News, Events & Publications

BBA LRS Launches Spanish Language Website

This month, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) launched a new Spanish-language website.  The website provides all of the same features found on our main site, and has a fully responsive design to mobile and tablet technologies.  The BBA LRS has been committed to connecting historically underserved populations with lawyers and legal resources for over 50 years.  The LRS has a bilingual staff member and developed the site in response to the increase of Spanish callers over the years.

Check out the Lawyer Referral Service’s new Spanish site directly at www.bostonbarlawyer.org/es or through the language toggle option located at the top this site.

lrs-espanol

BBA LRS at Boston Pride

This past weekend, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) joined thousands celebrating the LGBT community at the 44th annual Boston Pride Festival. BBA staff set up their booth at City Hall Plaza to reach out to the community, informing attendees on how to obtain legal assistance through the Lawyer Referral Service, the largest public service program of the Boston Bar Association. We make referrals to lawyers and other legal resources that specialize in the area of law related to your specific situation. We have attorneys that practice in almost 350+ areas of law, and are the only ABA-approved lawyer referral service in Eastern Massachusetts. To request a lawyer, please call us at 617-742-0625, or submit a request online, here. BBA LRS Pride Table

BBA LRS Honors Victim Rights Month

At the end of April, the BBA LRS attended the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance’s (MOVA) 2014 Victim Rights Conference in honor of Victim Rights Month in Massachusetts and National Crime Victim Rights Week.  The conference brought survivors and victim service providers together at Seaport World Trade Center for a day of learning and networking via multiple workshops and exhibits. As an exhibitor, the BBA LRS spread the word about the services of the program to the conference attendees.  In addition to highlighting the LRS and its reduced-fee panels, the LRS table had information about special projects for those affected by the Marathon Bombings, and the Military Legal Helpline.  If you need legal assistance please call us at 617-742-0625, or fill out an online request.

Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director opens the conference with remarks about the 30th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights and the federal Victim of Crime Act.

Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director opens the conference with remarks about the 30th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights and the federal Victim of Crime Act.

BBA Marathon Assistance Project

After the tragic events on Marathon Monday, the BBA offered pro bono legal assistance to small business and victims affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. The BBA recruited over 200 attorneys, firms, and law schools who were eager to help. The Lawyer Referral Service was able to match 65 small business owners and individual victims with volunteer attorneys. Below you will see a highlight of some of the clients we helped. If you need legal assistance please contact us.

Boston Bar Association Marathon Assistance Project

The BBA ‘Marathon Assistance Project’ has been an essential part of a 360 degree response to aid victims of this tragedy.
Liam Lowney Liam Lowney Executive Director, Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA)

“The Association has bent over backwards placing clients with exceptional legal professionals who have assisted families with varied needs. The Boston Bar has always been an essential partner in serving all crime victims… I’m proud to have worked with the Boston Bar on this project and look forward to continued collaborations in the days and years to come.”

- Liam Lowney

The Marathon Assistance Project

After launching the project to help small businesses following the attacks, new needs began to emerge. The bar rose to the occasion again – an overwhelming number of BBA members volunteered to provide help to those in need. Here’s the story, as told by four volunteer attorneys:

Searching for a Way to Give Back

Maura Greene – Law Office of Maura Greene

Maura Greene“I attended the service in the South End where President Obama spoke and sat next to a number of first responders – they were Longwood Orthopedic Surgeons, and I was thanking them. At the time I was thinking that they had such a skill set that that could be useful in the aftermath. I thought ‘what could I do?’ The BBA’s request finally gave me something concrete to do, a real way I could help, provide assistance, and be of use following the events of the Marathon.”
Maura wanted to do something to help support the people whose lives had been forever changed by the Marathon bombing. Read more of her story here.

Sorting Through the Issues

Amy Lipman-White – Law Office of Lipman & White

Amy Lipman-White“My client was a volunteer at the finish line with the Boston Athletic Association on the day of the bombings. The client was significantly affected by the bombing and as a result, missed numerous days of work. The lost income from work, in turn, resulted in being behind on the client’s rent. The client received an eviction notice and had a court date scheduled.”
Amy represented a medical tent volunteer who was so distraught by the events of the day that he had trouble returning to work. Learn more about the assistance she provided here.

Providing the Help that Only a Lawyer Could

Susan Baronoff – Murtha Cullina

Susan Baronoff” I worked with my client, state victim compensation and assistance personnel (from the AG’s Office and MOVA) on a variety of issues including victim compensation payments, and other available services and sources of benefits. I have been in contact with social workers, medical personnel and other organizations assisting Marathon bombing victims, all of whom have been providing help to my client”
After the bombings, Susan felt like she needed to “do something.” See the ways she helped her client here.

Looking Back

Christopher Strang – Desmond, Strang & Scott

Christopher StrangI am glad the BBA was there to provide an avenue for victims to get the help they needed. The most memorable moment of the experience for me was when a client said that my advice gave her ‘some comfort.’ In a situation like this, that’s all I could ask for – the opportunity to make these people feel a little bit better about what they are dealing with.”
Chris’ desire to help resulted in him advising a number of clients affected by the bombing. Learn more about his experience here.

