I moved back east and became a housing mobility advisor at a local housing agency. In this position I provided temporary subsidy benefits, case management, and budgeting support to low-income, working families, and aimed to transition them from shelters into stable and self-sufficient living situations. Too often, circumstances beyond my control or expertise frustrated my substantial efforts to help improve the living situations of these families. To be more effective as an advocate for low-income families I found it essential to pursue a law degree from New England Law | Boston.
Since enrolling at New England Law, I participated in the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic and performed my clinic work at the New England Law Clinical Law Office. As a student attorney practicing under the student practice rule, SJC Rule 3:03, I conducted legal research on divorce matters, conducted client intake interviews, and corresponded with clients and opposing parties. The highlight of my clinic experience was the opportunity to represent impoverished clients in contempt and modification hearings, and in litigation regarding child support and health insurance.
I spent the summer between my first and second year of law school working as a legal intern in the Housing and Foreclosure Unit at Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS). At NLS I assisted with housing matters including eviction defense, housing discrimination, and housing conditions by interviewing clients for intake appointments, researching case law, and preparing documents for trial. In addition, NLS administered a “Lawyer of the Day” program every week at Lawrence Housing Court and Lynn Housing Court. This program provided me with the opportunity to represent, through mediation in court, impoverished clients who were facing eviction. I earned the school’s Public Service Transcript Notation for my work at NLS.
I spent the summer between my second and third year of law school working as a legal intern in the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). At GBLS I conducted client intake interviews and discovery on behalf of clients through correspondence with the Department of Housing and Community Development, housing court, housing agencies, medical providers, family members, shelter staff, and various caseworkers. The highlight of my GBLS internship experience was representing Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter recipients in noncompliance and termination hearings at Boston Family Housing.
Enrollment at New England Law allowed me to pursue a career in public interest law. Through the clinic experience at the law school and summer internships I gained the ability and expertise to better ensure the basic rights of low-income families, whether through the court system or negotiation.