The Cases We Read: Pennoyer v. Neff

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “personal jurisdiction”?

Fear? Loathing? Confusion because you’re a 1L or prospective student who has no idea what this is?

One of the things that fascinated me most when I came to law school was the fact that here we are in the 21st century and we’re still studying cases from close to 200 years ago. Frankly, I was rather annoyed when I realized this—was I supposed to have come into law school with the word “forsooth” as part of my working lexicon?  Continue reading

What To Watch on Your Precious Study Breaks

In law school, our free time is precious, so how we spend it matters. Wasting time on a show you’re unsure you’ll like is just too risky. Never fear though, because I’m here.

I watch a lot of TV — admittedly too much. Everyone has their vice. Some people like a night out on the town, others treat themselves to a nice bottle of wine and some fancy cheese. I watch TV.

Here are my top suggestions for what to watch, whether you need some comfort, some time away from the law, or some inspiration.

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Yes, We Go to School Sponsored Athletic (Social) Events: Softball

The summer before my 1L year, I drove to Boston for the housing fair. It was the middle of the summer and I had no idea where to live (or who to live with). After the housing fair, there was a bar review at Cityside. I met some of my future classmates and some rising 2Ls that were kind enough to attend.

Andrea Clavijo, the former LSA Vice President, was one of those 2Ls. She told me that she made a lot of friends during 1L year by playing softball. “You have to play,” she said. “It’s really fun and you’ll meet so many of your friends.”

I have been a swimmer my entire life. I usually get a chuckle when I tell people that I’m not so great at land sports. I had never lifted a softball bat in my life. I couldn’t even remember the last time that I had played backyard whiffle ball.

Hits Out For The Boys ️⚾️ beer shower #vflirtyvfun #iamBClaw #kthxbye 📷 @ragcitay

A photo posted by Sara ChiChi Chehrehsa (@itschichimaybe) on

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Humans of BC Law: Laura and Bernard Zapata-Kim

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“We got married August 9th, 2014. We went to the Caribbean for three days, and then we came up to move in and go to orientation the next day. 1L year, we basically did everything together except go to class. We were both here that summer, and we realized that we both wanted the same thing: to go to a big firm and do corporate work. And then this past summer, our 2L summer, we were both in New York, and we’ll be going back there after graduation…with a baby! Continue reading

You’ll Be Fine. Trust Me.

My first year of law school was hard for a number of reasons. I commuted from the North Shore everyday to avoid the debacle of finding an apartment, but this meant a ninety minute trip to school and back every day. To make my 9 am Torts class in the Fall, I would take the commuter rail into the city, and then an hourlong Green Line train ride to Cleveland Circle, where I would either pick up the shuttle or bum a ride from a fellow student heading to campus (thank you Colleen, and thank you Karla, you two saved me).

Imposter syndrome compounded my anxiety and I went from being someone who was hard on herself to someone who was impossible with herself. I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough, that I would fail my finals, and that graduating (or even making it to 2L year) wasn’t a given. I spent most of the year walking the ever-thinning tightrope of telling myself I deserved to be at BC, while not getting so confident that I would slip up and lose focus.

Then my dog died.

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Toward Inclusivity and Cultural Competence

Hi everyone and happy summer! I am very pleased to be able to host a guest blog today from the BC Law Alumni Board member Ingrid Schroffner, Assistant General Counsel at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.


I am passionate about—and feel fortunate to be able to work on—diversity and unconscious bias issues at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). My cross-cultural upbringing and my experience as an Asian-American lawyer contribute to my interest in this area.

My maternal grandfather immigrated from Okinawa to Hawaii in the first part of the 20th century to work in the sugarcane fields. I attended Japanese school when I was a child, and my household was filled with Japanese culture.

I also have a cross-cultural, East-West perspective. My father is a first-generation immigrant from Salzburg, Austria. I learned German from my father (and later, in school) and spent a summer living and working in Austria with my relatives. None of my grandparents spoke English. These two diverse heritages comprise my background.

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My Summer with a Judge

What’s it like to be a judge?

It’s my sixth week of working for Judge Dineen Riviezzo of the Kings County (Brooklyn) Supreme Court. Judge Riviezzo hears felony cases and Article 10 civil confinement cases. Also, every Friday, she’s in charge of the juvenile offender part, where she hears cases involving 14, 15, and 16-year-olds who would normally be heard in Family Court, but because they commit certain serious crimes, are heard in Supreme Court (but are often afforded youthful offender treatment).

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View of Brooklyn from the Judge’s chambers

So far, I can say that being a judge requires three major qualities.

First, it requires patience. Whether it’s dealing with an attorney’s mistake, sorting out a disagreement between the parties, or waiting for a defendant to be produced or parties to show up, I’ve learned that for judges, every day is a test of patience. Continue reading

Summer Associate, Week 1: 59 Thoughts

Okay, so granted, I was also a summer associate last year.

Last summer, I wrote to you about what it was like to be a 1L at a firm and how much I was able to do despite how little we feel like we learn in law school. After having the honor of being asked back to the same firm for this summer, I decided to shake it up a little bit. I was feeling inspired by BuzzFeed’s recent posts of the same nature on Season 6 of Game of Thrones, so I decided to give you all an “unfiltered” peek into what my first week as a summer associate at a firm in Western New York was like, with some Michael Scott references peppered in — because, after all, I do work in an office.

  1. Heels hurt. I can practically hear my toes monologuing about why they hate me.
  2. Okay, but the way heels click across a floor makes you sound like a boss. I feel like I’m in the beginning of that Jordan Sparks song. Like, look at me, I’m important, I know where I’m going-
  3. Uh oh. Where am I going?
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These are a few of my favorite things

Yesterday was a day of celebration for me and my fellow 1Ls. It was the day that the writing competition was due. It was the day that we could finally embrace summer.

While all of us are understandably eager to have a break from school, I always like to leave a little room for nostalgia. Below are a few anecdotes that I gathered from my 1L friends about their favorite memories from this year, to remind us of what made our first year of law school so special. Enjoy!

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BC Law Students at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Hi everyone! I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from Jovalin Dedaj, BC Law ’16. Jovalin and Cristina Manzano, BC Law ’16, recently argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

As a law student, I knew that my legal education would involve reading cases, outlining cases, and studying cases. I certainly did not know (nor did I expect) that as a BC law student, my legal education would also involve arguing a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Jovalin Dedaj ’16 and Cristina Manzano ’16 at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

When Professor Kari Hong joined the BC faculty in 2012, she brought with her an extensive background in immigration law and appellate work. One of her first initiatives at the law school was setting up the Ninth Circuit Appellate Project (NCAP), a clinic devoted to representing indigent clients in the Ninth Circuit who face immigration consequences for various criminal convictions. I first heard about the clinic as a first-year law student and remember thinking to myself what an intimidating experience it would be to argue a case before a U.S. circuit court of appeals without even having graduated law school! Two years later, the feeling certainly returned the morning of our oral arguments.

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