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Pro Bono Opportunities for Law Students Lead to Top Honor Roll Recognition

Twenty-five New England Law | Boston students were recognized on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Pro Bono Honor Roll for 2016, tying with Harvard Law School for the most students represented.

The Honor Roll recognizes students’ commitment to pro bono legal work in the 2016 calendar year. Other institutions appearing on the list include Boston University, Northeastern University, and Boston College.

Honor Roll awardees

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services administers the Honor Roll, which also recognized almost 30 law firms, solo practitioners, nonprofit organizations, and other legal practitioners. Some of the Boston firms honored for 2016 include Goodwin Proctor LLP, Ropes & Gray LLP, and WilmerHale. 

Law students have their own Honor Roll criteria, including performing at least 50 hours of pro bono service throughout their time in law school. These services must be unpaid and serve the legal needs of those who have limited access to legal representation or who are underrepresented in the legal system.

New England Law is thrilled to see the following students honored for their hard work last year:

  • Roselle Agdipa
  • Chevelle Allison-McIntosh
  • Roxanne Bailey
  • Leah Barrett
  • Tequila Bester
  • Emily Bordenski
  • Meaghan Bouvier
  • John Breyer
  • Jillian Carson
  • Meigan Goff
  • Ashley Groves
  • Kara Jagdeo
  • Johnnise Lopez
  • Kaitlyn Marinelli
  • Michael Martin
  • Diana Perez Laris
  • Jacquelyn Pina
  • Pattrese Reynolds
  • Xena Robinson
  • Jessica Rodenhiser
  • Holland Roper
  • Ashley Rozes
  • Anthony Scarpati
  • Sarah Udkow
  • Dara Yaffe

The full list of organizations and students appears on the Massachusetts Court System Pro Bono Honor Roll webpage.

Law student pro bono work

“Since I majored in social work, I have looked for different opportunities to do pro bono work because I've always enjoyed serving others,” said New England Law student Roselle Agdipa, Class of 2018. “After graduation, I hope to pursue a future in public interest work.”

Most of Agdipa’s pro bono hours came from the Public Interest Law Association's Alternative Spring Break, where she worked in the Bankruptcy Unit at the Volunteer Lawyer's Project. She also serves as the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and Vice President of the Immigration Law Association at New England Law.  

Seeing New England Law students honored is gratifying—though perhaps not surprising, given the number of pro bono legal activities at the school. Students volunteer with faculty on their own time, engage in pro bono clinical course work, and provide pro bono services through their extracurricular organizations. (In fact, many of the students on the SJC Pro Bono Honor Roll also appear on New England Law’s Public Service Honor Roll, where students receive a notation on their transcript for a minimum of 25 hours.) 

Recent pro bono services provided by New England Law students include:

  • Keeping shelters and crisis centers up to date on current laws through the Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project
  • Helping launch a CORI Sealing Clinic at women’s shelter Rosie’s Place, so its guests can overcome the obstacles faced by criminal records, with the CORI Initiative
  • Assisting practicing lawyers with their own pro bono cases through the Public Service Project
  • Consulting clients in domestic violence and other family law cases through the Family Law Clinic
  • Helping local law firms with their pro bono asylum and human trafficking cases with the Human Rights and Immigration Law Project

Providing free income tax consultation with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
These experiences require substantive time and training in the field. Though they are meaningful experiential learning opportunities, they are also a huge undertaking for law students already facing a demanding academic schedule.

“I am continually inspired by the breadth and depth of public service work our students are doing. They are truly dedicated to using their legal skills to help others, and it is wonderful to see them recognized in this way,” said New England Law pro bono coordinator Nicole Park. 

Pro Bono Honor Roll honorees, including law students, were recognized at an awards ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston on October 18, 2017. They also received a formal letter of acknowledgement and are listed on the Supreme Judicial Court website.



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