Boston University School of Law

September 28, 2007

Aaron Agulnek
Sherley Cruz
Heidsha Sheldon
Christopher Strang

Four BU Law Alumni named BBA’s Public Interest Leaders

The Boston Bar Association (BBA) recently named this year’s 15 Public Interest Leaders, four of which are BU Law alumni, to participate in their leadership training program.  Aaron Agulnek (’05) of the Massachusetts State Senate, Sherley Cruz (’03) of Greater Boston Legal Services, Heidsha Sheldon (’02) of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Christopher Strang (’05) of Corwin & Corwin LLP were all honored with the elite title. 

“The opportunity to collaborate with passionate and dedicated young attorneys, each bringing a diverse array of legal and public service experience, will afford me with an invaluable perspective on the issues facing our community,” said Aaron Agulnek.  “I am hopeful that our group can help foster a sustained movement within the legal profession to dedicate more time and energy to community service and public interest projects.”

This marks the fifth year the leadership training program has selected lawyers to participate in the 12-month program, which includes approximately 200 hours of meetings and workshops over the course of a year.  Participants in the program, nominated by law firms and other organizations, must have had ten years or less legal experience and must have proven a commitment to pro bono and public service work. 

“For me, it’s important to give back to my community,” said Sherley Cruz.  “As a young Latina attorney, I see myself as a role model for Latino youth and a resource for my community.  I feel lucky to say that I love my job and the opportunity that I have, through public interest work, to make a positive difference for families that face serious economic, cultural and linguistic barriers.”

Although these four lawyers have a diverse range of experience, they all have one thing in common: their legal education.  “My experience at BU Law sparked my interest in doing pro bono work in many ways,” said Christopher Stang.  He said many of the faculty inspired him in his philanthropic outlook, as well as working at the School’s Civil Litigation Clinic. “Seeing the level of dedication of the attorneys in that office to improving the lives of the poorest members of our community had a profound impact on me.”

The Public Interest Leaders will learn from prominent community leaders and Public Interest Leadership alumni who will provide an insider’s view of a broad range of civic and charitable initiatives in the Greater Boston area. In the program, Leaders will study and participate in group projects or public service activities that respond to a community need they have identified.

“The Public Internship Leadership Program helps Boston’s brightest young lawyers become the leaders of tomorrow,” said BBA President Tony Doniger.  “This program is having a resounding impact on the entire city, while providing the lawyers with a real sense of professional fulfillment—reminding them why they went to law school in the first place.”

>>View BBA’s press release and list of 15 Public Interest Leaders

Reported by Elizabeth Ress