File #4519: "DICTA_vol15_no3_2014.pdf"


The Suffolk Law Paper

Volume XV No. 3

February 2014

Health Care, the
United States and
“Ideational Shift”

Sunday River Ski Club

By Alex Maur
Staff Writer

fessional and Career Development, a professor, or an accessible lawyer; these folks
can give your resume careful review and
suggestions. You must be able to hold
a reader’s attention for at least half of
the page through the format, style, and
content of your resume. Always bring a
hard copy to an interview and have stories for each job that is outside your bullet points. Also, writing samples will be
requested regularly, so sharpening these
pieces will be critical.

The recent debates surrounding the
government shutdown and the debt ceiling helped bring the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) or “Obamacare” back into the
spotlight in Washington and across the
country. The American population is
clearly divided on the issue of how to address the rising costs of health insurance
and medical coverage.
The United States is somewhat of an
anomaly in its approach to health care
coverage, in comparison to similarly developed countries in Europe and Canada.
Many proponents of the ACA urged that
changes were needed, due in large part to
medical bankruptcies associated with rising medical insurance costs. Opposition
to the law is fierce, however, with leftwing Democrats believing that the ACA
ultimately fell short of their goals of universal health coverage, and with many
Republicans arguing that the new law is
unconstitutional, ineffective, and costly.
In Canada there is near universal
health care coverage, with approximately
70% of all costs paid by public resources
from the provinces and the federal government. This includes most of what are
considered fundamental health care services, such as all doctor visits, surgeries,
and basic care. While most Canadians
view this system as a source of pride, it
is still not without its problems – wait
times and the quality of services are often debated, especially when individuals
are forced to wait months for routine surgeries. Despite these critiques, the idea of
going bankrupt because of a trip to the
emergency room remains a very foreign

Career | Page 2

Healthcare | Page 4

Suffolk Law’s Ski & Snowboard Club hosted a weekend trip to Sunday River last month through the BSSC. Pavan Nagavelli, 3L
and ski club VP, and Adam Harki, 3L and club President, (far left) report that the skiing was great, the lodging at Sunday River’s
slopeside hotel was luxurious, and Saturday night at Shipyard Brewery (right at the bottom of the access road) was a blast. For more
photos of the trip you’ll need to friend Pavan on Facebook.

Careers: Now for the Hard Part . . . Finding a Job
By Andrew Di Iorio
News Writer

Navigating the waters of career planning is a tough task for any law student,
no matter the caliber. The majority of
freshly-minted first years, no doubt, do
not know how they will fully enjoy the
legal profession after graduation. Even
in the first weeks of class, professors are
invoking the pitfalls of lacking writing
skills come interview time or your Contracts professor, eh hem Professor Wittenberg, may give some early pointers


for the bar exam. I hope this article will
provide some hints on how to find that
first legal career opportunity. No matter
your self-assured attitude and thoughts
of professional grandeur, a fruitful job
hunting process will always require solid
and continuous effort in the classroom.
With that said, students will do
themselves a favor by dusting off that
old law school application resume, which
is probably seven or eight months old by
now. The eyes of a legal practitioner will
be different for resumes than previous
readers. Find time with the Office of Pro-

Bar Prep Options, Page 5.

MPRE, Page 8.

Dear Readers, Page 3.

3:03 Certification, Page 4.

2 | February 2014


Dicta’s Tips for Succeeding
in Today’s Legal Market
Career | cont’d from Page 1

eral counsel for a major satellite company relayed a memorable anecdote at
Always be an informed consumer as a presentation this past September. R.
it relates to what options are available to Stanton Dodge, who studied Accounting
you for non-classroom settings. There are in college, talked about his first interample businesses, firms, non-profits, and view experience. After being asked why
government offices that can provide some he wanted to work in the Accounting inguidance on what is possible as it relates dustry he remembered saying to himself,
to your career interests. These range from “I don’t, I hate this stuff.” He managed
international studies and local intern- a response but his lack of enthusiasm
ships, to public interwas telling. He swore
est opportunities to
that he would never
big and small firms.
evening about a job interview
It is a blessing to be
in Boston because of
student Kelly Bogue again and sought out
the high concentranoted
career- a position that would
tion of legal forums
building resources can drive him everyday.
within a very small
Find ways to put
be right in front of you. yourself in a position
radius. My mindset has always been
During her three years to get credentials for
to think outside the
at Suffolk, she has a dream job down the
box, when possidon’t need
observed that “many road, youright away.
ble. Is there a small
to find it
of our classmates are
business that could
That strange and
benefit from a legal
currently working in often awkward conperspective? What
interesting jobs and cept of networking
about that startup
is daunting for many
internships, or bring of us, especially new
company you heard
about at a party?
with them prior careers law students. A 2012
Never dismiss any
or work experience… graduate noted how
role it
and likely will be honest important a profesmay come across
plays in your
about the pros and cons sional life. “Devote
your desk.
of their job, industry, or time to building a
solid network – a
Kelly Bogue noted
major component to
that career-building
career building” recresources can be right in front of you. ommends Nina Dow, an attorney at a
During her three years at Suffolk, she has downtown firm, adding, “A mentor once
observed that “many of our classmates said if by the time you graduate you can
are currently working in interesting jobs name five professionals who would recand internships, or bring with them prior ommend you, you’ve networked well so
careers or work experience…and likely far.” Be creative here as well. Staff offices
will be honest about the pros and cons of throughout the school are filled with attheir job, industry, or employer.”
torneys who all went through this jourDuring those first few interviews you ney and have helpful stories to guide you.
may face seemingly intimidating employA few programs are worth mentioners. Usually, these interviewers are new ing, briefly. These have proven to be great
associates and recent graduates.They avenues to explore the practical side of
have been asked by their firms to fill sum- the law and include: the Marshall-Brenmer associate spots. Even though some nan Constitutional Literacy Project; Sufmight be sympathetic towards a young folk’s clinical programs, internships, or
student, they are serious about finding study abroad; researching for a professor;
the best for their firms. The most popular and working for the research librarians.
[interview] question was ‘why I went to There are many more opportunities that
law school and what my career goals are’” have been omitted here. Regardless of
said Bogue, who went through the On the experiences you inevitably choose to
Campu Interview process (“OCI”) prior build your legal credentials, remember to
to the summer of her last year of school. take the time to ask a lot of questions.
A recent graduate who is now gen-

