1) What is your name, year in school, and post-grad plans?
Nonie: Nonie Andersen, I’m a 2L and I plan on being a public defender.
Mathew: Mathew Ralph Santiago, I’m a 2L and my post-grand plan is to work at Cooley in their trademark copyright and advertising group.
2) Can you give me a quick rundown of what LAMBDA is all about?
Mathew: LAMBDA is a space that recognizes the lack of queer representation in the law. It strives to build resources and support for the queer students at BC, to connect them, and show them that there are more queer people in the greater Boston area.
3) Why did you choose to lead LAMBDA?
Nonie: I didn’t have a queer space in undergrad and I felt like I needed one, so it was important for me to give that to myself and other people here in law school. Also, all the queer people I know have told me that they thrive in places with other queer people. I think it’s important, in such high-stress environments like law school and life, to have a space where we can make each other feel comfortable.
Mathew: Before law school, I had never leaned into my queerness; I was closeted for a while. Coming to BC Law was the first time I really leaned into this and that’s why I was so, so excited to join LAMBDA! I just felt that the organization as a whole could be improved. I really wanted to foster the space I envisioned coming here for me and people coming after me- classmates, and colleagues alike.
4) What is your favorite LAMBDA event?
Mathew: I love the retreat! Honestly, I feel like it’s very cliché but that’s where I got really close to my close friends in LAMBDA (who are also E-Board members!) But I will say, I do like the informal events just as much and hanging out with random LAMBDA people whenever I can.
Nonie: I agree; the retreat is a central event for LAMBDA. It gives us an opportunity to get to know each other away from school, which is huge. It’s so beautiful and who doesn’t want a free vacation? I’m also excited about our community outreach events we are putting together this year. Our E-Board is trying to support our students with the diversity of the community outreach events. I’m excited to give people social and career support this year.
Mathew: We’re also trying to have four different meet the employers for queer people! We’re calling it “Queer the Employers.” Like a play on “Meet the Employers”!
5) What have been some difficulties in leading your organization, and how did you overcome them?
Mathew: I think that because of the pandemic- and this is probably true for all orgs- a lot of orgs, when we were 1Ls, it felt as if Lambda was learning how to be an org again from the hiatus they had to take because of the pandemic. As a result, when we took over, it almost felt like we were starting from scratch. It obviously brings great potential, but it was kind of difficult because we didn’t have much to rely on, or any precedent on ways of doing things and I think that was the biggest challenge- and still is right now.
Nonie: I think that an answer you’ll get from all org leaders is time. We’re lucky our E-Board is super committed to LAMBDA and everyone has really done a great job. But as the year goes on, school becomes a priority and people get tired, so that’s a challenge for all orgs. So far we’ve done a great job and it’s because people are enthusiastic! We also emphasize getting plans done early as possible so that people aren’t scrambling last minute.
6) What have you learned from being a student leader, and do you recommend other law students to take up that mantle?
Nonie: I’d never done anything like this in undergrad, so the managing aspect of it, creating a space, and being the face of an org has been very new to me. But I do think that if people think it’s important to them and want to carry it into their career, then it’s something they should do. It’s good practice for when you go into the office and you’re one of the few queer people, which could lead to tokenism but that’s another conversation…It reminds you that we’re in law school to be in claas, but also to be with people, and help other people be people– and it forces you to create space for that.
Mathew : I think I’ve learned the importance of being in an org that has an impact and means something to other people. I didn’t feel as much of a responsibility as I did in my undergrad leadership positions as I do here. I feel a responsibility to make sure the org is good for people who come after us, and that people are getting something out of it. It weighs more than positions I’ve had in the past. I 100% recommend it; I feel like I’ve grown as a leader, and I’ve made lasting connections with all of my E-Board. They are just the best people.
Mathew: Everyone’s been so great!
7) Do you have any members you want to give a shout out to? 😀
Mathew: Everyone, and especially E-Board!
Nonie: I think our E-Board is amazing, but especially everyone because it’s for everyone!
Mathew: Big shout out to the 1Ls! An earlier question you asked was what are some difficulties in leading an org, and it easily could have been engagement- but that’s not an issue for us. 1Ls are showing up and showing out!
Nonie: Yeah, the 1Ls are so dope and ready to be engaged.
Mathew: We literally shout-out everyone!
Nonie: And our faculty supervisors!
Mathew: And Eric Crumrine! We love everyone!
Seung Hye (Shang) Yang is a second-year student at BC Law. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.