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Julie McGinnis (Class of 2010)

Day Division
My experience at New England Law | Boston introduced me to the good, the bad and the ugly sides of public interest law. During first year, my Legal Research and Writing professor helped me get a summer internship at the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. I worked with the Environmental Crimes Strike Force supporting the division chief by researching administrative inspections, regulations, and administrative history. Best of all, I assisted the Appeals Division Chief by contributing to the Commonwealth's U.S. Supreme Court Brief for Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. My next public interest adventure was during my second year when I took the Public Interest Clinic and Seminar. I was able to choose where I wanted to receive my clinical experience. I chose to work at the Church Street Clinical Law Office, where I worked alongside New England Law | Boston professors and practicing attorneys. I represented clients who needed help with divorces, unemployment benefits as well as social security benefits. This was extremely valuable real-world experience which gave me a realistic view of what constitutes public interest law. I worked on an unemployment case, investigating the merits and the client’s eligibility. I also worked on social security disability cases and family law cases, interviewing clients, investigating their cases and appearing in court under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03, the student practice rule. The judge was a New England Law alum, and was extremely nice to me. The following summer, I was lucky enough to get another internship at the Attorney General's Office. I worked for the Trial Division Team in the Government Bureau where I researched wrongful conviction statutes, assembled a Witness List, decided on a case theory, and began preparing for a trial. In addition, I wrote a memo for a class action involving the Federal Arbitration Act. I was most excited to attend numerous depositions, hearings, and motions. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in several different areas of the public interest world. I think the most valuable lessons I learned were not only what I like about public interest law, but also learning what I don't like. My professors were always more than happy to help, and played an important role in guiding me toward a career in public interest law. (March, 2010)