It’s Baltimore, Gentlemen; The Gods Will Not Save You

Let’s talk about Baltimore.  Most people outside of the D.C. area know Charm City from David Simon’s The Wire. The Wire is a masterfully conceptualized piece of work that truly transcended television (full disclosure: I took an entire course on it in undergrad).  Simon, in an interview, once said that:

The Wire is a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces. It’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason. In much of television, and in a good deal of our stage drama, individuals are often portrayed as rising above institutions to achieve catharsis. In this drama, the institutions always prove larger, and those characters with hubris enough to challenge the postmodern construct of American empire are invariably mocked, marginalized, or crushed. Greek tragedy for the new millennium, so to speak.

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Black Lives Don’t Matter

They don’t. That’s the message that plays on a loop against a seemingly never-ending backdrop of killings of unarmed minorities at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect society. That’s the message that’s forced a movement around the idea that #BlackLivesMatter. That’s the message that made me wake up in a sweat early this morning.


The only light came from the eerie glow of the crescent moon as I stood in the middle of a wheat field. It was slightly windy, and there was a dilapidated farmhouse about 100 yards in front of me. Around the field and the house were dark, uninviting woods. For no reason, I noticed I was wearing a white t-shirt and black pants. As I walked towards the house, I suddenly realized there were figures approaching me on either side from out of the wooded areas. They were just black silhouettes lit against this breezy field, but I could tell they were wondering what I was doing there, and I, of course, would have no explanation. Continue reading

Last Week I Argued In U.S. District Court And It Was Great

Well hello, everyone! It’s been a while. Thanks to the record 108.6 inches of snow we’ve been allotted here in Boston (thanks Mother Nature), I’ve had a lot of catching up to do at work, and have also been very busy prepping to defend the SSA’s position in federal court.

Ron's Work Desk

A computer, coffee, and the Code of Federal Regulations. What more could I ask for?

Let me back up: This semester I’ve been working as a student in the Semester In Practice: Public Interest program at BC Law. Specifically, I’m an intern in the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel (let’s just call it OGC) in downtown Boston. Rather than balancing classes I’ve been writing briefs, negotiating, and prosecuting. Oh, and preparing to argue a brief in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine…

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[Mock] Trials & [Real] Tribulations

The Mock Trial Team @ Regionals

The Mock Trial Team @ Regionals (not pictured: Jen Henricks, who was sick)

This past weekend BC Law hosted the Regional Mock Trial Competition in downtown Boston — specifically at the Suffolk Superior Court and at Suffolk Law School.  The competition lasted from Thursday – Sunday, and featured trials everyday.  BC Law took two teams, and I was on one of them.  The experience was nothing short of grueling and fantastic — it’s amazing to stand up in a courtroom like a trial attorney and match wits with law students from other schools.  At the same time, it’s incredibly nerve-racking to go against people who typically have extensive experience with mock trial (high school, college, etc.), and to really focus on all the dynamic changes that go on during a trial.

A Model of the Trial

A model of what the trial is about! (Yes, it happened in a trailer park)

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It’s All About Perspective

So…I’m not a Patriots fan.  Sorry!  That being said, I really really enjoyed Rob’s recent post about persistence and motivation.  I think it’s great advice and generally reminds us all that we need things in our lives to help us maintain perspective and keep us grounded.  It’s easy to lose yourself in studying and legal textbooks, but being well-rounded is about more than trying to get an A at the end of the semester.  I’d like to highlight some advice from the BC Law Impact group about perspective:

[The Spring Break Service Trip] was my first opportunity to do legal work since entering law school, and it was so rewarding to be able to help people! – Lucia

I realized that the ‘racial justice’ that was an ‘area of interest’ for me was a matter of life or death, of resisting daily disrespect, for other people. Real people, standing in front of me.  – Amelia

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