Profile: Benjamin O. Adeyinka, ‘11, Administrative Attorney, Administrative Office of the Housing Court

He may have only practiced law for a few years, but MSL alumnus Benjamin Adeyinka has already worked on some important matters. “Many of the cases and legal concepts I worked on involve real estate, which is a topic that I find fascinating. As I young lawyer, I was pleased to work on two amicus briefs for the REBA [Real Estate Bar Association] and the cases set precedent in the Commonwealth,[1]” Adeyinka explains. “A particular moment that I am proud of was when I received the opportunity to work for Chief Justice Pierce as an administrative attorney of the Housing Court. In my capacity as administrative attorney, I am involved in critical decisions that impact the Housing Court. When I go to work, I say to myself, ‘you can really make a difference in the way a person receives justice today.’ I really enjoy working for the courts, and I love the work-life balance it affords.”

While attending MSL full-time, Adeyinka worked in the law library and also held a position as a law clerk at Orlans Moran PLLC. In 2011, after passing the bar exam, his firm hired him as a staff attorney. In December 2014, Adeyinka transitioned from the private sector to the public sector, currently working for the Administrative Office of the Housing Court.

“In the private sector, my law practice consisted of complex litigation surrounding real estate and banking,” Adeyinka recounts. “I was tasked with staying abreast on the law and training my staff and clients on compliance issues that affect our practice. I practiced in the Housing, District, Superior, Land, and Federal courts of Massachusetts. I handled motions, discovery, depositions, bench and jury trials and settlement negotiations.” In private practice, the biggest challenge for Adeyinka was overcoming the public’s perception of his clients. “In representing banks and corporations, it was hard to get people to understand that I am not my client; I merely represent their interests,” he explained. “I overcame that challenge by remembering my parents’ lessons [to] always treat everyone with respect and dignity…I try very hard to respect the practice of law without losing myself and those fundamental things that make me who I am.”

In his new position, Adeyinka practices administrative law. “Typically, my day consists of reviewing legislative matters that may potentially impact the Housing Court and working closely with the Deputy Court Administrator and the Chief Justice of the Housing Court,” he says. “The Chief and the Deputy Court Administrator have over 50 years of combined experience within the court. I am relatively new to my position in the Housing Court, but I find the work fascinating. I am learning some much about the judicial system and I really enjoy public service work.” Adeyinka refers to the Trial Court’s mission statement, which is “justice with dignity and speed,” and notes that is something he believes everyone should receive when seeking the services of the courts.

“The best part of my MSL experience was the faculty, hands down,” Adeyinka states. “An MSL professor is not your ‘ordinary’ law school professor, merely relegated to teaching obscure theories of law. Many MSL professors create and foster a partnership with their students. Based on my observations and experiences, the professors at MSL have a vested interest in both personal and academic growth. To date, I maintain close relationships with the professors at MSL and seek their advice on important matters. The staff are ready, willing and able to help and that is why I am proud to be an MSL alum. I will continue to represent MSL in all my present and future endeavors.”

In particular, Adeyinka recalled one memorable moment in walking across the stage on graduation day: “Professor Rudnick placed the sash over my head. I was extremely nervous walking toward Professor Rudnick—who wouldn’t be—but I remember saying ‘I promise I am going to make you proud,’ and her response was ‘I know you will.’ Her words echo in my head every day when I wake up and proceed to work. I made a promise to make her proud, and MSL, and I intend to do just that.”

To students who are interested in working in any particular area, Adeyinka stresses the importance of seeking internships in their areas of interest during law school. “It is essential to gain practical legal skills (i.e. how to draft a complaint, how to draft a motion, etc.) while in law school,” he noted. “Employers want law school graduates with real practical work experience. There is too much risk of exposure for employers to take on an individual with no practical work skills. I would encourage students to get 3:03 certified and try to gain internship experience.” As an example, Adeyinka notes that the Housing Court has Limited Assistance Representation programs which allow 3:03 students to help indigent defendants with housing-related issues. “It’s a great way to gain some practical experience and build your resume,” he said.

Adeyinka believes that MSL played an essential part in his academic and professional career. “MSL provided me the support and guidance necessary to reach my current position,” he said. “Professor Rudnick is my mentor, and I sought her advice before transitioning from private to the public sector. She was very helpful in developing a plan/strategy for me to help achieve my goal. I kept her apprised of my career path and frequently asked for her input on decisions that required thoughtful advice. In short, it pays to listen to your Professors—especially since they have the benefit of wisdom and experience.”

[[1] See BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. vs. CEFERINO S. ROSA, 466 Mass. 613 (2013) (the Housing Court has jurisdiction to hear defenses and counterclaims that challenge the title of a plaintiff in a post-foreclosure summary process action, which previously only could have been the subject of an independent equity action in the Superior Court); also See U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, trustee vs. JOHN SCHUMACHER, 467 Mass. 421 (2014) (The court concluded that G. L. c. 244, § 35A is not part of the mortgage foreclosure process).