In order to assist you with the transition to Northeastern University School of Law, we have created a list of answers to the following frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (617) 373-2395 or lawadmissions@neu.edu.

Admissions

Academics

Co-op 

Professional Advancement 

Financial Aid  

Housing 

Westlaw & LEXIS Accounts   

Admissions

What does the Admissions Committee look for in a transfer applicant?  

The Admissions Committee will focus primarily on your performance in your first year of law school. The Committee will also consider your undergraduate work, LSAT score, outside activities, and connection to the mission of Northeastern University School of Law. You should have enrolled in the following classes in your first year in order to be eligible for admission as a transfer student.

  • Civil Procedure 
  • Constitutional Law or Criminal Justice/Criminal Law
  • Contracts 
  • Property 
  • Legal Writing 
  • Torts

If you have not or will not complete these courses in your first year, please contact Wendy Parmet, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law, at w.parmet@neu.edu or (617) 373-2019.

When will I receive an admissions decision?

If you applied for early transfer admission, the Admissions Committee must have your grades from your first semester of law school in order to review your application for early transfer admission. Because many law schools do not process fall semester grades until February, the Committee usually makes final decisions regarding transfer student applications in early to mid-March. To get the best indication of when the Admissions Committee will be able to make a decision regarding your application, please contact the appropriate administrative office at your current law school to find out when the grades are officially processed and how soon afterwards they will send out your transcript. The Office of Admissions will notify you by email when your decision has been rendered.

If you applied for regular transfer admission, the Admissions Committee must have your grades from your first and second semesters of law school before rendering a decision on your file. Many law schools do not process the spring semester grades until the end of June or July, so the Committee usually makes final decisions regarding transfer student applications in early to mid-July. To get the best indication of when the Admissions Committee will be able to make a decision regarding your application, please contact the appropriate administrative office at your current law school to find out when the grades are officially processed and how soon afterwards they will send out your transcript. The Office of Admissions will notify you by email when your decision has been rendered.

I am attending a law school that is not ABA accredited.  Can I transfer to Northeastern?

No. In order to transfer to Northeastern, you must have completed your first year at another ABA-accredited law school.

How many transfer students enroll in a given year?

While it varies from year to year, we typically enroll a relatively small class of transfer students.

If I am not in the top 10% of my class at my current law school, should I even bother applying as a transfer?

Absolutely! Do not let your class ranking deter you from applying. The Admissions Committee considers many factors when reviewing applications.

What are the character and fitness requirements?

Each state has its own character and fitness requirements concerning who is eligible for admission to the bar, and we encourage every applicant prior to matriculation to ascertain those requirements in every state in which he or she intends to practice.

Northeastern asks applicants to answer a series of character and fitness questions. These questions are required. Because of the high ethical standards to which lawyers are held, the failure to disclose an act or event can lead to more serious consequences than the act or event itself. Failure to provide truthful answers, or failure to inform the Office of Admissions of any changes to your answers in advance of matriculation or during school enrollment, may result in revocation of admission or disciplinary action by the School of Law, or denial of permission to practice law by the state in which you seek bar admission.

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Academics

I heard that Northeastern doesn't have traditional letter grades. Is that true?

Yes. When the law school re-opened in the 1960s, the program was designed to replace the typical adversarial and competitive law school environment with that of teamwork and collaboration. In order to do this successfully, student rankings and letter and number grades were replaced with written evaluations of students’ work in class and on co-op. This system:

  • Allows you to work with classmates without worrying that you are giving away the opportunity to be at the top of a grading curve.
  • Gives you a more thorough review of your work by professors so that you know just where you are doing well and where you need to improve your performance.
  • Teaches you, before you go out on co-op and begin your career, how to work well on teams and get more out of your work because others depend on it.

How does the evaluation system at the law school work?

Rather than a number or letter grade, you will receive a narrative evaluation from your professor for each class you take throughout your law school career, as well as from your supervisor for each of your four co-ops. Copies of all of these evaluations are included in your law school transcript. There are no class rankings or GPAs. During the second and third years, students may receive Honors or High Honors designations for strong performance in academic courses. As discussed above, your narrative evaluations will provide you — and potential employers — with a much stronger understanding of your skills and abilities than a single number or letter.

How long are the academic terms?

Northeastern’s upper-level courses are run on a quarter system, with each quarter lasting about eleven weeks.

How much material is covered in an upper-level quarter?

