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New Online Community to Launch in Spring

vast network will connect alumni

Boston College Law School has reached agreement with internet services company HarrisConnect to build a new online community for BC Law alumni and students. The system, scheduled to launch this spring, contains a number of all-new features, including a customized alumni directory, a career advisor network, chapter webpages and email lists, event registration and online payment options, online class notes, customized  broadcast email capability, and profile pages for personal and professional networking.

“We’re really excited about this system,” said Marianne Lord, associate dean of institutional advancement. “The online community is going to allow us to offer services of great value to our alumni, and will help us keep in touch with them better than we ever have before. It’s really a whole new beginning for alumni relations efforts.”

At the core of the new Harris system is the database, which is far more robust and customizable than before. The system will allow each user to access and edit his or her data and privacy settings. The use of personal profile pages enables the system to provide information relevant to individual users, such as class notes for their graduation year and events of particular interest to them.

Online event registration and payment capabilities are built into the new system, which will make it much easier for the Law School to advertise conferences and manage special events for alumni, and the broadcast email tools make it possible to send out customized emails built specifically around an individual’s areas of interest. Each alumni chapter will also have its own webpage, enabling the chapter to create event notices and manage email lists.

But perhaps the most important part of the new system is the career advisor network. This module will allow alumni to sign up as mentors and find alumni to help in their career search.

“The career network is a very powerful tool for alumni networking,” said Maris Abbene, director of career services. “It takes very detailed data from alumni at all stages of their careers, so that people who are searching for something very specific can find just what they need. Let’s say you’re a recent graduate who has moved to the Atlanta area and you’d like to find out what it takes to become a partner in a firm focused on IP law. This system doesn’t just allow you to search for lawyers in your area, you can also see the type of work they do, and the jobs that they held at each stage of their careers, so you can understand how they got to where they are now. Of course, it also allows you to get in touch with them to learn more. It’s like a road map to where you want to go.”

Abbene said that the career advisor network system allows complete control, so that mentors can choose how much information they want to have appear during a search. “When you sign up, you can choose to reveal everything or nothing but a job title,” she explained. “You can also decide whether your information is available only to certain search categories.”

The undergrad school at Boston College launched its version of the online community in September.

Harris will now build what is called a “smart site” customized for the Law School. About a month after the site launches in early spring, the career advisor network will be phased in.

BC Law welcomes alumni feedback. Please email us at


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