Beth McGown’s journey
My commitment to social justice and serving the legally underserved, as well as a sense of adventure, pointed me in the legal services direction after graduation. Going to work for the Georgia Legal Services in rural southeast Georgia in 1977 was baptism by fire, meaning immediate exposure to many areas of civil practice, a significant caseload that I was expected to handle competently, and solo litigation experiences (often as the first â€œladyâ€ lawyer clients or judges had ever seen). Additionally, serving a population with a myriad of social problems gave rise to more complicated legal representation.
This experience was invaluable and made possible the rest of my career in healthcare law, including work with the Senior Citizen’s Law Project, the Georgia Medicaid program, and as general counsel for private healthcare companies. It is one thing to view Medicaid from a strictly statutory and regulatory perspective and quite another from the perspective of a beneficiary or applicant for benefits.
I am grateful to BC Law for having a robust clinical program allowing me to work with Greater Boston Legal Services, Mass Defenders and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. A shout out to Mary Margret Oliver, clinical professor, and the many attorneys with Greater Boston Legal Services and others who mentored law students who had a focus on public service.
Beth lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is a member of the bar in both Georgia and New Mexico.