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New Grads Win Coveted Public Interest Awards

Three fellowships and a Drinan Award support public service careers.

Photograph by Caitlin Cunningham

BC Law School’s Public Service Committee and Dean Vincent Rougeau on May 21 announced the recipients of the 2020 Public Service Legal Fellowships and the Drinan Family Fund Award. In addition, ten BarBri, ten Themis, and three Kaplan bar review course scholarships were awarded for the Class of 2020.

Three public service fellowships were possible this year and they went to Rebecca Reindel ’20, Pippa Temple ’20, and Caroline Reilly (Dec. ’19). Andres Santamaria Cortes received the Class of 2020 Drinan Award.

BC Law Public Service Fellowships

These yearlong, post-graduate positions 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 the school’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.

Rebecca Reindel will join the EdLaw Project/Youth Advocacy Foundation of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, working in Massachusetts communities in Worcester and Boston, MA. The Youth Advocacy Foundation (YAF) vigorously defends the rights and promotes the well-being of court-involved children, and helps them grow into healthy and productive members of society by ensuring that every child has access to zealous legal representation, essential and vibrant community-based services, and a quality education. YAF’s cornerstone initiative is the EdLaw Project. The EdLaw Project works to end the school-to-prison pipeline in Massachusetts by ensuring that the state’s most vulnerable children receive a quality education through expert legal advocacy. As a fellow, Reindel will support and participate in all aspects of the work at the EdLaw Project, including providing legal research and case support, direct education advocacy of court-involved youth, responding to helpline calls, assisting with trainings for juvenile justice and child welfare attorneys, technical assistance for youth, and collaborating with community organizations.

Pippa Temple will join the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office in Redwood City, CA. The office prosecutes felony and misdemeanor crimes committed in San Mateo County and has specialized units, including the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Homicide, Gang Prosecution, and Elder Abuse Prosecution units. The office serves the people of San Mateo County not only through its prosecution of crimes but also through its Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit by bringing legal actions to prohibit unfair business practices and handling water pollution, hazardous waste, and similar cases, Through its Victim Center, it also provides crisis intervention, emergency assistance, resources and referrals, court assistance, and help with receiving compensation for crime related expenses. As a fellow, Temple will complete the duties of a Deputy District Attorney. These duties include interacting with the public and law enforcement agencies, handling the daily criminal calendars, filing criminal cases, researching, writing, and arguing motions and briefs, and preparing and presenting preliminary hearings and jury trials.

Caroline Reilly will join Rewire.News. Rewire.News is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media organization devoted to publishing evidence-based news, analysis, commentary, and investigative reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice, which includes reviewing, analyzing, and reporting on related laws and litigation. As a fellow, Reilly will be responsible for supporting the organization’s legal coverage through research and analysis of current restrictions and legal challenges to reproductive and sexual health, and drafting memoranda and columns. She will function as both a legal researcher and journalist; producing her own reporting, conducting legal research and analysis, including filing FOIA requests, and working on ongoing legal resources and projects such as a legislative tracker. Reilly will also work on editorial partnerships with legal public interest advocacy organizations to coalition-build, share resources, and to amplify the critical work they do.

The Drinan Award

Thanks to the generous  contribution of anonymous donors, the Drinan Family Fund in Support of Public Interest Law has been established at Boston College Law School. It encourages the pursuit public interest careers and awards $10,000 to a graduating student for that purpose. 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.

As the 2020 Drinan Award recipient, Andres Santamaria Cortex will join the Central American Refugee Center as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow. During law school, Andres participated in the Boston College Law School Immigration Clinic and the Immigration Pro Bono Spring Break Immersion Trip to the National Immigrant Justice Center. He volunteered with the Immigration Law Group’s Bond Project and the PAIR Project in Boston, representing an immigration detainee in his bond hearing. Cortes also participated in Boston Citizenship Day through a partnership with ILG and the Citizenship Project, and held leadership roles with ILG and the Latin American Law Student Association. During his summers, Cortes worked on immigration matters, including immigration applications and petitions for asylum, drafting motions, briefs and memoranda for the Executive Office of Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals, and conducting in-depth legal research and client intakes to draft applications, affidavits, and testimonies.