Adrianna Alfano (Class of 2007)
For as long as I can remember I have had a keen interest in the emotional and intimate dynamics of family law. While working on cases that involve child custody, divorce, and domestic violence are some lawyers' worst nightmare, to me, working with real people on life altering problems is very fulfilling.
During my junior year of college, I spent a semester interning at the Office of the Corporation Counsel (OCC), Abuse and Neglect in Washington, D.C.. While interning, I assisted attorneys in prosecuting civil child abuse and neglect cases and parental termination cases. My work at the OCC was emotionally draining, however, it was while working on these horrific cases that I realized how vitally important it was to fight for the oppressed and give them a voice.
During my first year in law school at New England School of Law I missed working in public interest and decided to make it a top priority to enroll in one of the clinics during my second year. In the spring of 2006 I enrolled in the Lawyering Process Clinic, where I was placed at the New England School of Law Clinical Law Office, the school's in-house clinic. While working in the in-house clinic I became 3:03 certified as a student attorney and was immediately assigned my own case load of several divorce and child custody cases. This exceptional hands-on experience effectively strengthened my research, writing, and analytical skills while allowing me to interact directly with, and represent, clients. My experience at the clinic was like nothing I had experienced in law school; it enabled me to gain practical legal knowledge and experience, while working under extremely knowledgeable veteran attorneys.
I found my work at the in-house clinic so fulfilling that I applied for a summer position, which I was offered, and accepted, without hesitation. Over the summer, I was responsible for handling and maintaining approximately twenty cases in the fields of family and administrative law. I also had numerous opportunities to go to Probate and Family Court and represent my clients, as well as a unique opportunity to represent a client in an administrative hearing.
After having such a fulfilling experience in the Lawyering Process clinic, I enrolled in the Family Law Clinic in the Spring of 2007. I obtained a placement at Great Boston Legal Services (GBLS) where I worked directly under the senior attorney in the Family Law Unit. During my semester at GBLS I represented countless indigent clients, who have experienced domestic violence, in their divorce and child custody matters. I also worked on the national Relocation Counseling Project for victims of crime, which is run out of GBLS. In working for the project I helped victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, who were located across the United States, with a broad array of often complicated civil legal matters surrounding victim safety and relocation.
Next year, I will be working as a judicial clerk in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court System. I am confident that my experiences in the clinical programs at New England School of Law played a pivotal role in obtaining my clerkship. In the years to follow, I look forward to pursing my passion in family law and fighting to give victims a voice.