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.
Jen Hayden (Class of 2002)
Perhaps the single most important thing I did as a first year law student was participate in the Public Interest Career Fair held in January of every year. In addition to studying for mid-terms, I prepared and submitted my resume to several employers who were offering summer placements. I was offered a housing intern position that summer at Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn, MA, and I worked with a housing attorney defending low income families in danger of eviction. I worked the following summer for the same organization at their office in Lawrence but because I was 3:03 certified [certified under the MA Student Practice Rule], I could actually represent clients myself in court. I had my own caseload and was making arguments weekly before a judge in the Housing Court of Massachusetts.
The following semester, I continued my work, this time receiving credit through the Domestic Violence Clinic, due to the overlap between problems of domestic violence and problems of housing. I think 3:03 certification is one of the most underutilized benefits of being a law student. If you take a clinic, you will most likely become certified. But if you choose not to do a clinic and do not work for a public interest organization, you are missing out on significant opportunities to learn practical legal experience. To make a long story short, I was offered a permanent post-graduate position by the same organization. It is a sacrifice in terms of pay but a true windfall in terms of the benefits of doing meaningful work for people who genuinely need and appreciate you.