by David M. Phillips, Professor of Law
“What will I learn in the first year of law school?,” is a frequently asked question directed at a law professor. There are many answers to this question. Without pretending to be exhaustive, let me tender a partial answer, one focusing upon a changing conception of what we mean by law and one related to a skill that the first year of law school enhances.
by Luke Bierman, Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law
The Northeastern University School of Law Class of 2014 will graduate at the end of May, leaving the members of this class with just one more quarter to spend as students at the law school. Some of these students are completing their last classes as they prepare to head off to co-op. The rest of these students are starting to appear in the Dockser Commons as they return from co-op for their last classes before graduation.
by Katherine Schulte, Supervising Attorney, Domestic Violence Institute at Northeastern University School of Law
This week, the Law School hosted a series of events to recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The events were co-sponsored by the Law School’s own Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy and Domestic Violence Institute, along with several partners within Northeastern University: the College of Social Sciences and Humanities’ Human Services Program; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Bouvé College of Health Sciences’ Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice; University Health and Counseling Services’ ViSION program; and student groups Not For Sale and UNICEF. The fact that these diverse partners share an interest in raising awareness around this issue speaks to the important and cross-cutting nature of human trafficking.
by Professor Daniel S. Medwed
The famous phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” is associated not only with Spiderman, but also with American prosecutors, who possess the discretion to charge people with crimes and are therefore arguably the most powerful players in the criminal justice system. One significant check on that power is the Brady doctrine, which stems from a 1963 Supreme Court case holding that, prior to trial, prosecutors must disclose all information to the defense that is “favorable” to the defendant and “material” to guilt or punishment.
by Emily Spieler, Hadley Professor of Law
Edward Snowden caused an international debate about whistleblowers when he turned secret national security information over to the media. The conversation that has ensued about our privacy has been deeply important – both to our sense of our own democratic principles and to our understanding of the needs for secrecy in national intelligence.
But while Snowden may not be the typical whistleblower, he nevertheless represents a class of people who decide that they must step forward and raise concerns about activities they believe to be illegal or unsafe. Sometimes, these concerns involve suspected evasion of laws. Often they raise issues that affect the well-being of others.
by Professor Gabriel Arkles
It may sound cliché, but one of the things that I love about teaching is how much I learn from and with my students. It especially delights me when the work the students do outside the classroom, the work I do outside the classroom, and the work we do together inside the classroom build on and strengthen one another. Teaching and doing legislative testimony this semester created one of those opportunities.
At Northeastern University School of Law, we work hard to support students as they prepare for contemporary law practice. We know that litigation is an important tool, but far from the only one that lawyers use to protect their clients’ interests and advocate for social change. Thus, after researching and writing a challenging memo about a tort issue from a litigation angle, my students this semester examined related issues from a policy standpoint: they prepared and presented oral and written legislative testimony in a simulated state legislative hearing about a possible end to tort remedies.
This blog post was written by Northeastern University School of Law Professor Hope Lewis, who co-founded the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, for the IntLawGrrls blog.
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.—Nelson R. Mandela, 1964
NUSL professor Margaret Burnham met Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday, when he appointed her to an international human rights commission. Today she shares some of her thoughts and memories of him in the news @ Northeastern 3Qs column.
by Professor Mary O’Connell
Every November, I make my way to Dedham, Massachusetts – which is not on my usual itinerary. There I meet with the judges of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court as part of the Court’s annual Freedman Retreat. The retreat is a rare opportunity for the judges to leave the courtroom for two days and come together to talk about issues of interest and concern in the ever-changing landscape of family law.
by Professor David Phillips
Criminal prosecutions brought by the Justice Department and civil actions instituted by the Securities and Exchange Commission against parties accused of “insider trading” have been prominent in the news lately. SAC Capital Advisers LP, a hedge fund, in a settlement of a criminal prosecution by the United District Attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan, has agreed to pay a penalty of $1.8 billion. That criminal penalty is in addition to an earlier settlement with the SEC involving a civil penalty of $616 million. These actions follow an earlier criminal prosecution involving another prominent hedge fund, Galleon, and its founder, Raj Rajaratnam, also for insider trading.