Directory

New England Law Boston

New England Law Boston
154 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116
www.nesl.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Pro Bono Coordinator:

Peter Towne
Assistant Director of Career Services
E-mail
P: 617.368.1403

Clinic Director (credit-bearing programs)

Russell Engler
Professor & Clinic Director
E-mail
P: (617) 422-7380

Career Services Office
E-mail

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for In-house and Collaborative Student Group Projects

Description of Programs

Please see: https://www.nesl.edu/practical-experiences/pro-bono

The program is situated in the school's Career Services Office, which coordinates the school’s three academic centers: the Center for Law and Social Responsibility (CLSR), Center for International Law and Policy (CILP), and Center for Business Law (CBL). The CLSR dedicates itself to the ideal of law as a means through which to achieve socially responsible goals. In keeping with this mission, the CLSR supports the faculty, students, and alumni in classroom, scholarship, pro bono projects, and other activities that study or otherwise address social problems that can be addressed through the law and those that are products of the inequities in the legal system itself. The CLSR serves, in part, as New England Law | Boston's implementation of Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1, a rule encouraging lawyers to engage in public service activities. The CLSR also aims to assist in the school's mission to perform "public service and other work that further the interests of justice." The school’s website includes information about its three academic centers, as well as information regarding employment, public service work, and public interest and pro bono web links.

Faculty recommended volunteer opportunities and in-house pro bono group projects are listed on the Law School's website on student organizations.

Location of Programs

Career Services Office: https://www.nesl.edu/career-services

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Pro Bono Coordinator is located in the Career Services Office. and coordinates with the three academic centers and Clinical Director.

Funding

The school provides a budget to the three academic centers.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

The projects are subject to change from year to year. The list below describes projects available to students in the 2019-20 academic year.

Access to Justice, Rule of Law, and Transitional Justice Projects - Countries transitioning from violent conflict, repression, and other situations that cause massive human rights violations commonly adopt a transitional justice agenda that includes truth commissions, domestic and international criminal trials, reparations for victims, and institutional reform. The Center for International Law and Policy supports this work through assistance with litigation, reports and scholarship, course instruction, externships, and student-led research projects.

Examples of Project Work

  • Transitional Justice Advising: Helping local partners advise a Minister of Justice on methodologies for community-business reconciliation as part of its post-conflict transitional justice process
  • Business and Transitional Justice: Surveying post-conflict strategies that include a focus on business accountability
  • Access to Remedy: Developing a briefing report to assist advocates involved in drafting a treaty on business and human rights
  • Legal Support: Provide ongoing litigation support in the Inter-American Human Rights System

Alternative Spring Break - The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) participates in the Alternative Spring Break Program with the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project. Through this program, New England Law students have an opportunity to intern at Volunteer Lawyer's Project during their spring break in either the family law/guardianship unit, consumer/bankruptcy unit, or ERLI (Eastern Region Legal Intake).

Business and Human Rights Projects - The Center for International Law and Policy enables students to join the effort to hold corporations accountable for actions that negatively impact human rights. The center participates in the global dialogue fostered by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Ruggie Principles”) and partners with NGOs and institutes working on these issues.

Examples of Project Work

  • Human Rights Monitoring: Developing a database of operational grievance mechanisms from corporations around the world to analyze if and how they handle human rights claims by workers and communities
  • Corporate Accountability Strategy: Surveying state tort law to identify avenues for holding corporations accountable for human rights violations
  • Comparative Law: Conducting research of country laws that impose corporate responsibility regulations on multinational businesses

CORI Initiative - The CORI Initiative strives to assist indigent persons in the Greater Boston area with sealing their criminal record, so they can apply for better employment, obtain housing, and positively progress in society. The CORI Initiative connects New England Law student volunteers with qualified clients to determine if they have a Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) record that is eligible for sealing and need help in the process.

Human Rights and Immigration Law Project - The Human Rights and Immigration Law Project involves students in immigration, refugee and asylum, migration, and human rights–based work. The project’s areas of focus have included helping local law firms with their pro bono asylum cases and combating human trafficking. New England Law students have contributed to landmark pro bono cases on international human rights issues and refugee status. Students also have opportunities to participate in legal services immigration counseling.

