Voices of the Bar 9/1/2016: A Year in Voices of the Bar

Our new program year begins today, and we have so much to look forward to! With a change in the BBA’s volunteer leadership and new programs filling up the calendar, September is always an exciting time here.

But as one program year ends and the next one begins, we also have many occasions to reflect. So for this week’s Voices of the Bar, we thought it would be fitting to look back at some of our favorite questions from last year.

We asked members:

…What first brought them to 16 Beacon:

Kathryn Van Wie – Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“Having just finished law school in North Carolina, I relocated to Boston to take the bar exam and begin the job search in a state I had visited only twice. The BBA was my first stop and an integral step in connecting with the Boston legal community. I had my sights set to work in house, but I was aware I would be fighting an uphill battle to find an entry-level attorney position. Through the BBA’s industry-specific events, as well as general networking events, I was able to better hone my search, develop my network, and eventually found a role that continues to challenge and excite me. ”

…About their most memorable moment practicing in front of a judge:

J.W. Carney – Carney & Associates
“I will never forget the day that a District Attorney moved to dismiss three criminal convictions against Dennis Maher after he was exonerated by DNA testing. He had served 19 years in prison, and I had been his prosecutor.”

 

…What they enjoyed most about volunteering for our Law Day in the Schools program, during which they traveled to schools in Boston and educated students about Miranda rights:

Bruce Falby – DLA Piper
“My partner Mike McGurk and I oversaw a trial of the big bad wolf in a fourth grade classroom at Samuel Adams School in East Boston.  I’ll remember two things.  First, the jury was out all of 2 minutes before coming back with a verdict finding the wolf guilty of deliberating blowing down houses and eating pigs, yet when we polled the witnesses, both prosecution and defense, they would have acquitted.  Second, the defense attorney departed from the script by making an extemporaneous  argument for reconsideration after the jury came back.  Procedurally irregular, but we admired his passion.”

…Which Supreme Court Decision is most important to them:

Carol Starkey – Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford (Current BBA President)
“The case that had the greatest impact on me personally, and in my view, on the country as a whole, was Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.  (2015), the landmark Unites States Supreme Court case in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Justice Kennedy pointed to the evolution of our understanding of injustice when he wrote, “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.” And so it was with the Obergefell decision.”

And finally, we asked members what they thought about the now-infamous government order that Apple unlock an iPhone on the grounds that it contained vital evidence pertaining to the San Bernardino shooting. So many attorneys weighed in on the conflict between investigating the crime and avoiding setting a dangerous precedent that it’s difficult to pick just one response to highlight! We encourage you to look at the original post and read the fascinating discourse.

Thank you so much to everyone who answered a question during this past program year!

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].