Well, thank goodness that’s over! On to the bar exam…
Additionally, my darling wife, Jaime , also received her JD from Boston University School of Law. Jaime got a judicial clerkship with the Probate and Family Court in Western Massachusetts, so we’re moving out there. I don’t currently have a job lined up, but I’ve got a few irons in the fire, so I’m optimistic something will work out. (And shout outs to my mother-in-law, who bought me a really nice Swiss Army watch.)
Law school is almost over! I graduate May 27. Not quite sure what I’ll be up to next, but I’ve got a few irons in the fire, and I’m optimistic. My wife got a clerkship in Western Massachusetts, so we’re moving out there. Also, I’m touched that the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild picked me (& Tasha Marshall at Western New England School of Law) for the 2016 NLG Student Award. The Guild has given me a lot during my time in law school, so this is really nice.
I wrote this motion to dismiss in the winter of 2015-16 while a student attorney at the Boston District & Municipal Court Office of the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. You can read it here.
The motion argues for the dismissal of two charges stemming from the arrest of a rather agitated fellow. He’s alleged to have attempted to intimidate some officers, & damaged some property, in the police station.
I have permission from my supervisor to use this as a writing sample, & it is my own substantially unedited work. Dates, names, & other information have been changed in the interest of confidentiality.
I wrote this motion to suppress in the summer of 2015 while a student attorney at Roxbury Defenders Unit, an office of the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. You can read it here.
The motion addresses a situation where a police officer allegedly found some crack cocaine in a fellow’s car. The picture here illustrates what an “eight ball” of crack looks like, more or less.
I have permission from my supervisor to use this as a writing sample, and it is my own substantially unedited work. Dates, names, and other information have been changed in the interest of confidentiality.
The Massachusetts Department of Correction is making some changes to their regulations regarding attorney access to their facilities. They’ve invited comments on the new regulations and are holding a public hearing on August 4. (Good luck finding that notice online anywhere but here, by the way. I had to get it from an attorney, who had to get it from the EOPSS general counsel. So much for the “public” in public notice, I guess.) Practically every attorney who has reason to visit a prison has anecdotes about problems they’ve had trying to see their clients, so you can bet the bar (and especially the defense bar), will have plenty to say at this hearing. As the law student representative on the MACDL board of directors, I wrote up a letter to the DOC about law student access to DOC facilities. You can read that letter here.
I’m very encouraged to be selected as a 2015 American Bar Association John J. Curtin Jr. Justice Fund Legal Fellow. It’s awarded to three law students per year, who spend the summer advocating for homeless &/or indigent clients, and it’s meant to encourage legal careers that further social justice. I applied because I will be at the Roxbury Defenders Unit this summer, & some of the fellowships in the past have been awarded to students interning at public defender offices. You can read a bit about it here.
A few folks helped me get my application ready; Nicole Wolfman (a BU student, the other intern at the Federal Public Defender Office this past winter, and who spent last winter at RDU), Aaron Horth (a BU student, who was selected for the fellowship last summer), Michelle Newman (a NUSL student, who spent this past winter at RDU), and Joshua Raisler Cohn (who will be my supervisor at RDU this summer).
I’ve also been accepted as a AmeriCorpsJD Member, which you can read about here.
In other news, REFUSED WILL BE RELEASING A NEW ALBUM ON JUNE 30, so I think this is going to be a pretty good summer.
The president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers recently invited me to be the student representative on the MACDL Board of Directors. It’s a non-voting position, but I will get to attend and participate in Board meetings, and generally be a bit more plugged in to the organization. This all came about because I volunteered to run their Facebook page a while ago. As you might imagine, I’m excited about this opportunity to be of some service to a professional organization that does some good work, and also to meet accomplished criminal defense attorneys.
Because of NUSL’s unique schedule, where upper-level students alternate between classes or an internship (we call them co-ops) every three months, it feels like we’re always in the midst of either deciding what classes to take, or researching and applying for our next co-op. It’s the dead of winter – a tremendous blizzard is pounding the city even as I type this – but I’ve just this past week figured out where I will spend the summer; CPCS’s Roxbury Defenders Unit. It’s a public defender office in Roxbury, a working-class neighborhood and “the heart of Black culture in Boston.” The attorneys at the RDU are known, among my classmates, as particularly dedicated to their clients, helpful to students, and quite down with the struggle. I’m really looking forward to this summer.
This summer will be my third co-op. I spent last summer at Prisoners’ Legal Services; couldn’t have asked for a better first co-op. I did a mix of research and client interaction, visited a bunch of prisons, and worked with some truly heroic attorneys. I’m currently at the Federal Public Defender Office, researching and writing to assist their efforts on behalf of those accused of everything from drug possession, gun possession, enticement of minors, child porn charges, etc. Heroic attorneys, once again. After my summer at RDU, I will have another co-op (winter 2015-16); not sure where I want to end up for that one.
I have no idea how important this is, but it’s kind of interesting, so I figured I’d better make sure that the hundreds of thousands of you who are following my law school career with bottomless fascination should know about it. (Things are going fine at my internship at the Federal Public Defender Office here in Boston, by the way.)
Some time ago, I got an email from my school saying that something called The Princeton Review (which, they are careful to point out, is not affiliated with Princeton University) was looking for law school application essays to publish in a book marketed towards folks who are applying to law school. It was a very easy process, so I sent them the essay that I used in my applications. Now, you can read my essay on page 188 of Law School Essays That Made a Difference, 6th Edition. It’s kind of a neat book, with 70 essays, a blurb about the students who wrote the essays (including GPAs, schools applied to, accepted to, and rejected from), and information about the law school application process and tips for writing your essay. If I were looking for a book to help with law school applications, this would be a good one.
I have no idea how many essays they received, or how selective they were in deciding which essays go in, or if my essay is the absolute worst of the bunch. My only complaint is that they added a typographical error to my essay, where they didn’t italicize the title of Jerry Mander’s book, In The Absence of the Sacred, which I mentioned (& italicized) in my essay. And no, I did not get paid for my essay. I did get a free copy of the book, though.
(I also have no idea why Princeton University doesn’t feel the need to point out that they are not affiliated with the Princeton Review.)
Last quarter, I had my first client through Northeastern’s Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. We worked together for many weeks in preparation for his parole hearing. I submitted a lengthy memo to the Massachusetts Parole Board, solicited and collected support letters, helped prepare witnesses, familiarized myself with a voluminous record, and worked with my client to be sure that he would be ready to testify. The support from my classmates, professors, and my wife was invaluable. I’m very happy to say that the Board voted 6 to 0 in favor of parole. You can read their decision here; Decision in the Matter of Joseph Yandle. Even if I had not represented Joe, I would still think he’s a stand-up guy, and I wish him all the best. Also, you can read about EPOCA here.
The Alliance for Israel at Northeastern hung up flyers around Dockser Hall for their event this evening, and someone scrawled a crude swastika on a few of them. Here’s a news report about this incident from Boston.com. It’s really quite terrible that someone would do this.
The conflict in Palestine and Israel has been contentious in the Law School and in the wider University. Because many of our members have been involved in Palestinian solidarity work, and we have no patience for anti-Semitism and fascism, we decided to release a statement.
You can read it here.
Another student took the lead on writing the first draft, but a bunch of us (myself included) contributed to editing it.