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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I Did This Summer: Stephanie Rogers ’13, Fellow, Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy

Each year, the Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy hires law students from Boston area law schools for summer internships in state or local government offices with an emphasis on public policy and issues relevant to the Greater Boston region. The 10-week program includes a generous stipend as well as a mentoring program and weekly seminar series. Stephanie Rogers, a third-year day student, was the 2012 Rappaport Fellow from New England Law | Boston. As part of our blog series highlighting student work Stephanie writes about her experience working as a Fellow at the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Once I confirmed my placement at the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCA), I knew I would enjoy the work, but I had no idea how diverse my experience would be, or just how much I would learn over the summer. During just my first week, I was exposed to veterans’ issues, insurance topics, antitrust law, conflicts in the Department of Professional Licensure (DPL), problems with for-profit schools, and the general inner workings of the OCA office. As a Fellow, I not only sat in on regular staff meetings and meetings with OCA’s under-agencies, but also a hearing at city hall about for-profit schools, a pitch from a private company OCA sought to hire to update its website, an OCA press conference to release results of a major survey, and a day-long conference about consumer credit issues.

One of the pieces of advice about how to get the most out of your Rappaport experience was to attend as many meetings as possible. I began doing this right away by attending five meetings and a hearing during my first week in the office. At one of those first meetings, I discovered that the DPL would be assuming oversight of occupational schools beginning August 1st, per a recently passed statute with the backing of Governor Patrick.  I had several projects on my plate already, but I requested and was granted permission to work with the DPL on this transition.  I had no idea I would be able to contribute to an initiative I found so important, and it remains my favorite part of my Fellowship experience.

I got more out of the Rappaport Fellowship than I ever thought possible.  Not only did I gain legal knowledge, but I also learned how to interact in a government office, both a small one with a tight-knit staff when at the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and a large one with several smaller departments interacting when at the Department of Professional Licensure. I also had a glimpse into the life of a government lawyer at several angles, from chief counsel to hearing officer. I am very thankful to all responsible for my acceptance into the program and for giving me this opportunity.  Government works, and I am anxious to begin my career within it.

- Stephanie Rogers, Class of 2013

Want to learn more about the Rappaport Fellows Program? Stephanie Rogers and Gregory I. Massing, Esq., Executive Director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service, will speak more about the program and the application process on Thursday, November, 15th , 4:30pm – 5:30pm in Room 505. To RSVP, please email

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