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Daniel Finn (Class of 2016)

Day Division
I came to law school knowing that I wanted to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney. I also knew that I was particularly interested in working with indigent clients. At New England Law | Boston I found clinical and internship opportunities that allowed me to explore these interests.

During my first semester I began working with the “CORI Initiative,” a student run program that assists low-income clients seal their criminal records. I learned to review criminal records, determine if offenses were eligible to be sealed, and worked closely with clients to compose affidavits for their hearings in court.

I spent the summer after my first year interning with the Committee for Public Counsel Services. I was able to develop my legal research and writing skills while also spending considerable time in the court. This internship fit perfectly with my personal interests and career goals, and I was able to fund the experience with a Public Interest Fellowship offered through New England Law’s Center for Law and Social Responsibility.

In my second year of law school I enrolled in the “Lawyering Process” clinic and was placed with the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. I spent the semester assisting attorneys who were representing indigent clients in summary process eviction proceedings in Housing Court. Because I did this work through a clinical course, I was able to be certified under the student practice rule, SJC Rule 3:03, despite the fact that I was only a 2L. As a result, I had the opportunity to handle a case on my own, which allowed me to work closely with a client who successfully avoided an eviction.

During my second summer I interned with the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, where I defended state prisoners at disciplinary hearings. I managed a caseload and handled each stage of my clients’ cases. I interviewed and met with clients inside the state prison system and personally advocated on their behalf at their disciplinary hearings.

In my final year I enrolled in the Criminal Procedure II Clinic, which combined the study of criminal procedure with a clinical placement in the Roxbury District Court office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. I had the opportunity to conduct client interviews and argue on behalf of criminal defendants at arraignment and bail hearings as a student attorney.

My clinics and internships at New England Law | Boston were some of the most valuable experiences of my time in law school. These practical experiences have allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be an effective advocate for clients as they navigate a daunting and imperfect legal system.

(March 2016)