Life in the BU Criminal Clinic

One of the many great opportunities BU Law has to offer its students is the chance to participate in a clinic. Doctrinal classes are obviously an incredibly important part of the foundation of an attorney’s legal education, and seminars are excellent at stimulating dialogue on some truly fascinating topics in many different subject areas. Nothing is going to give you the same hands-on learning experience of a clinic though. Having the opportunity to really dive into an area of the law from a practical standpoint and take ownership over some real cases is honestly an incredible experience. Baffling, at times – “I’m sorry, you’re letting me do what?” – but exciting and enriching in a very unique way.

BU has many clinical programs to choose from, but my clinic experience is within the criminal program. I can’t speak to the others, but my friends all seem to truly enjoy the experiences they have in their own respective clinics. Specifically for me, I came into law school with a particular interest in criminal law. I had always imagined being a prosecutor, and was very interested in pursuing that career path. As my time in law school continued, I became more aware of the realities of the process, and developed a greater understanding of the system from the defense perspective. It was at this point that I began working with the clinic. So far, I am learning many valuable lessons about criminal trial practice as well as how to deal with clients that will serve me well in my career. Perhaps most importantly, my work in the clinic continues to routinely challenge my preconceived notions and challenges me to think more critically not only about my cases, but also about myself and the way I understand and analyze situations.

The criminal clinic has really made a tangible impact on my legal education. The seniors that I am working with seem genuinely interested in making sure that I have an active role on the cases I am assigned to, the faculty are truly dedicated to making sure we have the support and information that we need to be successful, and our cases inspire us to truly be fierce advocates in the courtroom. To anyone who is interested in pursuing a clinical program at BU, I highly highly highly recommend it. The experience is really invaluable, and the relationships I’ve built in only my first semester are already turning out to be some of my strongest in law school.

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