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Allison Haar (Class of 2013)

Day Division
I began my third year of law school with a blank legal resume and no certain plans for the future. I was fortunate to begin working with the Center for Law and Social Responsibility’s (CLSR) CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) Project. The CLSR’s CORI Initiative connects student volunteers with qualified clients to complete the CORI sealing process, allowing them to move on from the burden of a criminal past that impedes them from their ability to obtain employment, housing, and financial services to which they otherwise would be eligible. My work for the CORI Project was the catalyst for my decision to pursue a career in public interest law. Since making that choice, I have received an overwhelming amount of personal support from the CLSR.

One year later, I found myself in court regularly. I had a fantastic experience at the Somerville office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), where I received credit through the school’s Criminal Procedure II Clinic. I also was in Bridgewater working with the CPCS Mental Health Litigation unit doing challenging, exciting research on the future of mental health law in Massachusetts. I co-authored an article published in Lawyers Weekly and my name appeared on a reply brief submitted to the Appeals Court. I not only finished school with a substantial legal resume, but a long list of references and connections in the public interest community. None of this would have been possible without the dedicated assistance of the CLSR and the Criminal Procedure II clinic.

Since I finished school after the fall 2012 semester, I became one of thousands of law students graduating this year in a difficult job market. I am incredibly thankful for the extraordinary effort these programs put forth on my behalf. With the help and mentorship of people at the center, I created a proposal for a nonprofit, and will spend the next year working with mentally ill women in the New Hampshire prison system.

(May 2013)