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.
Caitlin Delphin (Class of 2011)
Even before starting law school I thought I wanted to work in public interest law, I just didn't know I would get a chance to do it so soon. About a month into first year, right when I was starting to think all of the reading we were doing would never have any practical application, I saw a sign for Shelter Legal Services. Soon afterwards I attended an orientation and began volunteering for them. By the end of my first semester of first year I was already interviewing clients and learning how to put a real case together. Not only did I gain invaluable experience volunteering at Shelter, but I also earned the school’s Public Service Transcript Notation for my work.
Between first and second year I interned for Shelter Legal Services full time during the summer and during my second year I continued to work with Shelter Legal Services while receiving credit through the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic. During this time I managed my own caseload, keeping up communication with clients and ensuring their cases were moving forward. With Shelter, I have been able to present for clients in court, represent clients during mediation, and advocate for clients in administrative hearings.
In addition to working with Shelter, I have also been lucky enough to receive credit for two other hands-on experiences at New England Law. During the first semester of my third year I interned for a judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. During this international externship I learned about and worked in an entirely different legal system from the U.S. I researched, wrote memos, edited decisions, and summarized transcripts for cases where the defendants were accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide – completely different issues than anything I had seen before.
During my last semester of law school I am taking the Criminal Procedure II clinic with a placement in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Roxbury. The work there is very exciting and also very demanding. After only a few weeks interning there I had the opportunity to conduct a bench trial, including questioning witnesses and making a closing argument. Again, this experience is completely different than anything I had done before and I am learning an unbelievable amount.
Throughout the last three years as a law student I have been exposed to many different areas of law through practical experience like clinics and the externship and through classes. In addition to the experience gained through these opportunities I have also met a lot of really amazing people in the legal profession from my supervisors to my professors. The support and encouragement from these professors and clinic supervisors have made it possible for me to have this range of experiences during law school. As a person who learns best through doing, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities provided by New England Law | Boston to receive credit for practical legal work.