|Former clinic students|
In 1962, Boston University School of Law established the Voluntary Defenders Project, one of the first clinical programs in the United States. The program started with just a handful of students. Today–as we approach the 50th anniversary of our clinics–we are proud to report that 250 students will pass through our clinical and externship programs during the 2010-11 school year.
Why are the clinical programs so popular? I have a few good guesses.
First, students are seeking practical skills in a broader range of areas than in the past. Traditionally, law students participated in clinics mainly for litigation experience, to obtain court time and opportunities for client interaction. Today, in addition to gaining litigation experience, students want to learn about international law practice, the workings of the legislative process, and cutting edge topics such as health care law and financial regulation. Therefore, our offerings have expanded to meet students’ growing interests.
Second, more students are making a commitment to public interest work while in law school. The clinics are an excellent way to give back to the community! BU Law’s other public interest opportunities--the pro bono program, the public interest project, and sponsored spring break pro bono trips--become more popular each year. Many of the same students who take advantage of these public interest opportunities are involved in the clinics as well.
We are very proud of our programs, our faculty, and our students. I hope you enjoy reading about our accomplishments in this newsletter.
Lois H. Knight, Director
Office of Clinical and Advocacy Programs
In Fall 2009, BU Law launched a full-time externship program, the Semester-in-Practice Program. Four students participated in our program last year. We are thrilled to report that the Semester-in-Practice Program has opened important career doors for each of these students. Each student will be profiled in the upcoming months on BU Law’s Web site.
|Ian Hunter (’10) interned in the fall at the U.S. Senate for the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and is now working on health care reform implementation in the Obama administration.|
|Michael Greenwald (’10) interned at the General Counsel Office Enforcement and Intelligence division of the Department of the Treasury. He is now working for the US Department of the Treasury in The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and has been appointed chairman of The US Holocaust Museum Next Generation Board in Washington, DC.|
|Hasan Ali (’10) interned at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he now works full-time.|
|David Rod (’11) interned at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva last spring. This led to an opportunity at the UNHCR's Bangkok office. He has taken the fall semester off to pursue this experience.|
We are pleased to announce that three 3L students are participating in our program this fall: Jessica Howell (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles); Kristie Anne Padron (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.); and Gregory Katz (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C.) >>More information on this program.
Recently, more students have been turning to government and public interest work after graduation. The demand for clinics has grown as more students seek clinical experience to support this career path. A student's participation in the clinics demonstrates a commitment to public interest, opens the door to employment at many government agencies, and helps students develop crucial litigation skills.
Students dedicate themselves to their clinic work above and beyond what is asked of them. Many of the students participate in the clinics in addition to their involvement in other public interest opportunities offered at BU Law. Here are some highlights:
- Abraham “Avi” Robinson (’11) was named the first recipient of the Loretta Smith ('79) Scholarship by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (’79). This scholarship is awarded to a single summer intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. It is reserved for a second-year law student with high academic standards who is committed to public service. Robinson is participating in the Judicial Externship Program this fall as an intern for Chief Magistrate Judge Judith Dein. He has accepted a clerkship with Justice Robert Cordy of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
- Michel Bamani (’11) participated in the Asylum & Human Rights Clinic and represented a client from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in an affirmative asylum action. A native of the DRC himself, Bamani came to the United States after his family faced persecution.
- Lindsey Gil (’10), last year’s president of the Public Interest Project at BU law, participated in the Civil Litigation Program and tried two family law cases before graduating.
- Adam Peltz (’11) participated in the Africa i-Parliaments program and spent Summer 2009 interning at the Legal Resources Center, a legal nongovernmental organization based in Accra, Ghana. There, he worked on a Right to Media project, where he helped promote and expand the country’s radio station network.
>> View related slideshow featuring Peltz, "Adding Muscle to Africa's Parliaments: Law students help continent's legislators draft laws"
- Jennifer Klein (’10) and Emily Tucker (’10) participated in the Asylum & Human Rights Clinic and helped Elizabeth Badger (’05) of Human Rights USA and Clinical Professor Susan Akram in a successful March 18 petition for habeas corpus in the District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The client, a stateless Palestinian convicted under the broad material support for terrorism provisions of the USA Patriot Act, was released.
The Growing Trend of Public Service—A growing number of law students are turning to government and public interest work. Maura Kelly, Esq., Assistant Dean of the Career Development and Public Service Office, and Cheryl Constantine, Associate Director of Financial Aid, examine options that have made this choice more feasible, i.e., a new law that forgives student loans in certain circumstances for those who serve.
The Innocence Project & Wrongful Convictions—Professor Stanley Z. Fisher, founding member and trustee of the New England Innocence Project, discusses the project, how cases get to the organization, wrongful convictions, police procedures, and his 2008 study "Eyewitness Identification Reform in Massachusetts," published by the Massachusetts Law Review.
Immigration & Refugee Law—Clinical Professor Susan M. Akram, a global legal expert on human rights and refugee law, gives a legal perspective on the issues that plague immigrants and refugees today, discusses the impact of fighting for the rights of refugees and talks about the Civil Litigation Clinic, where she oversees students handling refugee and asylum cases.
- Karen Hurvitz joined the Criminal Law Clinic as a supervising attorney in Fall 2009. She is the manager of the Law Offices of Karen D. Hurvitz, and was director of the Suffolk University Law School Voluntary Defenders Program.
