The BU Secret

I’m going to go out on a limb with this post. There’s a little known secret on campus, and I’m reluctant to say anything about it. But, it is one of the best things about BU Law, so I feel like I should share.

So, the secret? The secret is that the BU administration and staff will go out of their way to support you in accomplishing things that are outside the ordinary realm of BU Law activities. I’m not saying that they’ll let you bring your pet tiger to school or that they’ll give you an A in a class that you actually failed. In my experience, the administration and staff are extremely open to new ideas, new approaches, and if you show some initiative, they’ll support you and help you get it done.

For example, earlier this month, I was accepted to attend a workshop on International Humanitarian Law hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Berkeley Law School. The workshop was in Berkeley, CA and on a grad school budget, I couldn’t afford to pay for the entire trip. BU Law doesn’t give formal travel grants, but the Dean of Students was able to secure some ad hoc funding from Dean O’Rourke to help pay for my trip.

BU also hosts amazing spring break service trips through the Career Development Office (CDO). In a meeting with the CDO last year, they told me that if I wanted to go to particular location and had the right contacts, they’d help me create and sponsor a spring break trip. I also recently learned from a friend that the administration said they would to help her set up a business-oriented clinical program (to fill a current gap in the curriculum).

I say this is a secret, because I think most students don’t think about asking to do things that aren’t listed in the formal curriculum. It takes some initiative, but then it allows you to create a legal education that is well tailored to your interests.

To me, this institutional flexibility and willingness to support new ideas is an INCREDIBLE feature of a law school. My main interests are public international law and comparative constitutional law. In this regard, BU is no NYU or Columbia Law, so I’ve had to seek out ad hoc opportunities to ensure I remain a competitive applicant after graduation. I have to admit, I expected more push back from the administration on my desire to think outside of the box and create new opportunities, but they have been supportive at nearly every turn.

So, if you’re like me, and are interested in something that is not one of BU’s top programs, consider some of the things you’d like to do and start asking.

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