Molly Jane Thoms ’22, a second year student at Boston College Law School pursuing public interest law related to youth and education, has won two summer fellowships. She is one of five students in the state selected to receive a Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) Legal Intern Fellowship and she received an Equal Justice America (EJA) fellowship.
Thoms will be interning at MetroWest Legal Services (MWLS) in Framingham, MA, and receive stipends of $6,000 from MBF and $2,000 from EJA for her work there this summer.
“Molly Jane has been extremely dedicated to this work from the moment she arrived to BC Law and is so deserving of these opportunities,” said Michelle Grossfield, BC Law’s public interest and pro bono program director in BC Law’s Office of Career Services. “I am confident she will add great value this summer to the clients and causes for whom MetroWest advocates.”
The MBF’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program, which is funded by the MBF Fellows Fund and the Smith Family Fund, has two concurrent goals: to give talented students the experience and encouragement they need to continue in the public interest law sector and to provide legal aid organizations with much-needed additional staff capacity for the summer.
Equal Justice America is an organization that awards summer fellowships to law students who work in civil legal services, with the goals of inspiring and enabling them to stay in public service after graduation. They emphasize reflection on the internship experience, active supervision by the host organization, and networking among the fellowship recipients.
“I am thrilled to be working at MetroWest this summer to deepen the experience with civil legal services that I gained through working with Visiting Professor Jessica Berry in the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (JRAP) clinic at BC Law this year,” said Thoms. “On a personal level, this work and this place have deep significance to me. My father was a poverty and public interest lawyer in Massachusetts before moving to Vermont, where I was raised.
“In addition, my mother was a special education teacher in Framingham between 1979 and 1993, at an elementary school less than a half a mile from where MWLS is located. This is the same school that the brother of one of my JRAP clients attended,” Thoms continued. “I strive to follow in my parents’ paths of uplifting human dignity and cultivating meaningful connections with others. These are values MWLS also shares.”
Thoms is currently an SJC Rule 3:03 student attorney in the JRAP clinic and a research assistant at Boston College Lynch School of Education. Last summer, she was a legal intern at the ACLU of Vermont. Thoms graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College in 2017 and stayed at her alma mater to complete a tuition-free master’s degree and serve as program coordinator and staff liaison for interfaith cooperation in the Office of Spiritual & Religious Life. Next year, she will serve as president of the Public Interest Law Foundation at BC Law.