Serena Madar (Class of 2002)
The summer after my first year I was awarded a Public Interest Law Association (PILA) grant to work in the Housing Department at the Legal Services Center (LSC) in Jamaica Plain, MA. After studying landlord/tenant law in Property I was very eager to use my knowledge to help indigent tenants fight evictions. My summer at the LSC was amazing -- I had my own clients and I actually was able to put into practical use the knowledge I had gained after my first year. I enjoyed my summer so much that I took the Lawyering Process Clinic my second year and again worked at the LSC; this time under the MA Student Practice Rule [SJC Rule 3:03] I was actually able to argue motions and try my own cases. I am now in my third semester at the LSC doing housing work. The experience that I have gained through these clinics has been invaluable. I have learned how to interview clients, how to write pleadings, how to conduct discovery, how to negotiate with opposing counsel and how to succeed in court. I would highly recommend public interest work because it not only gives you a chance to learn how to be a lawyer, but it also helps the low-income community by providing them with legal services that to which they would otherwise not have access.