New England Law | Boston students perform public service work through clinical courses, student groups, and employment, both paid and volunteer.
Students may obtain transcript recognition for approved public service legal work through the Public Service Transcript Notation Program.
Rochelle Meddoff (Class of 2010)
I came to law school after burning out as a human rights activist in undergraduate school. I was tired of having my work limited to publicity and fundraising, and came to New England Law | Boston specifically to learn the skills needed to protect victims of human rights abuses. From my very first semester, New England Law provided me with the hands-on projects I craved.
My first experience was with the Center for Law and Social Responsibility’s (CLSR) Immigration Law Project. I worked with a group of other students to write an amicus brief for The Matter of A-T-, a case involving a woman who sought asylum on the grounds of fear of future persecution. A young woman from Mali, A-T- already experienced female genital mutilation and feared for her life if she was returned. We met with doctors at the Boston Medical Center and distilled the medical consequences of female genital mutilation into an amicus brief that judges could understand. Attorney General Michael Mukasey overruled the lower court and granted asylum for A-T-, and arguments from this amicus brief were used successfully in the Second Circuit. I earned the school’s Public Service Transcript Notation for my immigration work with the CLSR.
The summer after my 1L year, I participated in a study abroad program with a sister school in the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education. During my time in Malta, New England Law | Boston gave me the opportunity to work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The United States had agreed to resettle all of the refugees in Malta, so I worked with the resettlement officer to do the preliminary interviews and refugee applications for hundreds of people. The job was tough, but after hearing many harrowing stories and organizing a queue of hundreds, it was great to see the first group of refugees board a plane for their new lives in the United States.
As a 3L, I did more conventional clinics. I first worked in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office through our school’s Federal Courts Clinic. I spent much of my time researching and writing and had the opportunity to assist my supervising attorney with briefs for court, including one for the Court of Appeals.
In my last semester, I interned with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. I am certified under S.J.C. Rule 3:03, the student practice rule, and authorized to handle cases and appear in court. After doing so much work with refugees, it was great to try something completely different and represent the Commonwealth in computer crime prosecutions. I spent a lot of time with investigators, preparing evidence for the grand jury and even investigating my own cases. After being in court for bail hearings and motions to suppress unlawfully gathered evidence, I feel prepared and ready to start working as soon as I graduate.