Published 07/09/09

Tell it to the judge

July 9, 2009

Elicia Wilson ’08 heard it many times during her first year in law school, ‘think like a lawyer.’ Instead of looking at something as black or white or law-breaking or law-abiding, she is continually challenged to examine the grey area.

Her ‘think like a lawyer’ mentality didn’t develop on the first days of classes at Suffolk Law School, though. It began in the classrooms at Bryant through her legal studies classes with Andrea Boggio, assistant professor of History and Social Sciences; and Ronald Washburn, lecturer in History and Social Sciences.

“Professors Boggio and Washburn taught me to think more in depth and take time to analyze even the simplest question,”  says Wilson. “Most of the time, the answer isn’t as clear as you first thought.”

Each year, about 20 Bryant students, like Wilson, are accepted to law school. They prepare by taking classes in English, history, legal studies, political science, and business. Washburn, who also serves as the pre-law advisor, reports that some of the schools students are attending include New England School of Law, Syracuse, UConn, Roger Williams, and Hofstra.

Following a successful first year in law school, Wilson is spending the summer working at the Norfolk (MA) District Attorney’s office, where she has the opportunity to see the law in action.

“I love working here because I am representing something and fighting for a victim or law that will affect me or my neighbor,” she says. “It is truly gratifying and exciting.”

Very rarely is there a clear cut answer, Wilson has learned. The challenging and ever-evolving field allows her to make a difference each day. “You can either go with the flow or be the one initiating change,” she says. “I want to make a positive impact that will continue to affect us for years to come.”

A foundation in the law  

Mitch Terk ’09 (Bridgewater, NJ) wanted to be a lawyer since he was a youngster. His role over the last few years as the owner/president of Revolution Music Management Group, a company he founded, has brought him in contact with many entertainment lawyers and cemented his decision that law is the career path he wants to follow.

In September, he will enroll at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ. Terk credits his classes in law – he was one of 140 members of the Class of 2009 to minor in legal studies – with helping him develop a strong foundation.

“With an understanding of such fundamentals as constitutional law and Uniform Commercial Code, I have a clear advantage over my peers who have not have been able to build a base of legal knowledge as undergraduates,” he says.

For those considering law school, Terk encourages them to take an LSAT prep course, build relationships with their professors, and get involved in extracurricular activities that make their résumés stand out. He should know as Rutgers was one of eight law schools he was accepted to.

“With competition for law school as intense as it is,” says Terk, “every little thing you can do to put yourself in a better position helps.” 

Connecting business and law

After graduating magna cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law in 2007, Antonio Diaz-Albertini '03 became an associate at the New York City law firm of Cahill, Gordon & Reindell LLP.

While trial lawyers garner many of the headlines, Diaz-Albertini says the business and liberal arts classes he took at Bryant taught him the connection between business and law.

"When people think of law they think litigation, mostly criminal cases," he says. "But the law isn't just litigation, it is transactions and dealing with people and numbers, which are two areas Bryant excels in teaching their students."