Alumni Q and A
October Alum: Aaron Bray '13, current lecturer in Legal Studies
Why did you return to teach at Brandeis?
My fondest memories as a student come from my time as a student at Brandeis. I want to create similar experiences for the next generation of Brandeis students.
What does Brandeis education mean to you?
For me, a Brandeis education was a buffet where I could sample a bunch of amazing dishes and figure out what I wanted as my entree.
What are your goals for your students?
My goal is to help develop students who are confident problem-solvers, emotionally-intelligent collaborators and effective communicators.
What hobbies do you have/how do you like to spend your free time?
In my free time, I like to shoot hoops by myself and let my mind wander. Over the summer, I also developed a tennis addiction. I'm terrible at it but I'm obsessed.
Fun fact that people might surprise people?
When I was a sophomore at Brandeis, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to jump in a van with a bunch of Brandeis students that I didn't know and drive to a climate change conference in Washington, D.C. Ended up being one of the best weekends of my life.
September Alum: Daniel Jaffe '17
When did you graduate from Brandeis and what was your major/minor?
Class of 2017 graduate. Major in Politics. Minors in Legal Studies, Philosophy, and Social Justice & Social Policy.
What is a favorite memory from Legal Studies?
Brandeis In The Hague. It was great to learn about the international legal system and have discussions with people working on international human rights issues in the place where so many of these proceedings occur.
Can you please describe your career post-Brandeis?
I have worked for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, for four years. My first two years were with the Drug Lab Crisis Unit, fighting drug convictions irreparably tainted by evidence tampering, material incompetence, and suppression of exculpatory evidence. My current job for the past two years has been with the Strategic Litigation Unit. We sue crooked cops, prisons, and prosecutors and specialize in right to counsel issues, access to justice, and impact litigation in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
How do you use what you learned in legal studies at your current job?
Investigating Justice was incredibly insightful and the most practically helpful course I took in college for my career path. Investigating modern legal system crises and issues from multiple perspectives to accurately reconstruct events and ensure accountability for wrongdoings by those in power is an essential part of my job. I also regularly rely on knowledge of American legal history and constitutional law to help understand why the law exists as it does today and how shortcomings have historically been rectified.
What are your plans for the future?
I love the work I have been doing and plan to apply to law school next year. I hope to return to my profession as a public defender, fighting legal system injustices through zealous advocacy.
How do you continue to be a part of the LGLS/Brandeis Community?
I am currently sponsoring two Brandeis undergraduate legal interns, who are doing important work on our Massachusetts police misconduct and accountability project. I also try to participate in LGLS events when asked and keep in touch with people.