Feature Stories 2019: Casey Shannon, JD candidate '19: UMass Law Commencement Speaker

Casey Shannon
Photo credit: Dennis Fox, ’20
Feature Stories 2019: Casey Shannon, JD candidate '19: UMass Law Commencement Speaker
Casey Shannon, JD candidate '19: UMass Law Commencement Speaker

Casey Shannon attended UMass Law part-time while working full-time at Bristol County Savings Bank.

Early interest in law

Since the age of eight, I have wanted to become an attorney. For the most part, when people seek legal assistance, it is for the worst and/or hardest times of their lives. I have always had the drive to work with others in solving their problems and provide them with, hopefully, a better outcome than where they started.

Truthfully, whether we all realize it or not, the law impacts every aspect of life through all different areas of law. If I can help someone in any way I can, I want to be there from start to finish and to be the person they can lean on in their time of need.

With each person or organization that you can help, you gain more knowledge and experience, which you can in turn use to help others. This revolving cycle of research, learning, collaboration, and guidance encompasses UMass Law’s goal of instilling the pursuit of justice in all of its students while also ensuring service to the community.

UMass Law has grown immensely since its start as Southern New England School of Law, and through its night program, I have been able to work full-time and continue on my career path at Bristol County Savings Bank.

UMass Law has strong ties to the community through its field placement and clinic opportunities for current students and Justice Bridge for recent graduates. Through these opportunities, UMass Law gives back to the community in many regards. For me, this was important as it ties into my own community development goals. I always strive to volunteer and participate with many local organizations to give back and serve the community. Given UMass Law’s mission of pursuing justice and giving back to the community, I could not have made a better choice.

UMass Law Review symposium

While at UMass Law, I have been able to participate in several opportunities I could not be more grateful for. For instance, in my third year of law school, I was associate editor of UMass Law Review. From there, I was elected as the 2018-2019 Business/Conference Editor during my final year of law school. I worked with my team to put on this year’s symposium "Navigating A New Reality: A Multi-Platform Look at Media and the Law," which won event of the year.

This experience was incredible, as I was able to collaborate with UMass Law faculty and staff along with many other esteemed legal and academic professionals including representatives from the internationally-renowned law firm DLA Piper, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Seattle University School of Law, Stonehill College, and Bristol County Savings Bank, as well as state representatives from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In addition to law review, I participated in the Community Development Clinic, which provided hands-on experience with a local client. I am a Delta Theta Phi member, and since my second year of law school, I have actively volunteered as an Academic Fellow, which is a role I have enjoyed as I have been able to assist other students with their legal studies.

Casey Shannon at law review banquet
Casey at UMass Law Review banquet

Giving back to the community

UMass Law has given me an exceptional education and hands-on experiences that will help me as I continue to develop professionally. Our faculty and staff have always been willing to help in every task known to man, and without them, I would not be the law student that I am today.

Through the pro bono services requirement, I have been able to give back to the community by volunteering at the Wheeler School in Rhode Island with the Mock Trial Team.

Career at Bristol County Savings Bank

In 2010, I became an employee of Bristol County Savings Bank, a full-service community bank serving consumers and businesses throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Through the high school educational branch program, I began my journey as a teller and could not be more thankful for the opportunities I have been given over the last nine years.

Bristol County Savings Bank has supported me every step of the way throughout my transition from high school to college to law school. It truly is a great place to work, and when your work is a home away from home, you know you’re in the right place.

Working for Bristol County Savings Bank has allowed for an immense amount of volunteer opportunities to give back to the community. These opportunities include volunteering with the United Way of New Bedford, Gifts to Give, Hopewell Elementary School, Stuff the Truck for Thanksgiving, Boo at the Zoo, the ARC of Bristol County, the March of Dimes, and the American Heart Association of Southern New England, among several others.

I plan to continue my journey with the bank, where I truly have the best colleagues and team. Currently, I work alongside my mentor Hollie Lussier, the bank’s Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel. This experience has been nothing short of amazing, and I continue to learn new things every single day.