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Patricia Comblo (Class of 2014)

Day Division
The strong clinical program centered on public interest was one of the reasons I chose New England Law | Boston. I was fortunate enough to partake in two clinical courses. My first clinic was the Lawyering Process Clinic, which permitted me to work in the Family Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, and my second was the Criminal Procedure II Clinic, which placed me within the District Attorney’s Office in Dorchester District Court. Given my interest in public interest law, I also joined the Public Interest Law Association (PILA) student group, and served as its president during my third year of law school.

My clinic placement at GBLS was my first experience working in the legal field. My position allowed me to provide direct legal services to victims of domestic violence. Often these victims were reluctant to testify; however by showing compassion and understanding, I reassured clients that the court system was critical to ensuring their protection.

I assisted clients in obtaining restraining orders, child custody, visitation schedules, and child support from their batterers. As a result of my Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03 certification within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I was a student attorney and able to file appearances and successfully represent clients during the proceedings. Due to the exigent nature of proceedings I often worked under strict time constraints while drafting affidavits, legal memoranda, and demands for discovery.

While working at Dorchester District Court in the Criminal Procedure II Clinic I assisted the Commonwealth in prosecutions of both adult and juvenile offenders. I was responsible for managing my own caseload and appeared for arraignments, pre-trial hearings, and motion hearings. While preparing for trial I subpoenaed witnesses and completed and filed pre-trial conference reports and requests for discovery.

Using the practical skills I developed as a participant in the law school's American Bar Association Law Student Negotiations Competition, I assisted the negotiation and execution of plea agreements that successfully satisfied victims’ need for justice, while also ensuring appropriate sentences for defendants.

I feel so fortunate to have had such amazing opportunities while in law school. The clinics have assisted me greatly in mastering the different stages of trials, and I am certain this will set me apart while looking for employment after graduation.

(April 2014)