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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Celebrate Pro Bono Week

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Presented by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service and the Center for Pro Bono, the Celebration focuses on the nation’s increased need for pro bono services and equal access to justice. In addition to a number of local events scheduled this month featuring pro bono trainings and activities with area organizations, there are also upcoming student-sponsored programs highlighting pro bono and public service work. On Thursday, October 25th, 4:30pm - 6:00pm the Women's Law Caucus and the Career Services Office are co-sponsoring a speed networking night featuring work in domestic violence advocacy. The event will feature practitioners from domestic violence advocacy organizations as well as attorneys who have incorporated pro bono domestic violence work into their private practice. And on Monday, October 29th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm the Public Interest Law Association is presenting a panel on public interest sector careers featuring representatives from Greater Boston Legal Services, the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center, the National Consumer Law Center, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

New England Law | Boston provides opportunities for students to participate in public service and pro bono activities throughout the school year. The Center for Law and Social Responsibility (CLSR) sponsors  pro bono and  public service activities through which faculty, students  and alumni support socially responsible goals. Center projects include work in criminal justice, immigration law, environmental advocacy, and women's and children's rights.  To stay up to date on the CLSR’s activities and other public interest programs, visit their homepage to view their calendar of upcoming events.

Students whose public service legal work is unpaid and without credit may be eligible to obtain transcript recognition  through the Public Service Transcript Notation Program, approved by the Public Service Project at the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. The approved work is legal work that meets the definition of MA Rule 6.1 (Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service). Once students complete 25 hours of the approved work, they may submit a hard copy of the completed verification form to Professor Engler in the Clinic Office.

For more information on how to get involved, our Pro Bono Guide provides information on pro bono opportunities at New England Law | Boston as well as a list of public interest organizations in Massachusetts. Students are encouraged to pursue pro bono work as a way to obtain academic credit and gain real world experience while also making a positive contribution to the community at large. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I Did This Summer: Michael J. Martucci ’14, Law Clerk, Law Office of Susan T. Aguiar

Michael Martucci is a second-year day student at New England Law | Boston. This past summer he worked as a law clerk at the Law Office of Susan, T. Aguiar, a busy solo practice in Boston, MA. As part of our new blog series highlighting student work Michael writes about his summer experience and explains how he found his internship.

My summer job search began around the middle of March. Having absolutely no legal connections in the area, the NEL|B CSO Symplicity site was my only resource for finding a summer internship—and it proved to be a valuable one. It was really important for me to be in Boston for the summer, so I dedicated about 8-10 hours each week looking through the site for new job postings and preparing cover letters. I kept a detailed record of dates and places that I applied, and made sure to follow up on every application and email. By the end of April the persistent effort paid off when I received an offer for a summer law clerk position at a busy solo practice. It was exactly what I was looking for: small firm atmosphere, located in the city, and to top it all off, it was a full-time, paid position.

I was very fortunate in that the attorney I worked for truly enjoyed teaching law students the practical “ins” and “outs” of the profession.  I expected to spend my summer filing papers and answering phones, so I was quite surprised on the first day when the attorney handed me a stack of files and asked me to begin research for a summary judgment motion. In fact, she allowed me to participate in almost every aspect of her personal injury law practice. My responsibilities included legal research, drafting memoranda and legal documents, filing documents at the courthouse, meeting with clients, and communicating with opposing counsel over the phone. It was a great hands-on experience of what it was like to work as an attorney.

My favorite part of the internship was gaining practical legal experience—it really helped to boost my confidence in school. I have no doubt that I am a better student this semester because of the work I did over the summer. The practical knowledge has helped me frame my classwork in a way that allows me to comprehend the material quicker and more thoroughly than before. This has been especially helpful given the heavy workload that accompanies the second-year of law school. The hardest part of the position was constantly juggling several different projects at the same time, especially since I had no prior legal experience. The biggest challenge was time management. However, successfully completing all the projects was by far the most rewarding part of my summer, and the constant juggling actually became enjoyable.

Throughout my whole experience, I found the skills I developed in my first-year Legal Research and Writing (LRW) course to be most useful as I spent the majority of my summer researching cases and drafting arguments. Not only did I get to bolster my research and writing skills, but I also drafted a wide array of court documents, which ended up being very helpful for my LRW class this fall.

Overall, the biggest take-away from my summer internship was the confirmation that I made the right choice to go to law school. I find the work challenging and engaging, and I can honestly say that I want to make a career out of it. Furthermore, it ended up being one of the best summers I can remember. For my next internship, I would like to challenge myself by working in a larger firm as the contrasting atmospheres would be helpful in pinpointing a direction for my future. However, regardless of what I do next, I know that the knowledge and experience I gained working this past summer will put me in a great position to succeed.

  - Michael J. Martucci, Class of 2014

Students have access to internship and postgraduate job postings and can participate in on- and off-campus recruitment programs through our Symplicity site. To access, you will need your Student ID# and a password (sent to you in November of your first year.) If you don't have a password, please email the Career Services Office (CSO) at  To identify your own career goals and create a personalized job search strategy, call the CSO at 617-422-7229 to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Pro Bono Mandate for the New York Bar

A recent New York Law Journal article provided details on the new 50-hour pro bono requirement for applicants to the New York bar. Beginning January 1, 2015 every applicant to the New York state bar will be required to fulfill this mandate. If you are a current first- or second-year law student planning to take the New York bar upon graduation, you have up to 34 months to complete qualifying pro bono work. Current third-year students are exempt. 

What is qualifying pro bono work? Law-related work for persons of limited means, non-profit organizations, and public service in the judiciary and state and local government would meet the New York bar pro bono rule. The work must be supervised by an attorney in good standing, judge, or law school faculty member. Participation in a law school clinic or work performed for recognition in the school's Public Service Transcript Notation Program would also qualify. The work may be completed anywhere in the country or abroad.

Upon completion of the pro bono work, applicants will need to complete the Form Affidavit of Compliance available on the New York State Court's website. All pro bono work must be completed before submitting an application for bar admission. 

More complete information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the New York State Court's website. Applicants with further questions on the new requirement should contact or call 1-855-227-5482.

For more information on pro bono opportunities available at New England Law | Boston, read our Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities Guide which provides information on pro bono opportunities at the school and includes a directory of public interest organizations in Massachusetts. Additional directories for public interest organizations in the New England area as well as in California, New Jersey, and New York are available in the handouts section of Symplicity