Jail Lessons Initiative - The Jail Lessons Initiative provides students a chance to help inmates at the Nashua Street Jail by teaching them basic evidence and criminal procedure concepts. The goal is to help them learn more about the criminal justice process, which can then help people better understand their situation and meaningfully participate in the process.

Judicial Language Project  - Members of the Women's Law Caucus monitor cases related to sexual violence for language that stereotypes, demeans, or otherwise inappropriately characterizes the victims of the violence.

Public Service Project - The Public Service Project allows students to observe and work with experienced attorneys in pro bono public service opportunities. Whether interviewing a client or making an argument in court, students see the impact of their efforts, while becoming skilled in legal procedures. They can receive a transcript notation that recognizes their public service contributions.

Public Interest Law Association (PILA)  - The organization supports a range of Public Interest activities on campus. It raises funds through an annual auction used to fund summer public interest grants for students.

Sanctuary City Initiative - Informs and supports local communities, cities, counties, and states as they consider how best to protect all the residents within their communities, regardless of immigration status.

Women's Law Caucus  - This group organizes student volunteers who work at the Domestic Violence Institute at the Boston Medical Center assisting clients with domestic violence issues.

Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project - Students in the Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project have contributed to successful projects focused on the protection of victims of domestic and sexual violence, from keeping shelters and crisis centers up to date on current laws, to identifying and changing inappropriate language in media and judicial decisions, compiling children’s constitutional rights, and analyzing social science research to assess its methodological reliability and admissibility in legal proceedings.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program  - Each spring, law students participate in an IRS program to serve the Boston Community by offering free tax help to people who cannot afford paid professional assistance. Students prepare tax returns for walk-in, low-income clients.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is no formal faculty pro bono policy, but criteria for evaluating faculty for retention and promotion include service to legal and non-legal communities, including "legal representation for those in need". Faculty run and participate in the work the three academic centers; some promote pro bono opportunities related to their own activities. For a description of pro bono work performed by Center-affiliated faculty and other faculty at New England School of Law, please see https://www.nesl.edu/practical-experiences

Awards/Recognition

The school's Public Service Transcript Notation program provides recognition for appropriate public service legal work. For more information about the program, please visit https://www.nesl.edu/practical-experiences/pro-bono. The school also assists eligible students in being recognized by the Supreme Judicial Court through its Pro Bono Honor Roll program. https://www.mass.gov/guides/law-students-pro-bono-honor-roll-requirements-and-guidelines

The Dean Timothy J. Cronin, Jr., Award recognizes one graduating student who has shown the greatest promise of outstanding contributions to public service.

Community Service

None listed

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Peter Towne
Assistant Director of Career Services
E-mail
P: 617.368.1403

Russell Engler
Professor & Clinic Director
E-mail
P: (617) 422-7380

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

The school recognizes a number of Certificates and Concentrations where students may earn recognition, including a Public Interest Law Concentration. ( https://www.nesl.edu/academics-faculty/concentrations/public-interest-law)

Public Interest Centers

Center for Law & Social Responsibility

Public Interest Clinics

The in-house clinics and externships are administered jointly under the umbrella of the clinical courses. Most clinics and placements are entirely Public Interest.

Externships/Internships

The in-house clinics and externships are administered jointly under the umbrella of the clinical courses. Most clinics and placements are entirely Public Interest.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Public Interest Law

Several courses have practicum components through which students and their professor take on actual public service work as part of the course activities. These have included: Environmental Advocacy, Domestic Violence and Mental Health Issues in Criminal Proceedings.

Public Interest Journals

The Center for Law and Social Responsibility, http://www.nesl.edu/clsr/

The Center for International Law and Policy, http://www.nesl.edu/center/

The New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, http://www.nesl.edu/journal/

The New England Journal of International and Comparative Law, http://www.nesl.edu/intljournal/

PI Career Support Center

Career Services Office

cso@admin.nesl.edu

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None Listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None Listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None Listed 

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None Listed

Graduate Student Funded

None Listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Summer Fellowship Program

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

The Public Interest Law Association awards grants to a select number of students who will by working in low- or non-paying public interest related legal jobs in the summer.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Work through the three Academic Centers

Student Public Interest Groups

Criminal Law Society

Environmental Law Society

Immigration Law Association

Public Interest Law Association

Women's Law Caucus

3/6/2020