It is an honor to be part of the NUSL blogging team. I hope to share various insights and experiences with prospective law students. When I think back to the time I made the decision to attend law school at Northeastern, I remember experiencing some anxiety as to whether I was making the right decision to leave the workforce and return to school. In large part, this anxiety was because I had made my decision not based on objective facts, statistics or information, but largely on my “gut instinct.” I am now a 3L at Northeastern. I have been happy with my decision thus far. However, relying on my “gut instinct” instead of making the decision based on objective facts and information is likely not the best idea for all. Thus, my goal, in part, of writing this blog is to help readers who are in similar positions as I was a few years ago to get a better understanding of the “whole picture” before they decide to embark on what can be a very rewarding experience as a law student at Northeastern University School of Law.
By way of background, I grew up in Natick, a suburb 20 miles west of Boston. I attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I majored in Industrial and Labor Relations. My undergraduate degree provided me with a unique blend of a traditional liberal arts education while providing expertise in the labor-management field with a business and pre-law focus. Although I had a number of opportunities to learn about various aspects of labor and employment law while studying at Cornell, I was still uncertain whether law school was the logical next step for me.
Instead of jumping right into law school, I decided to apply my labor experience as labor relations professional. I spent two years working full-time for a Fortune 100 engineering and technology corporation. By 2008, the economic recession hit hard. Like many others who go on to graduate school, I was under the impression that school is a safe-haven from the cyclical nature of our economy. At the time, I did not realize how much change the legal profession was experiencing as a result of the pressure applied by struggling businesses across the country and world. I will discuss some of these changes in future posts.
Somewhat in the dark as to all of the developments mentioned, I moved forward with my applications to law schools. I remember finding it very hard to differentiate between other law schools as I would peruse websites, embark on guided tours, and read various law school ranking books. I was attracted to Northeastern largely because of its Co-op program.
The Northeastern Cooperative Educational Program is a unique approach to legal education that emphasizes practical experience to support the traditional classroom learning. For me, the opportunity to spend four 11-week internships is the perfect way to identify what area of law I am most interested in pursuing after graduation. Also, these four “coops” can serve as 3-month job interviews with prospective employers who have a demonstrated commitment to Northeastern graduates. What better way to get your foot in the door at an employer?
Currently, I am on my third coop at a large, general practice firm in Boston. I have only been with the firm a few days, but it has been an excellent learning experience thus far.
In my next post, I will share more of my experiences in my current coop as well as tell you a bit about where I have been in my previous two coops. Enjoy the good weather (finally) and the start of what should be a fantastic summer.