Brenda Hernandez is a Northampton, Massachusetts native who after six years in New York is thrilled to be back in her home state. She received her B.A. in Women's Studies from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Pace University School of Law where she focused on women and children's rights. During her time in law school she was an extremely active student, including Vice-President of the American Constitution Society and President of the Latin American Law Students Association.
Having worked in an alternative high school after college and volunteering with admissions as a law student, Brenda knew she wanted to work in education. After law school, she worked as an Admissions Counselor at Pace Law School where she later became the Assistant Director of Admissions. Wanting to combine her passion for racial justice with her work in admissions, she worked closely with the Director of Diversity Initiatives to plan events for current and prospective students of color. She hosted diverse students from local high schools to expose them to law school and attended many minority recruitment events.
When she is not promoting racial inclusion in higher education, she is a feminist social activist and writer. She runs her own feminist blog and has been featured on several others. She was a 2012 writer-in-residence on Ms-JD.org and wrote a monthly blog column called Out of Practice. In 2011, she presented on a panel entitled "Written on the Body: Body Politics and the Media," at Hampshire College's annual conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom. She currently holds leadership roles in several feminist organizations in Boston.
Brenda enjoys reading, attending concerts and dancing. She considers herself a foodie and loves to explore new restaurants. If you ever want to engage her in conversation just bring up Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Jill Collins is originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, but has called Boston her official home since 2006. Jill received her B.A. in political science from Boston College, magna cum laude. She went on to receive her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude. During her time in law school, Jill was active in the Public Interest Law Forum, as well as with the Legal Aid Clinic focusing on general poverty law matters. Outside of the law school building, Jill spent most of her 2L and 3L time living and working in an undergraduate women's dorm as an assistant rector (a.k.a. assistant hall director). In that role, Jill counseled students on a wide range of issues and oversaw hall government, in addition to overseeing hall staff and disciplinary issues in conjunction with the rector.
Following graduation, Jill joined the Individual Clients Department at Day Pitney LLP (formerly Day, Berry & Howard LLP), and spent the next six years focusing on estate planning, estate administration, trust administration, and tax-exempt law. While at Day Pitney, Jill served as a mentor to summer associates and newer associates, and ran the Boston office summer program in 2008. She also became a mentor to a law student through the Boston Lawyers Group mentoring program.
Re-entering higher education and working directly with students was a major (though mostly secret) goal of Jill's during her years in private practice. Jill couldn't have imagined a more perfect position than this to combine her desire to work with students and her experiences as a practicing attorney.
Outside of the office, Jill loves to bake and cook (and eat!), watch bad television, take long walks along the beaches in Southie with her two little boys, and ski and travel when possible. These days Jill isn't collecting too many frequent flyer miles, but feel free to ask her to reminisce about her semester in Quito, Ecuador (and related travels to the jungle, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, and gorgeous, undeveloped beaches) or her love of exceptional croissants that developed after a long weekend in Paris.
Kelly is originally from Duxbury, Massachusetts (famous for our Island Creek oysters!), and has lived in the Boston area for the last eight years. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College, where she majored in human resources and history. After graduation, Kelly worked as a recruiting assistant for the summer program at Ropes & Gray LLP, where she first became interested in working with law students. She went on to join the Career Services Office at New England Law | Boston, which further confirmed her desire to work with students and promote college access. She subsequently attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduated this past May with an Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration.
Outside of the office, Kelly loves spending time with her huge family, playing the piano, and scouring Pinterest for new DIY projects. She’s also trying to become a better cook, so feel free to drop by with any recipe suggestions!