New England Law | Boston students perform public service work through clinical courses, student groups, and employment, both paid and volunteer.
Students may obtain transcript recognition for approved public service legal work through the Public Service Transcript Notation Program.
I went to law school with a mission to help underserved populations – children and families who require assistance by virtue of economic, psychological, social or environmental need. Prior to law school I worked as a mental health counselor at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, where I witnessed first hand the unique struggles that face the mentally ill population. Indigent population suffering from mental illness sadly face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to accessing effective treatment and legal counsel.
While in law school at New England Law | Boston, through public interest law grants and through the clinical programs, I have had the opportunity to work with indigent adults, children, and families in both the criminal and civil setting and explore more deeply the complex relationship between the population and mental illness and/or substance abuse.
In the summer before my second year of law school, I obtained a Public Interest Law Association (PILA) grant to work with Children’s Legal Services in Brookline, a public interest organization in which the lawyers represent children and work as Guardians at Litem (GAL’s) on behalf of children and the court. I was able to continue working at Children’s Legal Services when I enrolled in the school’s Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic in the fall of my second-year. The ability to work in the same organization in the summer and fall gave me invaluable training.
Beginning with the spring 2009 semester, I began working as a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, serving as a CASA Guardian ad Litem in a Care and Protection case. Through my work with the CASA program, I have earned the school’s Public Service Transcript Notation, our school’s program acknowledging volunteer public service legal work, in each of my last two academic years.
In the summer after my second year of law school, I worked as one of two student attorneys at Harvard’s Tenant Advocacy Project, a student practice organization dedicated to representing residents of publicly subsidized housing before local housing authorities. My work included organizing intake procedures and providing representation for over 20 clients.
Finally, in the spring of 2010, my final semester in law school, I enrolled in the school’s Criminal Procedure II Clinic, performing my clinical work at the Boston District and Municipal Court Office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Certified under SJC Rule 3:03, I represent indigent clients in criminal matters.
What I have taken from all my work experiences during law school unequivocally confirms that I am devoted to public service law and advocacy for underserved populations. With an awareness of the breadth of legal issues that effect the indigent population, I have set a goal to find effective way to synthesize criminal, civil, and mental health law to best assist indigent families. (March, 2010)