- Attorney General Program
- Immigration and Asylum Externship Program
- London Program
- Semester in Practice
- Semester in Practice: International Human Rights
LL85801 Attorney General Clinical Program Seminar
The Attorney General Clinical Program provides an intensive full-year clinical experience in civil litigation in the Government Bureau of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. Students practice under the supervision of one of two faculty members who are assistant attorneys general in that Bureau. Students work directly with Bureau attorneys in the representation of state agencies and officials in state and federal courts. The clinic teaches litigation skills and strategy and includes the following types of legal work: (1) the drafting of pleadings, motions, discovery requests and responses, and other litigation documents; (2) legal research and writing of briefs in the trial and appellate courts; (3) oral argument in the state courts; and (4) other litigation tasks. Students will be expected to do a significant amount of legal writing. Pursuant to Rule 3:03 of the Supreme Judicial Court, students will argue orally in Superior Court on behalf of state agencies. Students will be assigned to one of two Divisions in the Government Bureau, either the Administrative Law Division or the Trial Division. Students assigned to the Administrative Law Division will work on a variety of court cases involving administrative and constitutional law, federal courts, and statutory construction. Students assigned to the Trial Division will work on a variety of cases involving employment, tort, contracts and eminent domain/land use law. Students receive written and oral comments on their memoranda and written evaluations of their performance. The overall goal of the program is to provide an in-depth exposure to various areas of law in the context of a high-level practice that deals with these issues on a daily basis.
The clinical program includes a weekly two-hour seminar on litigation skills, substantive law topics, and the discussion of student work. Some of the seminars will be conducted jointly with the students assigned to both divisions; other seminars will be specific to each division. Topics include state and federal jurisdiction, the substantive law practiced in each division, drafting litigation documents, motion practice, discovery, trial preparation, appellate practice, and the role of state attorneys general. The seminar for the fall semester will be held on Wednesday afternoon from 12:30-2:30 p.m.; the time for the Spring Semester seminar will be scheduled after consultation with the class.
The program will select twelve third-year students. Students must commit 20 hours per week (including the two-hour seminar but excluding commuting time) to the program at the Attorney General’s Office. This often requires two full days and one half-day at the Attorney Generals’ office at One Ashburton Place in Boston.
Immigration and Asylum Externship Program (LL953)
The Immigration and Asylum Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to develop their immigration lawyering skills and exposes them to the realities of immigration practice. Participants work either off campus at a firm or non-profit, or on campus with the Post-Deportation Human Rights Project. Practice areas vary but often involve asylum, adjustment of status for victims of domestic violence, or deportation defense. Students apply on Symplicity and should state any preferences as to substantive areas of the law; type of work (e.g., client interviewing or brief-writing); or office environment (e.g., firm or non-profit). We will do our best to honor these preferences, although the availability of placements changes each semester. Enrollment by application.
Students who participate in the fall externship program and practicum have the option of applying for the spring externship program or Immigration and Asylum Clinic without the requirement of attending the spring practicum. However, 3Ls and prior applicants will receive preference for half the externship slots in the spring semester. New students participating in the spring externship program must also enroll in the spring semester practicum. The practicum brings together students from the externship program and the Immigration and Asylum Clinic to study immigration procedure and discuss substantive issues in their cases.
Students may also wish to enroll in the spring semester Advanced Immigration Law Seminar, a two credit class examining refugee law, the intersection of criminal and immigration law, and deportation defense, among other topics.
London Program (LL510; LL520; LL530; LL540)
One semester (Spring only)
The London Program is given each Spring Semester at King's College London. The on-site Director teaches a course and a seminar in London. The Advanced European Law and King's College course are taught by members of the King's College Law School faculty.
The Program has two major components, one classroom based, and the other experiential. The classroom component consists of four courses. In the fall semester, all students intending to go to London must take, (or have previously) taken, an introductory course in European Union Law. In London, students take two required courses, Introduction to British Law and Institutions and European Community Competition Law, and choose an additional master's level course from the King's College Law School curriculum. In the past, students have taken courses in International Environmental Law, International Business Transactions, European Internal Market, The Theory and Practice of Parliament, International Securities Regulation and the Law of Treaties. Papers will be required for some of these courses, including the Introduction to British Law and Institutions course.
