The Boston Bar Association (BBA) Summer Jobs Program, a promising tool for introducing young people of color to the legal profession, reached a high-water mark in its 17-year history. After participating in a news conference featuring Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Damian Wilmot, president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, among others, 46 Boston Public High School students began their first day working at some of the most prestigious law firms and law-related entities in the city of Boston.
This year's numbers, marking a 58 percent increase from the previous year and a 180 percent increase from the inaugural year of the BBA Summer Jobs Program, can be attributed to the commitment of law firms and law offices to help build a more diverse and inclusive Boston legal community. An aggressive campaign co-chaired by David Rosenblatt, managing partner of Burns & Levinson, and Paula Andrews, a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder - buttressed by the generosity of the Boston Bar Foundation - proved especially effective in increasing the number of jobs the program was able to offer this summer.
A longstanding collaboration of the BBA, Boston School Department and Boston Private Industry Council, the program requires students to submit written applications, persuasive essays, and recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors. As part of the program, the 46 students will also learn about vital constitutional issues and financial literacy in weekly seminars held at the BBA's 16 Beacon Street headquarters.