BC Law School's Newton campus. Photographed for the 2013 BC Law Viewbook.

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Students Receive Coveted Public Service Honors

Dean Vincent Rougeau announced on May 17 the  2019 Public Service Legal Fellowships and Drinan Award. Jared Friedberg, Nathan Pak, and Lauren Rossman are this year’s Public Service Legal Fellows and Elizabeth Cole is the Drinan recipient. All are 3Ls.

The Public Service Legal Fellowships are yearlong, post-graduate positions that allow BC Law graduates to work full-time at a public interest organization, public defender organization, prosecutor’s office, or government agency. The program aligns with BC Law’s commitment to social and economic justice and dedication to improving access to legal services. It also enhances the mission of the school to train lawyers who will not merely be good lawyers but lawyers who lead good lives that will enrich their communities. Three public service fellowships were possible this year.

Friedberg will join the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) in New York, NY. MOIA promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic and cultural life of the City. MOIA is one of the lead agencies for IDNYC, New York City’s successful municipal ID program, and spearheads a number of initiatives to expand access to justice for immigrant communities, including efforts on citizenship and immigration legal services. The work of the office cuts across a broad range of issues city-wide—for example, worker’s rights, health equity, and language access—and MOIA works closely with sister cities around the country to advocate for immigration reform and share best practices. As a Fellow, Friedberg will support MOIA’s work by analyzing federal, state and local legal and policy developments affecting immigrants and their civic, economic and social integration. Friedberg will also recommend and support the execution of strategic responses, from policy and legislative advocacy, to community education and outreach, to new programs.

Pak will join the Massachusetts Attorney Generals’ Office, Government Bureau/Administrative Law Division in Boston, MA. The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General is an advocate and resource for the Commonwealth and its residents, and is led by Attorney General Maura Healey, who is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth. The Administrative Law Division of the Government Bureau represents state agencies and state officials in a broad range of civil litigation matters and protects the public interest by defending the Commonwealth’s agencies that provide essential government services, programs and public benefits. The Divisions’ cases involve many areas of law, including child welfare, renewable energy, environmental permitting, affordable housing, transportation, education, human services, and public assistance programs, public health and health care finance, and public sector labor and employment. At the Office of the Attorney General, Pak will serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General and assist in the Division’s representation of the state agencies and officials it serves.

Rossman will join the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ (CPCS) Innocence Program in Somerville, MA. CPCS is a statewide agency providing legal services to indigent clients and the Innocence Program is a specialized unit within the CPCS Private Counsel Division that aims to identify and litigate meritorious post-conviction claims of innocence through direct representation, advising and training lawyers on handling innocence cases, administering a federally funded Expert Fund that supports post-conviction forensic consultation and testing in both DNA and non-DNA cases, and engaging in a variety of coalition building efforts including the establishment of a working group of criminal justice stakeholders. Rossman will screen new applications for assistance, provide litigation support to post-conviction innocence claims, co-counsel in-house cases, and assist with a cutting edge review of cases of potential forensic error that is one of the first of its kind nationwide, the grant funded Hair Microscopy Review, which was established in 2015 with federal grant funding in partnership with the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and the New England Innocence Project.

The Public Service Awards Committee has selected 3L Elizabeth Cole as the 2019 Drinan Award recipient. After graduation, Cole will join the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office in Pittsburgh, PA, as a Staff Attorney. During law school, Elizabeth participated in the Boston College Law School Defenders Clinic, the Immigration Pro Bono Spring Break Immersion Trip to ProBAR in Harlingen, TX, volunteered her entire 2L academic year with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and served as Co-President of If/When/How and a Graduate Assistant for the school’s Leaders Entering and Advancing Public Service (LEAPS) and public interest and pro bono programs. During her summers, Cole worked with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and the Michigan Innocence Clinic.

The Drinan Family Fund in Support of Public Interest encourages Boston College Law School students to pursue public interest careers. The fund awards $10,000 to a graduating student who will pursue a public sector career.  The award is renewable for a second year for a maximum award of $20,000 over the two years if the recipient remains in public interest employment.

 

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