The Suffolk Law Paper

Volume XV No. 3
February 2014

Jennifer Faillace
Managing Editor
Alexandra Hassell
Art Director
Yuen Yi Chung
News Editor
Andrew K. Di Iorio
Layout Editor
Hillary S. Cheng
Opinion Editor
Alex Zamenhof
Staff Writers & Copy Editors
allie deangelis Jeff Gangi Shannon O’Connor
Lucas Oliver Alex Maur
Board of Publishers
Jennifer Faillace
Alexandra Hassell
Melanie Klibanoff
Casandra Medeiros

Dicta is the official student newspaper of the Suffolk Law School community, existing solely to help foster a sense of community through communication. The goal of Dicta is to educate, inform, enlighten, and entertain the student body through outstanding
reporting and editorials on news, events, trends, sports, arts, food, and popular culture.
The opinions and views expressed in Dicta are not necessarily those of the Dicta
staff and are not the opinions of Suffolk University Law School or the student body.
Suffolk Law School students control and conduct all facets of this paper. Dicta does not
discriminate against any persons and complies with the university policies concerning
Dicta encourages students, alumni, faculty, and administrators to submit letters to
the editor and articles for publication. Submissions should include the author’s name,
class and/or position at the university or in the community. Dicta reserves the right to
edit and publish all submissions. Anonymous submissions will not be published.


February 2014| 3

Dear Readers,
Contrary to popular belief, Dicta (The Suffolk Law Newspaper), has not been disbanded, disbarred, or dismembered. Rather, being a student-run operation, we decided to take a brief hiatus during finals. Fear not, we have returned in full force ready to take Spring semester down into the history
books. What does that mean exactly? You'll just have to stay tuned to find out!
Like what you see? Hate what you see? Using this paper to line your parakeet cage? Pretty bird!
We're always craving feedback, so don't forget to drop us a line at
This just in—Dicta has gone digital! Look for our announcement in the next campus announcement email courtesy of Lou Brum.
Stay thirsty, my friends,
Dicta 2014

Congratulations to the McLaughlin 2013 winners!

McLaughlin winners: From left to right, Moot Court Honor Board President Sammy Nabulsi, Runner-up Susan Campers, Champion
John Scannell, and Moot Court Chief Competition Director Kate Mathison.

4 | February 2014


Comparing Bar Prep Options
By Samantha Kemp
Staff Writer

I attended Vendor Week last semester
to speak to the Bar prep vendors in order
to compare and contrast the programs.
After spending a half hour with each of
the vendors, here is what I found for Barbri, Themis, and Kaplan.
For Barbri: the earlier you sign up,
the better the price, which also depends
on jurisdiction. They also offer tuition assistance based on which is a grant instead
of a loan so you don’t have to pay it back.
As for classes, their offerings differ by location, though they have the most comprehensive bar prep both by jurisdiction
and location. Based on location, you can
attend classroom-taught courses with
real, live professors or online classes with
pre-recorded streaming video. When professors are not available to come to your
location for specific topics, you may end
up watching a pre-recorded video of a recent lecture given in another state. And
you may be eligible to mix-up your prep
with some days learning online and other
days attending the live-classroom courses. The current price to take the Massachusetts course is $3800. Note: They have
a tuition assistance program.
Need Help? Unfortunately, if you
have a question during a video or online
class, you can’t ask the professor. You will
have to ask a question through email, or
in their online portal. You can call Barbri’s main office with a question, but it
seems as if you must go through the other
two options first. The turn-around time
for answers is either same day/next day.
Online Access & Server Reliability. If
you are taking an online class, it is important to note that the servers were only
down for two hours during the 2013 summer course.
Teaching / Learning Style. Here are
a few takeaways from their teaching
process: Barbri has the “AMP program”
that adapts to your mastery of the material. Their AMP program won’t keep
giving you the same questions you have
mastered. (This means that you have
previously answered the question correct twice.) Essays are unlimited, and the
turn-around for critique is usually within
one week.
Course Length, Passage Rate, and Jurisdictions. The course in Massachusetts
is six weeks long, and at the end they rent
out a huge space and give a simulated bar
exam. The pass rates for Barbri are close
to the state passage rate. They also offer
multistate deals that vary by jurisdic-

Photograph by Yuen Yi Chung

tion. For example, for MA plus NY it’s
only $125 extra; MA & RI $250 extra;
NJ & NY $75 extra. The rep for Barbri
stated that they “set the curve” for bar
review classes. When choosing a bar prep
course, 88 percent of law students choose
Themis, on the other hand: it costs
$1,595 dollars, but they have multiple
discounts available based on club affiliations, students going into public interest law, early payment incentives and
other offers. If you are a member of the
American Bar Association Law student
division, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
International, National Black Law Students Association, or a Military spouse
JD network, you will receive $100 dollars
off your tuition. If you have a job lined
up in public service, they will take $500
dollars off your tuition. Unfortunately,
they only offer online pre-recorded lectures, so you can’t ask questions during
the lectures. However, their server did
not have any outages or scheduled maintenance so they are always online. If you
decide to go with Themis, you will also get
a supervising attorney, who will check in
on you and help you throughout the program. Also, the state director will call you
at three different scheduled times over
the program to check on your progress.
If you cannot get in touch with your su-

pervising attorney (which is rare), there’s
a portal to ask substantive questions. The
learning style puts an emphasis on the
questions you get wrong. For the questions you get right, they make the subject
matters more challenging. As for essays,
you will do one essay per week, but you
have the option to do more if you choose.
The attorney advisor grades this for you,
but if you would rather do it yourself,
they also offer self grading for essays and
model answers. As for questions, they are
licensed with the Multistate Bar Examiners, so they use old questions, and have
the National Conference of Bar Examiners write new questions. The course is 8
weeks long and is self-directed. You can
go at your own speed with a checklist of
tasks, or you can do the standard course
which tracks your work for you. If you
take some time off, the standard schedule will adjust so that you complete the
course on time. Themis boasts the highest
published passing rate, at 91 percent in
Massachusetts. This is based on Themis
first time takers who completed 75 percent or more of their course assignments
and on state bar exam first time takers.
They also have multistate deals. To take
an additional state’s class in addition
to your own will cost $200. Although
Themis is only online, it has a more personal touch than Barbri or Kaplan. They

