In my 2L year I enrolled in The Lawyering Process clinic, working out of the school’s Clinical Law Office in my first experience with practical lawyering. I was assigned my own cases over which I had responsibility and significant autonomy. I learned the basics of ethical concerns, client relations, courtroom etiquette and advocacy, and investigation, and improved my legal writing. These skills are invaluable and even a basic knowledge of them makes me a more attractive employment candidate.
Perhaps more importantly, I learned a great deal about the human aspect of lawyering by representing indigent clients in family law and unemployment insurance matters. These were real people, with real and sometimes life-altering problems that were, for the first time, in my hands. I learned at the Clinical Law Office how to better adjust to the anxiety that this responsibility can elicit.
In my final year, I enrolled in The Government Lawyer Clinic, in which students are placed as interns with government agencies in Massachusetts. My placement was with the Public Charities Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. My work there focused on legal research and factual investigation into issues surrounding charitable organizations and their compliance with Massachusetts law. There were also significant aspects of case-strategy planning and discovery review.
The experience I gained at the Attorney General’s Office will serve me in practice, and I have made important connections in the Massachusetts legal community that I would not have made otherwise. It was a rewarding and educational experience.
Clinical courses at New England Law | Boston offer students the opportunity to learn the practical side of lawyering to accompany their doctrinal education. I have found them to be fulfilling and worthwhile, and I strongly recommend enrolling in clinical programs.