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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Toward Inclusivity and Cultural Competence

Hi everyone and happy summer! I am very pleased to be able to host a guest blog today from the BC Law Alumni Board member Ingrid Schroffner, Assistant General Counsel at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.


I am passionate about—and feel fortunate to be able to work on—diversity and unconscious bias issues at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). My cross-cultural upbringing and my experience as an Asian-American lawyer contribute to my interest in this area.

My maternal grandfather immigrated from Okinawa to Hawaii in the first part of the 20th century to work in the sugarcane fields. I attended Japanese school when I was a child, and my household was filled with Japanese culture.

I also have a cross-cultural, East-West perspective. My father is a first-generation immigrant from Salzburg, Austria. I learned German from my father (and later, in school) and spent a summer living and working in Austria with my relatives. None of my grandparents spoke English. These two diverse heritages comprise my background.

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A Letter to the Class of 2019 from the President-Elect of the LSA

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.

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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.

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Opening Act II: A Twenty-Year Reunion

Hello everyone! This week, I’m hosting a guest blog from Tom Burton ‘96, the new Alumni Association President. I’m thrilled that he has agreed to write about his BC Law experience for Impact.

Tom chairs Mintz Levin’s Energy Technology Practice, which he founded over 12 years ago. His global practice focuses on complex corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, and securities transactions for energy and clean technology companies. He is ranked by Best Lawyers in America in the Corporate Law section, and he has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies. In the community, Tom serves as President of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association, Chairman of the Board of Overseers and Trustee of the New England Aquarium and an Advisory Committee Member of the Flutie Spectrum Enterprises, LLC. Tom is also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee, its Board of Directors equivalent.

Twenty years. For quite a few of you reading this post, twenty years is nearly a lifetime. For me, and for my classmates from ’96, it marks the halfway point in our careers. Our upcoming twenty-year reunion in November has given me pause to reflect on that slightly sobering fact, and to think about my BC Law friends and classmates. What strikes me the most are their tremendous professional successes across the board.

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A Mutual Respect: The Glue that Binds Us

Hello everyone! This week, I’m hosting a guest blog from Margie Palladino ’85, the outgoing Alumni Board Chair for Reunions. I’m thrilled that she’s agreed to write about her BC Law experience for Impact.

Margie was the recipient of the Boston College Law School’s Outstanding Reunion Volunteer Award for generating record attendance for her class’s 25th reunion. Margie is principal of Reunions Reinvented LLC, a business that generates momentum for professional school reunions. She is a former partner at the Boston law firm of Sherburne, Powers and Needham, now known as Holland and Knight. 

Nearly 600 people came together in November to celebrate the BC Law School reunions. It was wonderful to witness so many alumni—young and old—reconnecting with classmates and professors and rekindling memories of their law school days. There were BC Law alumni from all walks of life: the judiciary, private firms, corporations, public service, academia, and government (including a state governor, US senator, and several congressional representatives). Equally impressive was the number of alumni present who had stepped out of the legal profession temporarily or permanently to take care of their families or pursue entrepreneurial, volunteer, and other valued interests.

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Thoughts from a Double Eagle: We Are BC

2Ls (from left) Maria Colella, Ashley Gambone, and Margaret Capp ran the Red Bandanna Run with me on October 24th.

2Ls (from left) Maria Colella, Ryan Murphy, Ashley Gambone, and Margaret Capp, pictured with BC mascot Baldwin, ran the Red Bandanna Run on October 24th.

As I introduced myself to classmates, professors and administrators during orientation and throughout the first few weeks of 1L year, many of them asked where I attended college, or why I chose BC Law. I told them that I went to Boston College, and had such a great experience that I thought it would have been crazy, if given the chance to come back to BC, to go to law school anywhere else. I couldn’t even picture it. Their response was, more times than not, “oh, so you’re a double eagle!”

I had heard the phrase “double eagle” tossed around in college from time to time. For those of you who haven’t, members of the BC community affectionately call people with two BC degrees (including diplomas from BC High) “double eagles.” Similarly, the more exclusive “triple eagle” title signifies three BC degrees.

Being from New York, and not knowing many BC alumni, the term “double eagle” never seemed like more than a catchphrase used in the community. But as I get closer to attaining my second degree, it has become much more than that for me.

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Making an Impact: the Power of Pro Bono

Editor’s Note: Earl Adams, Jr. is of Counsel with DLA Piper in Washington, DC and Baltimore. Prior to this position, Earl was Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. He has also served in several different positions of leadership within the BC Law Alumni Association, including his current position as Vice President of the Alumni Board. All of us at Impact are pleased to be able to host his guest blog post.

earl_adamsBefore joining my current law firm, I had the honor of serving for five years in Maryland state government as chief of staff to the Lt. Governor, and one of the things I enjoyed most about my job was the knowledge that my efforts benefited more than a precious few. This feeling gave me a true sense of work satisfaction. Among the many things that I learned and got out of my BC Law experience was an appreciation of the maxim, “to whom much is given, much will be required.” So, when I decided to leave public service and return to private practice, I was, to say the least, concerned that I might not find the same contentment in my new job. Said more precisely, I was concerned that my work on behalf of individual clients would not be as rewarding. As a result, when I arrived at my firm, I actively sought out opportunities to find socially impactful pro bono work. One particular engagement caught my attention because of the potential to changes the lives of the people involved.

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Remember “The Why”: A Letter from the Alumni Board President

Editor’s Note: Kevin Curtin is the Boston College Law School Alumni Board President and a member of the BC Law Class of ’88. He is Senior Appellate Counsel/Grand Jury Director at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. He has tried approximately 100 jury cases and handled over 100 criminal appeals. Mr. Curtin is also an instructor in the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop and a faculty member of the national trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is also an adjunct faculty member at BC Law. All of us at Impact are pleased to be able to host his guest blog post.

Commencement is a time for remembering why you chose to become a lawyer. That idea was reflected in the remarks of this year’s Commencement speaker, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach David Simas, BC Law ‘95. Dean Vincent Rougeau talked about it. It was also mentioned by Class President Lainey Sullivan ’15 (who recently committed to join the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan ’79).

Coincidence? Maybe.

But what about this? Dean Rougeau, University President Father William P. Leahy, David Simas and Lainey Sullivan also spoke about something else: the idea of a tradition shared in common with those who have come before them. Something that makes Boston College Law School special—an essential bond that cannot be seen, but which is continuously affirmed as true.

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It’s Baltimore, Gentlemen; The Gods Will Not Save You

Let’s talk about Baltimore.  Most people outside of the D.C. area know Charm City from David Simon’s The Wire. The Wire is a masterfully conceptualized piece of work that truly transcended television (full disclosure: I took an entire course on it in undergrad).  Simon, in an interview, once said that:

The Wire is a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces. It’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason. In much of television, and in a good deal of our stage drama, individuals are often portrayed as rising above institutions to achieve catharsis. In this drama, the institutions always prove larger, and those characters with hubris enough to challenge the postmodern construct of American empire are invariably mocked, marginalized, or crushed. Greek tragedy for the new millennium, so to speak.

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