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.
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.
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.
Before 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.
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).
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.
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.