Student Post: Insider Tip #1: Find a mentor (or 3)

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?

Student Post: Surviving the Polar Vortex


Spring is coming.

by Cory L. ’16

I may be from Colorado, but I am not good at enduring the cold. When people ask me which I preferred, snow-skiing or snowboarding, I always responded with “neither.” The follow-up, time and time again, was a question of why. I always responded with “Why would I ever be cold on purpose?”

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Faculty Post: Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking, at Home and Abroad

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.

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Faculty Post: the Classroom and the State House

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.
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Faculty Post: The Freedman Retreat

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.

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Student Post: LSSC — Not Just Another Class

by Andrew ’16

NUSL has a unique take on education, and it shows by the focus it gives to experiential learning.  In addition to doctrinal classwork, students get experience working in the law long before they graduate.  It is one of the features of NUSL that initially caught my attention, and it ultimately became the reason I chose to come to this school.  The Cooperative Legal Education Program is one way they accomplish the task of exposing students to legal world.  The other way is through their Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) curriculum.  In LSSC’s Social Justice Program, students work with a small group of other students, a faculty supervisor, and a supervising attorney to do substantive legal work with a legal organization or task.  This is not a lecture class or a seminar.  Instead it is a dynamic, year-long project working for a real client doing real legal work.

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Faculty Post: The Law Is Not All Out There for Free on the Internet

by Professor Sarah Hooke Lee

Contrary to a popular canard, the law is NOT all easily found – and for free! – on the Internet. Paradoxically, the explosion of plentiful on-line legal information is making it more important, not less, for law students and lawyers to become skilled legal researchers and continually update their research skills.

The law permeates everything and changes constantly. Legal research remains a bedrock experiential skill for anyone working in the law. The 2013 National Conference of Bar ExaminersNCBE Job Analysis: A Study of the Newly Licensed Lawyer confirmed earlier studies showing that legal research is a crucial experiential skill in practice. 98% of newly licensed lawyers reported performing electronic research, and 91% performed print research. Surveys done last summer at two law schools showed that 66 – 76% of law students reported spending at least half of their time conducting research while on work externships.

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Student Post: Benjamin Joins the 1L Blogging Team!

by C. Benjamin ’16

Last October I decided to go to law school. I didn’t know the first thing about law, the LSAT, or even really why I thought this was a good idea. I just knew I wanted to go. Fast-forward: I’m sitting in the library, just having finished reading for class tomorrow. It is the beginning of my 7th week of my first year at NUSL, and I have answered all the questions I had a year ago:

  1. Law is a tool which can be wielded with skill.
  2. The LSAT is a 4 hour test for which I should have studied.
  3. NUSL is (I’m pretty sure) not like other law schools.

I can’t really speak for other law schools, but as of today I have written a memo to amend a complaint, clerked in a mock summary judgement about the above complaint, written another memo reviewing statutes governing Massachusetts pharmacies, conducted a mock a client interview, and actually met the client I will be working with for the next year.

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Reporting on Remy: The Media’s Role in Domestic Violence Awareness

by Katherine Schulte, Supervising Attorney, Domestic Violence Institute at Northeastern University School of Law

“Any information from the purported victim?”

“Nothing definite, judge…the information I have is that she’s not here….about whether she’s coming later today, I don’t know.”

“I understand, but at least she’s not here now, so there’s no reason for me to hold this situation and address it?”

This is an excerpt from a transcript of the August 14th hearing in which Jared Remy, son of the famed Red Sox broadcaster, was charged with assaulting his girlfriend Jennifer Martel.  The night before he had been arrested for slamming her face into a mirror.  Martel was granted an emergency restraining order that night, but, as the above exchange shows, chose not to come to court to extend it the following morning. Remy was released with a warning not to abuse Martel.  The next day, she was dead.

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