Opportunities for Student Distinction
Northeastern University Law Journal
The Northeastern University Law Journal emphasizes the practical application of the law and exploring the ways by which the experience of practicing law can educate. Northeastern University School of Law is unique among law schools in its emphasis on learning about the law through practical application. The Cooperative Legal Education Program requires students to work full time with four different legal employers during the course of their legal education. The Northeastern University Law Journal is similarly unique by emphasizing the practical application of the law and exploring the ways by which the experience of practicing law can educate. By asking practitioners to analyze and write about their own experiences, the Journal accomplishes two educational functions for the legal community. First it informs the legal community about the range of practical issues which confront practitioners in a particular field, and compares the variety of manners by which these issues are resolved. Second it places these issues in legal context by analyzing the legal scholarship and relating the academic analysis to the practical application. Students are encourage to join the staff and editorial board of this publication; unlike traditional law reviews, participation in the semi-annual write-on competition is open to all students, regardless of grades or academic performance.
Moot Court Competitions
Teams develop a persuasive analysis of a legal problem and prepare a written brief and argue before an appellate panel. Faculty advisors offer assistance in developing arguments while students focus on appellate advocacy and understanding of an area of law. Select competitions are financially sponsored by NUSL.
Mock Trial Competitions
A moot court is an extracurricular activity in which participants take part in simulated court proceedings, usually to include drafting briefs and participating in oral argument. Students participate in affinity, mediation, mock trial and moot court competitions. Cases are argued by teams of "attorneys" and "witnesses." Participants hone skills in examining witnesses, entering evidence, arguing persuasively before a jury and polishing oral advocacy skills in general. Strong academic standing and completion of Trial Practice and Evidence courses required.
Upper-level studente may apply to be Lawyering Fellows for the Legal Skills in Social Context Program. Each fellow is responsible for working with a first-year group of students, called a "law office," which plans and executes a social justice project — an extensive real-world legal research project on behalf of a community-based or public service organization. Lawyering Fellows hone their skills to communicate effectively, support student needs and responsibilities, and to foster exceptional student law office work product for real-life organizational clients. They also gain practice in advanced strategic lawyering, legal research and writing, oral, management, team lawyering, teaching and facilitation skills
Research and Teaching Assistants
For those upper-level students interested in supporting first-year students in writing and research, there are ample opportunities to apply for Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions. TAs work both in individual classes and with the Legal Skills in Social Context Program. Research Assistants typically work individually with faculty on specific projects.
Academic Success Program Teaching Assistants
Third-year students with excellent academic and co-op evaluations are invited to apply to be Teaching Assistants for the Academic Success Program. Responsibilities include working with first-year students to help them acquire study skills related to case reading, briefing, outlining and examination preparation.
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) offers four fellowship co-ops each quarter at leading human rights organizations in the USA and overseas. Fellows receive a stipend while working full time at these organizations over the three-month period. Fellowships for the next quarter are at OXFAM-America, Physicians for Human Rights, the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty, all in the USA, and Human Rights Law Network in India.
Writing competitions are free and cover a vast array of legally significant topics. This is a great opportunity to showcase an area of deep legal interest, enhancing resume-based marketability. Competitions in more than 100 areas of strength or interest are available and graduate coaches help students develop publishable-quality papers. Final papers may be submitted to a faculty member, who may grant ABA upper-level writing requirement approval.
A team of three people and a faculty advisor develop basic mediation and advocacy skills needed for an annual competition. Each student acts a mediator, client and counsel, learning important alternative dispute resolution skill. Preparation is fun, interesting and not overly time-consuming. NUSL is able to financially sponsor one team annually.
Client Counseling Competition
Students act as attorneys to interview a client and explain legal options, while paying attention to a client's legal and non-legal goals. This competition fosters the effective advising of clients while remaining committed to legal professionalism and ethics. Participants obtain direct feedback from judges participating in the competition.