Kelly Friscia (Class of 2006)
I knew before I came to New England School of Law (NESL) that I wanted to pursue a career in public interest work. While in college, I interned for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and I became keenly aware of the need for increased representation of low-income communities in policy matters at the local, state, and federal level. Shortly thereafter, I set out for New England School of Law with the specific objective of gaining expertise necessary to represent those interests. The experiences I've had in both the course work and clinical work at New England School of Law have far exceeded my expectations.
My public interest experience at New England School of Law began in the Fall of my second year of law school, when I enrolled in the Public Interest Seminar and Clinic. Working in the New England School of Law Clinical Law Office, I represented clients under SJC Rule 3:03. During the summer of 2005, I received a grant from the Public Interest Law Association (PILA), which enabled me to work as a Student Attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where I represented twenty-one low income clients in housing law, family law and public benefits cases. I researched case law and statutes, drafted complaints, motions, appeals, and memoranda, but the highlight of the summer was being able to negotiate a settlement for a client in housing law matter.
During the Spring of my second year in Law School, I participated in the Government Lawyer Clinic at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, where I conducted research for the Senior Policy Counsel on a variety of state-level public interest-related subjects such as, civil rights, economic development, education, environment, healthcare, public housing, and transportation. This opportunity led to an extensive summer research project which explored, among other things, some of the nation's best best environmental practices in transportation policy. My interest in environmental justice has been further enriched by the Environmental Advocacy Course which has allows students to work creatively with other classmates to provide legal research for real environmental matters affecting the Boston area. My Administrative Law Clinical placement with the Conservation Law Foundation has further enhanced my knowledge in environmental justice issues, as I conduct substantive legal research on a host of environmental justice matters.
Overall, each of the public interest experiences I've had at New England School of Law has given me the confidence to pursue a legal career working toward furthering the public interest.