- Elizabeth Badger (’05) joins the clinics this fall as a supervising attorney in the Civil Litigation Program’s Asylum & Human Rights Clinic. She has worked as a supervising attorney in the Roger Williams University Immigration Clinic and as a staff attorney at the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project.
- Mark Bamford (’00) joins the clinics this fall as a supervising attorney in the Civil Litigation Program's Housing, Employment, Family & Disability Clinic. He has his own practice in Concord, Mass., in the areas of immigration, landlord-tenant issues, criminal defense and alternative dispute resolution.
- David McHaffey (’95), who teaches Immigration Law, will also lead our new Immigration Detention Clinic in the spring. He is an associate at Barker, Epstein & Loscocco, where he focuses on immigration law. McHaffey also has experience working with the Political Asylum Immigration Project. The Immigration Detention Clinic will cover issues of detention in the immigration context, including federal detention standards and release from detention through bond and parole. The class will receive training in "Know Your Rights" presentations and will visit local detention facilities to provide assistance to individuals in immigration custody. The class may also provide limited representation in bond proceedings before the immigration court.
- In the last year alone, we have added eight new programs: the Health Law Externship Program, the Government Lawyering Externship Program, the Judicial Externship Program, the Semester-in-Practice Program, Community Courts, Immigration Detention Clinic (see above), the Africa i-Parliaments Clinic, and the Employment Rights Clinic.
- Clinical Professor David Rossman, director of the Criminal Clinic, recently published "Conditional Rules in Criminal Procedure: Alice in Wonderland Meets the Constitution" in Georgia State University Law Review. He also co-authored, with Wendy Kaplan, an article on the collateral effect that a juvenile delinquency case has on eligibility for public housing. It will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change.
- Clinical Associate Professor Wendy Kaplan wrote "Revisiting Dispositions and Sentencing Advocacy in the Massachusetts District Courts" for Massachusetts Law Review.
- Professors David Rossman and Wendy Kaplan will participate in a symposium on the collateral consequences of juvenile delinquency cases, at Duke Law School in February.
- Professor Susan Akram accompanied Libby Hugetz (’11) and Candice Lang (’10) on a May trip to Cambodia to perform pro bono legal work. Working with SISHA (South East Asia Investigations into Social and Humanitarian Activities), the students created a donor proposal, budget, curriculum and teacher’s manual to educate women about their rights. By the end of the trip, a Singapore group had agreed to fund the eight-week pilot project.
- Professors David Breen, Connie Browne, Mary Connaughton and Lois Knight were guest lecturers at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's Summer 2010 program for Mexican judges. Professor Breen lectured on issues of criminal procedure. Professors Browne, Connaughton and Knight lectured on the practical legal education of American lawyers.
- Students in the Africa i-Parliaments Clinic prepared the resource book Using Law to Improve Vital Statistics Registration in Africa (pdf) on the use of law to improve African birth registration rates. Laura Lucas, lecturer in the BU Political Science Department, presented the resource book at a meeting of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa. Delegations from 53 countries attended. Lucas reports that the resource book was a “smash hit,” and the final version will be posted online by the International Consortium for Law and Development.
- Lakeisha Applegate (’10) participated in the Africa i-Parliaments clinic in Fall 2009. In Spring 2010, she traveled to Kampala, Uganda for a legislative drafting conference organized by BU Law Professors Ann Seidman and Robert Seidman. Before the conference, Applegate helped the Seidmans write a resource book on health care law in East Africa, Using Law for Better Health: An EAC Project. Professors Ann Seidman, Bob Seidman and Sean Kealy traveled with Applegate and gave presentations on topics such as policy formulation, legislative drafting and bill assessment at the event.
- Gina Wolcott ('93) is the executive director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Inc., the only lawyer assistance program servicing judges, lawyers, law students and their families in Massachusetts.
- Dana Bucin (’05) helped obtain asylum relief for a persecuted woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bucin is an associate at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy in Hartford, where she complements her immigration practice with pro bono asylum work.
- Jared Keenan (’08) is with the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office in Kingman, Arizona. Keenan had participated in the Legal Externship Program, where he interned for Judge Patti Saris in the Massachusetts Federal District Court, and in the Civil Litigation Program at BU Law.
- Aurora Smaldone (’09), who participated in the Legislative Counsel Clinic, worked on behalf of Senator Patricia Jehlen in 2008 to develop a bill related to eyewitness identification practices, which sought to decrease misidentifications and wrongful convictions. Smaldone worked with Professors Stanley Fisher and Sean Kealy, and their hard work resulted in a hearing on the bill last fall.
Students in BU Law clinical programs apply legal theories learned in the classroom to real-life lawyering, representing actual clients in real cases from initial interview to final courtroom summation. They are overseen by clinical faculty members. BU Law was one of the first law schools in the nation to staff its clinical programs with full-time faculty, and most of the School's clinical professors have more than 20 years of courtroom and teaching experience. Our clinical classes are small, ensuring high caliber supervision and mentoring. Small class sizes also foster a collegial setting for students, who often turn to each other for case problem-solving.
Please help us improve our Clinical Program newsletter by emailing us with your suggestions, story ideas, and whether you’d like to receive future electronic updates from us. We’d also like to know what our clinic alums are up to—please let us know what you’re working on and we will share it in the next e-newsletter.