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Budding Lawyers Do Public Service Work

BU School of Law recognized for commitment to public service

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A number of law school students are interested in public service work, which may help them avoid being the butt of lawyer jokes. More important, their public service work is increasingly being noticed. The BU School of Law is one of four schools selected for inclusion on the National Jurist Public Service Honor Roll.

Using data collected by the online Equal Justice Works Guide to Law Schools, the magazine chose the schools for outstanding public service programs. “If you present opportunities, students are very interested in public service. It’s a case of, ‘If you build it they will come,” Maura Kelly, LAW assistant dean for career development and public service, told the National Jurist. Kelly came to BU in 2005 and has been working to expand the public service programs, including launching a pro bono program.

As a result, students have more opportunities to study public interest law, get real-world experience, and find a job they love. LAW also funds spring break pro bono trips, where students provide legal assistance. Kelly is proud of these trips, which have taken students to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as well as to Texas, Michigan, Cambodia, and Thailand.

She believes that the public service program, in particular the pro bono program, has succeeded because of students’ spirit of generosity. Today’s law school students have sometimes been called “Generation G” for their generosity and interest in public interest law.

The National Jurist recognized LAW for the strong support provided by administration, faculty, and staff, and for students’ access to alumni and working professionals. “We really support our students to become the lawyers they intended to be when they came to the law school,” says Kelly.

Tom Vellner can be reached at tvellner@bu.edu.

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