Summer Time at NUSL

I entered law school without any legal experience. Yet, three months into my 1L year, I found a co-op for this summer! Over six months have passed since. My first year of law school has come to an end, and within a week my 2L year begins.

The summer is an exciting time at NUSL. It has become an invaluable time for NUSL students to continue our academic study either inside the classroom or in a real legal setting. For many of us, including myself, we will begin the first of four co-op experiences in the upcoming weeks.

Co-op, the Cooperative Legal Education Program at NUSL, makes it possible for every student to experience four quarters of full-time legal employment as part of their curriculum. As a result, NUSL students get more opportunities to work in different legal settings, fine-tune their legal research and writing skills, and become stand-out lawyers who are better prepared to make their mark in this field. Please see http://www.northeastern.edu/law/co-op/index.html. However to truly understand what the co-op program offers, I urge you to ask and learn about the personal stories and experiences of NUSL current students and graduates. The experiences are unique and the stories are often surprising.

For me, my co-op experience begins with a ten week judicial internship at the U.S. District Court here in Boston. For others, their co-op experience will take them to New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, or even to India. Some will work at law firms, many will work with judges, and others will work in public interest law settings such as government and service organizations. Each one of us will gain a co-op experience that is tailored to our professional interests, and allow us to engage with specific legal issues that will challenge us to explore our role in the field of law.

My summer break begins today. While I eagerly look forward to home cooked meals for the next seven days and marathons of my favorite television shows, I am also eagerly anticipating the start of my co-op experience that will follow immediately. I look forward to sharing my co-op experience throughout the summer!

Expect the Unexpected

Advice for getting through law school is plentiful. The Do’s and Don’ts of law school become common knowledge quickly. Do keep up with all the readings. Don’t wait until the week before exams to outline for your classes. The list grows increasingly longer as the journey becomes more familiar.

Figuring out what works for you, however, is usually an ongoing process. After all, the law school journey is undoubtedly a very personal one.

There is perhaps one thing I never expected to happen to me during law school, albeit it is a personal matter. I got engaged mid-way through my first year of law school! The recent surprise has helped me realize how special my law school experience has truly been so far. For me, it has become safe to expect the unexpected in law school. I never expected to study so hard and learn so much in such a short period of time. Now, I am thrilled to add wedding planning to my list of priorities. I am sure that the time management and organizational skills I developed in law school will be transferable to all aspects of my life. Not surprisingly, a number of students at NUSL, including fellow 1Ls, have managed to make it all happen!

I have been impressed by the students at NUSL from the very beginning. From my bias lens, NUSL students are standout. The makeup of each class comprises of students with diverse interests, passions, and commitments. I have learned a great deal about various topics such as international human rights, domestic violence, and public health in the legal context just from speaking with other students. The dialogues have expanded and challenged my interests in the field of law.

There is a lot to look forward to this semester. We are reaching the completion of our social justice projects. Spring break is in less than a week, and about half of the first year students (including myself) are getting excited about going to our first co-op this summer. I’ll be sure to dedicate the next entry to explaining the co-op program.

I do want to take this opportunity to share three invaluable lessons I have learned so far.

1. Eat healthy, stay active, and get a good night rest. Getting sick in law school can be stressful.
2. Get involved. More than likely you will find students or faculty members who share your interests or passions.
3. Cherish the 1L experience. It’s hectic, challenging, and extremely rewarding.

My Journey through Law School: All the Fun and Just Enough Fuss!

Welcome! While I embarked on the law school journey back in September, it is an absolute thrill to now begin sharing my personal experiences with you. I think blogging will make the journey even more extraordinary. Rather than tell you that law school is life-changing, I can now show you why it has proven to be so—at least for me! Here we go…

January is wrapping up. There is yet another weather advisory alerting us about the heavy snow fall this evening. I am warming up with chamomile tea (to sweeten the pot, I added honey and goji berries) and writing a tentative schedule for the long night ahead. As a 1L at NUSL , we get the unique opportunity to work on a year-long social justice project. Working with a team of 12 or 13 students, we get to dive into legal research, work closely with our clients, and understand how lawyering works in the social context. The project is demanding and undoubtedly intense. Therefore, I feel extremely thankful that I get to work with such a high-functioning team of students. Tonight, I have the task of fact-checking and correcting citations (this can take many hours!) Also on my to-do list is drafting a Motion to Dismiss for the Legal Research and Writing class and reading for my other traditional first year law school courses: Contracts, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law. Due to a relentless cold I caught earlier this week, I have some extra readings to catch-up on. Time management skills are absolutely key to making it through law school!

I will make an effort to highlight and share some exciting stories via links or pictures within my blogs. I believe that learning takes places in all environments, especially outside of the classroom walls. It is wonderful to be in a city that is both a historic and fun place to explore. I have been trying my best to experience what Boston has to offer while managing the law school workload. My personal favorite experience this month was the opportunity to attend Governor Patrick’s Inaugural Ceremony at the Boston Public Library. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7R4vQytzdo

Since I will be sharing more of my day-to-day experiences as a law school student in the upcoming posts, I will dedicate this time to include a “who am I and why did I chose Northeastern” section. Hopefully learning about who I am will help explain some of my decisions later on in law school. It is first safe to assume that I love school. I have always enjoyed going to school, but I especially loved my college and graduate school learning experiences. The environment is invigorating. I am constantly inspired and challenged by those around me to think critically and to make constant applications. I especially value programs that are interdisciplinary, and I actively seek programs that advocate a nexus between theory and practice. As a result, I was drawn to NUSL. Of course, listening to a good friend who is a NUSL alumni speak so highly about his law school experience also carried a lot of weight in my decision-making process.

While the journey has taken off, I am constantly learning more about NUSL and what the school has to offer. I am excited about using this forum as I learn more about the school, about the law, and as well as about myself. Thanks for joining me on this journey! – Phoebe Lee