seem genuinely concerned about their
students passing the bar since they check
on you and are available if you need them.
As for Kaplan: if you signed up before November 12, 2013 the cost was
$2,765 for live a course in Massachusetts
and if you plan on taking the bar exam
in more than one state, it is an additional
$150 for that state’s class. They offer live,
in-class and online programs. Kaplan bar
review courses are alway live if select the
“classroom” option - some classrooms,
however, have the professor streamed-in
via live video, with a proctor in the class,
so if you have a question during the lecture, you can ask it at the break. To note,
the server was down for 1 hour and 40
minutes during last summer’s program.
If you have a question outside of class,
you can call and speak to an attorney and
usually get a callback that day as their
call centers are open late. The learning
style is adaptive. This means that whenever you get a question right or wrong,
the curriculum will adapt to what you
know and do not know to avoid repetitive
questions in areas you are already confident in. Essays offered are unlimited, and
it takes 3–5 business days for a response.
The class takes an estimated 8 weeks,
and begins with an online MBE review.
Questions are written by people who have
studied the previous year’s Bar questions


February 2014| 5

Health Care,
the United
States, and the

and study the trends of the MBE. Kaplan appears a little more personalized
than Barbri, and it seems as if asking
questions and getting answers would not
be too difficult. Like Barbri, they also offer tuition assistance.
Local to Suffolk: Professor Janda offers a Saturday course throughout the
semester as a weekend bar prep. This is
something you sign up for on Campus
Cruiser when enrolling in your semester’s
classes. Going to class is helpful, but you
can also treat it like an online class. Each
week you will get multiple choice questions and slides to review. You can then
watch the lecture online. Suffolk has a license with the MBE, so Professor Janda
uses practice questions taken from past
Massachusetts Bar exams. Professor Janda really knows his stuff when it comes
to Bar prep, and his course is definitely
something to look into during your last
semester of law school.

Healthcare | con’td from Page 1

Trouble Choosing?
Some vendors offer free trials of their
prep programs, so be sure to ask.

Photograph by Yuen Yi Chung

Talking Back: Bar Prep Reps Respond
In response to our article “Comparing Bar Prep Options,” we gave bar
prep companies the chance to talk
back. Here’s what they said.
Content collected & edited by Jennifer
Faillace, 4LE.

Jamie Molbreak, Regional Director
We offer early payment incentives
([as of October 2013 there was] a special for $350 off of the cost of a course)
in addition to club affiliation discounts
and reimbursement of competitor deposits (up to $250). All of these discounts can be combined, but the cost of
the course cannot fall below $1095 (this
is also our public interest scholarship
Our Attorney Advisers are licensed
in the exam jurisdiction and grade all
of the students’ essays from start to
finish. They will grade unlimited essays
and the turnaround time is 48 business
hours. Students get the continuity of
having one person look at their essays
throughout the course, so the Attorney
Adviser is well-acquainted with a particular student’s strengths and weaknesses and can tailor his/her comments
accordingly. Students are assigned to
complete both graded and practice essays throughout the course. We track
the students’ progress and if someone is

falling behind with the course calendar,
he/she will definitely be contacted. You
are correct that we reach out to every
student multiple times throughout the
Students can ask questions of our
staff attorneys through the learning
portal at any time; in addition, they can
reach out to the State Director or the Attorney Adviser anytime.
We have licensed our MBE questions
from the NCBE and supplement those
with questions that we draft ourselves-we don’t have the NCBE write new ones
for us.
The course is 8-10 weeks depending
on the jurisdiction(s) the student is taking. Combination courses (two jurisdictions) are $150 more, not $200 more.
Our learning portal tracks a student’s
progress no matter if they are working in
Directed Study (our assigned calendar of
tasks) or Flex Study mode.
Finally, Themis rents out a classroom
to administer a live MBE so that students
can experience what it will be like on test
day[;] to worry about logistics, trying to
concentrate in a room full of people, etc.
These are very well attended and in fact,
students are welcome to attend no matter where they are studying or for what
jurisdiction. Themis students can prepare
for their bar exams from anywhere in the

Ari R. Gottlieb, Esq., Regional Director,
New England
Kaplan offers live ( in-class) and
online programs. Kaplan bar review
courses are “always live” if you select the
classroom option. If you attend a class
other than the one with a live professor
in it, Kaplan streams that professor’s lecture to your classroom site in real time.
A proctor is in the class and is in touch
with the professor so you can ask questions during the breaks.
Kaplan’s server downtime last summer was for scheduled maintenance, and
the site was otherwise available to students 99.92% of the summer.
When students have questions outside of class, they can email their staff
attorneys via the online syllabus for an
answer. You can also, at times, speak to
those attorneys for particularly difficult
The adaptive learning style lets you
focus on your weak areas.
Practice essays, which you can submit an unlimited number of, are graded
and returned within 3-5 days.
Kaplan also offers tuition assistance.
No comments were received.

Regardless of your take on the health
care issue in the United States, there are
many different theories on how and why
these political shifts concerning health
care occur. One political scientist, Joseph Wong, studied health care reform
in Taiwan and Korea in his book Healthy
Democracies. In his study, he found that
changes in health care policy were more
easily accomplished in these newly democratized (and previously authoritarian) states, where health reform had already begun, and helped establish what
he calls an “ideational shift in values”
across the country. Wong explains that
the historical lack of ‘the left’ in politics
allowed health care to be designated as a
democratic right by all political parties.
While this is only part of the answer
to the health care question, it is nonetheless helpful in studying the issue and understanding why the United States’ policy differs from that of other countries.
In long-standing democracies like the
United States, where democratic values
are entrenched, so are the views held by
political parties, interest groups and big
business. This can inevitably make any
kind of large-scale political change difficult to achieve, when most actors are
looking to preserve the status quo and
promote their own interests.
This is clear when you look at a
number of other social issues that have
recently divided the country. Same-sex
marriage, however, seems to be just one
example of how this kind of ‘ideational
shift’ described by Wong can still occur,
even in an entrenched democracy like the
United States. With the Supreme Court’s
recent DOMA decision and an overall
push towards legalization of gay marriage, it appears as though this issue is
becoming less and less divisive. So, while
it might feel like the answer to health care
reform remains unanswered, it’s hard to
tell when an “ideational shift” could occur that could change the nature of the
debate for good.


