BOSTON (October 4, 2010) - On September 25, Christopher P. Sullivan, a partner in Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.'s Boston office and the President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA), accepted the FBA's 2010 Ilene and Michael Shaw Public Service Award and the 2010 Presidential Citation Award at the FBA Annual Convention in New Orleans. These awards were presented to the Massachusetts Chapter of the FBA for its Job Interviewing Skills Workshop for ex-offenders. Mr. Sullivan and his colleagues in the firm's Boston office were instrumental in the Massachusetts Chapter receiving these accolades, due to their hard work and dedication in creating, organizing and contributing to the workshop.
The first workshop, held on January 20, 2010 at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston, taught ex-offenders the necessary skills for a successful job interview. Participants learned proper interview techniques and were advised on how to handle tough questions about their criminal history. Participants were paired up with a volunteer mentor to serve as their personal coach as they went through the mock interview process. As coaches, the mentors reviewed mock job descriptions and helped the participants prepare for their interviews. The volunteer mentors were attorneys from the chapter, including many from the chapter's Young Lawyers Division as well as other local attorneys from governmental agencies and private firms.
During the mock interview phase of the workshop, participants and their individual mentors went through three different interviews applying for jobs as a food service worker, delivery driver and a staff/clerical worker. After each interview, the mentor would briefly review the session offering a critique of the interview to the participant. Armed with the mentor's feedback, the participant would then try to implement the critique in the next mock interview.
At the conclusion of the training, participants mentioned that they felt more confident and were more likely to find work after attending the workshop. Other participants expressed surprise and appreciation that so many lawyers gave their time and talents so freely to help ex-offenders turn their lives around.
Christopher P. Sullivan, President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the FBA said, "The chapter gratefully acknowledges the incredible energy and assistance the Job Interviewing Skills Workshop received from the U.S. District Court, the Federal Probation Office, the Federal Defenders Office and most all from all the volunteers who gave their time and talents to making this program the great success it was. With the help of our program partners, the chapter looks forward to putting on more workshops in the future."
Due to the great success of January's workshop, a second session was held on September 22, with future plans to expand and increase support for the Job Interviewing Skills Workshop.
Being named to the list or receiving the award is not intended and should not be viewed as comparative to other lawyers or to create an expectation about results that might be achieved in a future matter.