The extended law school journey.
I will not be able to be at the reunion–it happens that I will be on a visit in Vietnam where I was when most of you began law school in 1970. I was an accepted member of the BC Law class that graduated in 1969, but I entered in 1968 after two years in the Peace Corps in Chile. After a year and another two-year interruption, I had the unusual honor of being a member of three BC Law classes before finally graduating with you in 1973. The seven-year extended law school experience, albeit not a recommended career track, was a uniquely forming journey
My recent BC journey 50 years (or so) later.
Still on that journey, and in keeping with the BC tradition of â€œmen and women for others,â€ I had an awesome experience last month bringing a group of a dozen BC undergraduates and four faculty members to Honduras to experience something of another very different reality, and something of the Honduran public health system. This was in connection with the new BC Institute of Global Public Health. I have been fortunate to have been involved in an educational project in Honduras for 25 years. See Â www.apufram.org/ for more info. The opportunity to share with a new generation of BC students was exhilarating.
On my trip to Honduras this summer I was greatly assisted by a BC Class of 1966 graduate, Mary Ellen Gannon Driscoll. Although she and I were in the same BC undergraduate class, we didn’t know each other. Her husband posted a note recently in the BC alumni magazine about her involvement in delivering critical healthcare in the same area of Honduras that I had been working for the same 25 years in an educationalÂ project. She set up a number of clinical visits for us and met us in Comayagua. She had a huge impact there on our BC undergrad students. So alumni connections really do matter!
My journey in between.
As for my life after graduating from BC Law, I am still in the fight. When jobs were not readily available in recession year 1973, especially for a graduate with no class rank due to serial absences and a history of involvement in the Vietnam war that was anathema to hiring partners, I opted to take a job in Atlanta with the EEOC. I spent four years trying employment discrimination cases in places like Macomb, Mississippi. There, I met my best friend and wife of the past 40-plus years.
I am still practicing law. My office is in Davis Square in Somerville, Mass. Retirement is a lousy option, even at Â age 74. For a number of years, I have been very involved in the Hispanic and Vietnamese communities in eastern Massachusetts given cultural and language affinities. I have recently backed away from heavy involvement in criminal defense representation. I remain as court appointed guardian for a number of individuals who are Spanish or Vietnamese-speaking.
Thank you to LAB
I owe a huge thanks to my friends in the BC Legal Assistance Bureau (LAB) who were an anchor in the two years after returning from Vietnam. Waltham had a sizable Hispanic community even then for whom I was useful as a representative. I found a welcome home with those colleagues in the Legal Assistance Bureau.
Best wishes and see y’all at our 50th!
~ Dick Landrigan