Prepared for Success

This past January, I remember thinking to myself that I couldn’t wait to submit my last final exam at the end of May. It was an exhilarating feeling that lasted for a day or so until I received the Writing Competition email with hundreds of pages of materials. I was eager to complete the assignment over the next two weeks, so that I could finally take a breather. I submitted my competition materials, but it was on the same day that my summer internship started. Oh yes, and then grades were released. Then, the window for OCI (on-campus interview) applications were opened. Did I mention the anxiety of class registration for next year in the middle of this?

If this all seems like a lot… it is! Yet, every first-year law student persisted through this process and thrived. Although the past year felt overwhelming for a variety of reasons, we were all able to persevere because Boston College Law School prepared us.

On my first day of my summer internship at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, I was handed three assignments. One task was writing a memorandum that needed to be submitted five days later. Another task was assisting a supervising attorney by acting as a judge in a moot court as she prepared to argue before the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The other assignment was drafting a motion for an upcoming proceeding. All of this was in the first week.

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The Value of an Externship: My Experience at Tripadvisor

BC Law places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning, beginning your 1L year. But as a 2L and 3L, you have the opportunity to dive even deeper into practice through externships or clinic experiences. You can learn more about the clinic offerings at BC here, but because I decided to take the externship route, I’ll reflect on that experience.

Through BC’s Semester-in-Practice program, students are given the opportunity to secure job placements in Boston or beyond for course credit. The number of hours per week depends on the placement and the student, and all students must participate in a weekly seminar as well. I decided to spend last semester at Tripadvisor, where I worked (virtually due to COVID) 4 days a week.

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Exploring the BC Law Environment

When I first started at BC Law as a bright-eyed, fresh-faced 1L, I was enthusiastic, but, honestly, utterly clueless about what I wanted out of law school. While diverse in backgrounds and experiences, it’s a safe assumption that, to some degree, BC Law students are cut from the same cloth. We are ambitious, friendly, and intellectually curious. And while that’s what I loved about our student body from Day 1, admittedly, having so many high achievers in one place can make forging an individual path somewhat challenging.

I waited patiently throughout 1L year, hoping to connect with a certain class or professor that would set me on my path. I struggled to make sense of what my past could mean for my future. As an undergraduate science major with work experience in communications, my interests have always been vast and varied. Without a clear-cut direction, I was determined that during my first months as a law student, I would expand my perspective on what it means to practice law in as many ways as possible. I joined student organizations, attended campus events, and most importantly, I continued to engage in all that I had learned prior to law school.

Finally, in the spring of my 1L year, something clicked.

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Behind Closed Doors

When people asked me about my summer (How was work? Did you like what you did?), I found it difficult to provide an adequate account of what I was doing. I spent my summer with the Child Protection Unit at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. The Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) there form part of the team that investigates and, if appropriate, prosecutes instances of child physical and sexual abuse in Suffolk County, which includes Boston, Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop. At the Superior Court level almost all of the cases they handle deal with allegations of sexual abuse involving children. To be clear, the following will include a discussion of those cases, and some of it may be difficult to read. Continue reading

Want to Practice in New York?

In the summer of 2016, I was faced with a dilemma: should I attend law school at BC, a school that I absolutely love, and at which I know I’ll receive a quality education? Or should I attend law school in New York – my home city, and the city where I want to eventually practice law – even though the school has a lower ranking?

After months of deliberation, speaking with lawyers and law students, and prayer, I decided to attend BC Law. I was convinced that it was the best place for me to receive the education I need to be a good lawyer, and to also enjoy the law school experience (and as a rising 3L, I can say that I was right!). However, a concern still lingered in my mind throughout my 1L year: will I be able to find a job back at home in New York City once I graduate? This blog post is for any prospective or current students who are wondering the same thing.

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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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Things I Wish I Knew Vol. 16: You can come see the school, even if you can’t come see the school

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last post because I and the admissions committee have been hard at work on a few projects (one soon to come – stay tuned!) including this one.

We know that getting to campus for a visit may be cost-prohibitive or otherwise impossible for some of our students outside of the Northeast, and in conjunction with the Office of Admissions, we’ve made it so that you can take a tour from the comfort of your own home! Watch the replay on You Tube:

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What We Do When We’re Not in Law School: A Survey of Summer Jobs

One of the questions many prospective law students often have (and that I definitely had when I was looking at law school) is about what, exactly, law students do during their summers. The answer is: some pretty cool stuff. Below is a selection of summaries about what current BC Law rising 2Ls and 3Ls are currently doing in cities across the country, grouped into five categories: Firms, In-House Counsel & Consulting, Judicial Internships, Public Interest, and Government. This group isn’t necessarily representative (it basically represents who I could dragoon into writing something up for me on short notice — thanks friends!), but hopefully it will give you a general sense of the different types of work law students do before they graduate. As always, if you have any questions, use the comments to ask away!

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Last Week I Argued In U.S. District Court And It Was Great

Well hello, everyone! It’s been a while. Thanks to the record 108.6 inches of snow we’ve been allotted here in Boston (thanks Mother Nature), I’ve had a lot of catching up to do at work, and have also been very busy prepping to defend the SSA’s position in federal court.

Ron's Work Desk

A computer, coffee, and the Code of Federal Regulations. What more could I ask for?

Let me back up: This semester I’ve been working as a student in the Semester In Practice: Public Interest program at BC Law. Specifically, I’m an intern in the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel (let’s just call it OGC) in downtown Boston. Rather than balancing classes I’ve been writing briefs, negotiating, and prosecuting. Oh, and preparing to argue a brief in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine…

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