6 | February 2014

c a s i n o

a d d





Photograph by Yuen Yi Chung, Art Director.

By Yuen Yi Chung
Art Director
It all started when I saw the beautifully angled glass towers overlooking the
Thames River at sunset. Situated on an
Indian Reservation, the Mohegan Sun
Resort and Casino brings Native American legends to life. Tribal lore and nature’s elements, such as earth, wind, fire
and water, are seamlessly transformed
into modern environments throughout
the entertainment complex. The facility also includes a shopping mall, several
restaurants, and a large concert arena. I
enjoy coming here with friends and look
forward to each visit even though I am
not a big gambler.
As we dilly-dallied on our way to one
of the restaurants, I could not help but

notice all of the miserable elderly people
It felt strange to know that under the that casinos often advertise the relaxed
sleeping in the bus waiting area. Some of same roof, we have some serious gambling and luxurious life, yet frequent casinothem slept on the floor, othgoers are typically anything but
ers curled up on the cold,
plastic benches. Mr. Chen, a
Another frequent commutretired middle school teacher, Mr. Mei, shared his reasons
The irony lies in the fact that
er, showed me his stack of
for making the two-hour trip
food and slot credit vouchthree times a day. “My son is
casinos often advertise the
ers. “You can take the Fat
having twins and we need the
relaxed and luxurious life,
Choy (translation: “Struck it
extra money. With my back inyet frequent casino-goers are
Rich”) bus for free from Bosjury and poor English, this is
ton to the casino as a memthe only thing I can do to make
typically anything but glamorous.
ber. The casino gives you $15
money.” Some of Mr. Mei’s
for food and $20 for slot play
friends proudly admit to ridwhen you get off the bus.
ing buses to casinos in Atlantic
Then you can just wait here
City and Pennsylvania as well.
for the next bus back to Boston with your addicts and some who are simply addict- “When you don’t gamble, you have nothvouchers” said Chen. According to Chen, ed casino-commuters who travel back ing to lose,” they laughed.
each bus trip can net around $25 just in and forth to the casino without ever actufree vouchers.
ally gambling. The irony lies in the fact


February 2014| 7

SBA Budget
Artwork by Yuen Yi Chung, Art Director.


1L Cup
2L at Large
3L at Large
4L/7L at Large



Bar Associations Liaisons (ABA, BBA, FBA, MBA)
OPCD Liaison
Admissions Liaison
Rappaport Liaison
Honor Boards Liaison



Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Graduation Committee
Academic Affairs Committee
Alumni Affairs Committee
Appropriations Committee
External Affairs Committee
Student Affairs Social Committee
Student Affairs Concerns Committee



Council of Presidents
Student Competition Travel Fund
Supplemental Fund
Sustainability Initiatives
Student Organizations
Alternative Dispute Resolution
American Constitution Society
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Bearing Witness: A Journal on Law and Social Responsibility $
Black Law Students Association
Business Law Association
Child and Family Law Student Association
Christian Fellowship
Cultural Heritage Law Association






Dicta Board of Publishers
Federalist Society
Health and Biomedical Law Society
Hellenic Law Society
Human Rights Law Society
Human Trafficking Students Organization
Humanitarian Law and American Red Cross Society
Immigration Law Association
Intellectual Property Law Student Association
International Law Society
Irish American Law Society
Jewish Law Students Association
Joint Degree Law Student Association
Latin American Law Students Association
Lebanese American Law Students' Organization
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
National Italian American Bar Association
National Lawyer's Guild
Native American Law Students Association
New England First Amendment Coalition
Phi Alpha Delta
Phi Delta Phi
Queer Law Alliance
South Asian Law Students Association
Sports and Entertainment Law Association
Suffolk Law Armed Services and Law Enforcement Association
Suffolk Law Futball Club
Suffolk Law Ice Hockey Club
Suffolk Law Intramural Basketball Association
Suffolk Law Muslim Students Association
Suffolk Law Racquet Club
Suffolk Law Rugby Football Club
Suffolk Law Ski Club
Suffolk Law Softball
Suffolk Public Interest Law Group
Suffolk Real Estate Law Association
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Suffolk Gaming Law Association
Suffolk University Law Golf Club
Suffolk Women of Color Law Students Association
Women's Law Association







8 | February 2014

SBA’s Opening Season
FY 2014 Budget Approval and Club Budget Appeals
By Jennifer Faillace
Sunday, September 29, was a rough
evening for many members of the SBA.
The evening started well with pizza and
soda, introductions by various SBA committee directors and assistant directors,
and fun facts about their favorite karaoke songs.
However, when the meeting turned
toward budget appeals, the fun stopped.
The Appropriations committee was not
prepared for the amount of clubs appealing their SBA-issued budgets to the
Board of Governors.
Given the voting process that requires three votes to get to the merits of
the appeal, the review of club appeals
took four hours.
For all the potential SBA presidential
candidates out there and Appropriations’
committee hopefuls, please find a way
to streamline this process and convey
your reasoning for determining approved

budget amounts in a transparent and
consistent manner.
Clubs need to have realistic expectations about their budget requests and be
able to provide a track record of responsible spending and influential programming that bolsters their budget requests.
With those watermarks met, we may be
able to prevent frivolous and lengthy appeals in the future.
SBA President Sammy Nabulsi is expected to release a statement to the clubs
who appealed to the SBA’s Board of Governors (“BOG”) for additional funds that
exceeded the amount recommended by
the Appropriations Committee.
Student organizations requests totaled over $200,000 this year; the SBA
had about $90,000 to allocate to all clubs.
Towards the end of the night, the
steadily declining number of exhausted
representatives present made it likely
that an adequate quorum was not present to vote on the appeals and that
proxy votes were not being clearly kept.

