Meet The E-Board

Alyssa McCartney: Business Editor

Alyssa McCartney is a 3L student and the current Business Editor of Umass Law Review. She is also one of the on-campus LexisNexis Student Representatives. Alyssa is originally from Pennsylvania and hopes to move to Philadelphia following graduation. Prior to law school, she attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated with a BA in History and Political Science. She has a passion for politics and has volunteered for numerous campaigns. During high school and into college, she interned for her State Representative and began to build connections. After her 1L year, she served as judicial intern for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.  This past summer, she was a summer associate for a firm in Philadelphia. Outside of school, Alyssa enjoys reading and traveling. 

Meet the E-Board:

Shareefah Taylor: Managing Editor

Shareefah Taylor ’21 is a 3L student and a Managing Editor for the UMass Law Review. She is also a student assistant to UMass Law’s Director of Public Interest Law Programs, Assistant Dean John Quinn. In addition to attending law school, Shareefah is currently interning with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. She has also served as a judicial intern to the Hon. Justice Cypher of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and as an intern to the UMass General Counsel’s Office.

Shareefah graduated with a BS in Psychology from Haverford College. After graduating college, she became a client services coordinator/case manager for disaster recovery with AmeriCorps, and also worked for the Department of Social Services in Charlotte, North Carolina. Working in roles that focused on social services and programs for underserved and in-need communities incentivized Shareefah to attend law school to become a change-agent to better help vulnerable communities. 

See a UMass Law Feature story on Shareefah here:

Member’s Articles

Our own Executive Notes Editor, Greg O’Neill’s article on education and literacy is published in the UMass Law Review. Take a look at his abstract below.

It is a tragic irony that a nation with enormous wealth will not provide the most basic of education rights to its citizens. Despite continual judicial and legislative measures to ensure access to education, or a facsimile thereof, no judicial or legislative body has taken the step to ensure that literacy is a fundamental right for the citizens of the United States. The issue has been, and continues to be, presented to both Congress and the courts. While Congress has passed legislation to some degree, both institutions have largely failed to ensure the population receives the fundamental right of literacy.

There is not much pushback to the argument that education and literacy are important. But questions remain: How much education is necessary to claim that literacy is a right? Is literacy important enough to shine brightly on the national consciousness?

Meet the E-Board

Gregory J. O’Neill: Executive Notes Editor

Greg O’Neill ’21 is a 4L part time/evening student and the Executive Notes Editor for the UMass Law Review. In addition to attending law school, Greg is a Law Clerk for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office in Dartmouth, MA. Greg has also served as a judicial intern for the Norfolk County District Court in Dedham, MA. Greg enjoys volunteering his time and has been a volunteer judge for South Coast Youth Courts and a volunteer track & field coach at Weymouth High School.

Greg graduated with a BA in Political Science from Amherst College. Prior to law school, Greg’s previous employment experiences have included coaching football and track & field at Amherst College and Trinity College, working in technology sales and sales management at companies that ranged from the Fortune 100 to just off-the-ground start-ups, fundraising and Advancement positions for two Catholic high schools in Boston, and even a stint as the General Manager for a landscape design and construction company. As a member of the UMass Law Review, Greg’s independent scholarly work has focused on education and more specifically a potential path for a right to literacy to become realized.

Greg is originally from Weymouth, MA and currently resides in Quincy, MA with his lawyer-dog, Harley.

Meet the E-Board:

Lisa Raimondi: Articles Editor

Lisa Raimondi ’21 is a 3L student and the Executive Articles Editor of the UMass Law Review.  She is also a 3L representative for the Student Bar Association. Prior to law school, she majored in international relations at Boston University and minored in theatre to keep things interesting. After university, Lisa ventured into various odd jobs and professions to find the right fit, eventually working as an assistant manager of a wonderful doggie daycare facility when she decided her calling was to become a lawyer—the first in her family. In addition to attending law school, Lisa works as an instructional assistant for the legal research and writing course at UMass Law taught by Professor Julie Baker. She is also a Dukakis Fellowship Award recipient and currently works as an intern with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.

Upon graduating, Lisa hopes to work either as a clerk for the federal court or Rhode Island court system and eventually pursue a career in government or appellate litigation. 

Lisa currently lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her beloved niece Skylar, a 7-year-old judge-in-training, often seen skipping the halls of UMass Law; her elderly yorkie, Chico; and her curvaceous cat, Luna.

