A Seed of Passion, Planted in Law School

Many of us have probably read a number of articles or heard various talks on immigration issues. However, it’s not every day that we hear from the man who oversees our nation’s immigration procedures and policies.

Two weeks ago, the director of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), Leon Rodriguez, came to BC Law to deliver the annual Owen M. Kupferschmid Holocaust/ Human Rights Project (HHRP) lecture. Rodriguez is a BC Law alum (Class of ‘88) and was involved in the HHRP himself when he was a student. Rodriguez attributed his passion for immigration work to his experiences at BC Law. He was particularly inspired by the HHRP and by fellow classmates who were passionate about human rights. Rodriguez has since dedicated his entire career to public service, working in various capacities such as assistant district attorney and assistant attorney general before joining the USCIS. His story is a reminder that our current law school experiences and relationships play a significant role in shaping our future career paths.

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All Majors Welcome

A common question law school applicants ask is “which college major should you choose if you want to go to law school?” In reality, it does not matter which major you choose; all majors are welcome in law school.

When I was an undergraduate, I studied applied math. After taking a few Constitutional Law classes, I grew to love legal analysis. This substantially influenced my decision to go to law school. I remember telling friends about my decision to apply to law school. Some were very supportive, but others would ask: “Why did you bother studying math, then?” or “I guess your math degree is now kind of a waste, huh?” or “why don’t you use your math degree and do something like banking or consulting.” It was honestly hard to come up with a response. I truly felt more passionate about the law than math. But I was also certain that the logic and problem solving skills I had spent four years developing would be helpful.

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The Conservative Legal Movement and the Importance of Intellectual Diversity in Law

I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”

-Charles de Montesquieu

I’m James Barasch, a 1L and I’m pleased to be joining Impact! I used to run a book review column and blog during my time at Tufts University, and I thought I’d continue that tradition here at BC Law.

Over Winter Break, in between holiday celebrations and summer job ponderings, I relaxed by reading “The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law” by Steven M. Teles. Starting in the 1970s, Conservatives sought to reverse the growth of legal liberalism by focusing on creating their own corps of professionals in law schools, public interest groups, and in the judiciary. Teles relates the story of political experimentation and individual innovators who organized and led this countermovement to significant successes and the prominent place many of its organizations, such as the Federalist Society, the Center for Individual Rights, and the Institute for Justice now hold in modern American legal culture.

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Muslim & American

Six years ago, I found myself in a situation on Capitol Hill that I could hardly believe was happening.

I walked through the tunnels of the Capitol Building, passed by the Speaker’s lobby, and descended down a series of stairs to approach the room HC-5. I took my shoes off, said my salaams to the other men and women entering the room, and sat down near the front. “Allah hu akbar.” The muezzin started the call to prayer.

More people continued to enter the room. Among them were Congressional staff, officials from various federal agencies (including the Department of Defense, the State Department, and Department of Health & Human Services), and members of the press. The man that sat on my right looked a bit confused, but eager to start the prayer. The man that sat to my left looked familiar, but I could not put a name to the face. Meanwhile, the call to prayer continued. The room was almost at capacity and nearly all eyes kept turning to the man sitting to my left.

As the muezzin ended the call to prayer, the khatib took the microphone and started the brief sermon. He gave his blessings and then introduced two men. The man sitting to my left was Congressman Keith Ellison, the first American Muslim elected to Congress. The man sitting to my right was the U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain, the first Roman Catholic priest to serve in that position. After a brief introduction, the Congressman and House Chaplain sat back down next to me. I was overwhelmed with emotions. “Allah hu akbar.” Everyone stood in unison as the Friday prayer began.

That’s when it hit me.

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Thinking About Running for Office? BC Law Alums Tell it Like it is

Is the West Wing your favorite show? Do you have a favorite debate watching drinking game? Is Leslie Knope your hero? More importantly, have you ever imagined yourself running for Office? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” then you were probably at the Rappaport Center’s panel discussion about running for Office. If not, I’ve got you covered.

The panel featured five notable BC Law Alums including State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg as moderator, and panelists State Senator Jamie Eldridge; Register of Probate for Plymouth County, Matt McDonough; former Boston City Councilor and 2013 City of Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly; and Newton Charter Commissioner, Bryan Barash. The panelists offered real insight into the nuts and bolts about running for office and the difficult realities that come along with being a public figure. The following are some of the topics that were discussed:

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