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.
Evan Bell (Class of 2011)
I never planned on becoming a lawyer in college. My plan was to earn my master’s in social work or continue studying Russian literature. After working in orphanages in Russia between my junior and senior year I decided to apply to law school with the plans on facilitating international adoptions. The first year of law school was not what I expected and I have to admit I did not think that I would continue. I decided to finish the first year and find an internship and decide at the end of the summer if this was the right path for me.
I was fortunate enough to be selected to intern with the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. The experience with Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee reaffirmed my commitment to law school. Fielding intake calls and speaking with clients and the attorneys reminded me that law encompassed so much more than Contracts and Civil Procedure. I decided that the practical application interested me more than legal theory, and because of this I signed up for the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic. I worked for New England Law's Clinical Law Office. While working for the Clinical Law Office I became certified under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03, which allows students to represent clients in court proceedings. As a 3.03 certified student attorney I was fortunate enough to aid clients with obtaining child support, divorces, and guardianship. Furthermore I was able to obtain valuable experience by representing clients in court. Additionally in the clinic I worked closely with a full-time professor whose intelligence and passion for the issues she shared in full.
I enjoyed the work in the Clinical Law Office so much that I obtained an internship with the Divorce Work Group at Greater Boston Legal Services. While at Greater Boston Legal Services, which was exactly like the Clinical Law Office, I researched, wrote memos and motions, and represented clients in Probate and Family courts. Not only did I receive wonderful legal advice from the attorneys, but they also discussed the best ways to present cases and arguments to judges and introduced us to court personal.
I enjoyed my first clinical experience and subsequently signed up for two more. My last year here I enrolled in the Family Law Clinic. While in the Family Law Clinic I interned with a judge at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. While interning with the judge I was able to work on findings of facts, research legal questions, and observe cases. Most importantly the judge discussed cases with me. This experience broadened my understanding of how courts work and how judges reason.
Although my interest is in Family Law, I signed up for the Government Lawyer Clinic largely so I could experience other areas of law. As an intern with the State Ethics Commission I gained a new respect for the amount of work that government lawyers do. These attorneys are highly knowledgeable, dedicated, and deserve more credit than they receive.
Coming into New England Law | Boston I knew that I did not want to be a corporate attorney. The Clinical Program offered me the opportunity to practice and study the type of law that I find interesting and that I want to pursue as a career. It is because of the Clinical Programs that I have the desire to find employment in Public Interest law. The Clinical Programs provided me with contacts, a résumé, and first-hand experience, which will greatly aid me in my future career.