3:03 Certification/Clinics
By Alexandra Hassell
Managing Editor
Are you interested in obtaining experience as an attorney while you’re still in
school? Look no further than one of Suffolk Law’s ten in-house clinics. Areas of
law include Education Advocacy, Family
Advocacy, Health Law, Housing, Immigration, Indian Law and Indigenous Peoples, Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship, Juvenile Defenders, Defenders,
Prosecutors, and Landlord-Tenant for
the evening program. The clinical program at Suffolk is currently ranked 17th
in the country by U.S. News and World
Applications are available in February and can be submitted in person for
students in their last two years of law
school. Additionally, applicants must be
in good academic standing and have completed and received a satisfactory grade
in Evidence. Acceptance is based on a lottery system, but preference may be given
to those in their last year of school or
those who are fluent in foreign languages
or have completed courses relevant to the
clinic for which they have applied. Once

a student has been accepted into a clinic,
he or she will submit an application for
certification under Rule 3:03 of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This
rule allows law students to represent indigent clients or the Commonwealth under
a supervising attorney without receiving
compensation for said services.
Student Attorneys will be responsible for client intake, counseling, correspondence, pleadings, and appearances
on behalf of their clients. While the supervising attorney is there to advise, the
students do all the heavy lifting.
Clinics provide practical experience
and allow students to apply what they
have learned in the classroom to the
cases they receive. Day students receive
eight credits for full year clinics while the
evening clinic is six credits for the year.
Completion of a clinic satisfies the skills
requirement that is necessary for graduation as well. Participating in a clinic is
a rewarding experience and a great way
to assist those in need while honing your
own skills.
The info session is Thu., Feb. 20,
2-4pm in the Function Room. More info:

Notes from the Back Row: The MPRE
By Andrew Power, 3LE (Class of 2012)
Reprint from Dicta (Oct. 2010)
On a sunny Saturday morning last
summer, I sat down to take the MPRE,
a sixty-question multiple-choice test that
probed my understanding of the legal
profession’s core values.
No, MPRE does not stand for Money,
Power, Real Estate. Nor is it an acronym for Many Practitioners Retire Early.
Rather, MPRE is short for Multistate
Professional Responsibility Examination. It’s a legal ethics test.
As I was blacking in the ovals under
the proctor’s watchful eye, an Elvis Costello song kept popping into my head.
The song was “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout)
Peace, Love, and Understanding?” Except in my head it was called “(What’s So
Funny ‘Bout) Professional Responsibility?”
Because, let’s face it: something
about the very notion of legal ethics
makes people laugh.
Last spring, when I was taking Suffolk’s mandatory Professional Responsibility course, I’d tell people what I was
studying and they’d invariably chuckle.
The responses would be along these lines:
“Are you kidding me? Ethics for lawyers?
Clearly there’s a perception problem
here. Lawyers for the most part are not
demonstrably more dishonest than the
average American (how’s that for a ringing endorsement?). And yet the stereotype of the ethically challenged attorney
persists. (E.g.: How can you tell it’s really cold outside? When you see a lawyer
with his hands in his own pockets.)
As a result, the legal profession has
gone out of its way to emphasize ethical behavior. For example, most states,
including Massachusetts, require every
would-be lawyer to pass the MPRE before taking the bar exam. It’s given three
times a year, and it ain’t easy.
Some people go in cold, relying on
their innate sense of right and wrong—
their ethical compass, if you will—to
guide them through the maze. I needed
more, so I took an MPRE prep class
taught by a lawyer who made off-color
jokes about “mandatory withdrawal.”
I found the course to be helpful, particularly the practice questions. (And yes,
to paraphrase the Beatles, I passed the
audition.) So here, as a public service to
my fellow wannabe attorneys, is a typical
MPRE practice question I created just
for you.
Fonda Cash, a law school student at

Watsamatta U., gets a coveted summer associateship at the big-money law firm of
Shiftrom Shinola (motto: “If you don’t
know Shiftrom Shinola, you should”). Her
supervisor, attorney Rich Duphus, thinks
Fonda shows potential and soon has her negotiating settlements. After one particularly
fruitful negotiation, Fonda collects a substantial check and brings it back to attorney
Duphus. He congratulates Fonda and instructs her to deposit the check into a special
fund labeled “OPP He then proposes, as a
reward for her good work, that she join him
for what he terms an “IOLTA weekend” in
Vegas. She’s not certain this behavior is ethical, but Duphus assures her it’s OK, saying, “Trust me. I’m a big-money attorney.
I know the law.”
Fonda asks you what she should
do. What advice would you give her?
A. Play along in expectation of a fulltime offer from the firm.
B. Use the incidents as leverage to secure a full-time offer from the firm.
C. If no offer is forthcoming, report the
incidents to the appropriate authorities.
D. None of the above.
Wasn’t that fun? By the way, the
MPRE is apparently emphasizing judicial ethics a bit more these days, so here’s
another one on the house. Good luck on
the exam!
Judge Gil T. Vurdick is running for
re-election to the state supreme court. Before ascending to the bench, Judge Vurdick
was a partner in the personal injury firm
of Slypton Felle (motto: “Negligence is our
specialty”) and still has many friends there.
A member of the firm, Phil McCoffers, is
chairing Judge Vurdick’s re-election committee. One day, after wrapping up his oral
arguments before Judge Vurdick, McCoffers
stops by the judge’s chambers. He mentions
that his client in the case is a strong supporter of the judge’s candidacy and would like
to make a large contribution in exchange for
“a little love” on the matter before the court.
Judge Vurdick simply smiles and holds up
six fingers. Then they head over to the local
men’s club to drink and talk football before
going home.
Is the judge subject to discipline?
B. Yes. For running for re-election instead of giving someone else a turn.
C. No. The judge didn’t really do anything mean.
D. Yes. For belonging to a men’s club.
E. It depends…
The next MPRE is March 29, 2014. The
Later Registration Deadline is February
20th. Tne next test date is August 9, 2014.


February 2014| 9

Courthouse Dog Visit Sparks
New Clubs
Interest in Juvenile Criminal Justice Approved
By Jennifer Faillace

BOSTON, Mass. -- Suffolk Law
School received a visit from a courthouse
facility dog last semester. On the Monday before finals, Wena, a black lab, and
her handler Laurie Myers, visited with
students for a study break sponsored by
Dicta and the Suffolk Animal Legal Defense Fund.
The impact that a courthouse facility
dog can have on the legal process is substantial. “Using a facility dog during a
forensic interview has reduced the time it
takes by as much as forty-five minutes”
explained Myers. Wena assists abused
children while they are working with the
district attorney’s office. She also comforts teens in community support groups
and has cheered up victims at local hospitals.
Laurie Myers demonstrated Wena’s
discipline and talked about the training
required to become certified by Canine
Companions for Independence (CCI), the
organization that trained and donated
Wena. CCI assistance dogs undergo
training for six to nine months before
they meet their potential handler. Myers and Wena worked and lived with each
other for two weeks before both of them
graduated from CCI’s program as a certified Facility Dog Team.
During their visit to Suffolk, Wena
took a break from her role as courthouse
facility dog to enjoy lots of attention
from students. As a service-trained dog,
she showed us a few of her commands.

