A Priceless Gift: How to Support a Friend or Family Member Impacted by Domestic Violence This Holiday Season

by Jennifer Howard, Supervising Attorney of the Domestic Violence Institute

“You don’t know what he is like to live with,” explains Maria to her friend Lucy. They had been discussing holiday decorations and Lucy commented how perfect Maria’s home had been decorated, apparently by Maria’s partner. Maria goes on to describe through tears a life controlled by her partner’s endless criticism, manipulation, and physical intimidation. Maria has taken a brave step disclosing this information to her friend. How can Lucy help?

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From Global Law to Local Justice

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.

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Faculty Post: BILLALBE HOURS IN YOUR EARLY CAREER

By Professor Daniel A. Austin

Late one afternoon, a few years into my legal career, I heard Partner X mention the “2400-hour years I worked as an associate….” He said this as he was assigning me and another associate a research and drafting project with a next-day deadline. I tossed off his “2400-hour” comment as hyperbole, but nevertheless, we stayed past midnight to finish the work. Not long after that, I happened to pull open a stuck drawer on the built-in file cabinet in my office, and behind the drawer was a sheaf of associate annual billing records from past years. (My office had previously been occupied by a member of the accounting staff.) Unable to resist, I scanned through the list of associates and the hours they had billed. Some of the names were unfamiliar, but others I recognized because they were now partners or “of counsel.” Sure enough, when I looked at the billings for (then) Associate X, there were several years at or just over 2400 hours. In my short career to that point, I had once billed a 200-hour month and it was excruciating. I could not imagine twelve of them in a row, and then repeat for several years.

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Student Post: Practice Exam

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.

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Staff Post: NUSL, Past and Present

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.

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Faculty Post: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Jennifer Howard, Supervising Attorney of the Domestic Violence Institute

A man chases his partner through the house with a kitchen knife. Their three children cry in a bedroom down the hall. The victim needs help, but what is the cost of reaching out? This is the central question each and every victim and survivor of domestic violence has to ask herself or himself, each and every day. Life is full of trade-offs, we all know this. Yet for some reason, our society has managed to oversimplify the dilemma that faces victims of domestic violence: if she wanted to end the violence, she would leave. Many brilliant minds have proffered thousands of reasons disproving this assertion; pointing to everything from fear of retribution to being manipulated back into a relationship by flowers set in a vase of apologies. The factors involved in deciding to stay or attempting to go are complex and very personal, but there is one universal truth under it all: it is a decision only the person affected should or can make. The validity of one’s decisions, even in the face of horrific abuse, is not for outsiders to judge or evaluate. The cost for reaching out: loss of one’s right to make private decisions, privately.

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