Of Our Fallen Professor, Justice Antonin Scalia

A shockwave disrupted the country on the afternoon of February 13, 2016, when we learned that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away unexpectedly at the age of 79. The fascinating political and legal ramifications of Justice Scalia’s sudden death are yet to unfold, but what is certain is that American law students have lost a brilliant and consequential legal instructor. Continue reading

Meet the Ambassador: Sarah Shaw

Name: Sarah Shawunnamed

Year: 1L (Class of 2018)

Undergraduate institution: Northeastern University, B.S. in Political Science, Class of 2012, graduated magna cum laude

Experiences between college and law school: I earned my M.A. in Political Science with a focus on Voting Systems in American Government, Northeastern University 2013. I then worked at a litigation law firm in Waltham, MA for two years.

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Disgrace on Stage

Since I came to Boston College Law School in the Fall of 2013, the dialogue on campus about race and culture has moved front and center. This semester, part of that continuing dialogue has included BC Law’s promotion of Disgraced, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Muslim-American Ayad Akhtar. Huntington Theater Company summarized the play:

In Disgraced, high-powered New York lawyer Amir has climbed the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his Muslim roots. When he and his wife Emily host a dinner party, what starts as a friendly conversation escalates, shattering their views on race, religion, and each other.

As an American who was raised Muslim, I am acutely aware of how rare it is to find a central, three-dimensional depiction of our community in the mainstream media. The closest I can recall was the short-lived TLC reality show All-American Muslims, which went just eight episodes before succumbing to backlash from bigoted interest groups, cowed advertisers, and low ratings.

Even President Obama, in a touching speech during his recent historic visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, briefly mentioned our conspicuous absence in mainstream storytelling:

Part of what we have to do is to lift up the contributions of the Muslim-American community not when there’s a problem, but all the time. Our television shows should have some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security because it’s not that hard to do. There was a time when there were no black people on television. And you can tell good stories while still representing the reality of our communities.

So of course, I was excited to learn that Disgraced even existed. There is much to explore about the Muslim-American story, especially given how fundamentally it changed after 9/11. Since then, Muslim-Americans have been forced to reconcile our identities, both privately and publicly, in the wake of every atrocity carried out in our name. It has been distracting, dehumanizing, and exhausting to endure, not to mention frightening.

Finally, Disgraced was one of us earning the chance to share our story, truthfully and unapologetically; to humanize ourselves in a way that only great art can, warts and all.

I headed into Huntington Theater feeling optimistic and hopeful.

I left feeling betrayed, ashamed, and angry.

Spoilers ahead.

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Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 15: Mentors are basically life’s “Google Search” feature

“Mom, Dad, why don’t you just Google it?”

It’s a phrase I must have said a million times in my short 23 years. The basic premise there is that someone out there in the big wide world has had the same question, and there is always someone who knows more than you who has the answer.

Okay, but it’s one thing entirely to ask Google why a certain word you misspelled in a  text once has suddenly become your phones default spelling, and another entirely to ask how to navigate law school or find a job doing what you want with the salary and work-life balance you want given all of your specific life experiences.

That’s where mentorship comes in. And in a lot of ways, it’s even better than a Google search.

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Things You Wish You Had Gone To: The John and Abigail Adams Benefit

I have the honor of hosting a guest blog from Caroline Reilly, a 1L in the class of 2018 at BC. Caroline is a former journalism major who plans to go into public interest work/human rights/womens rights, and is one of the many 1Ls this year that made the awesome decision to attend the John and Abigail Adams “Night at the Museum” event sponsored by the Boston Bar this past weekend. For more information about Caroline’s experience at the event, as a BC Law student, or just in general, you can get in touch with her at reillycw@bc.edu. 

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The “Night at the Museum” movies are some of my favorite feel-good flicks. I love the idea of sleuthing around the museum (easily one of my favorite places any time of day) after-hours when the general public has retreated and the art is in a more rarely- and exclusively-seen state. So, when one of my friends forwarded the email promoting the John & Abigail Adams Benefit to members of our little “law school family,” I jumped on the opportunity, despite my habitual insistence on indulging my homebody inclinations on weekends.

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Opening Act II: A Twenty-Year Reunion

Hello everyone! This week, I’m hosting a guest blog from Tom Burton ‘96, the new Alumni Association President. I’m thrilled that he has agreed to write about his BC Law experience for Impact.

Tom chairs Mintz Levin’s Energy Technology Practice, which he founded over 12 years ago. His global practice focuses on complex corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, and securities transactions for energy and clean technology companies. He is ranked by Best Lawyers in America in the Corporate Law section, and he has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies. In the community, Tom serves as President of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association, Chairman of the Board of Overseers and Trustee of the New England Aquarium and an Advisory Committee Member of the Flutie Spectrum Enterprises, LLC. Tom is also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee, its Board of Directors equivalent.

Twenty years. For quite a few of you reading this post, twenty years is nearly a lifetime. For me, and for my classmates from ’96, it marks the halfway point in our careers. Our upcoming twenty-year reunion in November has given me pause to reflect on that slightly sobering fact, and to think about my BC Law friends and classmates. What strikes me the most are their tremendous professional successes across the board.

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I’m a Published Author in the Boston College Law Review

The most intense commitment I have made at BC Law is still my decision to join the Boston College Law Review during the summer after my 1L year. Estimating conservatively, I have devoted more time to BCLR than to the other classes I have taken over the past four semesters… combined.

By the time I graduate in May, I’ll have been involved with the publication of seven books’ worth of legal scholarship authored by professors from all over the country. I’ll have received a total of eight academic credits for the work I’ve done since my 2L year. But today is probably the most exciting day of my entire time on BCLR.

My Note is finally published! 

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