The clinical programs offered a unique and excellent outlet for law students really to get their hands dirty and involved in the real world of legal practice. In the fall of the second year of law school, I signed up for the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, not knowing what to expect. I knew only that a commitment to social justice was a value that I wished to uphold and that I wished to apply that value by helping actual people and solving their problems.
I was placed at the school’s in-house clinic, the New England Law | Boston Clinical Law Office. From the very first day I was given a case file and essentially told to handle it. We were student attorneys, certified under the student practice rule, and we were expected to be able to solve the problems presented to us. This was extraordinary because I was expected to solve a real person’s problems. Indeed, their lives and concerns had become my issues to solve. I value greatly this experience from my clinic as the clinics put you in the shoes of the job you will be doing for the rest of your life with all the responsibilities and consequences that entails. The real reward, however, is when you solve a person’s problems and make a real difference in someone’s life. I enjoyed my experience at the in-house clinic so much that I applied to the office for a full-time job over the summer, and was selected as one of four students to help cover the office’s caseload in between semesters.
I loved the clinic experience so much I continued to enroll in as many clinical opportunities that I could. I signed up for the Government Lawyer Clinic, which places you in the Attorney General’s Office and gives you problems at a state level to help solve. In my final semester at law school I signed up for the Massachusetts Practice Clinic which places you in the Superior Court and allows you to experience the civil process in action.
I can honestly say that I would not be the student and future attorney I am without the experiences I had at New England Law | Boston. While the skills learned and confidence gained through the programs have been invaluable to me, it was my chance to truly make a difference that I will really carry with me for life.