Statement Responding to the Current State of America in Solidarity with Our Black Community

June 3, 2020

Dear UMass Law Community:

In light of the recent killing of George Floyd, and the succeeding protests in both his and countless other Black men and women’s names, the UMass Law Review writes this statement in solidarity with the Black community and in support of our fellow Black law students. The purpose of our Law Review is to provide a forum for legal scholarship and debate, and we choose to use our platform to engender the dialogue these historic events require. After all, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, “[t]here comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

Our Law Review stands in unity with the Black community and all others who have called for action and change to our criminal justice system and government institutions that perpetuate these divisive inequalities. Acts of racism and violence cannot be reconciled with the mission and values of UMass Law (found here) including a respectful and collegial community that promotes and supports diversity in people and ideas and the pursuit of justice within and beyond the Commonwealth. In keeping with the mission at UMass Law, the UMass Law Review has dedicated itself to diversity, inclusion, and equity. We promise to seek out and publish scholarship highlighting issues of social justice, written by diverse legal scholars. As we move forward, we will translate this energy into the work we do, not only during our tenure as the Editorial Board for UMass Law Review, but into the future as practicing attorneys.

As law students, we are the future of the law. We vow to continue to pursue justice, to fight for change, and to demand equality for all under the law.

“There is one choice we can not make, we are incapable of making: we will not choose the path of submission and suffer the most sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored or violated. The wrongs against which we now array ourselves are no common wrongs; they cut to the very roots of human life.” Woodrow Wilson

2020-2021 UMass Law Review Editorial Board

2020 Law Review Symposium Cancelled Due to COVID19 Precautions

Due to precautions put in place to contain COVID19, the UMass Law Review regrets to announce that our 2020 Law Review Symposium, which had been scheduled for Monday, March 23rd, has been cancelled.  The UMass Law Review editorial board would like to extend our gratitude to the faculty and staff of UMass Law who assisted in planning for the event and to the impressive collection of experts who were scheduled to participate in our forum regarding the academic and legal foundations of the Blue Economy.

Juvenile Justice Converges on Principles Leading to the International Harmonization of the Juvenile Justice System: Summary

By: Brittany Wescott ’20

The word “child” forces us to think about a particular class of persons. This class includes any human being below the age of eighteen.[1] Most legal systems around the world have decided this class deserves different treatment than adults when committing offenses because of their psychological immaturity.[2] The values representing this special treatment were enacted on a global scale in 1989 when the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[3] “This act brought to fruition a sixty-five year push for formal international legal recognition of the human rights of children.”[4] Both the United States and South Africa are members of the United Nations; however, South Africa has ratified the treaty while the United States has only signed the document even though member states may establish their own juvenile justice system.[5] Despite the lack of ratification on the part of the United States, it still moves towards the shared values of the international community.

Since the founding of the first juvenile court in Illinois in 1899, United States’ philosophy of how to treat child offenders has evolved from treating these offenders much in the same way as adults, to recognizing their inherent need for a different rehabilitative system.[6] Initially, the United States began establishing a type of “half-way” house for at risk youths; these were called Houses of Refuge and attempted to house “poor, destitute and vagrant youth who were deemed by authorities to be on the path towards delinquency.”[7] This was a step away from housing youthful offenders and adults together. Later, efforts made to rehabilitate youths under the doctrine of parens patriae failed. This doctrine gave the juvenile court parental authority over unruly children.[8] However, it was soon found that child offenders needed more than a strong hand, they needed help rehabilitating themselves and reintegrating into society as a productive member. Specifically, in Massachusetts the jurisdiction of the juvenile court includes children in need of services;[9] the care and protection of children;[10] offenders under the age of 18;[11] and neglected and delinquent children.[12]Recently, in 2018 an act was implemented that set out numerous Juvenile Justice reforms. This reform changed the minimum age of criminal liability for a child to twelve years old and under certain circumstances the court can retain jurisdiction until the age of twenty-two.[13] The new measures in Massachusetts have decriminalized several status offense crimes and requires a dismissal of the first minor misdemeanor committed by a juvenile.[14] Finally, restraints should only be used on child offenders in the court room under extreme circumstances.[15]

