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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BC Law Students at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Hi everyone! I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from Jovalin Dedaj, BC Law ’16. Jovalin and Cristina Manzano, BC Law ’16, recently argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

As a law student, I knew that my legal education would involve reading cases, outlining cases, and studying cases. I certainly did not know (nor did I expect) that as a BC law student, my legal education would also involve arguing a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Jovalin Dedaj ’16 and Cristina Manzano ’16 at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

When Professor Kari Hong joined the BC faculty in 2012, she brought with her an extensive background in immigration law and appellate work. One of her first initiatives at the law school was setting up the Ninth Circuit Appellate Project (NCAP), a clinic devoted to representing indigent clients in the Ninth Circuit who face immigration consequences for various criminal convictions. I first heard about the clinic as a first-year law student and remember thinking to myself what an intimidating experience it would be to argue a case before a U.S. circuit court of appeals without even having graduated law school! Two years later, the feeling certainly returned the morning of our oral arguments.

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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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A Semester in a Shrinking World: Jumping Borders

The world is shrinking. For me, it started shrinking the day I stuck one of those free AOL floppy disks into my computer. Instantly (sort of), I was connected to the World Wide Web and debating the latest episode of Doug with a kid named “PorkChop69” living halfway across the country. It was the beginning of a life without borders.

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Porkchop, the World’s Greatest Dog with the World’s Coolest Doghouse.

Fast forward to 1L year at BC Law, when I took an elective course called Globalization. There, I learned that the legal field is perhaps the most crucial player in our increasingly global world, whether from the perspective of international relations, corporate law, environmental law, immigration law, or human rights law. As our artificial borders continue to dissolve, it’s the lawyers who write the rules.

When the first-ever BC Law Paris Exchange/Summer Externship program was announced at the beginning of my 2L year, I jumped at the opportunity to experience the world of international law for myself. Continue reading

Space Law?

Martian rights. Asteroid mining disputes. Inter-galactic treaties.

Someday an attorney will work in these practice areas, but sadly that day is not today. So much of what humans do out there – in space – is governed by laws grounded right here on Earth.

This past summer I had the honor of working as a Law Clerk at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of the General Counsel.

Yes, NASA has lawyers! From environmental legal issues to contracts and international agreements, NASA attorneys work on a wide range of matters enabling tremendous leaps in research and development and advancing our nation’s exploration of the cosmos. NASA is a United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Thumbs up at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland

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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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Jobs That Come From the Least Likely Place

Last week, I landed my first law job. (There’s been a lot of private dance parties, in my room, by myself.) Naturally, I’m incredibly relieved. But my job didn’t come from an internship or even an on-campus interview. My job came from the professor whose Article 2 exam I bombed. True statement. For those still on the fence about BC, and, maybe even at this point, law school generally, read my story.

I did decently in first semester, 1L. Nothing to write home about at all. But just enough to keep me from cashing in on the insurance policy that Admissions offers for a full refund of your first year tuition, should you come to the conclusion that going to law school was actually a horrible idea. So, I hedged my bets and got fancy by taking a class called “Advanced Contracts.”

And for three years after the fact, I had regretted taking that class. Not because it wasn’t incredible: it was. And insanely difficult. That course single-handedly dialed me into what I needed to get better at to right the ship. But with so much riding on your grades, I believed I had really shot myself in the foot with the whole ‘Go Big or Go Home’ attitude. But you fight on, keep a positive attitude, and hope for the best.

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