Q&A with Joshua Butera

Why did you choose BU Law?

I wanted to attend BU for a number of reasons. I had been living in New England for a while and wanted to finally live in Boston. BU also has a reputation for a really strong faculty. After working for the past couple years, I really liked the option of spending a semester in Washington, DC and getting practical experience.

Who was the first person you told when you found out you got in and why?

The first person I told about my acceptance was my fiancée. She was also applying to graduate schools and we were still figuring out where we would be. Thankfully, we both ended up in Boston.

So far, have you had any experiences at BU that have changed your mind or reaffirmed your approach to law?

Before starting law school, I had no idea that some of the more specific areas of practice, like international human rights and energy policy, were so accessible for lawyers to work in. Coming to BU has shown me that there might be a number of different things I want to do after law school.

What are the unique advantages of coming into law school with your campaign experience, in which you were continually working outside of your comfort zone?

I think working in politics has made me a more patient person. On a campaign, you rarely get immediate payoffs. In transitioning to law school, I know that it can take time before seeing the fruits of your labor, and it’s important to put in the work now even if it doesn’t all make sense yet.

Are you—or do you plan to be—involved in any student groups or organizations?

I am interested in learning more about the national security law group, and next year I want to get involved with the legislative clinics.

As someone interested in politics, what has been the most exciting or relevant experience since starting at BU Law?

Our Civil Procedure professor was previously deputy counsel for the Clinton Administration and solicitor general for Ohio. Being taught by someone who advised the President on matters of law is a really unique opportunity. For someone who wants to return to the world of government and politics, this has also reminded me of the varied paths that can get there.

What advice would you give to a BU Law applicant?

I would advise future applicants to spend a lot of time on their essays. Writing the essay forces you to think about why you actually want to go to law school, and once you find your motivation, you’re more likely to not only write well, but you’ll also feel a sense of purpose when trying to navigate the first couple of months at law school.