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

59 thoughts I had during my first week as a summer associate

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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The Admitted Students Guidebook: the definitive treatise on “Things I Wish I Knew”

My mom always taught me that wherever you go, you should try to leave that place a little better than when you found it.

For those of you who don’t know my segment on Impact, I’m the “Things I Wish I Knew” gal, bringing you little tidbits of hopefully helpful advice from the perspective of someone who felt like she had quite a learning curve for this whole law school thing. I figure that my mistakes and triumphs might make things easier for some of you, so I’m happy to share whatever wisdom I can.

But among all the studying and class and work and job searching, I’ve been working on a little something else, too.

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LSA Year in Review

Hi everyone! I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from our two fearless Law Student Association leaders from this past year, President Nirav Bhatt and Vice President Andrea Clavijo.

 Nirav was also a civil procedure teaching assistant for Professor Mark Brodin, the former president of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), and a former 2L and 1L representative of the LSA. Andrea (or Dre, as her friends know her) was the founder of the BC Law Ambassadors program, a member of the Criminal Procedure Moot Court Team, and executive board member of the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), and a former secretary and 1L representative of the LSA. Both are amazing Eagles, friends, and people, and, on a personal note, my law school experience would not have been the same without them.


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Dear BC Law,

Thank you. As your outgoing elected leaders, we want to first and foremost send a huge thank you to all of you for your votes in confidence, your support and attendance at events, and, ultimately, your insightful and thoughtful suggestions to improve the student experience at BC Law. It has been an honor to represent the interests and needs of each and every one of you.

The BC Law community rightfully expects the Law Students Association (LSA), the student government on campus, to voice student concerns to the administration, preserve traditional programming that students have grown accustomed to, and use our resources and access to administrative leadership to continually improve student life at BC Law on all fronts – socially, academically, and professionally.

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BC Law Employment Statistics (Class of 2015)

Law schools across the country, including Boston College Law School, recently released employment statistics for the class of 2015. These statistics represent reported employment outcomes of students ten months after graduation, in compliance with ABA requirements.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Overall employment increased from 90.1% from the Class of 2014 to 91.5% for the Class of 2015.
  • Employment in full-time, long-term bar passage required/JD advantage jobs increased from 83.88% from the Class of 2014 to 85.4% for the Class of 2015.
  • BC Law placed 41% of graduates from the Class of 2015 in federal clerkships or with large law firms (100+ attorneys).

This last figure is particularly notable, as it exceeds the percentage for similarly-ranked schools, including Boston University School of Law, Notre Dame Law School, Fordham University School of Law, and highly-regarded national schools such as Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, and USC Gould School of Law.

These employment statistics are a testament to BC Law’s career services department (including Heather Hayes and Leslie LeBlanc), as well as BC Law’s alumni network and faculty.

 


Pat Venter is a 3L at BC Law. For information on computation of these statistics feel free to contact patrick.venter@bc.edu