On Saturday, April 22, thousands of people in cities and towns throughout the United States and around the world will be marching to show public support for science. There will be a march on the Boston Common from 1-4 PM. I hope you will join me!
I am marching for science because I believe we need a scientifically literate society. There are profound scientific issues facing our civilization. These issues include the acceleration of automation, developments in artificial intelligence and gene-editing technology, the race to find cures to diseases, adaptation to a changing climate, and the expansion of humanity’s presence in the solar system. We need a scientifically literate society to confront these challenges and so many more. We need a scientifically literate society so that we can openly innovate and build new industries that will create the opportunities of tomorrow. And we need leaders who will enact evidence-based policies and pull us towards a higher enlightenment.
As law students and future lawyers, we know that the legal profession is a noble one that is committed to defending and searching for the truth. Science too is a noble pursuit.
The words of Ibn al-Haytham particularly resonated with me:
“Finding truth is difficult. And the road to it is rough. As seekers of the truth you will be wise to withhold judgment and not simply put your trust in the writings of the ancients. You must question and critically examine those writings from every side. You must admit only to argument and experiment, and not to the sayings of any person. For every human being is vulnerable to all kinds of imperfection. As seekers of the truth we must also suspect and question our own ideas as we perform our investigations, to avoid falling into prejudice or careless thinking. Take this course and truth will be revealed to you.” —Ibn al-Haytham, who was a scientist during the Golden Age of Science in Muslim civilization and who understood the scientific method 200 years before the Enlightenment reached Europe
Here is more information about the March for Science in Boston:
“I think you’re going to see more young people running for office for the first time in these next elections than ran for the first time inspired by President Obama’s success. … In my experience on the presidential stage — a tour that was shorter than I would have hoped — it seemed that anger and fear were the animating emotions of the entire election.
It has been and continues to be a privilege to witness some of the most vulnerable moments of a person’s life, to stand with them, and try to help. The young people with whom I’ve worked have radically different stories than my own, and I imagine different from most law students. My years spent working with them have shown me that while ongoing assistance and intervention in domestic, educational and religious environments is crucial, it can only do so much in the face of a legal system which, for example, occasionally punishes children for problems for which they are not directly responsible. These young people deserve someone fighting on their side who has walked alongside them and experienced a piece of their story. Here are three that have stayed with me. I’ve changed names, but otherwise told them as they happened.
When Jackson’s foster mom dropped him off at the ER, she gave the nurses a piece of advice: don’t let him play dinosaur inside. This was passed along to the director of the behavioral and mental health unit at a different hospital where he ended up, and was repeated to every staff member who worked with him: no dinosaur inside.
Author’s Note: Boston College Law School offers students the opportunity to do a full-time semester-in-practice in Washington, DC.
This fall I am working as a Law Intern at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. My other classmates from BC Law are working in various federal agencies and nonprofits, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the US House of Representatives. Throughout the semester, I will be highlighting all of our experiences.
Here is the first in our BC in DC Spotlight series—on Cynthia Gonzalez!
What’s it like to be a judge?
It’s my sixth week of working for Judge Dineen Riviezzo of the Kings County (Brooklyn) Supreme Court. Judge Riviezzo hears felony cases and Article 10 civil confinement cases. Also, every Friday, she’s in charge of the juvenile offender part, where she hears cases involving 14, 15, and 16-year-olds who would normally be heard in Family Court, but because they commit certain serious crimes, are heard in Supreme Court (but are often afforded youthful offender treatment).
View of Brooklyn from the Judge’s chambers
So far, I can say that being a judge requires three major qualities.
First, it requires patience. Whether it’s dealing with an attorney’s mistake, sorting out a disagreement between the parties, or waiting for a defendant to be produced or parties to show up, I’ve learned that for judges, every day is a test of patience. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Alex Porter will serve as the President of the Boston College Law Students Association for the 2016-17 academic year. Much like his predecessor, Alex embodies the very best qualities that BC Law students have to offer. As a member of the Boston College Law Review alongside him, I know for a fact that as incoming students you will be in very capable hands. Without further ado, I am very pleased to present his welcome letter to the Class of 2019.
President-Elect Alex Porter (second from right) along with three of his classmates.
Congratulations on your admission to Boston College Law School!
This August, you will become the newest (and most celebrated!) members of our truly extraordinary community. It is a community that eschews one-size-fits-all happiness because we choose instead to value the whole person. Here, it matters that you were the captain of your track team in college, or served as an aide to the Secretary of Transportation, or had first-hand knowledge of tort law due to an unfortunate car accident. Here, whether your family came on the Mayflower or whether you just stepped off the plane from Bangalore, your classmates will want to know – and will value – your story. Please understand that this doesn’t mean an easy ride; you will work harder than you ever have in your life, and you will be challenged to achieve more than you thought possible in the classroom and beyond. But you will do it in a supportive, caring environment that lifts you up so we all get there together, rather than tearing you down.
Friendly competition can be a great thing, but cutthroat competition is not, and we won’t stand for that here.
BC Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) hosted its 28th annual auction last Thursday at the offices of Morgan Lewis in downtown Boston. The auction is PILF’s biggest event of the year and is always well-attended by students, professors, and alumni.
As a 1L attending my first PILF auction, I found it to be pretty awesome for two main reasons.
Name: Samantha Lyons
Year: 3L (Class of 2016)
Undergraduate institution: University of Michigan, Class of 2009, graduated cum laude with a B.A. in History of Art
Experiences between college and law school: I worked for two years as a legal assistant in the antitrust department in the DC Office of Skadden Arps, and for another two years as Skadden’s Pro Bono Coordinator.
Name: Katie Horigan
Year: 2L (Class of 2017)
Undergraduate institution: Clark University, Class of 2013, graduated magna cum laude
Experiences between college and law school: In the year between graduating from undergrad and coming to law school I received my master’s degree in history.
Name: Nicholas Baker
Year: 1L (Class of 2018)
Undergraduate institution: University of Florida, Class of 2015, graduated cum laude; Florida Blue Key
Activities at BC Law (besides being an Ambassador): Christian Legal Society
Favorite class: Civil Procedure with Professor Webber. He’s always cracking jokes and consistently keeps the class laughing.