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.
Kristen Scioli (Class of 2003)
As an undergraduate student, one of my majors was public and community service studies. As part of my service-learning curriculum, I was an intern, and later an employee of an organization called Sojourner House in Providence, Rhode Island. Sojourner House provided a wide range of services to victims of domestic violence and their families. I worked in Rhode Island's 6th District courthouse as an advocate for persons seeking to obtain temporary restraining orders. In addition to advocacy in the restraining order office, I accompanied victims to the court proceedings involving their abusers and kept them apprised of the status of these cases. Working shifts at Sojourner House's emergency shelter was central to my understanding of the issues faced by my clients.
I followed up this experience by participating in clinics at NESL. In the government lawyer clinic, I was able to continue working in a public-protection, consumer advocacy role in the insurance division of the Office of the Attorney General. I assisted in cases involving inquiries from Massachusetts residents regarding various insurance companies and policies under the Massachusetts consumer protection act, Chapter 93A.
Another clinical experience, which has helped me to refine my legal advocacy skills, was my placement with the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts in Lynn, MA as part of the family law clinic. I worked with staff attorneys representing children in the juvenile courts for protection cases involving the Department of Social Services and delinquency cases. Outside of the courtroom, I assisted with the Children's Law Center's educational advocacy program, through which I conducted research regarding various rights of children in Massachusetts schools, such as MCAS appeals. I was also able to assist with special education designation meetings as well as other non-adversarial proceedings concerning children's rights in school. Working with the Children's Law Center has enabled me to sharpen the writing and advocacy skills I will need in the future as an attorney.