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Contact: Michael Avitzur
Director of Government Relations

Record Setting M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Calls for Volunteers

The nationally recognized M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy program, a joint program of the Boston Bar Association and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, is off to a record start.  Now in its 8th year, the program -- developed with the goal of educating high school juniors and seniors on the rewards and importance of making smart financial decisions -- has signed up more than 440 juniors and seniors from seven high schools across the state, 140 more students than last year. What's next? The program needs lawyer volunteers to help teach one of the Financial Literacy modules, which include "Personal Finance & Budgeting," "Using Credit and Credit Cards," "Buying a Car" and "Consequences," a session taking place at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that includes a mock hearing before a presiding bankruptcy judge. The commitment is minimal, less than 5 hours total for training, travel and teaching. Not a bankruptcy attorney? No problem.

"Experience in bankruptcy law is in no way a prerequisite to volunteering" said Paul Connors of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, who is volunteering for the 2nd year in a row. "Much of the value we offer to the students comes from our own experiences outside of practicing law. The lesson plans provided are comprehensive and give a solid foundation for guiding discussion effectively, regardless of a volunteer's practice area and experience level. It's a great way to make a significant impact for those who are looking to make a difference, but might not have the time to take on a bigger commitment."

The schools who will be participating in the 2012 M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program include:
1. Reading High School
2. Peabody High School
3. South High School (Worcester)
4. Joseph P. Keefe Tech (Framingham)
5. East Boston High School
6. Fenway High School
7. Woburn High School

The program has reached over 1750 students throughout the state with the assistance of 400 volunteers. Want to learn more? Find out here or contact Public Service Coordinator Stephanie Lee at or 617-778-1914.

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.