Humans of BC Law: Professor Martin O’Malley

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“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.

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Governor O’Malley at BC Law: Restoring Integrity to Our Democracy

Governor Martin O’Malley may have taken a step back from the national stage to reflect and teach in suburban Newton, Massachusetts, but he is certainly not shying away from the issues at the heart of current American politics. In a talk entitled “Restoring Integrity to Our Democracy” at Boston College Law School on Tuesday, Gov. O’Malley contemplated the conditions that resulted in President Donald Trump’s election and urged action on a series of fronts in order to protect and revitalize our democratic system of government.

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The former Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore, who just last year shared a debate stage with Democratic Party candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, struck an ominous tone at the outset about the current state of the country. He warned of the dangers of the President’s ideology, which he called “Trumpism,” before rejecting Pope Francis’ recent suggestion that we should “wait and see” what President Trump does before judging him. “Our political institutions are in a state of crisis,” he said. “Now we must ask what each of us will do.”

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Taking a Leave

When I started law school, I didn’t think it would go like this. I thought the hardest thing I would have to face would be the workload, and my commute. The only thing I feared was my anxiety taking over, and making it hard for me to get by. I was scared, but excited, at the prospect of three years doing something I had been working so hard and so long to do.

When I started law school I never thought I would miss almost all of my 1L spring to a chronic illness I had only just learned I have. I didn’t think I would have to postpone my finals to accommodate surgery to get better. I couldn’t imagine I would miss almost all of my 2L fall to that same illness, after the first surgery didn’t work. And never, in all my wildest fears did I think I would be taking the spring semester of my 2L year off to have another surgery; my second in less than a year.

But here I am.

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A Time for Reflection

Note: I’m pleased to host a guest blog today from Ed Hanley, Class of 1986. Ed is tax director of a regional accounting firm in San Francisco. He started being involved as an alumnus in 1989 when he joined the Alumni Board as the young alumni representative. When he moved to Washington DC, he joined with Carroll Dubuq (Class of 1962) to co-found the BC Law Club of Washington, DC. He is active in alumni events on the West Coast and recently rejoined the board of the Alumni Association, taking partial responsibility for reunions.

Ed and his partner Bill split their time between San Francisco and Popponesset Beach, Cape Cod.

Reunion Weekend is an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends, take in the sights and sounds of a campus so similar and yet so very different from years ago, and to remember why BC Law is such a special place. This year’s Reunion brought up so many memories for me—and a few surprises, too.

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Niece May For President

I am thrilled and honored to be hosting this guest blog today from 2L Mousa Al-Mosawy on the impact of this incredibly important election.

My niece, May, is a witty six-year-old girl who just entered the first grade of elementary at the American Community School in Jordan. Even though she lives in the Middle East, May is an American citizen. Usually, I get to see May on Skype or over her summer holiday when she comes to the United States. We talk about everything from her school activities to new Disney releases to questions about my disability and wheelchair. Watching a child grow and communicate, in different ways, is a true wonder. May is curious yet cautious, she opens topics by asking pointed questions and forms an opinion based on the responses. In our last Skype session, my sister, Nour, told me about a conversation she had with May. It went something like this:

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What To Watch on Your Precious Study Breaks

In law school, our free time is precious, so how we spend it matters. Wasting time on a show you’re unsure you’ll like is just too risky. Never fear though, because I’m here.

I watch a lot of TV — admittedly too much. Everyone has their vice. Some people like a night out on the town, others treat themselves to a nice bottle of wine and some fancy cheese. I watch TV.

Here are my top suggestions for what to watch, whether you need some comfort, some time away from the law, or some inspiration.

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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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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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Watch BC Law Students Argue at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals!

As part of BC Law’s Center for Experiential Learning Ninth Circuit Appellate Program, four of our third-year law students prepared briefs and argued today in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of indigent clients.

In the Ninth Circuit Appellate Program, supervised law students prepare briefs and argue immigration cases brought by indigent clients who would otherwise be without counsel. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in San Francisco and hearing cases arising from Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona, screens pro se cases and selects those that present important issues that deserve further development. Past cases have included asylum, withholding, Convention Against Torture claims, questions relating to immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and issues of statutory interpretation that present questions of first impression to the Court.

The Court schedules the opening brief to be filed in October, the reply brief in January, and oral argument before a panel of sitting judges in April of the same academic year. Students travel to the court hearing to present oral argument. The Court then issues its decision based on the merits of the individual cases.

Students develop and apply numerous skills, including client communication, legal research, brief writing, and oral advocacy.

These students have been preparing all year for this day, and you can watch their arguments here:

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