This included carrying items, pushing chairs, and
“visiting” (jumping onto the lap of
people who are in
wheelchairs or in
hospital beds).
Myers told us
that “courthouse”
or “comfort” dogs
have been wellaccepted by the
legal community
for several years.
In November of
2011, the National District Attorneys Association
passed a resolution supporting
their use “to aid in
the investigation
of crimes involving young or vulnerable victims.”
The resolution included Best Practices
to assist district
attorneys offices
and courthouses around the country in
establishing their own courthouse facility
dog programs.
Wena was donated to Laurie Myers
and the non-profit Community VOICES
of Chelmsford to offer assistance and
support to victims of crime within the
criminal justice system and community.

By Jennifer Faillace

Two new clubs were authorized last
month: The Law Innovation and Technology Student Association (LITSA)
and a Suffolk University Chapter of the
Association of Latino Professionals in
Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) Law.
Their mission statements are below.
We are looking forward to some great
events from both clubs this Spring.
The Law Innovation and Technology
Student Association (LITSA):
LITSA will be dedicated to raising
an awareness of how technology is advancing the delivery of legal services.
Through guest speakers, demonstrations and possible hands-on application, LITSA will create an open forum
where students, faculty, staff, alumni,
and other members of the community
can not only gain an understanding
and appreciation of how technology is
transforming the legal marketplace today, but also gain a competitive edge to
meet tomorrow’s demand.
Myers is working with district attorneys
offices throughout the state that are interested in getting their own facility dog.
Another courthouse facility dog may be
coming to Massachusetts this year.
This spring, the SBA is interested in
hosting another event with Wena, and we
are looking forward to seeing her again

ALPFA Law, Suffolk University Chapter:
“To leverage the access and resources of a national organization, ALPFA,
to facilitate professional development
and networking opportunities for law
students seeking legal careers in private
and public industries and championing
diversity in the legal sector.”
Additional information from ALPFA is a Latino
association for business professionals
and students with chapters nationwide.
Their aim is to enhance opportunities
for Latinos and build leadership and career skills.
The clubs were required to submit
their mission statements, constitutions,
member lists, planned activities, and
budgets to be considered for authorization. The Council of Presidents (COP)
voted on authorization, and the Board
of Governors had the opportunity to
overturn or ratify the COP vote.
For more information on the club
authorization process, please contact
Morvarid (Michelle) Bagheri, Council
of Presidents Liaison, Student Bar Association, via

10 | February 2014


Massachusetts Bar Exam Results for July 2013


February 2014| 11

Kahalas Scholarship Winners

Pictured above is Jah-Asia Nuru, 2LD, recipient of the first Kahalas Scholarship Award.
By Melanie Klibanoff
Dicta Secretary
Thanks to the generosity of Howard
M. Kahlas and his wife, Judith, the Kahalas Term Scholarship Fund totaling
$100,000 provides scholarship grants of
$10,000 for up to two students per year.
Applicants must show demonstrated
service to their communities, demonstrated leadership and other extracurricular activities evincing the potential
to be strong law students. Such students
also must demonstrate financial need and
have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
upon graduation from a four-year accredited college or university. Preference
for the Kahalas Term Scholarship will be
given to students who are members of

historically underrepresented groups in
law school education. In addition to the
financial element, Howard Kahalas will
provide personal mentorship to scholarship winners to help with the difficult
decisions required to be successful in the
legal field.
Having earned his law degree from
Suffolk University Law School in 1972
following his graduation from Boston
University’s College of Liberal Arts in
1969, Howard M. Kahalas is a well-established Boston attorney. After several
years as a sole practitioner specializing in
criminal trial work, personal injury and
workers compensation, Howard M. Kahalas became the principal of the Law
Office of Howard M. Kahalas, P in
1981. His more than 35 years of experi-

ence as a Boston personal injury attorney include being awarded several multimillion-dollar verdicts or settlements for
his clients. Mr. Kahalas is a past member
of the Judicial Nominating Commission,
serving more than eight years under three
To apply for the Kahalas Term Scholarship applicants must submit a personal
essay of no more than 500 words and two
recommendations from college or university faculty. The first recipients of the Kahalas scholarship are Thomas Davis JD
'15 and Jah-Asia Nuru JD '15. Ms. Nuru
has plans to work for the San Francisco
Public Defender’s Office this summer. She
stated that she is “extremely thankful for
the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Kahalas
and the Suffolk Selection Committee.

Law school is an expensive endeavor, especially for those of us who want to pursue public interest law. To be afforded
such a huge contribution to defray some
of the costs, as well as a mentorship, is
beyond helpful.” – Jah-Asia Nuru
In a time of grave and scarce availability of paying legal jobs for law students, every charitable donation or scholarship that becomes available goes a long
way. As Suffolk Law students, we are
very lucky to be a part of such a strong
and caring community. As Dean Camille
A. Nelson stated, "We're grateful to the
Kahalases for their generosity, both in
terms of scholarship funds and Attorney Kahalas' time in mentoring students
through the ups and downs of law school
and beyond.”

