Here I am starting over at an age when most people are retiring - entering law school in my mid-50s - not really having a clue after first year what the Dickens was going on in the classroom ... I got hooked up via a classmate to volunteer at Shelter Legal Services (SLS), a student organization in which you get to represent actual clients even before you can take the clinical courses at New England. That very first day, when I walked into the SLS clinic on Brookline Avenue in Cambridge, I knew I had found it. It's one on one, with people - no watching the clock so you can spend as much time as you want w/a client. People came for one thing, such as cleaning up a CORI [Criminal Offender Registry] - liked what they experienced - and came back for another - child support issues. I loved the people. They gave me more than I could ever give them in return. The Law should be and is for me a helping profession - you are an advocate -- you get to make sure that the teenager mother of 3 who wouldn't get even the time of day from the legal system gets her day in the system just as the client does from Choate Hall. It's a calling I guess and I heard it beginning with my SLS experience.
And I followed it and followed it. First, I took the Lawyering Process, obtaining a placement and the Homelessness Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services. I actually received credit for representing indigent families and helping them find and keep emergency shelter. I was lucky enough to have as a supervisor a true mentor and teacher, and I learned an incredible amount about the law and lawyering. So I kept going. I took the Administrative Law Clinic, and landed a placement at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). I took the Government Lawyer, and received credit for work in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. And I kept working at SLS, continuing to help people and continuing to learn. And I continue to hear the calling.