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.
Tracey Hannon (Class of 2011)
Like many students, I entered law school unaware of what type of law I really wanted to practice. I simply knew early on that I wanted exposure to different types of law. I decided to apply for a clinic with the hopes of getting some real hands-on experience and I thought that the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic would be the best route to go.
The first semester of my second year I was placed at the New England Law | Boston Clinical Legal Office and was immediately given my own cases, mainly dealing with family law cases. Through my experience at the Clinical Legal Office I learned how to handle cases on an independent level and with the assistance of my supervisor I was able to prepare for and go to hearings before a judge at Norfolk Probate Court. My time at the Clinical Legal Office allowed me to better understand how to communicate with clients, opposing counsel, and colleagues. I improved my writing skills by applying what I learned in class to real life situations and I got a better understanding of how to be an attorney.
Entering my third year of law school, I realized my interests were in health law and public health law. I decided to enroll in the Health Law Clinic in the spring of 2011 in order to gain more practical experience. My placement this semester was at the Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLP), where I was a member of the Income Supports Team. My experience at MLP only furthered my interest in health law and public interest law. I was assigned cases and given many responsibilities right from the start. I appreciated the high expectations that were placed on me and worked hard to meet them. I mainly focused on Social Security law and disability cases. I also helped with a major campaign that MLP is working on to improve health care professionals’ understanding of Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
At MLP I was exposed to others types of law as well, such as education law, housing, and immigration. There are teams for each of these legal fields, and while I was on the Income Supports Team, I learned a great deal about these other aspects of law through trainings and weekly staff meetings.
Overall, I truly appreciate my experiences through both the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic and the Health Law Clinic. Not only did they better prepare me for the professional world, but they also enhanced my passion for public interest law and health law. I would strongly recommend the clinical experience to any incoming student in order to gain legal experience and find where your interests lie.