A Co-Op Student’s Perspective: Working in the BBA Lawyer Referral Service

Guest Post:  Jacqueline Lopes is working at the Boston Bar Association as a Co-Op Student. She is a rising senior at Northeastern University.

I am a Northeastern Student pursuing a Double Major in Political Science and Business Administration, and I am working at the Boston Bar Association in the Lawyer Referral Service for my 6 month Co-Op placement.

One of my main duties is fielding calls from individuals looking for legal assistance.  At first it was hard to assist the people that were calling for legal help, since I did not know all the legal terms for all of the practice areas.  Being on the phone and assisting someone that really relies on your help and direction was harder than I thought. I quickly realized that I always need to make sure that I am using the right words, tone of voice, and asking the right questions to find out how to best assist the caller. In the first month that I was here, I had trainings almost every week with different attorneys specializing in different practices. They would tell us about their practice and also give us great advice for screening calls, and our career plans. Not only the trainings made me feel more comfortable speaking on the phone, but it was amazing meeting the attorneys that came to talk with us. The BBA has a great structure to help new interns feel comfortable when assisting clients

After the trainings, I felt more confident helping the clients that were calling us for assistance. Now that I know how to direct the clients to the correct place, I really feel that the LRS program does make a difference in the lives of many people. Some clients call us and have no idea where to start, and being able to give them some kind of guidance by sending them to an attorney or to a legal service that might be able to help them is an amazing feeling. I am really excited to see what I will learn and who I will help in the next couple of months.

My dream always has been to go to law school one day, and being at the BBA is a great opportunity for me to better understand how the legal world works in real life. Meeting attorneys, going on field trips to courts, and seeing how the BBA runs as a business is definitely going to help me develop as a person and as a professional. I know that interning here for six months will have a great impact on the next step I take towards my career.

Jacqueline Lopes is a rising senior at Northeastern University.  She has joined the BBA Lawyer Referral Service as part of her 6 month cooperative education program through Northeastern.