Policy and Legislative Work at Deval Patrick’s Office of Legal Counsel
February 14, 2013
Previously a public policy major at Princeton, Jared was looking for opportunities to get involved in state government as a Harvard Law student. In 2008 he spent his summer interning in the Office of the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, working on education policy. He returned there for his 1L summer, this time as a Legal Fellow in the Office of Legal Counsel.
One of only three Fellows, Jared enjoyed the close contact with all five in-house counsels. While the State House reminded him of a largely formal working environment, it felt rather casual for Jared who became an integral part of the small legal office.
Passionate about the job and supportive of the Governor’s agenda, Jared really enjoyed his 1L summer. Despite the fast-paced environment and the significant amount of work he appreciated the diversity of assignments. Jared worked on a wide range of issues and was even allowed to choose the ones of his own interest. Many of the projects were small, which allowed for a diverse exposure. Jared often had to assist with research on bills and write memos for the Governor. When there were small bills, he would often draft them himself.
Receiving a wide exposure to legislative work, Jared often had to make recommendations to the Governor and various State agencies. The process required significant legal analysis and constant communication with lawyers.
Jared will spend half of his time next summer working for the Boston office of Latham & Watkins, a leading international law firm. He looks forward to the opportunity to work with start-up businesses that the job will provide. His 1L job convinced him that entrepreneurship is essential for the economic development of a state. The second half of his summer Jared hopes to spend working for the government.
At Harvard Law School, Jared is the local chapter coordinator for Project No One Leaves, an initiative to help citizens living in foreclosed properties to know their rights and protect their homes. He also works with the Legal Aid Bureau in several practice areas: wage and hour law, foreclosure, and general housing practices.
For 1Ls interested in working for the Governor of Massachusetts, Jared shared that there is a formal application process. Information and job applications can also be found on the state’s website. Jared did not hear from the Governor’s Office for several months after he applied for the position. Therefore, he recommends that slow responses should not discourage 1L students.
Jared believes it is most important for 1L students to use their first-year summer to explore something they truly like. To get the most of the experience students should look for a supportive working environment that allows for close contact with lawyers.
Written by OPIA 1L Section Representative Toni Tsvetanova