accredited law schools:
- Boston College Law School
- Boston University School of Law
- Harvard Law School
- New England School of Law
- Northeastern University School of Law
- Suffolk University Law School
- Western New England College School of Law
The mission of the consortium is to develop and promote career opportunities for its combined student and graduate population.
Be a mentor
What is a mentor?
The MBA’s Mentor Program serves as a rewarding opportunity for experienced attorneys to provide advice and direction to new practitioners, as well as to experienced colleagues who may be handling an unfamiliar area of law. MBA members who volunteer as mentors help to promote professionalism and collegiality within the legal profession. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, see the qualifications below.
To be a mentor, you must:
- Be an MBA member in good standing;
- Have practiced law for more than seven years;
- Agree to voluntarily advise other MBA members; and
- Consult on legal topics that constitute 50 percent or more of your practice.
Areas of practice
The MBA welcomes mentors on more than 150 areas of law.
For more information, call (617) 338-0691 or [e-mail mentor].
MBA special offer: Miami Heat tickets
Don't miss seeing Shaq, D-Wade, Paul Pierce and Big Al. Choose from $75 (reg. $85) or $60 (reg. $70) seats in the lower level and $30 (reg. $35) seats in the balcony.
To get tickets before they sell out, [e-mail massbardiscounts].
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