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Krystle Cantu (Class of 2016)

Evening Division
When I first came to law school, I loved to debate but had no idea in what area of law I wanted to practice. I developed my interests through New England Law’s opportunities within its clinical programs and fellowship.

I studied abroad after my first year, and then, in the summer after my second year, I participated in New England Law’s fellowship program and interned with both the Denton County District Attorney and Dallas County District Attorney in Texas, my home state. I gained experience in criminal law and began building my resume before my third of four years as an evening student.

I took my first clinic, the Government Lawyer clinic, in the fall semester of my third year. I interned at the Attorney General’s Office of Massachusetts (Civil Rights Division) and got to see how a state government law office is run. I dealt with a lot of cases in mental health, disability, constitutional rights, and of course race and gender issues. Although I mostly did legal research, I learned a great deal. The clinic helped me grow in experience and I began to realize that I was driven towards criminal law. In the summer after my third year I was a volunteer intern for the Dallas County District Attorney, having been invited back after the previous summer.

Going into my fourth year at New England Law, I already had four internships on my resume and one study abroad experience, from the summer after my first year. I enrolled in the Family Law Clinic in my fall semester, figuring I would expand my options a bit. I interned for the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Boston, in the Family Law Division, where I worked in court with clients.

I was certified under the Massachusetts Student Practice Rule, SJC 3:03, by this time, so I actually got to handle clients on my own (while being supervised by the attorneys in the office), and gain experience dealing with clients on a personal level. In doing this, it also opened another door of opportunities for me, as I now had experience in both family law and criminal law, and had done a fifth internship as well.

In my last semester of law school I interned for Committee for Public Counsel Services, doing criminal law but with a mental health twist. I again was 3:03 Certified and I actually got courtroom experience within this clinic in which I “second seated” several hearings and was lead counsel on two hearings. By the time I graduate I will have experience in criminal law, family law, government law, and mental health law. I will also have experience in both prosecution and defense of criminal law. I will have six internships on my resume that have been completed within three years, and one study abroad course.

Because of the clinical and fellowship programs opportunities at New England Law I was able to achieve these placements and gain valuable experience, which will make me stand out when I go back to Texas. The opportunities within New England are limitless, and so are the support systems. I am grateful that I was able to achieve such excellent placements within my school and sponsored for those placements outside of school. New England Law helped open the door for a lot of opportunities, and I have built a well-rounded resume full of experience because of them.

(March 2016)