The Issues

The situations described above weren’t the only ones that Marathon Assistance Project volunteers helped with. They also dealt with:

One Fund Claims

One Fund Claims and Massachusetts Crime Victims Compensation Applications

Tax

Tax repercussions of funding from private and public donations

Street Vendor

Education and school discipline issues

Privacy

Employment, privacy and health insurance issues

Construction

Construction contracts for injured clients who were making their homes more accessible

The Boston Bar Journal

On Wednesday, April 2nd, the Boston Bar Journal released its Spring 2014 Edition, which included four feature stories about attorneys experiences representing clients in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Read the Spring 2014 Boston Bar Journal here.

Want to Help?

100% of every donation to the Boston Bar Foundation Public Service Fund supports BBA projects like the Marathon Assistance Project, and will help us continue to be a first responder and have a positive impact in the City of Boston. Learn more.

BBA LRS Boosts Legal Assistance for Our Troops and Veterans’

We are proud to report that since the transfer of the Military Legal Help Line to the BBA LRS on September 1st, we have received calls from more than 250 military personnel, veterans and family members.  Through the expansion of the Boston Bar Association’s Veterans’ Initiative, we were able connect 65% more callers to lawyers and legal services than last year.

The lawyers that accept referrals through the Military Legal Help Line are trained to assist with the unique legal issues facing this population, and accept reduced-fee and regular fee cases.

If you are an Active Duty Military Member, Veteran, or family member of either group looking for legal assistance, you can access the Military Legal Helpline by calling the BBA Lawyer Referral Service main number, 617-742-0625, or submitting an online request.

To read more details on our impact, please visit the BBA’s Public Service blog, Beyond the Billable.

Veterans Initiative Photo

BBA LRS Joins 8,000 at Quincy Lunar Festival

This past Sunday, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff joined 8,000 guests at North Quincy High School to celebrate the Quincy Lunar Festival as part of its ongoing community outreach. This marked the 26th year for the event hosted by the Quincy Asian Resources, Inc, and the 4th year the BBA LRS attended.

Staff answered questions and explained to attendees how to they could obtain legal referrals from the BBA LRS.  The LRS makes referrals to bilingual attorneys, and has attorneys that speak more than 15 languages.

This event provided an excellent opportunity for BBA staff to talk to the growing Asian-American community, and others about how to obtain a lawyer from the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, the only ABA-approved lawyer referral service in the greater Boston area.

To request a lawyer, please call us at 617-742-0625, or submit a request online, here.

2014 Quincy Lunar Festival

BBA Trains Lawyers on Limited Assistance Representation (LAR)

The Boston Bar Association just held its annual training for lawyers on how to provide Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) services for clients.  For clients, hiring a lawyer certified in Limited Assistance Representation may be an affordable way obtain legal assistance with your issue, usually at a lower cost than some traditional forms of representation.  This option is appropriate for clients who need legal representation in a single aspect of a case, but cannot afford the full costs of an attorney.  If you would like more information on how a LAR certified attorney can help you, please call the BBA Lawyer Referral Service main number, 617-742-0625, or submit an online request.  Currently, LAR is allowed in the Probate and Family Court, Land Court, Housing Court, Boston Municipal Court for civil cases, as well as certain civil proceedings in the District Court.

For attorneys interested in becoming LAR certified, there will be another certification training at the BBA on March 13th

                                                                        .LAR Training

BBA LRS attends Massachusetts Conference for Women

The BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) staff set up shop at the 9th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, which drew more than 10,000 women from across the state and New England on December 5th.

This year’s conference, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center featured keynote addresses and breakout sessions led by more than one hundred experts in the fields of business, philanthropy, finance, media and professional development.

Hundreds of attendees stopped by the BBA’s booth, inquiring as to how they could receive referrals through the Lawyer Referral Service, and about the BBA’s Mission and role in the community.

The Massachusetts Conference for Women is the largest outreach and marketing event of the year for the BBA LRS, who participates in approximately 10 outreach events yearly.

Mass Womens Conference

BBA Military Helpline Update

Since the move of the Military Legal Helpline to the BBA Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) at the beginning of September, we have received more than 75 calls from military members, veterans, and their families. We have nearly 30 attorneys accepting referrals through the military and veteran panels of the LRS.

Callers will be referred to qualified attorneys, or government or non-profit agencies if appropriate.

If you are an Active Duty Military Member, Veteran, or family member of either group looking for legal assistance, you can access the Military Legal Helpline by calling the BBA Lawyer Referral Service main number, 617-742-0625, or submitting an online request.

If you are an attorney interested in accepting referrals through the Military Legal Helpline, please fill out the form on the For Attorneys page of the website, located here.

BBA Begins Military Helpline Training

Last week, attorneys were trained at the BBA on representing Military Personnel & Veterans in Family Law and Domestic Relations cases. Training topics included the unique family law issues that military members and veterans face, such as the Service members Civil Relief Act, jurisdictional issues, and division of military retirement pay.

The BBA has expanded its commitment to aiding military members, veterans, & their families this year, most recently with the adoption of the Military Legal Help Line by the BBA Lawyer Referral Service, and by launching a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) series, which will encourage participants to cases on behalf of veterans and military personnel. The remaining sessions in the 4-part program series, called ‘Representing Military Personnel and Veterans,’ are the following:

10/17 – Bankruptcy and Consumer Finance

11/7 – Estate Planning, Employment Law, and Landlord/Tenant Law

11/21 – Veterans Benefits

If you are an Active Duty Military Member, Veteran, or family member of either group looking for legal assistance, you can access the Military Legal Helpline by calling the BBA Lawyer Referral Service 617-742-0625, or submitting an online request.