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.
Lindsey Riordan (Class of 2010)
Like most law students I have encountered at New England Law | Boston, I came to law school hoping to make a difference and was therefore drawn to public interest from the start. As an entering 1L, I was strongly interested in women’s issues and wanted to make a difference for women in my community.
New England Law | Boston provided what seemed like countless organizations that could cater to anyone’s interest. I immediately gravitated to the Women’s Law Caucus, a student group, and from there I learned of the volunteer position with the Domestic Violence Institute at the Boston Medical Center. This project provided an opportunity to be trained to recognize issues of domestic violence in a variety of different contexts and how to be an advocate for a woman being abused. I was able to attend a variety of trainings that would enable me to become a better advocate for a woman in a crisis situation. I continued with this project throughout my 1L year. Through this project we were able to provide women facing violence with an advocate for a restraining order as well as resources to escape from their situation.
After my experience with the Boston Medical Center Project, I went in an opposite direction in order to broaden my horizons and found a summer internship with the Public Defenders in Connecticut with help from the Career Services Office at New England Law. My time there was spent with the high crimes division. Although my experiences beforehand fell primarily on the victim’s side, this was an eye-opening experience in learning more about the offender. I truly enjoyed my time with the Public Defenders. I was able to assist in a probable cause hearing for murder, wrote memoranda to my supervisors on motions drafted by inmates to correct illegal sentences, and participated in many trips to forensic labs in order to understand the evidence being admitted against our clients.
With the research I performed for one attorney, I helped in having the charges dropped against someone convicted due to an illegal search and seizure. The experience that I received in doing this internship was extremely worthwhile.
As a 3L I participated in the school’s clinic program. I enrolled in the Family Law Clinic and was placed at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center in Boston. This internship was very rewarding because I was able to handle a variety of different clients and was solely responsible for their cases, with my supervisor there for any questions that should arise. I assisted clients in obtaining housing and financial assistance primarily lost or jeopardized due to domestic violence. This clinic was excellent for me because of the high client interaction and independence that was allowed.
New England Law affords students wishing to pursue public interest a variety of opportunities to do so. With the school’s resources, clinic programs, and organizations I have had a broad spectrum of public interest internships, volunteer opportunities and clinics. All were extremely rewarding and eye-opening and have helped me to become a better advocate for the future. (March, 2010)