Anusce Solatka (Class of 2009)
My experience at the New England Law Clinic Law Office has been one of the best academic decisions I could ever make. I had reached the point in my legal training where I was fed up with just learning. I wanted to improve my skills on a practical level. Furthermore, I wanted to make sure that I understood how to handle a case, how to talk to a client, how to organize my time, and how to be of contribution to the legal system. However, I also wanted to make sure that my clinical experience would allow me to understand the challenges and the obstacles of the legal system so to be ready for the real thing. In fact, my goal for attending law school was to contribute to a more accessible legal system. So I decided that the in-house Public Interest Law Clinic was the perfect match for everything I was looking for from the clinical experience, and thank God, I was right!
The opportunities that the New England Law Clinic Office offers are immeasurable. It provides you with a full immersion into the legal reality, while the supervisors guide and mentor you to make you a great attorney. Every hour at the in-house clinic was a learning experience. Every minute in court, talking to the opposing counsel, consulting with the client, preparing to address the judge, arguing a motion, made the practice of law become more concrete and real. No textbook can provide you with the same practical teaching.
The clinical experience also provided me with an insight to my ways for approaching a client. I had to train myself to be detached from their stories, to be objective and to avoid being sucked into their lives because of my desire to help them. It was a wake up call that gave me the possibility to work on my own attitude towards a case. I am grateful that the clinic provided me with such inward analysis. Now I know what my weaknesses are and I feel prepared to tackle any case.
I loved the Clinic so much that in my last semester of law school I decided to complete the Massachusetts Practice and Procedure Clinic. I had seen the side of litigation, and I wanted to add to my resume a judicial clerkship. The Mass. Practice Clinic placed me with a Suffolk Superior Court judge, and I was able to interact, observe, write, and question anything that took place in the courtroom.
To conclude, the clinic program at New England Law | Boston has allowed me to learn how to manage cases, interact with clients, improve my writing skills, and understand my strengths and limitations. Whether you decide to do a clinic to increase your practical experience, or to explore the field of public interest law, be sure that the clinics offered by the school will match all your expectations. My only regret is not to have enrolled in the clinic program sooner.