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Alumni Chosen for BBA Public Interest Leadership Program

Three New England Law | Boston graduates have been selected to participate in the Boston Bar Association’s 16th Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class, which is composed of twenty-three outstanding attorneys. The program will take place from September 2019 through August 2020.

PILP promotes civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership role of lawyers in service to their community, their profession, and the Commonwealth. Open to attorneys in practice for ten years or fewer, PILP offers participants an opportunity to explore various topics and issues in legal public interest work and connect with other attorneys who are committed to using their legal skills to serve the community. Throughout the fourteen-month program, the members of the class hear from attorney experts in several fields who are all engaged in working on a variety of social issues.

Each class finishes its year by planning a final project. For example, the most recent PILP class has been carrying out a community outreach project in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), making presentations regarding students’ rights with regards to school discipline, and informing the public about a recent settlement agreement between GBLS and Boston Public Schools. The class undertook this project as part of the BBA’s ongoing work to engage attorneys in efforts to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline. We are excited to see what innovative project the members of the upcoming class will plan.

Learn more about the New England Law graduates chosen to be a part of this year’s class below.

Jessica Alfano Powell ’12, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Jessica Alfano Powell is an Associate in the Real Estate Department at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. She advises nonprofit organizations, operating companies, and developers in commercial real estate and financing transactions, as well as in zoning, permitting, and other land use matters.

Powell has dedicated a significant amount of time to pro bono projects, including representation of a U.S. Army Veteran before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, for which she was recognized with a Civil Rights Pro Bono Recognition Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. In addition, she regularly advises pro bono clients in transactional real estate and land use matters.

Powell serves on the Real Estate Bar Association’s planning committee for its annual fundraiser for Women’s Lunch Place and served as a co-captain of Nutter’s Associates Fund Drive for Greater Boston Legal Services for several years. After the birth of her son, Powell donated several thousand ounces of milk to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, a nonprofit community milk bank that provides donated human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the Northeast.

Powell received her JD, magna cum laude, from New England Law and her BA in Economics from Tufts University. During law school, she clerked with the Honorable Robert B. Collings at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and Commissioner Frank J. Scharaffa at the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. Powell grew up on the North Shore and presently resides in Saugus with her husband, Mike, and their young son, Jamison.

Edmund Donnelly ’09, AT&T

Edmund Donnelly currently serves as Area Manager for External Affairs, State Legislative, and Regulatory Affairs for AT&T Services, Inc. In this role, Donnelly plays a lead role in municipal engagement on permitting and siting issues related to wireless technology. Additionally, he facilitates the public policy advocacy of the company at all levels of state government for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Donnelly also leads AT&T’s community engagement efforts to bring training sessions to local senior centers across Massachusetts to teach seniors how to avoid consumer scams and develop their skills with technology. 

Prior to AT&T, Donnelly served as the Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a state quasi-public agency working in partnership with the Administration of Governor Charlie Baker to expand access to broadband in fifty-four communities in western and north central Massachusetts. Donnelly also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General from 2010–2015, serving in the Trial Division and in the Policy & Government Division. He also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Donnelly started his career in the Massachusetts legislature, where he worked from 2004–2010, including during law school, holding various staff positions for two members of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives. 

Donnelly currently volunteers with Veterans Legal Services, providing pro bono representation. In addition, he volunteers as a youth hockey, Little League, and soccer coach in the town of Andover. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. 

Naitasia Hensey ’14, State Street

Naitasia Hensey is an Assistant Vice President, Associate Counsel at State Street Corporation where she primarily works in drafting and negotiating contracts and other contract specific issues. She also handles legal matters relating to institutional client-based services for multiple areas of the company. Her work ranges from drafting third-party custody contracts to negotiating event and sponsorship agreements, with the occasional (fun) deep-dive contracts remediation project.

Prior to joining State Street, Hensey’s career focused largely on contract drafting, negotiation, and management in the fields of healthcare, financial services, real estate, regulatory & compliance, and intellectual property.

Hensey’s involvement with the Boston Bar Association began as a student. Since then she has found a home at the BBA and has enjoyed returning for optional continued legal education and fellowship. Recently, opportunities arose to serve on the 2019 Casino Night Steering Committee and as a Member-At-Large on the Diversity & Inclusion Section Steering Committee, and she happily joined those teams.

Hensey is committed to pro bono and community service work. She volunteers with Project Citizenship to help immigration applicants, engages in various community outreach efforts through her role as Justice of the Phi Alpha Delta Boston Alumni Chapter, and interned at Halfar refugee and asylum camp in Malta while in law school.

Hensey is a graduate of Stetson University where she studied psychology and communications, and then went on to receive an MBA from the University of Phoenix while working full time. After relocating to Massachusetts for the love of seasons, Hensey pursued a JD with a concentration in Intellectual Property law from New England Law as a Charles Hamilton Houston Scholarship recipient and graduated receiving the President Anna E. Hirsch Award for “dedicated service to fellow students, the law school, and the legal profession.” She is now licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Meet more New England Law alumni, as well as current students.