Issue June 2011

U.S. attorney, Suffolk Law dean praise mentors’ role

The 10 principles that U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz lives by, and the mentors that guided her, are what she credits with her successful rise to become Massachusetts' first Hispanic -- and first woman -- U.S. attorney.

"Dare to dream," Ortiz said, sharing the first of the 10 principles with participants of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Tiered Community Mentoring program at its April 28 final event at the John J. Moakley U.S. District Courthouse.

Court reform bill advances in House and Senate

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on May 11 to pass legislation that seeks to professionalize Trial Court operations and management by adding additional business expertise throughout the court system. Further, the bill would clarify lines of authority and reaffirm the Supreme Judicial Court's superintendency powers.

Justice Breyer lauds lawyers’ public service, wishes MBA ‘happy birthday

In his keynote speech at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Centennial Ball, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer celebrated the crucial role that lawyers play in shaping laws, fighting for the judiciary and educating and mentoring students.

MBA President Denise Squillante welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 people in the Sheraton Boston ballroom for the Centennial Ball. Breyer's keynote address on May 19 was the highlight of the two-day Centennial Conference.

Public interest law finding new degree of respect

Back in economically flush times, public interest law careers were regarded as the vocational redoubt for those who didn't make the cut at a law firm. David Stern, CEO for the nonprofit Equal Justice Works told The National Jurist in May 2009 that he noted a change in attitude, with a newfound respect for the accomplishments of public interest lawyers, and increased competition among students for positions leading to careers in public interest law. 

It's not because there are more jobs on the public side. The poor economy cut job opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors as much if not more than in the private sector. Instead, it's students' perception of what constitutes the real value of a law degree, and the realization that training in public service careers broadens their experience, making them more employable when the market picks up.