Take a handful of BC Law students and ask them who their favorite professor is—odds are at least one of them will say Professor Cassidy. Don’t get me wrong, we have so many great professors at BC Law, but between teaching criminal law, professional responsibility, and evidence, most students have had the pleasure of taking a class with Professor Cassidy at least once.
That said, it isn’t just a matter of variety. Beyond the wide breadth of classes he teaches, Professor Cassidy also keeps students enthusiastically engaged with his breakdown of complex legal topics and lighthearted anecdotes.
I sat down with Professor Cassidy to ask him about his own law school experience, career, and favorite things about BC Law.
1) Have you always wanted to be an attorney? Growing up did you think this is where you would end up?
I decided I wanted to be an attorney in the 9th grade when I read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I was inspired by how lawyers could give voice to the voiceless in our society and be an instrument of change. I didn’t know any lawyers, except those I caddied for at the golf club. My parents were blue collar workers.
2) What was your favorite thing about law school? Least favorite?
I pretty much hated law school. Harvard Law School in the early to mid 1980’s was not a happy place to be. Several faculty who focused on Critical Legal Studies had left for other schools or had been denied tenure. Back then HLS was nicknamed the “Beirut on the Charles” because all the faculty were at war with each other. Very few of them had a student-focused perspective on their responsibilities.
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.
Goodbye, 2021! With the fall semester done and gone and as we say our farewells to the remainder of the year I can’t help but look back on 2021. To the 1Ls completing their first semester, the 2Ls facing their first in-person classes and finals, and the 3Ls just trying to make it through these final few months, it has certainly been a year to remember.
Here are a few highlights our favorite 2021 Impact blog posts:
As I entered into the thick of finals, I found myself in the usual funk of the season. Whether it be the long hours studying, the unfortunate act of flipping through class notes only to find illegible scribbles, or the jealousy rising in me as I see people pass my window enjoying their afternoons–I cannot help but feel a bit grumpy about what I (and all other law students) are going through at the moment.
On top of the usual irritability, I am painfully aware that this is my fifth time heading into finals. As a 3L, I have found myself dragging my feet more this time around. I have admittedly become a bit more impatient with tough concepts, lackluster in my study habits, and generous with my study breaks.
It was within one of these study breaks that I found myself browsing through the BC Law Magazine website and found this article highlighting Professor Bloom’s famous Ugly Sweater Contest.
Beyond chuckling at the images of Prof. Bloom and the class showing off their goofy sweaters, I felt a rush of nostalgia. I had completely forgotten about my own section’s Ugly Sweater Contest two years ago. Cooped up in a Civil Procedure review session, I remember laughing at both the fashion choices of my classmates and Professor Bloom’s zany commentary along the way. It was such a pleasant (and needed) break from stressing over what would be my first ever law school exam–a lighter moment to share with the people that had filled my life over the semester and who were going through the same taxing time.
Happy Thanksgiving Legal Eagles! I hope we all have some time to relax this week with loved ones and recognize the true spirit of the holiday season.
Not everyone is so fortunate. As we enter into the next few months, full of holiday festivities, year-end fun, and celebrations for another semester behind us, it is important to think about our greater community. There are many around us who might not have the resources to put food on the table for their families.
With this sobering reality in mind, BC Law 3L Andrew Fishman recently organized a food drive benefitting the Newton community. It was his second year helping coordinate a food drive through BC Law, as he collected non-perishable items to donate directly to the Newton Food Pantry just in time for the holidays.
I spoke with Andrew about this year’s food drive and the importance of teaming up with the Newton Food Pantry. You can also check out my interview with Andrew last year here.
As the fall weather starts to pick up and the end of the semester is in sight, I am constantly reminded that I am approaching my final months at Boston College Law School. Recently I have been feeling very nostalgic.
Thinking back to this time three short years ago, I knew little to nothing about this place that would take so much of my time and energy in the near future. Instead, I was hurriedly getting application materials together, parsing through the web for any shred of advice on how to get into law school (and pick the right one at that).
Looking back, there are a few tips I wish I had known that were not so obvious to me as I was submitting my own applications. While I knew the basic strategies, I was missing a few principles less frequently emphasized.
So, for you prospective student readers out there: here are three things I wish someone had told me during the law school application process. While you’re here, be sure to check out advice from past Impact bloggers, located at the bottom of this post.
Today I am hosting a guest post by BC Law student Marija Tesla about her experience in BC Law’s new International Human Rights Practicum.
