Update on my Co-op Experience at NUSL

Hi all-

I wrote this piece a few months back and it somehow got lost on its way to being posted.  Look for another update on my 3L year in the next few days. Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Safe travels for those hitting the roads or airports.

August 2011:

“As promised in my first post, here is an update on my coop experiences thus far at Northeastern.  On Friday, I finished my third coop as a summer associate at a big firm in Boston.  The summer associate program seemed short and the coop was over before I could blink.  Looking back on my experiences at the firm, there were many highlights: the opportunity to serve as a witness in a will-signing ceremony, observing a federal district court sentencing hearing, and working directly with a pro-bono non-profit client on a tax matter.

One of the benefits of spending a coop at a big, general practice firm is the ability to get a variety of experiences in several areas of the law. I have found after 2 years of law school that there is a very strong emphasis on litigation both in and out of the classroom.  However, my most recent stint at this big law firm provided a unique opportunity to get transactional experience, which is unlike any traditional litigation matter.  The firm I spent the summer with has a strong corporate legal department with established private equity and business & technology practice groups that place a strong emphasis on mergers & acquisitions.  The opportunity to see and understand what a corporate attorney does for a living is something I highly recommend to anyone who is unsure if litigation is your true calling.  Corporate law requires a great deal of creativity, attention to detail, and collaborative mindset. If I just described your attitude in life, you might love transactional work!

I am coming off of back-to-back coops.  This spring, I worked at a boutique labor and employment firm in Boston.  As mentioned in my first post, my background is in labor relations.  During my second coop, I was able to put some of my pre-NUSL experiences to good use.  Employment law certainly has a great deal of litigation focus.  However, I found that quite often, the firm’s role was to provide advice and counseling for their clients (employers) in order to prevent litigation.  Much like the transactional work in a corporate practice, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations or mediations provide a somewhat unique avenue for putting a JD to good use.

The real advantage to Northeastern’s Coop model is the opportunity to take a class, such as employment law, and then apply for a coop in that field if you find the class interesting.  The goal—for those of you who may be uncertain about what area of the law is right for you—can be for you to narrow down your options to the one or two areas of the law that truly grab your attention before you graduate.”

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