Bryce Boggs was certain she’d become a doctor. The Winterville, Ga. native majored in psychology and anthropology at the University of Georgia, however, those early chemistry classes made her rethink that decision. Dropping the pre-med declaration led her to attend a pre-law information meeting, where she was reminded of her favorite movie growing up: “Legally Blonde.” She admired the protagonist, Elle Woods’, tenacity and intelligence– even when people underestimated her.
That same tenacious spirit led Boggs to Georgia State College of Law where she has developed an affinity for criminal law. She’s interning at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and serves as co-president of the Georgia State chapter of If/When/How Reproductive Rights Organization. Here, Boggs talks about how the College of Law has offered her an inside look to her future profession.
What has been your favorite class so far?
I really liked International Criminal Law with Professor Nirej Sekhon. Sekhon is probably my favorite professor. I love his teaching style because it was discussion-led and relating it to current issues. Last semester, I took his Criminal Regulation of Vice class. We started with prohibition and then went into drug law. We moved on to discussing prostitution, and the last topic in that class was gambling. I’ve been externing at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the narcotics division, and we discussed mandatory minimums in that class, which informed my work at my externship.
Tell me more about your externship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
I’m getting to put into practice everything I have learned. I have done a lot of legal research and drafted a memo on the standards for withdrawing a guilty plea, motions for compassionate release, and worked on some sentencing recommendation memos. A lot of it has been remote because of COVID-19, but I’ve still had the chance to sit in on Zoom court appearances and it’s been interesting to see how everyone is adjusting to the new normal. I watched a sentencing hearing for a child exploitation case, and it lasted for three hours.
You’re also co-president of If/When/How. What are some of the issues that you all focus on in that organization?
It’s a national organization for reproductive justice. There were only two members when I first started. Last year, we were able to bring on 25 or 30 new members. Right now, one of the national organization’s focuses is to reform TANF rules to regulate the number of children cap, which is six in most states. We want people to make independent reproductive choices whether that is not to parent or to have numerous children without interference.
Also, the separation of families at the border is not only morally reprehensible, but also it is a reproductive justice issue. Part of reproductive justice is empowering people to build families, or not, on their own terms. Separating families infringes upon that right.
I have an interest in access to reproductive rights for minors. In Georgia, a minor can bypass the parental notification requirement for reproductive health services by securing a waiver from the courts, but they don’t know they have that option, or how to go about making that request to the courts.
What advice would you give to students currently considering law school?
Georgia State is going to offer you incredible opportunities at an affordable price. Our advocacy program is advantageous. The alumni are also incredibly supportive. I am looking to go into public service law, and an alumna sent my resume to several of her contacts. I have been overwhelmed by how supportive and eager to assist GSU Law alumni are.
The advocacy program is also outstanding. It helped me feel more confident in being a litigator, and I really appreciate that it’s a required part of the curriculum.
Interview by Kelundra Smith