Let me begin with a big thank you to all of our students and their families and friends for making this year’s Commencement ceremony a wonderful and special one. I am both amazed by how fast this year flew by and immensely proud of this bright and passionate group of students who are now officially law school graduates with their diplomas in hand. The members of the Class of 2014 will now embark on their own diverse legal careers around the globe, and I thought I’d share with you the plans of just a few of these outstanding new alumni.
Each year, the School awards a few Public Interest (PI) Scholarships to select members of the incoming class that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to serving the public. I am pleased to report that the Class of 2014 PI Scholars have made a significant contribution to our community over the last three years and that all have accepted post-graduate positions with public interest employers. They are:
- Jessica Bettencourt, Legal Aid Society – Criminal Division, NYC
- Matt Bruenig, National Labor Relations Board – Honors Program, Washington, DC
- Alex Conlon, Bronx Public Defenders, Bronx, NY
- Sohani Kahn, Legal Aid Society – Criminal Division, NYC
- Elizabeth Hasse, Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow at Tahirih Justice Center, Houston, TX
A second member of the Class of 2014, Elizabeth McIntyre, also received an EJW Fellowship to protect the educational and health care rights of low-income children in Boston Public Schools. Elizabeth recently received the J.D. 2014 Pro Bono Award, given to the J.D. student completing the most pro bono hours during three years at the School of Law.
Many of our students will enter public service with the government upon graduation. Lucy Sun, for example, was selected for the Massachusetts Attorney General Office’s 2014 Fellowship Program. She will launch her legal career there under the direction of Massachusetts Attorney General and BU Law alumna Martha Coakley (’79).
The School of Law awarded 11 students the annual BU Law Public Service Fellowships, which give students the opportunity to work full-time for a year providing necessary legal services to a non-profit organization or government agency. They are:
- Jessica Ziehler – Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Office of the State of Florida Public Defender, West Palm Beach, FL
- Lauren Shryne – Greater Boston Legal Services, Consumer Law Unit, Boston MA
- Chelsea Lewis – New York City Transit Authority, Office of the General Counsel, New York, NY
- Lisa Gilbert – MTA New York City Transit Authority, Office of the General Counsel, New York, NY
- Irene Burga – Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Santa Monica, CA
- Anna Gurevich – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of the General Counsel, Boston MA
- Orla Thompson – New York City Transit Authority, Office of the General Counsel, New York, NY
- Dianna Michelle Martinez – Immigrant Rights Clinic, BU Civil Litigation Program, Boston, MA
- Lys Runnerstrom – Twentieth Judicial District Attorney, Boulder, CO
- Elena Noureddine – Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR Project), Boston, MA
- Emily Crim – Greater Boston Legal Services, Elder, Health & Disability Unit, Boston, MA
Additionally, Katelyn Kramer received the N. Neal Pike Fellowship, which sponsors a fellow to work in the field of disability rights. Katelyn will be serving the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association’s Family Law Unit in Boston.
Serving the country in another way, two members of the Class of 2014 have been selected for the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Congratulations, Ethan Chae and John McSwiggin, on your commissions!
I am pleased to announce that Thomas McCants will be our inaugural Gideon’s Promise Fellow (click here for a description of BU Law’s new partnership with Gideon’s Promise). The Atlanta-based nonprofit places graduates in under-resourced public defenders’ offices with funding provided by law schools. Thomas has accepted a position in Augusta, Georgia.
Other members of the Class of 2014 will be judicial clerks, transactional attorneys, intellectual property associates, and assistant district attorneys. They will be working in private practice and the public sector, in fields from health law to finance, and in locations from Boston to Tokyo and beyond.
Wherever our graduates are headed, I am confident and proud that they will continue to represent the very best of the BU Law community. Please join me in congratulating the Class of 2014 on their accomplishments and in looking forward to their professional success.