All of us at BC Law Impact want to make it clear that the contents of this guest post is addressed to those who deny the very real genocide happening in Xinjiang, and is not meant to group together or target anyone because of their race. We recognize that anti-Asian racism is a very real and terrible thing, and we stand with all Asian members of our community in denouncing hate in all its forms.
By Danny Abrahim
“There is no genocide.”
If you feel attacked by the words “genocide,” “human rights,” or “the Chinese government is committing an ethnic and cultural genocide against millions of Uyghurs and violating numerous international human rights laws in the process,” this blog post is not for you.
After BC Law’s student organizations MELSA, APALSA, HHRP, ILS, and the Boston College’s Center for Human Rights co-hosted a talk on the mass detention of Uyghurs in China’s predominantly Muslim city Xinjiang, three things became abundantly clear: one, that oppression abroad can reach college campuses within the United States; two, that state-sponsored violence occurring in other countries intersects with different practices of law and U.S. movements; and three, how powerful speaking up and listening can be.
Unfortunately, these lessons were not entirely contained in the speakers’ talks, but were demonstrated in part by the reaction some students had to the event.
One of the most interesting parts of my time at law school so far has been the opportunity to meet students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have come straight from completing their undergraduate degree while others have spent a significant amount of time in the workplace before starting at BC Law. From class discussions, it’s clear to me that everyone brings these experiences with them to law school and it’s fascinating to see the way in which people’s different perspectives inform how they intend to practise law.
As someone who isn’t from the U.S. originally, I think a lot about the ways in which my experience of growing up under a different legal system influences how I think about the law and the United States judicial system. For one thing, my ability to follow along in my constitutional law class this semester has definitely been hampered by my not knowing some of the foundational knowledge that students in the U.S. pick up either through osmosis or high school civics.
For this week’s blog post, I sat down with three international students at BC to find out a bit more about their own experiences of studying as international students and what led to them studying at a U.S. law school.
I came to law school not exactly sure about the type of law I wanted to practice, so I was particularly interested in experiential learning opportunities. Sure, I could learn about different legal fields and see how I liked them in practice during my summer internships, but clinics and externships would give me even more chances to try out various specialties and hopefully find what I was most passionate about. Knowing that these options are only available to 2Ls and 3Ls, I came into my first year ready to just hit the books and keep those other plans in the back of my mind for the upcoming semesters.
But Boston College Law School had different plans.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I am a transfer student,
But everyone forgets that I'm new.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, it is only fitting I declare my love for my valentine, BC Law. It’s been 170 days since my return, and I have yet to regret my decision of transferring. Like any great love story, it has not been entirely smooth sailing. I’ve had my moments where I experienced imposter syndrome, have been stressed out studying for finals, and pulled all-nighters to ensure I submit assignments on time. I’ve also had my share of new friendships, intramural softball wins, dance parties, and moments where I was smiling so hard my face started to hurt.
In the middle of my first semester, I expressed some self-doubt I was dealing with to my Labor Law professor, Thomas Kohler. After being fully remote for my 1L year, I was already adjusting to BC Law life, and the in-person aspect was just another layer of adjustment. Professor Kohler assured me that I was admitted to BC for a reason and that reason was not because they were pitying me; it was because I am smart and capable. This equipped me with the academic confidence I was lacking in myself.
It was fitting that the first word in New England about the retirement of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. from the National Football League came Saturday during a blizzard.
I remember the first Patriots game I ever watched was the 2001 AFC Championship Game against the Oakland Raiders, where Patriots kicker Adam Vinateri, following the controversial “tuck rule” play, made a field goal kick in heavy snow—the final act of the soon to be demolished Foxboro Stadium—which sent the Patriots on their way to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history, and launched the greatest dynasty and career in the history of professional sports.
Adam Schefter of ESPN posted on Twitter last week that the seven time Super Bowl champion, at 44 years old, was going to walk away from the game, which was soon met with doubt, as it appeared Brady’s camp attempted to throw cold water on the report, before Brady himself ultimately confirmed the announcement on Tuesday.
My Instagram feed filled with friends from Boston posting tributes, sharing childhood anecdotes, and admiring the career of #12.
Last week, BC Law announced the 2022 Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer, Mathew Rosengart.
Rosengart has risen to substantial acclaim in the past few months due to his representation of Britney Spears. The BC Law alumnus was selected by Spears and eventually led the charge to end Spears’s 14-year conservatorship (for those living under a rock, #FreeBritney trended through much of the last summer and fall and became an international movement among millions of the singer’s fans).
Beyond his work with Spears, Rosengart has had an illustrious career. In the past few years, he has focused his practice on entertainment law and white-collar litigation, representing other huge names like Sean Penn, Winona Ryder, Steven Spielberg, Eddie Vedder, Keanu Reeves, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler, as well as corporations Verizon and Facebook. (Side note–one of Rosengart’s clients, Sean Penn, described Rosengart as a “tough as nails street fighter with a big brain and bigger principles”). Rosengart also has an impressive record in public service, having served as a federal prosecutor and a clerk for Justice David Souter on the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
The speech is slated for February 22 at noon. Before then, you can check out BC Law Magazine’s article about Rosengart to learn more about this year’s Distinguished Lecturer.
Devon Sanders is a third-year student at BC Law and president of the Impact blog. Reach her at email@example.com.
The time has come once again for me to write a post for the Impact Blog. And yet, my mind is an empty, barren wasteland. I’ve got nothing cooking, there’s no fuel in the tank, the store is closed, lights are off, doors are locked, we’re finished, done, kaput. I simply cannot summon forth another word of unsolicited law school advice from the darkest recesses of my weak and feeble brain to foist upon the unsuspecting masses.
What I can do is watch a legal movie, and then tell you about it. Last year, similarly incapable of riffing 500-800 words about outlining or whatever, I catalogued ten minor inaccuracies about the law school experience portrayed in the documentary feature-film Legally Blonde. This time, I’ll be comprehensively scrutinizing My Cousin Vinny, a film centered around beleaguered Italian Americans starring Joe Pesci, and therefore, I assume, directed by Martin Scorsese.