Faculty Post: the Legal Advocacy for Victims Project

by Jennifer Howard, Supervising Attorney of the Domestic Violence Institute

It’s a cold, late November night, when a NUSL 1L student first meets Paul, in the basement community room of a local transitional housing program. After a long day of classes and a rush hour ride to the event, the 1L carefully opens the interview with gentle questions in an effort to establish rapport with Paul. Through the course of the 90 minute consultation, the 1L gains Paul’s trust and listens intently as Paul describes childhood sexual abuse and the domino effect it has had on his life, as he sits now, profoundly depressed, unemployed and essentially homeless. A lack of support and an unwillingness by Paul’s family to validate his experiences have no doubt led him to take advantage of the chance to sit down with a NUSL law student to explore legal options. Welcome to the Legal Advocacy for Victims (LAV) project of the Domestic Violence Institute (DVI) at NUSL.

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Faculty Post: The Law & Morality

by Professor David M. Phillips

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

Faculty Post: THINGS TO DO TO GET READY FOR LAW SCHOOL

by Melinda Drew, Lawyering Skills Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program

Law school orientation is coming up soon. Many students want to know what they should do to get ready. My advice is to take care of the things that would otherwise be a distraction for you during the first few weeks. In no particular order, here are some possibilities to consider…

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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

tulips

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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