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.
By Emily A. Spieler, Edwin W. Hadley Professor of Law
As an expert in labor and employment issues, I seek out NUSL students who share my interests. I am interested working collaboratively with students on projects that matter in the outside world.
Here are two examples from this past spring:
I asked one student to act as my research assistant for the quarter. She was going to graduate, and she was particularly interested in the intersections between law and policy in the labor area. As Chair of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee – a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Labor – I was asked to testify before a Senate committee regarding the effectiveness of the law that forbids retaliation against workers who raise safety complaints. She and I together conducted a full literature review of the subject, read the legal cases, looked at data that was compiled by the Department of Labor, and worked together to finalize my testimony. She said it proved to her that one can combine interests in policy and in law in ways that matter. The testimony from that hearing is posted on the Senate HELP Committee website.
Over the past month or so a number of our students, alumni/ae, and faculty have been featured in a variety of publications. Read on to see what the NUSL community has been up to lately!
by Andrew ’16
Classes are over. Actually, they have been over for a few weeks…but when you throw in Reading Week and Finals Week, it feels like school just keeps going and going. Then suddenly, the first year is over. I feel like it comes somewhat abruptly, most likely because one day I was engaging every single brain cell I have and the next day I was doing the opposite. In fact, I think that once finals were over, my brain cells just passed out.
by Gabriel Arkles, Legal Research and Writing Professor
In 2006, Christina Sforza, a homeless Latina transgender woman, went to a MacDonald’s in NYC with her friends. While there, she used the women’s restroom. Trans women should always be able to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, but in this case she didn’t have an alternative anyway: the men’s room was out of order. Christina even asked an employee which restroom to use and the employee pointed her to the women’s room. Nonetheless, when she was inside it someone began pounding on the door and threatening to kill her unless she came out. When she did, a MacDonald’s manager began beating her with a lead pipe on her chest, groin, head, and arms. Employees began chanting “Kill the faggot!” Christina’s friend called the police. Christina was on the floor bleeding when the police arrived. Still, when her attacker accused her of being a “man in the women’s restroom,” the police arrested Christina rather than her attacker. While the charges against Christina were ultimately dismissed, the police threatened to arrest her again when she tried to make a complaint against her attacker.
Shannon (left), Traci (right), and me at a personal branding for lawyers event.
by Ayla ’15
Network! Network! Network! It is arguably the mantra of our generation and a word we hear so often it has almost started to lose its meaning. But no matter how desensitized we may be to the word, the concept—relationship building—remains of paramount importance. At Northeastern School of Law (NUSL), we are lucky and wise. We get four substantial opportunities to the leave the cradle that is law school and strike out into the world, gathering skills and experience much sooner than many of our cohorts from other schools. That is not to say we have it easy, we live in a constant cycle of planning, applying, and interviewing; however, this allows us to hone important job seeking skills, and repeatedly highlights the importance of strong relationships in securing our ideal co-op positions and eventually jobs.
by Professor Mary O’Connell
Why are poor people poor? There’s a question lawyers, law students – indeed, many in the U.S. and around the world — could chew on for many hours. The answers, one would assume, are highly complex, and vary substantially by country and over time. In fact, however, American law has shown a remarkable tendency to oscillate between two highly simplistic explanations of poverty, what we might call the “luck hypothesis” and the “work ethic” hypothesis. Under the luck hypothesis, anyone could wind up poor. Those of us who aren’t poor were/are lucky. We had gifts like competent, loving parents, good health, decent schools. Those who are poor, under this hypothesis, have been unlucky. Under the “work ethic” hypothesis, by contrast, the poor are, at least disproportionately if not entirely, individuals who lack self-discipline and good habits. Yes, people are dealt different hands in life, but those who wind up poor didn’t try very hard. They don’t plan, they don’t work hard, they don’t capitalize on what is available to them. Given these competing – and seemingly mutually exclusive – hypotheses about poverty, what makes for sensible social policy?