Staff Post: NUSL, Past and Present

by Maura Kelly ’87, Assistant Dean and Director of the Center for Co-op & Professional Advancement

Thirty years ago I began my legal education at Northeastern University School of Law. The first day of orientation remains vivid. As part of the Dean’s welcome, he told us who were among our classmates. Our ages ranged from twenty-one to forty-something-year-olds and every age in between. During college we were residential assistants, teaching assistants, athletes, debaters, and student government representatives with majors ranging from political science, English, dance, theater, economics, foreign languages, business, and the sciences. We were first generation college graduates; accountants; labor organizers; teachers; nurses; EMTs; parents; lifeguards; restaurant workers; retail sales clerks; Peace Corp volunteers; business owners; police officers; politicians; artists; actors; and musicians. We were from all over the country and spoke many languages. We aspired to use our law degrees in a myriad of ways. What exhilaration to be among such talent and cross-section of the world! My three years at Northeastern lived up to the excitement of orientation and prepared me for a highly rewarding legal career.

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Faculty Post: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Jennifer Howard, Supervising Attorney of the Domestic Violence Institute

A man chases his partner through the house with a kitchen knife. Their three children cry in a bedroom down the hall. The victim needs help, but what is the cost of reaching out? This is the central question each and every victim and survivor of domestic violence has to ask herself or himself, each and every day. Life is full of trade-offs, we all know this. Yet for some reason, our society has managed to oversimplify the dilemma that faces victims of domestic violence: if she wanted to end the violence, she would leave. Many brilliant minds have proffered thousands of reasons disproving this assertion; pointing to everything from fear of retribution to being manipulated back into a relationship by flowers set in a vase of apologies. The factors involved in deciding to stay or attempting to go are complex and very personal, but there is one universal truth under it all: it is a decision only the person affected should or can make. The validity of one’s decisions, even in the face of horrific abuse, is not for outsiders to judge or evaluate. The cost for reaching out: loss of one’s right to make private decisions, privately.

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Faculty Post: WORKING AS A TEACHING OR RESEARCH ASSISTANT

By Professor Daniel A. Austin

Law school can seem like a pie-eating contest where the reward is more pie. If your diet of coursework, research, and writing leaves you hungry for more, consider working as a teaching or research assistant for a professor during your 2L and 3L years. The pay is not great, usually only $15 per hour max, but it’s a good resume-builder, and you get a close-up view of the teaching or research side of law. Plus, you will probably become better acquainted with the professor than if your only interaction were as a student in her/his class. This can be a good resource at bar admission or letter of recommendation time.

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Faculty Post: Real Lawyering from Day One — How Does the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) Social Justice Jump Start Professional Development?

by Susan Maze-Rothstein, Senior Academic Specialist

To compete in today’s rapidly evolving legal profession, law students need to know how, more than ever before, to get practice-ready and fast. The profession can no longer accommodate graduates who need the first five years of practice to really learn how to be a lawyer. Our enrolling students have picked perhaps the most interesting time to go to law school because the law school business model of lecture courses is and must undergo change. They are getting in on the ground floor of the future of lawyering.

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Faculty Post: THINGS TO DO TO GET READY FOR LAW SCHOOL

by Melinda Drew, Lawyering Skills Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program

Law school orientation is coming up soon. Many students want to know what they should do to get ready. My advice is to take care of the things that would otherwise be a distraction for you during the first few weeks. In no particular order, here are some possibilities to consider…

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Faculty Post: WHERE CAN NEW STUDENTS GET HELP IN THIS VENTURE CALLED LAW SCHOOL?

by Melinda Drew, Lawyering Skills Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program

Often new law students want to know what kind of help is available to them as they begin law school. After all, students are learning a new language, new concepts, and a new way of thinking. Added to that, students will have five classes in the first semester: Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Legal Research & Writing and Social Justice (Legal Research & Writing and Social Justice are two parts of a course called Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC)). That is a lot of work but, as one of the student bloggers on this site has said, it is doable.

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Faculty Post: Choosing a Law School

by Roger Abrams, Richardson Professor of Law

This fall I start my 41st year in legal education, teaching Torts, exactly as I did in 1974. Over that period of time, I have taught at five law schools and served as dean at three of those schools, including Northeastern. I thought it might be useful to share with you my experiences at those various schools.

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