Criminal Justice Reform Tackled at BC Law

At BC Law, your education does not only consist of the material you learn in your courses. BC hosts many conferences, functions, presentations, and discussions on just about every subject you can think of, from panels put on by professors addressing recent political actions to all-day events sponsored by BC’s journals and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy. Recently, the Rappaport Center sponsored an all-day conference on criminal justice reform in Massachusetts that was open to both students and practitioners. There were three panels as well as a keynote address by Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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Law Journals 101

People often ask me what’s different about 2L year compared to 1L year. Among other things, like more challenging classes and having a better handle on the way law school works, there’s one thing in particular that has made my 2L experience a whole lot different from my 1L year: being on a journal.

What’s a journal? At the end of their 1L year, BC Law students have the opportunity to participate in a writing competition in order to be on the staff of one of BC Law’s nationally-recognized law journals. Currently, there are five journals at BC Law: the Boston College Law Review (BCLR), the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, the Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, the Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice, and the U.C.C. Reporter-Digest (note: with the exception of the U.C.C. Reporter-Digest, at the end of this academic year all the journals will be consolidated into the Boston College Law Review, and each subject area will be given appropriate space for articles within BCLR). All 2Ls hold staff writer positions in the journal to which they belong, while the 3Ls hold different editorial positions.

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The Case of the Drunken Sailor

One night in the 1960’s, a Coast Guard sailor, whose ship was in port for repairs, came stumbling back to the vessel in, to use the words of the judge, “the condition for which seamen are famed.” His ship was in a dry-dock, a floating tub of water which is drained once the ship is inside so that repairs to the hull can be made. The sailor, buoyed by drink, tried his hand at the dry-dock control wheels, letting in water which eventually caused the boat and dry-dock to partially sink. The dry-dock owners sued the government for the money damages the sailor’s actions caused, and the government eventually had to foot the bill. Continue reading

Teach, Work, Love: Professor Hillinger on BC Law

Take a few minutes to watch the following video profiling Professor Ingrid Hillinger, who is one of BC Law’s most respected professors . She is known for her demanding but rewarding teaching style and her tireless devotion to members of the BC Law community. One of her students told me she has, at times, sent emails in the wee hours of the morning, and that she is rumored to be the one who unlocks the school in the mornings.

Her reputation isn’t restricted to our campus, either—she was named one of the “26 best law teachers in the country” in the book What the Best Law Teachers Do (Schwartz, 2013). See a BC Law Magazine article here  about what makes her so good.

I have not had the privilege of taking a class with Professor Hillinger, so I turned to two of my classmates for their perspectives:

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Now Playing: The IPTF Podcast, Ep. 1

I’m pleased to guest host 2L Ryan Sullivan today, who is bringing us the first ever Intellectual Property and Technology Forum podcast. The IPTF is dedicated to providing readers with rigorous, innovative scholarship, timely reporting, and ongoing discussion from the legal community concerning technology law and intellectual property. The Forum is designed, edited and published by students at Boston College Law School.

I am pleased to announce that the first episode of the IPTF Podcast is complete! The podcast is in conjunction with the Intellectual Property and Technology Forum Journal at BC Law.

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Dream Big: The Forbes’ Under 30 Summit

I’m pleased to be able to host a guest blog today by second-year student Leah Herscovici, who attended the recent Under 30 Summit event in Boston.

Boston is known for many things: it’s the city that helped spark a revolution, that holds the sound of Paul Revere’s mighty cry, that is the birth place of political upheaval. It is also the home of thousands upon thousands of Millennials (otherwise known as those who will one day take over the world).

Currently populating colleges and businesses across the nation, Millennials are the people who are holding the latest iPhone, know the difference between Uber and Lyft, and can sometimes repeat stories in 120 characters or less. These people are the driving force behind new ideas and innovations that are constantly appearing online, offline, and on platforms we have yet to even imagine.

For a weekend and one day, I was able to submerge myself among these amazing professionals during Forbes’ Under 30 Summit held in the tech-savvy center of Boston from October 16-19. More than 5,000 young professionals flocked to the massive event to join the many panels and discussions revolving around new media, professionalism in the 21st century, and how to make the next coolest gadget.

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These Shows May Not Have Been Written For You, But It’d Be Super Cool If You Watched Anyway

We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary of the television becoming a staple in American homes. And I can’t be the only one who’s noticed the spectacularly colorful fall line-up of shows this year.

Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix). Insecure (HBO). Atlanta (FX).

But I’m already fearful for these shows’ longevity. Because there are some who feel uncomfortable by their very existence.

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History in the Making

I’m very excited to host a guest blog from a go-getter BC Law 1L, Brianna Marshall. She is originally from central Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bucknell University in 2015 with a degree in Animal Behavior and a French minor. During her gap year, Brianna lived in New York City, working for several nonprofits dedicated to food policy and global hunger. At BC Law, Brianna is now a 1L Section Representative for the Art Law Society and a Staff Writer for the Intellectual Property and Technology Forum (IPTF) Journal. Have questions about life as a 1L? Contact Brianna at brianna.marshall@bc.edu


Election season is fully upon us and, as expected, BC Law is abuzz with many of the same tensions, fears, and frustrations felt throughout the country given the current political climate. Continue reading

Regulation and Moderation: Lessons from the Subprime Disaster

I’m James Barasch, a 2L and I’m pleased to writing for Impact again this year! I used to run a book and movie review blog during my time at Tufts University, and I thought I’d continue that tradition here at BC Law.

The great financial crisis of 2007-2009 was an economic Pearl Harbor for many of us at BC Law School. As the Crash of 1929 and the Stagflation of the ‘70s did in previous generations, the failure and instability of many seemingly unbreakable banks, financial institutions, and large corporations caused large ripples of financial insecurity and uncertainty that are taking years to work through the economy.

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The Cases We Read: Pennoyer v. Neff

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “personal jurisdiction”?

Fear? Loathing? Confusion because you’re a 1L or prospective student who has no idea what this is?

One of the things that fascinated me most when I came to law school was the fact that here we are in the 21st century and we’re still studying cases from close to 200 years ago. Frankly, I was rather annoyed when I realized this—was I supposed to have come into law school with the word “forsooth” as part of my working lexicon?  Continue reading