Kristen Antolini (Class of 2011)
In the first semester of my 2L year I signed up for New England Law's Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, choosing my placement at the school’s in-house clinic. This is the best clinic to start off with, especially because I had no prior legal experience. During the semester, through the supervision of the great clinical supervisors, I was certified under the Student Practice Rule, and I had two divorce clients with whom I was able to go to court for various stages of the divorce process. Helping a client who was a victim of domestic violence obtain a restraining order was a highlight of the semester.
After this first clinic experience I knew I wanted to work for victims of domestic violence, particularly in the area of family law. But as there are so many clinic options, first semester of 3L year I signed up for the Government Lawyer clinic. In this clinic I worked at the Division of Administrative Law Appeals. I gained a completely different experience from my first clinic. Instead of having a lot of client contact, I worked directly with the Administrative Law Judges, observing hearings, researching legal issues, and eventually writing decisions.
In my last semester I was fortunate enough to work with Justice DiGangi at Middlesex Probate and Family Court through the Family Law Clinic. This was the best way for me to end my law school career, being able to observe the daily proceedings of court and watching lawyers argue motions and full trials. In addition, working with Justice DiGangi gave me invaluable insight into how best to practice family law in Massachusetts.
My clinic experiences have given me real life skills and practical experiences that could have never been taught in a classroom. In addition I am now, more than ever, confident in my ability as a new lawyer and committed to public service.