The Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration (CPIAC) takes the lead in infusing the law school’s public interest mission into all facets of the student experience. While supporting every aspect of the law school’s commitment to social justice, the center is also launching a variety of programs and initiatives that address broader justice issues in the community, nation and world. The center’s most recent initiative is NUSL Student Volunteers for Justice, which provides law students with volunteer opportunities to help defeat many of the recent federal executive orders and proposed changes in federal law intent on cutting back individual rights and freedoms. Students are providing pro bono legal research and assistance to organizations such as the ACLU’s Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project, Greater Boston Legal Services, GLAD, the National Lawyers Guild and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. The center is also taking the lead in planning is the law school’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will include conversations and events aimed at reimagining the nature of public interest law in the 21st century.

Professor Lucy Williams, an internationally recognized authority on welfare law and low-wage labor, directs the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration. 

“CPIAC is intended to link together and provide resources for all of the many diverse public interest activities and projects going on in the law school and broader university community. We hope the synergies we create will make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.” 
 —  Professor Lucy WilliamsFaculty Director of the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration

Mission statement

Through teaching, practice, research and networking, the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration seeks to enhance the role of law and legal practice in achieving social, economic and environmental justice in all dimensions. Searching for innovative and holistic solutions to contemporary social justice challenges, we work across disciplines; we engage with academic, professional, advocacy and grassroots communities; and we develop approaches to legal education geared toward this mission.

Recent News

IJC Report Documents Harmful Effects of Immigration Enforcement at Massachusetts Courthouses
3.2.18 — A new report released on March 2, 2018, by the Northeastern University School of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic documents the harmful effects of arrests of immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at courthouses in Massachusetts. (more)

Williams Selected for a Fulbright Specialist Award
3.2.18 —  Professor Lucy Williams, a leading expert on welfare law and low-wage labor, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialist award for spring 2018. In partnership with Wuhan University School of Law in China, she will develop a Public Interest Law Clinic Program to address this existing gap between legal education and current needs in China.

Fair Housing Independent Study Opportunity
2.14.18 — Professor Liliana Mangiafico is offering an independent study credit opportunity for 12 students; other students are welcome to audit. Housing discrimination is prevalent in the United States, both by private and public unit owners. This hybrid course is crafted to provide students with the basic legal information and practical skills needed to assist a client in a fair housing matter. Students will be introduced to fair housing law (Fair Housing Act and ADA), housing policies and procedures, types of federal and state subsidies, basics of landlord/tenant law with particular emphasis on discriminatory treatment of the disabled, and business practices of both public and private housing providers that result in discrimination. Students will draft actual fair housing complaints and other relevant pleadings. The practical part of the course requires students to learn how to recognize what constitutes discriminatory behavior. Materials to be provided include HUD guidance and procedures, housing authorities’ role in failure to keep current and accurate housing requests, fair housing cases and HUD decisions as well as MCAD decisions. This class will have a heavy focus on practical skills and will assist the student in developing strategy to pursue housing claims. An introduction to fee shifting in housing cases will also be provided. The final assignment will be a paper (10 pages) that answers a specific housing question. For more information, please email Sponsored by the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration.