Giving Back in Boston

AAJ members will be busy in Boston next week, not only attending educational events at the AAJ Annual Convention, but also giving back to the local community. Please see below for a list of community service opportunities available to AAJ members in Boston.

On The Rise Service Project

AAJ Trial Lawyers Care Committee members will be volunteering at On The Rise (OTR) Saturday, July 22. Founded in 1995, OTR is a daytime resource and community for women in Greater Boston who are homeless or living in crisis. In a dignified home in Cambridge, Mass., OTR’s Safe Haven Program provides women with the essentials for daily survival (safety, clothes, food, showers) and builds trusting relationships that help women move beyond crisis toward greater well-being. The Saturday event is now full, but volunteers are needed to help purchase essential items to support the women at OTR. Items can be purchased directly from an Amazon wish list and shipped to OTR.

Donation Bins at Convention

Additionally, we are asking convention attendees to donate toiletries for OTR (including un-used or slightly used hotel amenities) in donation bins located in The HUB during exhibit hours. For those unable to attend a service project, this is a great way to still show your support for those in need.

Cradles to Crayons Service Project

The AAJ New Lawyers Division (NLD) will volunteer on Friday, July 21, from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m. at Cradles to Crayons, an organization focused on providing clothing, school supplies, toys, and more to children in need.

The LGBT Caucus and Minority Caucus will also help at Cradles to Crayons. The two groups are joining forces to make the greatest possible impact for this amazing organization. The group will be at Cradles to Crayons from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21.

Anyone who has attended a service project in the past can attest to what a great experience it is – helping out in the community while bonding with your fellow AAJ members.

All of the AAJ community service projects are also listed on the  AAJ 2017 Annual Convention website and app. If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please email marie.davignon@justice.org.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Boston and giving back to our host community!

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 7:51 pm in Community Outreach, Featured, General by Marie D'Avignon - RSS 2.0

Passion for Justice: Resources to Help Detained Immigrants

Policy changes under the new administration have led to a new and complicated immigration environment in the United States. One of the biggest effects we are seeing, is an increase in deportations and a lack of constitutional protections for detained immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, less than 20 percent of detained immigrants in the US have legal counsel in their deportation proceedings.

Many AAJ members have expressed concerns over this new dynamic and asked how they can help. We’ve compiled a list of resources and volunteer opportunities below for anyone who would like to lend a hand or learn more about the issues.


  • Through the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), you can sign up to be a volunteer or mentor in specific legal areas and receive training specific to immigration cases.
  • AILA’s Immigration 2017 webpage is a one-stop-shop for legal and policy analyses of the recent executive actions on immigration.
  • AILA and the American Bar Association have teamed up to encourage lawyers to stop “Notario Fraud” – individuals who falsely represent themselves as qualified to offer legal advice, often taking advantage of immigrants. The Stop Notario Fraud website provides legal resources to help prevent fraud at both the federal and state levels. They also provide resources for attorney and law enforcement and training materials including recorded webinars.
  • Stay up-to-date on legal and political actions related to immigration with AILA’s Immigration Politics Ticker.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • The Immigration Advocates Network has a Pro Bono Resource Center with a state-by-state map of organizations looking for pro bono volunteers and a calendar of upcoming trainings by state.
  • Advocates for Human Rights has a volunteer program with details on their take action page.
  • Volunteer opportunity in Georgia: The 1,800-bed Stewart Detention Center (run by private prison company CoreCivic) in Lumpkin, Georgia, is one of the largest – and most underserved – immigration detention centers in the country. The Detention Watch Network has written this report on this notorious facility, as part of its “Expose and Close” campaign. Volunteer lawyers will be doing intake, case/litigation prep, and bond hearings. Contact AILA for more information.
  • Volunteer opportunity in Texas: The Dilley Pro Bono Project needs volunteers to help represent detained immigrant children and their mothers – most of whom have fled horrific violence in Central America – at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX. The detention of these families is a shameful policy, and AILA has been at the forefront of advocacy to end family detention once and for all. Resources and background information on this fight can be found here. More than 20,000 children and mothers have been represented through the volunteer efforts in Dilley. If you are interested in volunteering, please email the project’s volunteer coordinator Crystal Massey at crystal@caraprobono.org. To learn more about additional opportunities to volunteer at a second family detention center in Karnes, TX, please see the CARA Family Detention Project

Thank you for your support!

Posted on June 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm in Charitable Foundations, Community Outreach, Featured, General, Pro Bono by Marie D'Avignon - RSS 2.0

End Distracted Driving

Trial lawyers Joel Feldman and Jeff Weinstein are leading the charge to encourage people to make better and safer choices when they get into a car. They are working to end distracted driving.

Weinstein said he realized how dangerous he was after a day out driving with his family. He was checking his phone while he was behind the wheel and his wife announced, “You’re going to kill all of us.” He realized she was not joking.  Soon thereafter, he started learning more about distracted driving – which is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths and close to 450,000 injury-producing accidents in the U.S. every year. In the past two years, he’s made presentations about distracted driving to more than 15,000 students and civic organization members in Texas.

For  Feldman, he suffered a personal tragedy. His daughter Casey, a college student, was hit and killed by a distracted driver. Feldman and his wife established the Casey Feldman Foundation to help organizations that aligned with Casey’s interests and activities. The foundation sponsors End Distracted Driving, which is dedicated to preserving life and promoting safety on a large scale through advocacy, education, and action.

Hundreds of trial lawyers across the U.S. and Canada are speaking with students about distracted driving, to help them and their families make safer driving decisions as part of the EndDD.org student awareness initiative.


Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm in Community Outreach, Featured by kloiacono - RSS 2.0