Through my clinic placement, I had my first experience with public interest in a Family Law Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). The GBLS Family Law unit accepts low-income individuals who are victims of Domestic Violence as clients. I had only worked in private law firms prior to this experience and did not know what to expect working in a law office that focused on public interest work. While at GBLS I found my work extremely rewarding. The clients of GBLS were low-income and were not concerned about getting ownership of the vacation home or a car, their main concerns were how they would get food on the table and if they would get custody of their children. I found it extremely rewarding helping clients whose concerns were not based on material things. Their gratitude was something that I did not see in any of my experiences in a private law firm.
After my clinic work at GBLS I decided to stay on and volunteer during the summer. For this work I earned my first Public Service Transcript Notation and continued to gain experience representing and assisting clients. This was a fantastic opportunity that sparked me to offer volunteer service to the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) in the spring of my 3L year.
In my final semester I also enrolled in a second clinic, the Mediation and Dispute Resolution Clinic. I gained a very different type of experience in the public sector, performing my clinic work in the Home Improvement Arbitration Program of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, helping to resolve consumer disputes. Although I came to school without any intention of focusing on public interest work, through my clinic and volunteer work I gained invaluable experience that will serve me well after graduation.