The Boston Bar Association (BBA) announced May 25 that Boston College Law School students Haley Albee ’23 and Nicholas Lopez ’24 have been selected for the 2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program.
This year, the program has increased in size from 6 students to 10, thanks to additional funding from the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) Beacon Fund for Diversity & Inclusion, the BBF Charles P. Normandin Fund, and firm sponsors Nutter and Pierce Atwood.
Each of those 10 fellows will receive a $6,000 stipend for the summer but this fellowship award is also an opportunity to gain critical professional experience in important public interest offices and will help participants to improve their legal research and writing skills, connect with similarly oriented professionals in the legal field, and gain access to valuable BBA programming. A unique aspect of the program is that fellows are paired with a mentor from the BBA’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Section who will guide them and direct their further development process.
Albee will be working with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) to further explore the possibility and implications of a career in public service and human rights defense. She is most concerned with expunging discrimination and prejudice and promoting civil rights and has begun to contribute to these aims through involvement in pro bono clinics and related internships. In her application, Albee states that, “prior experiences working with criminal justice reform advocates has solidified my desire to pursue a career centered around a career in public service to ensure our Constitutional rights are safeguarded. An internship with MCAD this summer would be a tremendous step towards realizing this goal and permit me the opportunity to produce meaningful change.”
Lopez will be working with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and wants to help individuals and families facing financial hardships, especially around issues of affordable housing and gentrification. “The sense of duty to immigrant families that has fueled my interest in law school grew by seeing families much like my own struggle to pay rent in gentrified areas,” he says in his application. “Understanding the perspectives of both the landlords and tenants, I became fascinated with finding economic and legal solutions that reduce the externalities of gentrification. Learning about the benefits that are offered in the tax code would equip me with the legal and practical knowledge needed to better serve my clients.”
Despite serving in different offices, Albee and Lopez will both have the opportunity to make meaningful personal connections, improve writing skills, whether it be writing motions or conducting and writing about research done on a new level, and to solidify their reasons for studying law, as well as discerning which topics they want to focus on and which communities they most want to impact.