Time flies when you’re having fun — and apparently it flies in law school, too. Jokes aside, as my 1L year comes to a close, I can safely say that I’ve had a great experience at BC so far. Still, looking back, there are certain things I wish I had known beforehand or done differently. For those of you with lawyers in the family or who did a lot more research than me before enrolling, some of these tips may seem like common sense. But for those who are less informed — and as an ode to a classic impact blog series — here are four things I wish I knew before coming to BC.Continue reading
Thank You For Your Time
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about time and the lack of it. Last semester, I thought maybe I just hadn’t planned well enough, so I decided my lack of time was an organizational problem. I worked on time management. I divided my workstreams. I even cleaned out my email inbox. But at the end of it all, I still didn’t have enough time. Only now, I didn’t have time in a nice, organized sort of way.
I began to notice that it wasn’t just me. No one had enough time. Even though we all get the same amount – that good ole 24/7 – and even though it’s renewable on condition (on condition that you aren’t dead) there is somehow just not enough of it to go around. Ever. It’s as though we’re being shortchanged by the universe one day at a time.Continue reading
How Law Students Can Use ChatGPT (Ethically)
ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI, has garnered much attention since its launch in November 2022. The program has the capability to generate text that closely mimics human writing in response to a given prompt, and its application has spanned across a range of fields from customer support to legal research.
In an academic context, the conversation often revolves around how students are using the program to write their essays, final exams, and other assignments (Take a look at our recent Impact post In Re: ChatGPT). As a result, many educational institutions have established specific prohibitions on using the chatbot, with Best Colleges even publishing a list of bans. However, I think there is real value in ChatGPT for law students–as long as you use it appropriately.
“Used in the right way, ChatGPT can be a friend to the classroom and an amazing tool […], not something to be feared.”– Adam Stevens, History Teacher
Law School Core Classes as Tatte Desserts
Tatte Bakery & Cafe is a Boston staple– with a location less than one mile from the Law School, it’s one of my favorite places to catch up with friends, splurge on a fancy coffee, treat myself to a baked pick-me-up, or do a little bit of reading with a change of scenery.
To give prospective law students an idea of what classes are like and current law students a sweet reprieve from their post-Spring Break deluge of work, I have assigned each legal core class a Tatte pastry that I feel most represents it. If your favorite class didn’t make the list, feel free to add it in the comments!Continue reading
The Land Loss, Reparations & Housing Policy Conference
On March 23-24, BC Law will be hosting The Land Loss, Reparations & Housing Policy Conference in partnership with Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic, The Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy at the New School, and Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College.
The conference will bring national experts in the areas of land loss, housing, and reparations for a two-day discussion of Black land loss, potential strategies for redress, and housing inequality and affordability issues, and is part of Property and Housing Law Week at BC Law, which will take place March 20-24.
The conference is the kickoff event for BC Law’s new Initiative on Land, Housing, and Property Rights (ILHPR), which is the brainchild of BC Law Professor Thomas Mitchell. Professor Mitchell, who joined BC Law’s faculty at the start of this academic year, is a national expert on the ways that the property system can adversely impact marginalized communities in the United States. In particular, his research has explored the ways in which property laws have been used to systematically strip Black landowners of intergenerational wealth. In just one sector (agriculture) between 1920 and 1997, an estimated $326 billion in intergenerational wealth was taken from Black farm families. In addition to conducting research, Professor Mitchell has also drafted the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) – a uniform act promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission, which aims to help preserve family wealth passed on through real property.
The sign-up link for the conference is here and for a more detailed overview of Prof. Mitchell’s work, see this recent BC Law Magazine article.Continue reading
In Re ChatGPT
Much like kids on a long drive playing “I spy” with passing cars, the modern news cycle is often ephemeral in its nervous fixations. Cases in point: a week spent earlier this year in a national discord over the topic of banning gas stoves; the tizzy over Chinese spy balloons; classified documents in a garage with Joe Biden’s Corvette; or any of the other made-for-breaking-news idée fixes that pass in and out of the national consciousness with mind-numbing regularity.
But ChatGPT–the new “generative AI” technology that can use artificial intelligence to produce strikingly well-written prose on the topic–has stuck around. Much like last year’s fanfare over generative art AI like “DALL-E” (which does a similar thing but with visual images), people seem both curious and fascinated by exploring this amusing new tool.Continue reading
Technology in the Classroom: A Blessing or a Curse?
These days, technology is so ingrained in our lives that it’s practically impossible to go without it. While there are those who oppose our collective reliance on phones and computers to go about our daily lives, it’s hard to deny the benefits. Technology has revolutionized many aspects of human life, including our careers, and the legal field is no exception. Gone are the days of spending hours in a library pouring over volumes of case reporters — now, you can simply plug keywords into Westlaw and have access to whatever information you need right away. But if lawyers nowadays are constantly using technology to do their jobs, why is it that some professors institute no-tech policies in the classroom?
Before going any further, I should acknowledge that I’m biased. As a member of Gen Z with a father who works in the tech industry, I grew up using technology for pretty much everything. I rely on the GPS to get everywhere, I watch YouTube videos instead of reading instructions, and the last time I took handwritten notes for class was in middle school. My freshman year of high school was the first year the administration decided to give all the students iPads — a product with great educational potential, but in the hands of teenagers, probably more of a distraction.Continue reading
5 Professor Personalities That Make BC Law Great
In honor of BC Law earning a #8 spot on Princeton Review’s 2023 Law School Rankings: Best Professors list, I have attempted to distill the five most common BC Law Professor personality types that make them the best of the best. As a disclaimer, there are undoubtedly fantastic professors who were not mentioned on this list due to my limited experience and response sample size. Additionally, many professors will fit into multiple categories, and other amazing professors are in a category of their own that did not make the list for the sake of brevity.
Without further ado:Continue reading
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?
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.Continue reading