These new views on the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court and treatment of child offenders are not so new in South Africa. In 2008, South Africa passed the Child Justice Act which establishes presumptions as to the minimum age of criminal capacity, advocates for arrest or punishment by confinement only for crimes such as theft or fraud, and holds the same belief that restraints should only be used on a child offender under exceptional circumstances.[16]

It is clear that the United States, specifically Massachusetts, and South Africa share values relating to the treatment of juveniles in the world of criminal law. These reforms are moving in the direction of a shared international understanding of how to treat child offenders: break the child out of the cycle, which comes from the understanding that “if a child enters the system at a young age, they will be less likely to break free of the system as they approach adulthood.”[17] However, this reform will only overload diversion programs like South Coast Youth Courts,[18] which now has a larger populace it must try to help.

[1] G.A. Res. 44/25, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 1 (Nov. 20, 1989).

[2] Juvenile, Merriam-Webster, (last visited Oct. 21, 2019).

[3] 28 Int’l Legal Materials 1448 (1989).

[4] Id.

[5] See G.A. Res. 44/25, supra note 1, Art. 40(3); see also Gene Griffin & Paula Wolff, The Convergence of U.S. Juvenile Justice Policies and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, B.U. Int’l L.J. (Oct. 29, 2015),

[6] See Juvenile Justice History, Ctr. on Juv. and Crim. Just., (last visited Nov. 1, 2019).

[7] Id.

[8] Id.; see also Clemens Bartollas, United States, in International Handbook on Juvenile Justice 301, 303 (Donald J. Shoemaker ed., 1996).

[9] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 39E (2012).

[10] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 24 (2008).

[11] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 52 (2018); Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 218, § 60 (1992).

[12] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 218, § 60 (1992).

[13] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 54 (2019); S. Rep. No. 189-2371, at § 73 (2017­–2018) (Before the amendment was made to the definition of a delinquent child in M.G.L. ch. 119, § 54, the minimum age a child could be charged with a crime was seven.). See also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 52 (2018); Spring 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Bill, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, (last visited Nov. 1, 2019) [hereinafter Spring 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Bill].

[14] Spring 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Bill; see also Wallace W. v. Commonwealth, 482 Mass. 789, 790 (2019).

[15] Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, § 86(b) (2018).

[16] Child Justice Act 75 of 2008, §§ 7, 11, 20, 30, 33 (S. Afr.).

[17] Brianna Hill, Massachusetts Raises Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility, 39 Child. Legal Rts. J. 168, 168 (2019).

[18] South Coast Youth Courts, (last visited Nov. 22, 2019).

Meet the E-Board: Chris Lanen, 2019-2020 Technology Editor

Chris Lanen is a 4L part-time/night student and the Technology Editor for the UMass Law Review.  In addition to attending law school, Chris works as Manager of Government Relations for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems out of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Chris’s previous employment experiences have included service as a legislative aide in the Washington office of U.S. Senator Jack Reed, finance director for Congressman Jim Langevin’s successful 2010 re-election campaign, and a variety of roles providing government and public relations, crisis communications, and advertising consulting services to for-profit and non-profit clients.  Chris also serves on the boards of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and Boys Town New England as well as the Government Affairs Committee for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Upon graduating, Chris intends to practice at the intersection of government and business, including the fields of legislative advocacy, government contracts, corporate, and administrative law.  As a member of the UMass Law Review, Chris’s independent scholarly work has focused on reforms to U.S. Department of Defense data rights acquisition policy.

Chris resides in Cranston, Rhode Island, with his wife Kelly and their dog Louis.

Meet the E-Board: Lauren McCarthy, 2019-2020 Business Editor

Lauren McCarthy ’20 is a 3L student and 2019-2020 Business Editor of the UMass Law Review.  The summer after her first year of law school, Lauren worked as a judicial intern at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  This past summer, Lauren achieved her goal of working in Washington, D.C., where she was a participant in the Koch Internship Program through the Charles Koch Institute.  Through this experience, Lauren worked as a legal intern at the Competitive Enterprise Institute where she assisted with legal research and writing, specifically for administrative law petitions to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition to serving on the editorial board for the UMass Law Review, Lauren is also  President of the UMass chapter of the Federalist Society.  Currently, she is active in the Mashpee Wampanoag Legal Services Clinic in which she provides legal services for members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Upon graduation, Lauren hopes to work in both government and politics.