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.
Stephanie Biggs (Class of 2002)
Here I am starting over at an age when most people are retiring - entering law school in my mid-50s - not really having a clue after first year what the Dickens was going on in the classroom ... I got hooked up via a classmate to volunteer at Shelter Legal Services (SLS), a student organization in which you get to represent actual clients even before you can take the clinical courses at New England. That very first day, when I walked into the SLS clinic on Brookline Avenue in Cambridge, I knew I had found it. It's one on one, with people - no watching the clock so you can spend as much time as you want w/a client. People came for one thing, such as cleaning up a CORI [Criminal Offender Registry] - liked what they experienced - and came back for another - child support issues. I loved the people. They gave me more than I could ever give them in return. The Law should be and is for me a helping profession - you are an advocate -- you get to make sure that the teenager mother of 3 who wouldn't get even the time of day from the legal system gets her day in the system just as the client does from Choate Hall. It's a calling I guess and I heard it beginning with my SLS experience.
And I followed it and followed it. First, I took the Lawyering Process, obtaining a placement and the Homelessness Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services. I actually received credit for representing indigent families and helping them find and keep emergency shelter. I was lucky enough to have as a supervisor a true mentor and teacher, and I learned an incredible amount about the law and lawyering. So I kept going. I took the Administrative Law Clinic, and landed a placement at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). I took the Government Lawyer, and received credit for work in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. And I kept working at SLS, continuing to help people and continuing to learn. And I continue to hear the calling.