Student Post: Hello from the Other Side – A message from your past life before law school

By Smriti ’17

There you are, bug-eyed and beaming with enthusiasm. You feel totally prepared to take on the first year of law school with your new laptop, 50-lb textbook, rainbow highlighters (the boy next to you doesn’t even have a highlighter…) – you feel like the King Kong of Dockser 250 when suddenly you hear your name and you are snatched away from that beautiful memory and snapped back to present day when you are running on 2 hours of sleep and maybe some organic kale juice to keep your body from faltering. This is today…day 32 of 1L year when you are supposed to be callous towards the horrifying practice of cold calling but you crawl into your skin every time you hear your name split the classroom air. You struggle to find that first day “glow”- that steadfast aplomb that made you commit to law school. Your mind is racing to say something…ANYTHING to answer that menacing cold call.

RELAX- this is not Northeastern School of Law (NUSL). NUSL has an amazing collaborative atmosphere where faculty and students work with one another in tandem to overcome any cold calling that may take place in class. Many members of the NUSL faculty value cold calling to build students’ one-the-spot oratory skills necessary to become effective lawyers- but that doesn’t mean you are hung out to dry when you are called on in class to explain a case, concept or simply opine about a court’s decision. You are part of a community that embraces the definition of a collegial atmosphere, and you are guaranteed to find a helping hand (in this case voice) in class that will happily assist you if you find yourself on unsteady ground (after all- who isn’t in unchartered territory in law school?)  Continue reading

Faculty Post: Arbitration vs. Labor Arbitration

By Roger I. Abrams, Richardson Professor of Law

Recently, the New York Times published a three-day series on the “evils” of arbitration. Many of my colleagues and friends who know that I teach a workshop in arbitration at Northeastern and have served as a labor arbitrator for over forty years have asked me how I could possibly be involved with such a shameful procedure! In fact, I am not. The difference between labor and commercial arbitration is not very well known. Continue reading

Student Post: Become a 21st Century Lawyer

By: Lisa ’17

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’

– The Times They are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan

Like many students at NUSL, I chose to attend this school for two reasons: first the experiential learning approach to legal education, and second because of the school’s focus on public interest law.  If this rings true for you, I recommend taking the NuLawLab’s Laboratory Seminar in Applied Design & Legal Empowerment.  The NuLawLab is focused on developing better ways to deliver legal services to underserved communities.  The Lab primarily uses human-centered design methods to achieve that goal, but also is working to integrate creative arts and technology into the law.  It is a truly unique endeavor.  The seminar is a three-week intensive that takes students through the design process beginning with a design question and culminating in a tested prototype solution.  My class addressed the question, “How Might We Make Residential Water More Affordable in Boston?”

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Student Post: An Open Letter to the New Occupant of 1L Locker 158

By Greg ’16

Welcome to NUSL! Two years ago, I was in your shoes, gazing into that same metal box in the locker room, slightly overwhelmed but excited to start this new adventure. So take it from me: not only will you survive this, but you will thrive. You are going to love it here.

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Faculty Post: Discussing Domestic Violence

by Jennifer Howard, Supervising Attorney of the Domestic Violence Institute

A woman steals her roommate’s food and an altercation ensues. When asked to clean up his trash, a brother consistently berates his sister, to the point she is afraid to come out of her room. Shelter mates “fight” over time in the bathroom and one continually stares down the other, causing fear. To force her partner to move out of the doorway and let her leave their apartment, a woman throws a remote control, knocking her partner in the eye.   A mother stabs a father’s arm with a fork to stop him from chasing after their teenage daughter. Each of these scenarios involves the use of violence within the context of a special relationship and each of them might constitute grounds for a restraining order in Massachusetts.   But should they?

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Faculty Post: Farewell to “No Child Left Behind,” Hello to….??

by Professor Mary O’Connell

In January of 2002, President George W. Bush signed a statute his administration optimistically dubbed “No Child Left Behind”(NCLB). In fact, the statute was a re-authorization of the more mundanely named “Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)”, a key pillar of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program. Johnson, who was raised in very modest circumstances, famously declared a “War on Poverty” ; the ESEA, which flowed federal funds to public schools with high concentrations of poor children, was one of Johnson’s legislative centerpieces.

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