Sarah Roxburgh is the director of Shelter Legal Services in Newton, MA. She wrote the reflection below while still a student at the law school.
"I have genuinely enjoyed my experience at New England Law and am grateful for my enhanced skills, confidence, and motivation—which have furthered and will continue to further my contribution to public interest causes.
"New England Law was particularly attractive to me because of its emphasis on clinical work. My undergraduate studies strongly emphasized the significance of practical experience, which helped me determine my desired path and developed my resume. New England Law's promotion of out-of-classroom experiences, encouraging students to develop skills through public interest work, along with its supportive and collegial atmosphere, is what drew me to the school.
"During high school and college, I was committed to advancing the concerns of underrepresented causes and people. For example, I volunteered at a Roxbury, Massachusetts preschool as a reading advocate and at a community center as a tutor for students preparing for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked in commercial real estate consulting, where I continued to dedicate efforts to public interest causes, such as the Greater Hartford YMCA and Junta for Progressive Action, an organization that seeks to improve the economic and social conditions of the New Haven, Connecticut Latino community.
"During my time at New England Law, my passion for public interest concerns has become more law-centric, allowing me to make contributions such as providing procedural assistance to pro se litigants at the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court. I also am proud to have represented indigent clients, primarily domestic violence victims in family law matters, as a student attorney at the New England Law Clinical Law Office and in the Family Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS)—one of the foremost legal service organizations in the country. I obtained credit for my work at the Clinical Law Office through the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, and at the GBLS Family Unit through the Family Law Clinic. New England Law also recognized my work by placing me on the Public Service Honor Roll.
"I have also volunteered at the Walk to the Hill for Legal Aid, served on the New England Law Public Interest Law Association Auction Committee, served as co-president of the New England Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, have assisted in the formation of the New England Law Animal Law Society, and served on The Committee to Protect Dogs, which advocates to end Greyhound Racing in Massachusetts. I have received a significant amount of support from both New England Law and the Massachusetts legal community as co-president of the New England Law’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and acted as co-chair for the annual panel discussions. In 2007, along with Lauren Vitale, I hosted a discussion at New England Law on same sex adoption, with Justice Robert J. Cordy of the Massachusetts SJC and Attorney Katherine Triantafillou from Adoption of Tammy. In 2008, again along with Lauren Vitale, I organized a discussion, “Safety Takes a Back Seat: How the Current Immigration Climate Affects Domestic Violence Victims.” The panel featured Judge Sydney Hanlon, First Justice of the Dorchester District Court. As co-president of NLG I also coordinated “Street Law Clinic” trainings, inviting public interest attorneys to New England Law to train students on landlord/tenant law and stop and search law, qualifying students to conduct workshops to inform the public of their rights.
"My course load has focused on family law and women and children’s issues, and many of my courses have incorporated discussion of my out-of-classroom experiences. Overall, I am proud of and grateful for my achievements at the law school, and would not have accomplished them without the support and encouragement of the New England Law faculty, such as Associate Dean Greenberg and Professor Russell Engler. I am proud to identify myself as a New England Law alumna."