“HA – I told you!” My friend shrieked smugly. I rolled my eyes, trying to conceal my annoyance. We had been bickering back and forth for a bit about something that happened a couple of years ago. She insisted that the events had gone a certain way, and I was equally certain that the story was something else. When we finally confirmed, I was irked to find that she was, in fact, right. Even though the subject matter itself was insignificant, I disliked hearing “I told you so.” I eventually forced myself to sheepishly say, “okay fine, you were right,” but I really did not want to.
No one likes to be wrong, whether it be in our personal or professional lives. Personally, we attach ourselves to our ideas and convictions, so when these ideas are challenged, it can feel like an attack on one’s self. Professionally, taking the example of litigation, the whole notion of arguing a case is that our side is the “right” one, and our job is to zealously advocate for it. But what if admitting our own shortcomings and recognizing our own fallibility could make us both better attorneys and better people?
BC Law Impact Editor’s Note: We pride ourselves at Boston College Law School on our unique community that cultivates an incredible student body with a brilliant faculty. This post is part of an ongoing faculty spotlight Q&A series to help students get to know the members of our faculty on a more personal level. It will run throughout the next year.
- Why did you choose to teach at BC Law?
I am a graduate. I think that it’s a great law school and that the students are fantastic. I couldn’t imagine teaching anywhere else.
- What is your favorite thing about BC?
The students–still attracting really nice people to study here, and I think that’s a real plus.
- What is your favorite BC Memory?
That’s a tough one. Probably my favorite memories are of Sanford Katz and Peter Donovan, two fantastic faculty members here. I had the pleasure of taking their courses when I was a student.
- If you were on a baseball team what would your walkout song be?
Sweet Caroline, keeping with my Boston roots.
- If you weren’t a professor or a lawyer, what would you be doing? What is your dream job?
Probably I would be in medicine.
- What is your favorite thing about Boston?
I grew up in Boston. I would say the Boston Harbor and the ocean. I spent a lot of time running around Castle Island, a park in South Boston, when I was a kid.
- If someone visiting Boston asked you what is the one thing they had to do, what would you tell them?
Definitely go to a Red Sox game–and do the Harbor walk.
The inaugural holder of the William J. Kenealy, S.J. Chair, Professor Repetti is co-author of the texts, Partnership Income Taxation, Introduction to United States International Taxation, Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation, Problems in Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation, and Tax Aspects of Organizing and Operating a Business. He is also a contributing author to the treatises, Comparative Income Taxation: A Structural Analysis and to The International Guide to Partnerships. For more, visit Professor Repetti’s website.
Melissa Gaglia is a second-year student at BC Law. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Don’t let it go to your head.”
These words were spoken to me by someone older and wiser than myself a week after I started law school. Like most people, the weeks before school starts, especially law school, and particularly 1L, are a very stressful time of worry and expectations.
But after just a week, I came to realize I actually really enjoyed BC Law, that law school isn’t actually that scary, and I began to share a lot about my new experiences with others. There’s an undeniable cache, swagger, and cultural fixation with the law and notions of prestige in popular culture. To some, like myself, it can become a bit noxious. To others though, it is addictive—all-consuming—and can change people, even those we regard highly and befriend, and in some cases come to love, for the worse.
Frequently in law school I’ve gotten a glimpse of something that is not quite part of the law, but more specifically part of the cost of being a member of its practice—its impact on personal relationships, particularly relationships with those who are themselves in the legal field. In pop culture, films like Legally Blonde and the wide array of television, blogs, and other mediums that provide commentary on the legal mind paint a picture of toxic stress and personalities, politics and pomposity, and a commitment at all costs to one’s career and climbing the rungs of the corporate and bureaucratic ladder.
Returning to school after Spring Break is always an adjustment. You’ve relaxed, you’ve slept in, and, if you’re luckier than me, you’ve traveled to a tropical destination. Getting up for your 9 am lectures and spending late nights briefing cases can feel harder than ever, especially as the weather is starting to get warmer. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was much easier to hunker down and read when it was freezing cold and dark at 4 pm.
And yet, just as these factors are combining to make motivation for school drop to its lowest, we’re also approaching the home stretch of the semester when it’s the most crucial to keep motivation up.
If you need inspiration to keep going through these last weeks until summer, here are some tips.
BC Law Impact Editor’s Note: We pride ourselves at Boston College Law School on our unique community that cultivates an incredible student body with a brilliant faculty. The BC Impact Blog is launching a faculty spotlight Q&A series to highlight the members of our faculty throughout the next year.
Easily one of my favorite 1L classes has been Law Practice. Known as “LP” to all BC Law students, Law Practice focuses on teaching students the practical skills that they will use everyday in their eventual careers as attorneys. Students spend a great deal of time mastering legal writing and research, learning the Bluebook and system of legal citations as well as how to use research tools such as Lexis and Westlaw. Writing their objective office memo (a memo offering an objective analysis of a legal issue for an internal audience) is a rite of passage for BC law students, and was easily one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my first semester. Second semester sees a pivot to advocacy skills, with students learning the basics of oral argument and shifting to writing for an external audience such as briefs for courts.
For this week’s blog I sat down with Professor Mary Ann Chirba to learn a bit more about her background and teaching at BC. Beloved by students, Professor Chirba is a full-time member of BC’s Law Practice Faculty as well as teaching other law and undergraduate courses.
Guest post by John Reilly
My most embarrassing moment of 1L year wasn’t messing up an answer to a cold call or falling down the stairs while giving a tour to thirty students, although both of those things did happen. My most embarrassing moment came on January 23, 2020 – my first intramural basketball game for the BC Law team. Having played basketball my entire life and having coached for two years before starting at BC Law, I was so excited to meet a group of 1Ls similarly passionate about the game. And with high energy and even higher expectations, we promptly lost that first game by a score of 50-11. Yeah – we lost by 40. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be our only loss in our first season, as we lost every single subsequent game by similar margins. And while I hated to lose, I loved getting to know my classmates outside of Torts and Contracts.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but that season would be the last set of games for the BC Law hoops team for nearly two years. But don’t worry, because our basketball team is back and better than ever! And this year, things are different. This year, we won’t lose every game by forty points. This year, the BC Law Basketball Team is going to win a championship.
Guest blog By Kevin Winiarski
One of the first things my current roommate told me about social life at BC Law was the ski trip he went on as a 1L back in Winter 2020. Throughout my search for law schools, I had heard plenty of stories of BC’s bar reviews and the other opportunities he had to meet people and forge initial friendships. But in talking with both my roommate and his friends (now 3Ls), one theme almost unanimously emerged: “I didn’t really know my friends until we went on ski trip.”
And it wasn’t just as a 0L that I heard this sentiment. This year, one our way home from Killington, I asked a 3L friend how Ski Trip 2022 compared to its 2020 edition. Her response, in a nutshell, was that the two trips were “different, but in a good way.” The first time around was an experience that truly molded the friendships that would characterize her remaining two years at BC; the second, meanwhile, was a culmination of those friendships and a chance to let loose after having so many social opportunities of the preceding two years marred by COVID-19.