Rina Gurung (Class of 2013)
I gained my first legal experience in Kathmandu, Nepal, where I interned for The International Legal Foundation (ILF), a New York-based INGO that provide criminal defense to indigent people in post conflict countries. The CLSR provided me generous funding so that I could accept this wonderful offer and gain the international experience I wanted after my first year at law school.
In my 2L spring semester, I enrolled in the school’s Immigration Law Clinic. I was offered a placement at the Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) – Immigration Unit, where I handled primarily VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and U visa (temporary legal status and work eligibility for victims of certain crimes) cases. I conducted in-person client interviews, corresponded with district attorney’s offices and local police departments, and had my own caseload.
As a result of my clinic placement in the GBLS Immigration Unit, I was offered a summer legal internship position in the GBLS – Housing Unit. I was also selected as one of the Equal Justice Summer Corps members for summer 2012. I again had my own caseload and was involved in providing indigent clients defense against eviction. This experience was very important because this is where I learned necessary skills.
As a student attorney, certified under SJC Rule 3:03 (the student practice rule), I filed answers to petitions; reviewed response to discovery and interrogatories; wrote, filed, argued, and represented clients in the housing court; negotiated with opposing parties’ attorneys; and worked on settlement agreements. This internship led me to discover that I am passionate about litigation and love being an attorney who is actively involved with litigation.
Since I had so much to learn I wanted to obtain maximum experience from this placement, and was able to continue my internship during my 3L fall semester as part of the Administrative Law Clinic. I continued to represent clients in housing court. However, to fulfill the Administrative Law requirement of the clinic I also represented clients in the Local Housing Authorities. In the same semester I also interned for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), where I worked on naturalization and asylum cases.
I received Public Service Transcript Notation for my work here through New England Law’s program, which gives recognition to students for completing a minimum of 25 hours of public interest work without compensation or semester credit.
Currently as a graduating 3L, I am interning at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue – Litigation Department as part of the Government Lawyer Clinic. I primarily handle domicile and corporate tax cases and assist the Litigation Department with reviewing huge volumes of discovery responses and documents. I gained numerous opportunities to have hands on experience, explore different areas of law, and discover my passion and the field I want to work in through the clinical programs, CLSR, and public service notation program. These experiences made me a better law student and I am confident that these skills are necessary and transferable to every position I will hold after graduating from law school.