"How do you plan to use your legal education?" This was one of the questions in my application for admission to New England School of Law (NESL). My response was: "[m]y plans are to use my legal education in the public sector in order to serve communities of color." Four years after this statement, I am happy to say that New England Law has strengthened this goal. Taking the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic was a great experience for me. I worked in the Housing Unit at Neighborhood Legal Services in Lawrence, MA helping clients facing eviction and denial of housing benefits. My experience was so constructive that I kept working with Neighborhood Legal Services after the Seminar and Clinic were completed. While at Neighborhood Legal Services, I also volunteered with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute on a research project for one major case in Lowell, MA. This experience broadened my knowledge of class actions and impact litigation in housing.
I am now volunteering for Voters in Action, a Lawrence-based, non-partisan organization. This has been a wonderful experience as I have been able to contribute with civil and voting rights issues. We are working together with the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights under the Law of the Boston Bar Association and their Voters' Legal Protection Project. Voters in Action has taken a life of its own and it will have long lasting effects in Lawrence.
My Education and the Law class has also been a great reaffirmation of my decision of practicing public interest law. I have been working closely with Jorge Santiago, Ph.D. and James Jennings, Ph.D. in publishing a compilation of papers on Lawrence. My paper for the Education and the Law class will be the education component of the anthology.
In the supplementary statement to my New England School of Law Application for Admission, I expressed an interest of working in Lawrence. My previous experience of working with-and advocating for-TAFDC recipients transitioning to the workforce in that City made me realize that I needed a law degree if I wanted do more in my community. Today, I thank New England School of Law for giving me the tools needed to go back and pursue social justice.