Four Bryant students – Kristen Perry '19, Jacob Costa '19, James Gong '20, and Jordan Alecio '21 – explored a variety of legal fields and potential careers recently during a trip to Boston that introduced them to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, Boston City Hall, and more.
Sponsored by Bryant's Politics and Law program, the trip offered "a lot of useful knowledge and ... helped shape my thinking about my career path,” noted Costa, who is considering going into politics and government or a career in policy advocacy.
"Each person we met added a different, valuable side to what we knew about possible careers in politics and law."
In their meetings with Suffolk County Dist. Atty. Rachael Rollins, Asst. Dist. Atty. Tara Burdman, and General Counsel Donna Patalano, the students learned about a district attorney's role in determining which crimes to prosecute and in recommending sentencing. They also observed an assistant district attorney work through a docket of cases.
“Getting time with the new District Attorney and hearing about her priorities and policy changes was a valuable experience for the students and helped them begin to understand the discretionary part of legal prosecution,” said History and Social Sciences Lecturer Ilisabeth Bornstein, JD, who, with Professor of History and Social Sciences Andrea Boggio, JSD, accompanied the students. “Through attending court, they literally saw the policies in action.”
Costa agreed, noting that “District Attorney Rollins gave us fascinating insight into what it takes to run for office and work on a major political campaign."
The view from City Hall and law school
At Boston City Hall they spoke with Boston City Councilor-at-large Michelle Wu, a former student of Bornstein when she taught at Harvard, and observed a City Council meeting. At nearby New England Law, Bryant alumni James Rekrut ’05, Jessica Fleet '17, and Lauren Haddad '17 talked about their experiences as law students and how Bryant had prepared them for a career in their field.
The day concluded with a visit to Verizon’s Boston office, where Joe Zukowski ’84, the company’s Vice President of Government Affairs, discussed his role as company liaison to policymakers and law makers.
“I really enjoyed speaking to Mr. Zukowski," said Perry, who will attend the University of Connecticut School of Law. "He was easy to talk to and provided a wealth of knowledge. Each person we met on the trip added a different, valuable side to what we knew about possible careers in politics and law."