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.
Laura Gilmartin (Class of 2005)
Prior to law school I volunteered as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)/Guardian Ad Litem, where I was appointed by a juvenile court judge to advocate on behalf of siblings who were involved in a case of abuse and neglect. This experience provided me with a unique glimpse at how vulnerable children can be in the judicial process, and helped me to develop an awareness of other issues surrounding children and the law.
Once in law school I had the opportunity to participate in the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, which I took in the Fall of 2003. For the Clinic portion of the class, I obtained credit by working at NESL's Clinical Law Office for a semester. This was an excellent chance for me to gain hands on experience in the legal aid setting. I appeared in court on behalf of my clients on numerous occasions involving family law matters. In addition, my faculty supervisor, Professor Barbara Oro provided me with valuable guidance while allowing me the autonomy to make decisions regarding the courses of action to take involving my clients. In the Seminar portion of the course, we explored a range of issues related to the Public Interest Law. In my paper for the course, I focused on issues involving the Clean Elections Law and public funding for elections, topics that were timely and of great interest to me.
In the summer of 2004, I participated in the Honors Judicial Internship Program. There, I clerked under the direction of Justice John S. McCann at the Worcester Superior Court. I was responsible for writing various memoranda of law involving both civil and criminal matters. I also had the opportunity to observe numerous trials and court proceedings. This clerkship was extremely valuable as it gave me the chance to participate in the judicial process from yet another perspective.
In my final year of law school I worked as student attorney at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Dorchester . Throughout the internship I appeared on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts during arraignments and pretrial hearings. I also had the opportunity to participate in the juvenile court session where I gained some exposure to the unique workings of the juvenile court.
The clinic offerings at New England School of Law have provided me with a valuable opportunity to gain practical law experience as well as to investigate various areas of public interest law. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had throughout my law school career to work with a group of professors and students who are sincerely committed to working in the area of Public Interest Law.