12 | February 2014


Working for the Innocence Project
By Alexander Zamenhof
Opinion Editor
The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) is part of a nation-wide,
non-profit endeavor to give incarcerated
people a chance at proving their freedom.
Since DNA
and testing
has become
more accurate and reliable, there
are literally
of convicted
prisoners who are claiming that with the
application of current DNA testing, they
can be found to have been innocent all
I got involved with NEIP about a
month ago – part of my effort to get probono hours, as well as to get some criminal legal experience. Here is what I can
say about the project to date:
1. I’ve been assigned, along with a
classmate, to review a specific case.
2. We may be required to go find any
missing evidence, interview witnesses, request documentation under the Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA), etc.
3. Everything about the current case
is considered classified, and may not be

discussed outside the confines of those of
us involved.
At this point, that’s all I can say.
We’ve received our case file, and will start
going through all the evidence in the
coming weeks. We have to write a preliminary recommendation during the winter,
and then present our final findings to the

board of NEIP in the spring.
Professor Stephanie Hartung runs
the program Suffolk-side, and took the
three of us to the orientation meeting at
New England Law.
Students from all of the participating schools (BU, Harvard, New England,
Northeastern) came together and lis-

tened to an emotional talk from an exoneree who had been in prison for 19 years
as an innocent man. That’s what NEIP
is all about: getting innocent people the
hell out of prison who have been almost

SBA Treasurer: New Procedures for Accounting
By Svetlana Revina
SBA Treasurer
The Student Bar Association (SBA) is
implementing a change to our accounting
procedures. As of October 1st, the Suffolk University Business Office has taken
over the responsibility of issuing checks
for the SBA. Our independent accounting
system will still be managed, monitored
and controlled within the SBA and by the
SBA Treasurer. The part of the process
that is now different is the printing of the
checks and maintenance of the vendor
Here is how this change will affect
the Student Organizations, Clubs, Committees, SBA Departments and other
members of the student body submitting

check requests for vendor payment or
their own reimbursement:
1) Timing of submissions and check
issuance - You must submit a check request to the SBA Treasurer by 6 p.m.
on Tuesday to get reimbursed during
the same week. The check runs are done
every Friday and you can either request
to hold the check for pick up or have the
check mailed to any specified address. If
you request to hold the check, the check
will be available at the Suffolk University
Business Office (73 Tremont Street, 5th
Floor, Boston, MA 02108) after 2 p.m.
that Friday or in the Treasury Outbox
drawer in the SBA suite on Monday of
the following week. If you intend to pick
up the check on Friday at the Business
Office, call (617) 573-8404 first to make

sure your check is ready before heading
2) We have a new Check Request
Form that is available in the SBA suite
(Suite 450).
Note that the treasurer of each student organization should be responsible
for maintaining financial records, keeping
track of expenses and deposits and regularly providing the rest of the e-board
with accurate account balances for that
organization. It is highly recommended
that the treasurer fills out the financial
forms or is at least informed of all the
check requests, deposits and transfers
submitted to the SBA Treasury. At the
end of the year, the SBA will be asking
each organization for a detailed annual
report and it is in the best interest of

each student organization to keep detailed records otherwise they risk de-authorization.
Please let us know if you have any
questions and/or concerns. In addition
to being reachable by e-mail, Svetlana
Revina, SBA Treasurer will be available
during office hours on Wednesdays from
2-4 pm in the SBA Suite on the 4th Floor.
Treasurer Contact Information:
Svetlana Revina
Student Bar Association, Treasurer
Suffolk University Law School


Not Your Older
Brother’s Civil
By Andrew DiIorio
News Edior
It seems like a decade has gone by
since I took civil procedure with Professor
Thomas Finn. However, during the 20102011 school year I was able to learn much
from the course. Many of us were extremely pleased with Professor Finn and
took some great points from his lectures.
In a conversation last fall he informed me
that my orange colored civil procedure
“E and E” is now out of date on some
issues. There have been some changes
issued to the approaches that attorneys
must take towards the requirements of
venue and removal. The Federal Courts
Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act
of 2011 (JVCA) was the legal instrument
for the changes. Additionally, there may
be more adjustments to come as a comment period has been initiated by the
Standing Committee on Rules of Practice
and Procedure. George Vairo commented
on the general outcome of the legislation
in his piece in the National Law Journal
titled, “Congress clarifies some removal
and venue issues; Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act revolves split over 30-day removal period
for multiple defendants.” He observed,
“The JVCA…clarifies several issues that
had divided the courts on removal…and
cleans up several issues with the general
venue statute.”
In January 2012, the process for asserting venue and removal motions officially changed. In regards to venue,
§1390, the changes set general definitions and parameters. The case law rule
for venue was codified, which mandates
that venue for removed actions will be set
by the removal statute, not the general
venue statute. Also, §1392 was replaced
by §1391(a)(1), eliminating the distinction of “local actions” where state law
was supposed to be used in federal courts.
The legislation streamlined §1391, making venue proper in a defendant’s judicial
district only when all of the defendants
reside in that district’s state.
Removal received adjustments which
were seemingly straightforward. The
JVCA preserves the requirement that all
defendants must consent to the removal
under §1446(b)(2)(A). Defendants will
also have 30 days to file a notice of removal and have the opportunity to join the
removal action if he or she didn’t do so

February 2014 | 13

Courthouse Dog
Visits Suffolk Law

Photograph courtesy of SALDF photographer Jacqueline Chen

originally. These actions are empowered
under §1446(b)(2)(B) and under §1446(b)
(2)(C), respectfully. Under §1446(c)(1), if
the plaintiff acts in bad faith to prevent
removal within the one-year time frame,
the time limit will not be honored. Additionally, the one-year clock will not be
taken into account if there was bad faith
during an amount-in-controversy found
analysis through §1446(c)(3)(B).
The proposed rules, which are currently open for public comment, will have
an impact on the practice of law for all
litigators. The scheduling and pre-trial
factors of a lawsuit are the prime focus
of these changes. Two of the most significant alterations would include a reduction of time for service of summons and
complaints (Rule 49m) and a limitation

of days for judges to issue scheduling orders after appearance and service to defendants (Rule 16(b)(2)). Another proposed amendment would require a judge
to issue scheduling orders at scheduling
conferences, which must be conducted in
person, rather than by telephone or mail.
There are several procedural hurdles that face these changes. Hearings
have already commenced throughout the
country, allowing members of the bar to
speak on the issues. The Standing Committee will close the comment period in
February and will vote on the changes. If
passed, the Judicial Conference will take
them up. The Supreme Court would be
next for approval and finally, Congress.
Raymond Ripple and Rachel Caldwell
wrote about these issues in an article ti-

tled, “How proposed amendments to the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure could
change your practice.” They wrote for
in-house attorneys, pointing out, “This
means that you will have to be prepared
to advise internal stakeholders and business contacts more quickly…It would
become even more important for you to
have access to the stakeholders in your
company so that you can obtain any and
all key underlying documents in a case;...
develop background information regarding key facts to support claims or defenses; and engage outside counsel to handle
the case.”
It is also worth noting that Civil
Procedure will begin to be tested on the
multi-state bar exam in February 2015.

