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Participant Profile: Karla Mae Bosse
Where I work
Hill County Attorney's Office, Hill County, Montana
My job title
Deputy County Attorney
My job function
Prosecuting adult and juvenile misdemeanor and felony criminal matters, representing the State in civil commitment and guardianship proceedings, and representing the Department of Family Services in dependency/neglect actions.
Description of employer
Hill County Attorney represents the State in all criminal matters within Hill County, and the County in all civil matters.
Interest in public service prior to Georgetown Law
I attended law school specifically to pursue a career in public interest law, and my choice of Georgetown Law was primarily based on the access to practicing faculty and internships in that field during law school, and the LRAP.
Specific event, class or professor who inspired me to enter into public interest/government employment
My interest in public interest law was encouraged by my early law school experiences studying "Democracy & Coercion" with David Cole, Criminal Law with Samuel Dash, and studying with John Copacino and Abbe Smith in the Criminal Law Clinic. I also took the professional responsibility course specifically tailored for public interest lawyers.
Steps taken while at Georgetown Law to pursue a career in public interest
In addition to the above courses, I interned with the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium Project as a 1L, with the DC Public Defender Service as a 2L, with Pine Tree Legal Assistance in my home state of Maine 1L summer, and I participated in the Law Center's Criminal Justice Clinic as a 3L.
My involvement with OPICS while at Georgetown Law
I utilized the services of OPICS to secure my 1L summer clerkship opportunities, and to become educated in general about PI career opportunities. I have continued to access those resources as my career has developed post-law school. OPICS staff has always been terrific to work with!
My experience with public interest positions since graduating Georgetown Law
I have worked for legal aid organizations in Arizona (CLS), Massachusetts (SCCLS), and Montana (MLSA), as a law graduate advocate, attorney, and in grants administration; I've since worked in the criminal justice system, first as an Assistant Public Defender with Montana's Office of the State Public Defender, and presently as a Deputy County Attorney.
How LRAP benefits enable me to remain in a public interest career
LRAP is the only reason I am able to pursue a PI career – without it, I would have had to go to work for a large law firm after graduation in order to pay law student loans.
What I like most about my position
The work I am doing presently feels very meaningful to me; I've enjoyed being both a defense attorney and being a prosecutor, though I would say that as a fair-minded, compassionate prosecutor with prior defense (and legal aid) experience, I have the ability to make a very positive difference in the lives of defendants.
What I am most proud of in relation to my work
As a legal aid attorney, public defender and now prosecutor, I have always adhered to the Law Center's motto "Law is but the means - Justice is the end."
My overall opinion of LRAP
Georgetown's LRAP is something of which Law Center alumni should be most proud. It's been great to see the program expand over the years to include prosecutors and other government attorneys, as well as the most recent expansion (in conjunction with new federal laws) allowing PI attorneys to earn higher salaries and full loan repayment assistance over a shorter period of time. In times when a premier legal education comes at such a dear price - while PI salaries remain comparatively low - Georgetown's continued commitment to LRAP is critical to proving Georgetown's true commitment to access to justice for all.