A Conversation with Our Deans

The start of the new semester has brought exciting energy to campus as we welcome our new dean. Odette Lienau officially transitioned into her role following the tremendous 18 months of leadership from Interim Dean Diane Ring. Check out an interview from BC Law Magazine with both leaders as they discuss their hopes and vision for our community and the legal profession:

Diane Ring served as interim dean from June 2021 to mid January 2023. She was succeeded by Odette Lienau, who joined BC Law in January as the inaugural Marianne D. Short, Esq., Dean. During the transition period last fall, the two women became well acquainted as they prepared for the change in leadership. Theirs was a meeting of the minds, of learning, listening, and laying the groundwork for the Law School’s new era. This interview is an opportunity to hear some of their formational conversation.

Both of you are “firsts” as women in the dean’s role at BC Law. How is women’s leadership important to BC Law and the legal profession?

Food Review: The Best Bagels Around BC Law

The Impact Blog is launching a new spotlight series focused on local foods! We believe that one of the most important features of an area is the food, and no one should need to search far for good options. We’ll provide critiques and reviews of foods in the immediate Newton area surrounding the BC Law campus. Not all establishments are made equal, so whether you’re planning on coming to BC Law or just recently moved to the area, we’ll try all the local spots so you don’t have to.

Our first review turns to an American staple that doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. An often overlooked, taken for granted, carb-y snack: BAGELS!

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11 Tips for Exam Season

Ahhhhhh. Deep Breath. Exam Season is upon us yet again.

For some of us at BC Law, exams simply need to come and go so that we can get on with our Winter Break. For others – particularly you 1Ls – these few weeks will be incredibly stressful as you try to figure out how to both study for and execute on exams, which are two distinct skills that each need attention. 

As we enter reading period, the BC Impact Bloggers compiled a list of 11 of our most effective exam strategies. Note: these are not necessarily academic strategies, but rather tips for enduring and persisting through this difficult time.

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Follow-Up: Overcoming Self-Doubt

Two years ago, when I arrived in Newton to begin my law school journey, I wrote a blog post entitled Act Like You Belong. Because You Do, where I briefly explored my own internal struggle with feelings of self-doubt, which some people call “imposter’s syndrome.” My goal was to encourage others (and myself) to understand those feelings in order to control their own destiny. 

As I begin my third (and FINAL!) year of law school, I can say that while those feelings of self-doubt fluctuate, they never disappear completely. I had an overwhelming feeling of being unprepared on my first day at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office during my 1L summer. I had the discomforting feeling of self-doubt on my first day at a big law firm this past summer. These feelings were as strong as when I stepped foot on the Newton campus.

As I wrote in the blog two years ago, the issue is not the presence of those uncomfortable feelings, but how you deal with them. My second day on campus (and my second days at the Attorney General’s Office and at the law firm) were more comfortable than the first. Each day that passed lessened these doubts, and strengthened my confidence.

Act Like You Belong was more about describing those feelings in order to understand them. Today, I want to write about how I overcame them. These suggestions may be obvious to you. But it’s important to recognize that we all are at a different place on our journey – and wherever you are, I hope you find some inspiration in them.

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She believed she could, and she did. Now we can: The Impact of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

On April 7, 2022, the United States Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Justice of the Supreme Court, marking a historic step in the nation’s tortuous history with race and gender. For the first time, a Black woman will serve on the US Supreme Court.

Regardless of political affiliation, it is impossible to ignore the significance of this moment. While Justice Brown Jackson’s judicial impact remains an open question, her personal impact, particularly on Black women, is undeniable: a resounding affirmation and inspiration. Here are a few reflections from members of the Boston College Law School community.

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Faculty Spotlight: Daniel Lyons 

When you first encounter Professor Daniel Lyons standing in front of your Property class, you may be intimidated by the impeccable three-piece suit, astonishing poise and brilliance, and, of course, the iconic fedora. His cold calls have left many trembling to this day. Yet, I can say definitively that Professor Lyons is one of the best professors on our campus. It’s no surprise that the school chose him to serve as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the next few years. 

I sat down with Professor Lyons to pull back the curtain a bit and highlight a different, lighter, more familiar side of one of BC Law’s best. 

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Enter Spring Semester with a Plan

As we enter a spring semester that is all too familiar with Spring 2021, I encourage everyone to step back and strategize on how to make the most of our short time at BC Law. Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post outlining three strategies for excelling academically and professionally. Additionally, I (unsuccessfully) called on everyone to share their keys to success. I’m reposting that blog, along with other similar blogs, to help first year students navigate the waters after experiencing their first semester. It’s critical for 1Ls, and really all students, to approach the spring semester with a game plan. As always, please fill the comments with your ideas and advice…

Reflections on the First Semester: Three Tips for Success

I’m not sure it’s possible to actually prepare for the first year of law school. After I submitted my applications in the Fall of 2019, I concocted all sorts of ideas to prepare and “get an edge”. I started by reading several books including The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Just Mercy by Bryan…

A Reflection on My First Semester: One Down, Five to Go

It’s hard to believe that just four months ago, we were nervously waiting in line to pick up our name cards in the Law Library. In a way, that first day of school in August was a lot like the first day of kindergarten, in that we were completely alone in a room full of…

Take a Break from Studying: The Pets of BC Law

Tucker Phillay Salters: Travis’s 2.5 year-old Best Friend

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Exams are Coming; Here’s Our Advice

We’re gearing up to enter reading days and next week and final exams will be upon us soon. Over the years, BC Law Impact has offered lots of advice to students about how to prepare and how to manage stress. I put a few of our most widely-read posts below.


Travis Salters is a second-year student at BC Law and Vice President of the Impact blog. Contact him at salterst@bc.edu.

A Step Closer to a More Diverse Community

“By welcoming such a large class of Black students, Boston College Law School has demonstrated that Black education, issues, and lives matter. We are not token students, but rather our voices and experiences are welcomed and sought after by the Law School. This new class of future Black lawyers will enrich our community as a school and as a profession.”

John-Henry Marley, BC Law Class of 2021

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has dominated conversations in almost every institution in the United States over the past few years. Whether sparked by the cultural backlash to President Obama’s election, or the rise of Black Lives Matter movement, or perhaps simply an overall reckoning of the need to repair past discriminatory harm, many schools and workplaces have adopted DEI into their core values and strategic plans. Unfortunately, that’s usually where the conversation ends. DEI goals often stay just that: goals without action or results.

BC Law is different. Here, DEI is not merely a tagline to fit into a trendy movement, but rather a commitment to ensuring an “inclusive community, where people from all backgrounds are celebrated for their unique perspectives and lived experiences.

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