The centerpiece of the London Program is its internship component. This represents an effort to replicate, in a foreign setting, some of the features of the law school's highly successful Semester in Practice program. Students in London have worked with a number of non-profit human rights and environmental organizations, including, Interights, Liberty, Justice, Article 19 as well the Financial Services Authority, and several major London law firms. The students spend 20 to 25 hours per week at their placement, work under close supervision, and maintain journals relating to their research, writing and observations. These are then discussed at a regularly scheduled Seminar led by the Director. In addition, students visit legal and political institutions, and have library privileges at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies which is also part of London University.
The London Program seeks to supplement the educational process at Boston College Law School by exposing students firsthand to a different legal culture. The Program is designed to provide students with a critical insight into comparative legal institutions, and prepare them for international law practice, with special emphasis on international regulatory process, whether in environmental or securities regulation, human rights law, antitrust, intellectual property or other arenas.
Through seminars and working experience, Boston College students develop further understandings of the similarities and differences between British, European and American law and institutions. The classroom and clinical experience combined with the daily aspects of life in a foreign environment broadens the students' legal education in a unique way. The London experience allows students to maximize their education in European and comparative law while maintaining the high academic standards of Boston College Law School.
A maximum of ten students are selected to participate. Third year students have preference in selection. Although there is no GPA requirement, some of our placements require an excellent academic record. The On-Site Director makes the placement assignments. Every effort is made to find a good match for students and placements. Students will be notified if they have been selected or are on a waiting list, early in the Fall semester.
Semester in Practice (LL459; LL489)
Unique among BC Law's' clinical offerings, this limited enrollment, semester course is designed to maximize students' ability to improve their lawyering skills while observing experienced local lawyers and judges. Students spend approximately 30 hours per week at their placement, or, with the Director's permission, 24 hours per week, and attend a weekly classroom seminar. Students receive 10 credits for 30 hours or 8 credits for 24 hours of work at a placement (pass/fail) and 3 credits for the seminar (graded).
Generally, students chose their placement from a pre-existing pool of opportunities that includes diverse subject areas (labor, civil rights, environmental, business law, etc.) and diverse settings (government, law firms, public interest groups, in-house counsel, judicial clerkships, etc.). It is also possible under certain circumstances for students to obtain their own placements, subject to approval of the Director.
In class, students analyze the lawyering process through readings, discussion, and student presentations. Students will be asked to prepare written assignments in which they reflect on their experience and readings, and to keep a daily journal. The Director monitors individual placements to ensure the supervising attorney is providing a significant educational experience including the following: feedback on work product, planned work assignments, exposure to the various aspects of lawyering, and mini-lectures.
There are no formal prerequisites; however, it is felt by the Administration that students with a GPA of 2.5 or below cannot afford to miss a semester of classes. This is not an absolute exclusion, merely a strong recommendation.
Third-year students receive priority in the fall; second-year students have a preference in the spring. There is no final exam; seminar grade based on evaluation of written and oral performance on assignments; placement grade based on evaluation of fieldwork.
Semester in Practice: International Human Rights (LL607)
This new course is an evolutionary outgrowth of our long-standing program at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, Netherlands. It offers a unique opportunity to work on-site during the spring semester at an international human rights organization. The course is designed to provide students with real-world experience and critical insight into international legal institutions, and to prepare them for international legal practice, with special emphasis on human rights and other public interest-oriented arenas.
Students will work with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), institutions such as the ICTY, the International Criminal Court, the Special Tribunal for Cambodia, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Jesuit Refugee Service and internationally-oriented NGOs in the U.S. Typical work will include research and writing about human rights issues, investigation of pending cases, and, where possible, representation of clients before tribunals.
Following an intensive training period in early January, led by Prof. Kanstroom, students will work full-time at their placements, reporting to professional legal staff members in the relevant organizations. In addition to supervising the students' work, staff members will provide feedback on work product and planned work assignments, and provide exposure to various aspects of lawyering in that setting. Students will maintain journals relating to their research, writing and observation, and submit them to Prof. Kanstroom on a weekly basis. The journals and related matters will be discussed in a required seminar, conducted through remote video conferencing meeting technology. Students will also prepare an independent research paper, of at least  pages in length, on a topic related to their placement. Research for the paper will be supervised both by on-site staff and Prof. Kanstroom.
Students will receive 13 credits for the semester, of which 10 pass/fail credits are allocated for their placement work, and 3 graded credits for the seminar, journals and research project collectively. There is no final examination; evaluation will be based on written and oral performance on-site and in the seminar, journals and the written research project. Enrollment is by application and permission of Prof. Kanstroom. There are no pre-requisites, though preference will be given to students who have taken Human Rights Law or similar courses. Students may suggest possible placements as part of their application process, though all placements must be approved by Prof. Kanstroom.