Students Learn, Society Benefits

Caroline Reilly’s capstone project was one of four independent studies produced last spring by third-year students in the LEAPS (Leaders Entering and Advancing Public Service) program at BC Law. Reilly’s topic, together with the other three summarized here, exemplify the range of ways that the legal profession can serve the public interest.

Project Title: “Changing and Rehabilitating the Notion of Recovery and the Self-Image of a Substance Abuser in the Criminal Justice System”
Students: Benjamin Lee and Rohin Ohri
Lee is now employed at the Massachusetts Division of Administrative Law Appeals, and Ohri is an assistant district attorney. Both of them work with vulnerable populations stuck in self-destructive cyclical struggles. As students the pair examined ways in which the legal system could address the opioid epidemic, including by expanding county jail drug-assisted treatment programs and instituting a restorative justice component in drug courts.

Project Title: “Maximizing Law School Student Organizations”
Student: Lauren Koster
Participation in student organizations is the lifeblood of student engagement at BC Law, yet many students don’t get involved, losing the chance to hone their leadership profile, values, and style. Koster studied ways in which the Law School could structure organization leadership and better support student leaders while improving the efficacy of student organizations.

Project Title “Finding a Voice: Outsider Leadership in an Insider Community”
Student: Brendan McKinnon
Motivated in part by the desire to remain in the Boston area, McKinnon looked at ways that “outsiders” could become leaders on local issues despite lacking a lifelong, or sometimes generations-long, presence in the community. McKinnon looked at best practices on zoning and development issues with Massachusetts State Representative David Biele ’09 and former Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ’80, who was in residence at BC Law last spring as the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Visiting Professor in Law and Public Policy. McKinnon studied how those best practices might be implemented as Biele led the community response to a proposed redevelopment of the South Boston Edison Plant site. This included making site visits, organizing meetings between legislators and developers, researching zoning laws, drafting legislation, and testifying before a joint committee in the Massachusetts State House.

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