Editor’s Note: Alex Porter will serve as the President of the Boston College Law Students Association for the 2016-17 academic year. Much like his predecessor, Alex embodies the very best qualities that BC Law students have to offer. As a member of the Boston College Law Review alongside him, I know for a fact that as incoming students you will be in very capable hands. Without further ado, I am very pleased to present his welcome letter to the Class of 2019.Congratulations on your admission to Boston College Law School!
This August, you will become the newest (and most celebrated!) members of our truly extraordinary community. It is a community that eschews one-size-fits-all happiness because we choose instead to value the whole person. Here, it matters that you were the captain of your track team in college, or served as an aide to the Secretary of Transportation, or had first-hand knowledge of tort law due to an unfortunate car accident. Here, whether your family came on the Mayflower or whether you just stepped off the plane from Bangalore, your classmates will want to know – and will value – your story. Please understand that this doesn’t mean an easy ride; you will work harder than you ever have in your life, and you will be challenged to achieve more than you thought possible in the classroom and beyond. But you will do it in a supportive, caring environment that lifts you up so we all get there together, rather than tearing you down.
Friendly competition can be a great thing, but cutthroat competition is not, and we won’t stand for that here.
Our community’s values are long-standing and come straight from the top. Before arriving at BC Law, alumni told me that the school was a “friendly” place when they had been here 30 years ago. Time often works changes, but the clear and steadfast message that I received during Orientation proved that the collegial spirit of BC Law remains strong. During his relatively brief speech to our class, Dean Rougeau twice intoned that we were to be good to each other.
Our class took the Dean’s statement to heart. Now, when I think of BC Law, “friendship” is the first word that comes to mind. My section quickly became a group of my closest friends, a surrogate family united through trial and through triumph. We bonded during the moments when we shared our raw humanity with each other. Together with our classmates, we struggled with memo deadlines, let loose at Bar Reviews, competed in Negotiation, embarrassed ourselves at Halloween, stressed over exams, and slid down the ski slopes at Killington.
We benefited – and continue to benefit – from the care and knowledge of world-class professors. Many literally wrote the book on their respective topics. Yes, those first cold calls were terrifying. But now, those same professors are our greatest advocates. They are scholarly superstars, but they make time for us first. They welcome us to their homes, involve us in their research, and offer us their counsel. We prepare for class because they reemphasize the love of learning that attracted us to law school in the first place. In turn, they guide our inquiry, get to know our passions – both academic and personal – and go to the mat for us when it comes time to submit job and clerkship references.
The privilege of learning from and getting to know our outstanding faculty is just one of many opportunities that BC Law School provides to its students. On any given week, you may read a case that changed the course of history, talk with a classmate who just finished arguing for a client in front of the Ninth Circuit in California, dance for hours with close friends at a Bar Review (our socials, not study sessions gone wild), or down the free coffee that Dining Services provides during exam time. You might go to a BC football game with your journal, throw your Bluebook against the wall at memo time, cheese in the photo booth at Prom, or hear a prominent alumna speak about social justice at the annual Public Interest Legal Foundation Auction. It’s almost a given that you will meet our dedicated alumni, who, as partners at firms around the country and as prominent members of the bench, loyally support the next generation of BC Law students. When they say there is no stronger alumni network in the country, they mean it.
As President-Elect of our student government, the Law Students Association, I welcome you to the Class of 2019. If you’re still on the fence about committing to BC Law, I encourage you to come. My classmates and I look forward to meeting each of you next August!
Alex Porter is a 2L at Boston College Law School and the incoming President of the Boston College Law Students Association (LSA). He currently is Treasurer of the LSA, a staff writer on the Boston College Law Review, and a member of Lambda. Last year, he served as an LSA Representative for his 1L section. To contact Alex, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a message in the comments below.