Ashley Donovan (Class of 2007)
When I was growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of giving back to the community. During high school and college volunteering was always important to me. When I got to law school volunteering was noticeably absent from my first year. So, come second year I was determined to become involved with public interest law.
During the first semester of my second year I participated in the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, and I was placed at the family law unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). GBLS represents indigent litigants in civil cases, and during the course of the internship I completed a number of client intakes. Client intakes provide GBLS attorneys with the information about prospective clients which includes financial and personal information that may be relevant to their case. In the course of completing intakes I heard many accounts of abuse and domestic violence. It was this experience that opened my eyes to the need for free and affordable legal services. It was also the first time I knew what I wanted to do post law school. Using what I've learned in law school to help others has made my law school experience complete.
After the internship with GBLS, I received a Public Interest Law Association (PILA) grant to allow my to continue my legal services work over the summer after my second year; I worked with Community Legal Services in Phoenix Arizona. Upon my return to law school for my final year, I continued my public interest work by enrolling in the Criminal Procedure II Clinic and obtaining a placement at CPCS (the public defenders), where I represent indigent clients under the student practice rule (SJC Rule 3:03) in criminal cases. I look forward to working in the field of public interest law post graduation.