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.
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.
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 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 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?
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 Cory Lamz ’16
It’s finals time for 1Ls at NUSL – so what does that mean? Little time, lots to do and handfuls of stressed students. One thing that helps alleviate some of that stress is knowing what co-op you have lined up for summer 2014.
Let’s start with the basic question: what is a co-op? A co-op is a hands-on learning experience during which you, the student, get to live, breathe, and work as a lawyer. NUSL is unique in that the co-op program, the school’s experiential learning component, is built into the curriculum such that, upon graduating, you have completed one year of lawyering work. Pretty cool.