Students revel in programs, networking at AC04

Issue Februray 2004 By Carla Del Bove

Veteran judges and attorneys weren't among the only attendees present during the MBA's Annual Conference 2004.

A strong contingency of law students also made the rounds at the three-day conference held Jan. 22-24 at Sheraton Boston Hotel as they sat in on numerous programs, checked out services being offered by exhibitors and networked with attorneys in a variety of fields. Their excitement was just as recognizable as the yellow "law student" ribbons attached to their name badges. All came to get a true sense of what it means to be a lawyer.

"I am interested in corporate governance and it was good to see practical applications to recent cases. It really gives you a sense of how it all works," said Stephen Dunn, a second-year law student at New England School of Law. "These sessions solidified my interest in this type of law."

Seth Stratton, a third-year Suffolk University Law School student, said he wanted to attend the conference in order to get a different perspective from law school.

"By the time you reach your third year of law school, you become bored with the regular school work and courses," Stratton said. "You want to get a feel for what is out there."

Another set of students who are coworkers at the Boston firm Breakstone, White-Lief and Gluck - Melissa Maguire, a second-year at Suffolk; Alissa Poyner, a second-year at Northeastern University School of Law; and Christina Boutlier, also a second-year at Northeastern - all agreed they enjoyed hearing different legal perspectives and being able to learn more about specific areas of law.

"It was interesting to see attorneys doing different types of work and to get a feel for whether or not you have the type of personality to do their certain types of work," said Poyner.

Boutlier said she liked learning about tax law.

"It was interesting learning about things you don't normally learn in law school from seasoned professionals," Boutlier said

Wendy Wallis Guthro, a second-year law student at Massachusetts School of Law, was so impressed by the conference that she traded in her student pass for a full-conference badge so she attend all conference events, including the Gala Dinner. She said she wanted to totally immerse herself in the law-related events.

"The Gala Dinner was wonderful," said Guthro. "Marian Wright Edelman's speech was amazing and inspirational."

Guthro added she and classmates also were there to pledge their support for State Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty, who was presented with the Legislator of the Year Award and is an alumnus of the Massachusetts School of Law.

Although the students all had different opinions of what particular sessions and practices of law were most interesting during the conference, they all seemed to agree on the conference's most useful event.

"The Resume Drop was great," said Patrick Welch, a second-year law student at New England School of Law, "because you have 40 opportunities for 30 law students and those are great odds, especially for law students these days."