Here’s Why I Wouldn’t Go to Law School Anywhere Else

I’m very pleased to host a guest blog today from 2L Vaishali Goyal. Vaishali has been a staff writer for the Law Review and served as President of the American Constitution Society. She can be reached at goyalv@bc.edu.

Like many, I decided to attend BC Law for the community. But it was not just the student community I came for; I came to BC Law because of what BC did for me and for my family during my senior year of college.

Senior year, right after spring break, I had an unexpected and life threatening brain bleed. I was in the hospital for a month and a half.

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Through the Eyes of a Child

If you are ever looking for a brutally honest opinion of yourself, swallow your pride and ask a five year old.

In the years I spent working with kids at a community non-profit, I had the pleasure of hearing such gems as, “Miss Morgan, your tummy looks like my mommy’s when there’s a baby inside!” and “Did you know you look a lot less pretty when you wear your glasses?” Though some took these remarks seriously, one look at the sweet little faces from which the comments sprang forth never failed to make me laugh out loud. The children who attended these programs, often with the help of scholarships and sliding-scale payment plans, were typically filled with a joy and sense of innocence that made me absolutely love my job. All too often, however, these amusing little observations were juxtaposed with unfettered comments about living situations that revealed just how much these kids had been through in their short lives. I cannot forget the five-year-old who told me she wanted to kill herself because she missed her father so much, or the look of shame in an eleven-year-old’s eyes when his mother arrived to pick him up while high on drugs. I often felt frustrated by my inability to help these kids beyond passing the information along to DCF. I wanted so desperately to be able to advocate for these children in a way that went beyond simply telling someone higher up than me.

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Why I Am Pursuing a Career in Law

She was only seventeen when she realized she was pregnant. Having grown up in a predominantly white town in Ohio, she knew better than to bear a black man’s child, especially at that age. An adopted child herself, she decided someone else could provide her son a better life than a struggling high school student could. But my mother suddenly changed her mind seconds after holding me; by and large, my life’s greatest blessing. The struggles that would confront her may not have been clear at the moment, but she was willing to sacrifice plenty: forgoing college dreams, working multiple low wage jobs to put food on the table, being shunned by family for the color of her child’s skin, and most of all, being forced to do so alone. It was the nights that I awoke to her muffled sobs, seeing her still dressed in dirty waitressing clothes, that impacted me the most. I learned early on in life that the cards may not always be in your favor and that some people have to work harder to succeed. Yet by witnessing her struggle, I ultimately learned the value of resiliency and hard work. My mother’s perseverance instilled an insatiable hunger and an unrelenting drive, which ultimately would guide me through life. Continue reading

Crime Documentaries: Are They Really Helping?

I’m happy to be able to host a guest blog today from first-year student Christina Sonageri.

Technology has changed the way we do a lot of things—including the way we stream content. With the advent of platforms like Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime and Hulu, society has access to movies and shows at the click of a button. The change in how we are able to watch has helped to facilitate a more efficient way for producers and writers to share their stories.

One genre that I think has really flourished as a result is the crime documentary. Now, even when I hear the word “documentary,” my mind begins to swirl with mug shots of Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s Making a Murderer series, and images of the countless other subjects whose faces define the genre. Every time a new crime story is released, it seems it’s the only thing that anyone can talk about.

However, growing up the daughter of two lawyers initially made me skeptical of anyone who was trying to fit a whole case into just a few hours of television or film. So I decided to sit down and explore whether these types of documentaries are helpful or detrimental to the people involved in the crime—and what their impact on society’s faith in the justice system might be.

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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

You’ll Be Fine. Trust Me.

My first year of law school was hard for a number of reasons. I commuted from the North Shore everyday to avoid the debacle of finding an apartment, but this meant a ninety minute trip to school and back every day. To make my 9 am Torts class in the Fall, I would take the commuter rail into the city, and then an hourlong Green Line train ride to Cleveland Circle, where I would either pick up the shuttle or bum a ride from a fellow student heading to campus (thank you Colleen, and thank you Karla, you two saved me).

Imposter syndrome compounded my anxiety and I went from being someone who was hard on herself to someone who was impossible with herself. I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough, that I would fail my finals, and that graduating (or even making it to 2L year) wasn’t a given. I spent most of the year walking the ever-thinning tightrope of telling myself I deserved to be at BC, while not getting so confident that I would slip up and lose focus.

Then my dog died.

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These are a few of my favorite things

Yesterday was a day of celebration for me and my fellow 1Ls. It was the day that the writing competition was due. It was the day that we could finally embrace summer.

While all of us are understandably eager to have a break from school, I always like to leave a little room for nostalgia. Below are a few anecdotes that I gathered from my 1L friends about their favorite memories from this year, to remind us of what made our first year of law school so special. Enjoy!

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The Admitted Students Guidebook: the definitive treatise on “Things I Wish I Knew”

My mom always taught me that wherever you go, you should try to leave that place a little better than when you found it.

For those of you who don’t know my segment on Impact, I’m the “Things I Wish I Knew” gal, bringing you little tidbits of hopefully helpful advice from the perspective of someone who felt like she had quite a learning curve for this whole law school thing. I figure that my mistakes and triumphs might make things easier for some of you, so I’m happy to share whatever wisdom I can.

But among all the studying and class and work and job searching, I’ve been working on a little something else, too.

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