Mills v. Wyman, an 1825 Massachusetts case, which is featured in one of the more popular first year casebooks, raises the question of the relationship between law and morality. Incurring various expenses, Daniel Mills cared for a 25 year old sick sailor, Levi Wyman, who then died. His father, Seth Wyman, wrote to Mills promising to pay for those expenses, but then reneged on the promise. Mills brought suit, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a lower court holding that no action lay. Consideration is required to hold liable a promisor, and according to the court, Mills had given no consideration in return for Wyman’s promise; consideration could not consist of past action. Despite their respective holdings, the lower court had termed Wyman’s conduct “a strong example of particular injustice,” and the Supreme Judicial Court stated that Wyman had a “moral obligation” to fulfill the promise. But, to the court, a violation of a “moral duty” was not equivalent to a violation of a legal one. Continue reading
by Professor Hope Lewis, who co-founded the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
It is now a standard observation: the legal academic, activist, and employment world is globalizing. U.S. Based law schools are partnering with schools in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and East Asia. LL.M. And S.J.D. Students from around the world have arrived in the U.S. To enrich classroom discussions and practice with their perspectives about the U.S. And about their home countries. Many well-prepared “domestic” lawyers will, at one time or the other, encounter clients, adversaries, partners, and issues that raise “global law” problems (i.e., International Comparative, Foreign, National Security, Immigration/Refugee/Asylum, Trade, Business Transactions, and the like). Many of our students and colleagues take advantage of our human rights program to engage in on-the-job learning in Switzerland, India, and Colombia. In addition to the wonderful opportunities for travel and exposure to other cultures, such opportunities offer the chance to hone language skills and to learn innovative problem-solving strategies. The “Bringing Human Rights Home” movement has once again stimulated U.S. Social justice activism on issues as broad-ranging as post-Katrina housing in New Orleans, misuse of force, racial discrimination, extrajudicial killings of young minority men, and violence and trafficking against girls and women with disabilities.
by Zach ’17
One of the many great experiences I have had at NUSL this fall was the opportunity to take a practice exam. No, I am not that into my studies that I actually enjoy exam-taking, but I appreciate the opportunity that Northeastern provided me to take part in a “test run” without the typical exam pressures.
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.
Monday March 10, 2014 marked the launch of the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58). Representatives from Member States, UN agencies, and civil society have come together in New York City to address the issue of equality for women and girls. The theme for this year’s session is “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls.” These goals were adopted 13 years ago to promote women’s fullest enjoyment of their rights. Particular target areas include eradicating the disproportionate poverty of women and girls, increasing women’s participation in politics, and ending gender-based violence. CSW58 provides an opportunity for stakeholders to review what progress has been made in these areas, and what improvements are still necessary.
by Andrew ’16
I started law school having a great support system. I am lucky enough to have an incredible spouse at home, as well as supportive friends and family. They have been a source of constant encouragement, especially in my decision to go to law school. That being said, the kind of support I have found since being at NUSL has changed my whole school experience.
I think it started before I even stepped foot on campus. Once I knew I would be attending NUSL, I reached out to an NUSL Admissions Ambassador. I asked him numerous questions and he helped calm some of the initial apprehension I had about going into 1L year. Once on campus, I signed up for an upper level mentor through the Student Bar Association (SBA). As a 3L, she has served as an endless source of information throughout the first semester. She gave me the scoop on professors, classes, exams, and just about everything else under the sun. She even looked over a couple of assignments that were particularly troublesome and gave me recommendations. Honestly, in-school support has been a life-saver, if even just to answer some of the unknowns.
Outside of NUSL, there are even more resources for support. For instance, I signed up for a mentor program with a local bar association. They matched me with an attorney who has practiced law in Boston for over a decade. Over lunch last week, he was able to give me some career and interest focused direction as well as insight into what it is like to practice law in the area. There are dozens of bar associations in Boston and beyond with similar programs for students, so it is possible to have several opportunities to meet people in the field. Of course, I am also excited to establish connections with co-op employers and other practitioners in the future. Working professionals are able to give a unique view completely removed from school and help keep in perspective the reason why I came to law school in the first place.
I guess the bottom line is that it never hurts to have friends and confidants. The difference that comes with having a legal mentor is that each of them understands what it means to be a law student. They remember what it was like to have been in my shoes. Without their insight, this experience would have been much different. And really, why go it alone when you don’t have to?