Coming into law school, I had no intention of ever stepping into a court room. I thought I wanted to do education policy work for a non-profit or government agency, hanging out behind a desk, engaging with complex issues at the highest levels, and generally avoiding an adversarial setting at all costs. But then I actually came to law school and what I thought I wanted shifted dramatically — which, spoiler alert, happens a lot!
My 2L year, my dear friend and current Law Student Association Vice President Andrea Clavijo lovingly coerced me into participating in the intra-school Moot Court competition. More on that later (and you can read about it on the BC Law web site here), but the tl;dr version is that Moot Court is basically fake appellate advocacy. Instead of making an argument to a jury, Law & Order style, you and a partner argue in front of a (fake) Supreme Court, focusing on the legal issues and advocating for what the law should be.
The experience was absolutely terrifying, and I. Absolutely. Loved It. Which is what brings me to the actual topic of the post: the best class I’ve taken in law school.
Going to BC Law doesn’t have to mean spending three years in Boston. For those who want to use law school as an opportunity to explore other places, BC sponsors a ton of Semester in Practice programs in cities as close as New York and as far away as Amsterdam.
Watch the video below to learn about Diane Prend, ’16, who spent a Semester in Practice in Washington, D.C. as part of the #BCinDC program. You can also check out an article about her time in D.C. here.
And if you’re interested in learning more about the Semester in Practice programs, you can check those out here.
If you’re familiar with the West Wing — which, if you’re not, what are you doing with your life — you’ll know what I mean when I say that “the Supremes” are a big deal in the world of law school. As any law student will tell you, you spend a great deal of time during your three years reading, talking and learning about what the Justices of the Supreme Court have decided and why.
Last week, the students at BC Law got to skip the casebook and learn straight from one of the sources herself: Justice Elena Kagan, the newest judge appointed to the bench. Justice Kagan answered questions from law school Dean Vincent Rougeau, as well as from students in the audience, and spoke about a wide variety of topics, including the importance of legal writing and being a woman on the bench.
As a Supreme Court fangirl, I gotta tell you — it was pretty freaking cool. Check out BC Law magazine’s article on the Q&A here, and a few photos of the event below!
Starting off my 1L year, I was several years out of college. This was anxiety inducing for several reasons, but one, in particular, I didn’t expect: I had no idea what an adult human being in graduate school needed to bring to class. Do I bring notebooks? Every single one of my 50-pound books? Maybe get my hands on a trapper keeper? (Fun fact: I 100% owned that trapper keeper in the 4th grade.)
To help you avoid the onset of organizational stress, and facilitate your inevitable Staples run, I’ve compiled a list of some items you may want to think about bringing on the first day.
One of the questions many prospective law students often have (and that I definitely had when I was looking at law school) is about what, exactly, law students do during their summers. The answer is: some pretty cool stuff. Below is a selection of summaries about what current BC Law rising 2Ls and 3Ls are currently doing in cities across the country, grouped into five categories: Firms, In-House Counsel & Consulting, Judicial Internships, Public Interest, and Government. This group isn’t necessarily representative (it basically represents who I could dragoon into writing something up for me on short notice — thanks friends!), but hopefully it will give you a general sense of the different types of work law students do before they graduate. As always, if you have any questions, use the comments to ask away!
BC Law was ranked #16 — up 5 spots from last year — in the newest Above the Law Law School Rankings. The ATL rankings focus on how a law school contributes to positive student outcomes (read: jobs and salaries), and are the only rankings that incorporate the latest American Bar Association data about employment for the class of 2014. ATL also incorporates a “debt per job” metric which measures how much student debt is accrued by a school’s graduates for every actual legal job obtained.
To read more about the ATL Rankings, and see the full list of schools, click here!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a Philadelphia girl. Born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love, I am a little obsessed with my hometown: the food (cheesesteaks! Wawa! water ice!), the accent (“youse” is a word, don’t question it), and of course, the sports teams (yeah, we threw snow balls at Santa Claus, so what?). My family is still Philly-based, and I knew when I was thinking about law school that I would ultimately want to practice close to home.
So when I started looking at BC, I faced something of a conundrum. The law school offered a ton of stuff geared towards my area of interest (juvenile rights and education law), which was hard to find, and my campus visit convinced that the people and professors had a lot to offer, too. But in case you didn’t know, Boston College is, in fact, in Boston. BOSTON. Like, home of the Patriots, Boston. (Sorry, not sorry, Rob.) And I was really worried that going to BC — or any law school outside of the Philly area — would make it difficult to come back after graduation. Continue reading
BC students and faculty bid on items at the annual Public Interest Law Foundation Auction on March 27, 2015.
As someone who knew they wanted to do public interest work, one of my biggest concerns coming into law school was how I was going to fund my summers. Public interest summer internships almost never pay, and particularly if you’re looking to work outside of Boston, the prospect of having no income and potentially paying two rents can be really daunting.
Thankfully, for students at BC Law, there’s an on-campus solution: getting funding from the Public Interest Law Foundation (or PILF). Continue reading
This weekend, the Asian and Pacific American Law Student Association (known as APALSA) hosted its annual dinner to celebrate the lunar new year. I didn’t get a chance to attend as a 1L, but heard amazing things, so I made it a priority to buy a ticket this year.
The dinner is held in Chinatown, which is in downtown Boston near a neighborhood called Back Bay, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. BC Law students pay $8 for an 8-course meal. Let me say that again: Eight dollars. Eight courses. Continue reading
As future law students, I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumors and stereotypes about law schools. They run the gamut — from the terrifying and incorrect (“EVERYONE IS SO COMPETITIVE AND NO ONE IS FRIENDLY AND IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AN A YOUR FIRST YEAR”), to the hilariously accurate (“Law school is high school for adults”), to the tongue-in-cheek (see, for example, Thought Catalog’s take on the 19 People You Meet in Law School). But the stereotype that most stuck out to and worried me as a prospective student was what I’d like to call the Myth of the Library Lockdown. That is, by heading off to law school, you are essentially signing yourself up for three years of good ol’ book learning, tied to a library carrel, buried under 200 pounds of Supreme Court opinions and study aids.
Don’t get me wrong. As a former English major, I can get down with the heavy reading. Chaucer, Shakespeare, and I used to be great pals; I can handle my fair share of tiny print. But that’s not why I wanted to come to law school. I taught for three years after college, came to law school with a really specific focus, and knew I wanted to get right to making an impact in real people’s lives. I was really nervous that law school was going to feel like a fruitless and frustrating gesture, a means to an end I had to just get through in order to do the work I am passionate about. But that’s because I didn’t know about clinics.