I have taken many international law and human rights courses at BC Law, and have loved them all: International Law with Professor David Wirth; International Human Rights: The Law of War, War Crimes, and Genocide (or what is more commonly known as humanitarian law) with Professor Allen Ryan; Immigration Law and the Human Rights Interdisciplinary Seminar with Professor Daniel Kanstroom; International Legal Research with Professor Sherry Chen. I came to law school because this is my calling in life, and every experience I got here (after the slog of the very provincial 1L experience), further proved to me that this is what I was meant to do.
All those courses were amazing, but what I have loved most of all is my experience in the International Human Rights Practicum with Professor Daniela Urosa.
I loved working on the amicus brief that we submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) with Professor Urosa and my amicus partner, Nadia Bouquet, because I got to think about and analyze a technical area of international human rights law while having an opportunity to be creative and to think outside the box (I wrote an earlier post about our visit to the IACtHR; read it here). My aim in everything I do is to challenge the status quo and to focus on how the law can challenge systems of oppression and create societies in which every person can and does live a life of dignity. Human rights law is aspirational and sometimes it creates standards that are not at all lived on the ground by the people who are most marginalized in our societies. Yet, if those of us who dare to remain idealists in a world often run by realists stop aspiring and working towards creating a more just and equitable world, then where will we end up as a collective? What I love about human rights law is that it cares deeply about individual life while caring about the collective. In a world of great economic inequality, environmental and racial injustice, human rights law is not just necessary, it is a difference of not just life and death, but a difference of what it means to live and to be alive.
Today I am hosting a guest blog from my friend Melody Mathewson, a member of the Class of 2022. -DS
What am I doing this summer? Well, the law, of course. I am drafting agreements and policies, researching admissibility, and reading trial transcripts and state statutes. It’s all very glamorous and novel to you as aspiring or fellow law students, I know.
More importantly, I am learning how to run a marathon. Not literally. Literally, I walk for an hour every day, but I do not run. What I mean is, I am learning how to endure and thrive through the marathon of being a human attorney. I am learning what I wish I had learned two years ago, both before and during the first year of law school.
Here are three lessons from my 2L summer experience.
Summer Experience Lesson No.1: It is perfectly acceptable to demonstrate your strong work ethic and hustling attitude from Monday through Friday, and “breaks” can coexist with “weekdays.”
I have been listening to some really thoughtful and insightful podcasts while going for my long, near-daily walks outside, and on the weekends I lie by the pool and read similar kinds of books (or completely lose myself in a perfectly curated playlist of summer bops). On a daily level, this hour-long walk is my mid-day break. It is my exercise, my fresh air, my break from a computer screen, my break from legal jargon, and most importantly it is time I am not working, not thinking about work, not worrying about work, and not pressuring myself to get back to work.
I am sitting at my desk in my childhood bedroom, in the home where I grew up, starting my summer internship virtually and feeling admittedly silly as I pour a cup of coffee and don professional clothing while I am surrounded by mementos of my youth. Though the coloring books and childhood photographs on my desk have now been replaced by my laptop and a Bluebook, things still feel eerily similar to what I remember growing up.
It makes me think back to this time last year. Coming home last March as the pandemic shutdown hit was almost incomprehensible: sitting in the home that felt so familiar to me, I was also painfully aware of how foreign just about everything else around me really was. I watched my professors (and later my summer employer) scramble to get a handle of how best to continue on in a world that was suddenly unfamiliar. I adapted to virtual meetings, technical difficulties, and Zoom hangouts. I took on the unfamiliarity with an open mind, trying to adjust to the temporary surroundings I believed I was in.
But now it has been a year, and the unfamiliarity has transformed into the ordinary. What was once a few weeks at most is now over a year of remote school and work. Summer internships, clinics, classes, and virtual events have come and gone. Countless in-person events and programs have been transformed to account for the virtual world we remain in. I and most other rising 3Ls (ouch), are entering into another remote summer internship.
It is that time of year again.
While finals week always seems to creep up on me, I still find myself making the same unpleasant preparations at this time every year. I have deleted social media apps on my phone that I typically spend way too much time on, stocked up on coffee and snacks, and have told my friends and loved ones not to bother me for the next few weeks.
As I have begun to delve into yet another round of days studying followed by a sequence of hours-long tests, I find myself clinging on to the idea that this will all be over soon–that I just have to get through the next couple of weeks and then I can enjoy that post-finals joy.
So, as a reminder to myself that this is all temporary, or maybe just some needed motivation to continue on, I have collected a few students’ thoughts on their feelings post-finals. Enjoy and good luck everyone!