What started as a seed of an idea finally came to fruition November 22 when Boston College Law School’s student-run Just Law podcast aired its first episode. Hosted by four students, Just Law aims to explore important issues facing tomorrow’s lawyers through interviews, student spotlights, and insights into the law school experience as well as a dash of legal humor here and there.
In the premiere episode 1, co-hosts Kevin O’Sullivan ’21, Lea Silverman ’21, Joanna Plaisir ’23, and Tom Blakely ’23 welcomed listeners to their first Just Law experience before diving into interviews with the director of BC Law’s advocacy programs and with student finalists in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition. The launch episode also featured the inaugural student spotlight in the form of a lively conversation with first-year law student Kevin Corkran.
In an otherwise dark and difficult year, the Just Law podcast, edited and produced by 3L Mark Grayson, provides a glimpse into what is good and promising in the BC Law community. This time, the show focused on the quality and importance of oral advocacy competitions.
Rosemary Daly, the program director, explained to the Just Law audience the number and purpose of the competitions available to students. She noted that this year, in addition to impressive performances at the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition, BC Law was strongly represented at the Moot Court Regional Competition and the 2020 National Criminal Procedure Tournament, among others.
It was a year of close calls on several fronts.
BC Law is one of the few schools that allows first-year students to participate in the Negotiation Competition, which is typically dominated by 2Ls and 3Ls. The fact that Travis Salters and Kimia Pourshadi, a 1L team, reached the final round in the regionals was cause for celebration in the Just Law podcast. Professor Judith McMorrow, associate dean for experiential learning, later said of their achievement, “As the numbers indicate, there was very strong interest in the competitions by our 1L students, who are to be applauded for their thirst for experience in this pandemic-education world. This makes the accomplishments of our 1L competition winners even more impressive.”
Another showcase for 1Ls is the Client Counseling Competition. Eighty of them competed virtually this fall. After several rounds, the team of Patricia Rezac and Nathaniel Jaffe will represent the Law School at the ABA Client Counseling Regionals early next semester.
In the New England regional Moot Court Competition, 3Ls Nina Labovich, David Leopard, and Kevin O’Sullivan were knocked out of the running by a one/one-hundredth of a point loss to the team that went on to win the contest.
And at the 2020 National Criminal Procedure Tournament, third-year students Nat Carney and Brett Gannon came within a hair’s breadth of winning the National Criminal Procedure Tournament. The students competed against 30 teams from around the country and argued eight times, losing only in the final argument to a team from Fordham University School of Law.
In episode 2, Just Law interviews Newton City Councilor Emily Norton on operating government during COVID-19, and talks to constitutional law scholar and BC Law Professor Kent Greenfield.