There’s a Month for That

14 | February 2014


Art by Yuen Yi Chung

By allie deangelis
Staff Writer
As you become inundated with paperwork for your
2013 tax filing, I’d like to share a piece Dicta intended to
publish in the November issue:
Were you aware of what you were supposed to be
aware of this past October? ‘Twas the season for breast
cancer awareness, domestic violence awareness, bullying
prevention, dwarfism, depression, and national cyber
security. The list goes on and the months go by. Once
the name recognition wears off, as it tends to do, I am
struck by the fact that this cyclical ode becomes a little
arbitrary. Why is it that we dedicate months to certain
causes or problems and not others? I’ve never heard of
National Debt month. It seems we are not committing
ourselves or our resources to moving beyond a stage of
awareness of these causes but merely declaring war on
their namesake. This approach is both dangerous and
apathetic. It triggers a sense of collective powerlessness
and legitimizes empty gestures by individuals or corporations who actually have the money and the power to
make a real impact.
Compounding this phenomenon are the corporations who exploit the world’s problems for commercial
gain. Take a look at an NFL game earlier in the season, a Yoplait yogurt lid, Gap’s RED campaign, or any
other blue, pink, or purple item you may have purchased

based on its color-coded cause classification. With little
research you will find your hard earned cash evaporated
into a thinly-veiled marketing campaign rather than the
intended charitable contribution—a contribution that
may have motivated the purchase in the first place. How
Some people will say ‘it’s a free market’, and ‘let industry alone’—consumers should have the freedom of
choice and any spending is good spending (for the economy’s sake!). I think it’s more useful, or perhaps more
realistic, to picture economic growth as not the addition
of new money but an increasingly more practical (egalitarian) diversion of existing funds. Consumers may ‘control’ the market, but enterprise creates it. That’s what
makes it so profitable. Free enterprise is not the problem—but the true colors brought out by free reign are.
If we haven’t got a way to mitigate the greed instinct of
the biggest targets, then what’s the point of collecting
taxes? Not only are these companies making money off
of cancer and disease, they aren’t even paying their fair
share that would contribute to their eradication.
Much as there are but two certainties in life (death
and taxes), there are two major camps of thought on
this topic. There are some that would prefer to see these
funds collected by the big targets diverted back into the
common pool. Then there are some that prefer to see the
funds diverted into whosever’s pocket is wide enough to
catch them. In our democracy, for the rest of our lifetime

at least, this tug of war will always take place, there’s no
denying that. But it’s time to decide whether there are
some things worth paying for regardless of political affiliation and without a shouting match. There’s got to be
a stronger commitment to the pockets of those who are
not so self-interested. Aren’t those the people we pledged
we’d be aware of in the first place?
Listen dude, you’ve got a lot on your plate. I’m not
asking you to cure cancer. I’m not even asking you to
brush your teeth. But if you don’t believe in national
health care or more funding for medical research and
you’re wearing a blue rubber bracelet or pink Nike
Shox, then you are as irrelevant and misinformed as
Jose Canseco’s twitter page. Just because something is
one way does not mean it must stay that way forever.
At best, higher education compels us to ask better questions—and at worst to trust, then verify.

thank Melissa Joyce from LEXIS for her support.
With LEXIS support SLFC was able to raffle off 4
New England Revolution Tickets to Lexis training
attendees! Thank you Melissa and LEXIS!


February 2014 | 15

The Whole World’s Gone to Pot

Art by Yuen Yi Chung

By allie deangelis
Staff Writer
The two teams facing off in Superbowl 2014 hail
from states where weed is legal. The sporting event that
gets the most media attention has inadvertently (if you
ask the NFL, unwillingly) become the symbol of the rising tide in pot politics. State-level recreational legalization finally happened, is promised to happen in other
states and the marijuana debate is finally getting the
media attention it deserves. Unfortunately the quantity
of the attention doesn’t reflect the quality of coverage and if the talking head collective treated anything else
so crassly, I’d like to think we’d stop watching them. Or
at least blog about it.
Imagine Anderson Cooper giggling while interviewing a man walking out of a clinic with his free Viagra
prescription thanks to the Healthcare Reform bill. You
can minimize the story (and the stoners) all you want,
but at the end of the day the President of the United
States took time of out his day to remark that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. You may re-

call we used to have a prohibition against that, too. But
what we did to the bootleggers is nothing compared to
Reagan’s war on drugs.
President Obama has also remarked that his administration is going to take a harder look at income
inequality here in the U.S. A recent Oxfam study stated that the wealthiest people on the planet, all 85 of
them, own nearly half of all the wealth in the world.
Now if you narrow that focus to the richest country in
the world, you’d be right to assume that those statistics
get even worse. The U.S. far surpasses any other country in the share of national income going to the richest one percent. Income inequality, i.e. the gap between
what the richest person makes and the poorest person
makes, hasn’t been this wide since good old Prohibitionera 1928.
To ameliorate all this inequality, the President has
declared that we need to get more people from the bottom to positions at the top. But pulling kids up out of
poor neighborhoods and giving them the best education
money can buy just isn’t going to cut it. Take a look
around this law school. The Dean’s Office has succeeded

in tipping the status quo in the direction of a more diverse student body, and more power to them. But what
happens when the gig is up? If we haven’t solved the
problem with jobs, diversifying the graduating class
or the boardroom isn’t going to help, or, it’s but one
prong of a multi-dimensional approach. Obama’s vision
of opportunity is what we want, but what we need is
meaningful tax reform on the country’s wealthiest corporations, a National Labor Relations Board that will
stand up to the nation’s largest employers (Wal-mart),
and more power to the watchdog Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau to teach the big financial institutions
who swindled billions from the American taxpayers how
to heel. Too much big government interference for you?
I guess it’s too bad the market forgot to correct itself.
The difference between the weed debate and the
inequality story is one of appeal. We like to hear the
pundits make their silly dated Cheech jokes. It’s a bit
more sobering to hear just how steep the climb out of
the ravine really is.
Questions or comments? The author can be reached at

16 | February 2014