Northeastern’s courses cover about the same amount of material as courses at other schools. Though the law school’s upper-level quarters are eleven weeks and semesters are usually fourteen or fifteen weeks, most semester schools run fifty-minute hours, while Northeastern uses sixty. Sixty-minute classes meeting three times a week for eleven weeks provide 1,980 minutes of classroom time. Fifty-minute classes meeting three time a week for fourteen weeks provide 2,100 minutes of classroom time. That is a difference of only about two hours. Northeastern's compressed schedule eliminates much of the "hello and goodbye" portions of the semester. Additionally, many professors have optional out-of-class reviews as a supplement to their courses.

Assuming that I am accepted, will all of the credits from my first year at my current law school transfer?

The Office of Academic and Student Affairs determines which credits transfer on a case-by-case basis. First-year students at Northeastern take seven courses (Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Criminal Justice, Constitutional Law, Contracts, and Legal Skills in Social Context). Transfer students are not required to take Legal Skills in Social Context, but must complete a first-year legal writing course. If you have any questions as to which courses will transfer, please contact Wendy Parmet, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law, at w.parmet@neu.edu or (617) 373-2019.

How many academic credits are required to graduate?

Northeastern's first-year is 34 semester credit hours, so you will need to complete at least 53 quarter hours, during at least four (4) upper-level academic quarters in your second and third years. For more information, please see Degree Requirements.

How many credits do upper-level Northeastern students usually take during a given academic quarter?

Usually between 12 and 16 credits. You can take between 10 and 16 credits per quarter and need to get permission if you plan to take less then twelve or more than sixteen. However, keep in mind that with the shorter terms (11 weeks), 15 or 16 credits is a heavy load, and you are advised not to take more than 16 credits. To meet the ABA Residency Requirement, you will have to enroll in at least 10 quarter hours and pass at least 9.

What clinical programs does the law school offer?

Northeastern offers students the opportunity to engage in advocacy on behalf of individuals and community organizations often unacknowledged or underrepresented by the justice system. Together, the clinicsinstitutes, and special programs reflect and fulfill a commitment to social and economic justice that distinguishes Northeastern as one of the nation's foremost public interest law schools. Students can participate with faculty and staff in the work of the following outstanding research and service centers: the Domestic Violence Institute, the Public Health Advocacy Institute, the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, and the Program on Health Policy and Law. Northeastern also offers seven clinics: Civil Rights and Restorative JusticeCommunity BusinessCriminal AdvocacyDomestic ViolencePoverty Law and PracticePrisoners' Rights, and Public Health. The clinics differ from one another by substantive legal focus, advocacy experience, and the primary skills each seeks to impart. Students engage in challenging legal practice with the support of clinical faculty who provide the requisite training, close supervision, and opportunity for reflection. 

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Academics

What is co-op and how does it work?

Northeastern's unique approach to training law students for a career in the legal profession is known as Cooperative Legal Education. This program ensures that you will graduate with significant practical legal experience gained through several quarters of full-time work ("co-ops"). During your second and third years, you will alternate between full-time classes and full-time legal work every three months. You will work about 11 weeks during a cooperative quarter and usually take a short break before returning to full-time academic studies.

If you have specific questions about co-op, please contact the Center for Co-op & Professional Advancement at (617) 373-3002 or lawcoop@neu.edu.

How does the application process for co-ops work?

You may choose to apply to one of the over 900 participating co-op employers or create your own co-op with any other legal employer. If you create your own co-op, you must work with the Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement to ensure that your work experience will fulfill the requirements for co-op and have the co-op approved.

The majority of students choose to apply to participating co-op employers. Each quarter, the Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement contacts participating employers to ask whether the employer intends to hire Northeastern co-op students for the upcoming quarter. They then publish an updated list each week of co-op employers, indicating whether the employer is interested in hiring co-op students. You may submit applications to up to ten of these employers through the Center. The Center will post interview requests and job offers as they come in from co-op employers. You will have one business day to respond to an interview request, and three business days to respond to an offer. During the eighth week of each quarter, there is a supplemental mailing for students continuing to look for co-ops.  In between these times, additional job postings will be sent to you.

Can I travel outside of Boston for a co-op?

Absolutely! Students go on co-ops all over the country and around the world with the program’s more than 900 employers. The major co-op hubs outside of Boston are New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. The Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement can assist you in setting up new co-ops throughout the world, provided that potential employers meet the program requirements. You will work with a co-op advisor who can guide you through the process of finding a co-op, taking into consideration your desired location and the type of work you wish to pursue.

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Professional Advancement

Is Northeastern the right place for me if I am not interested in a career in public interest law?

Certainly! While the law school is committed to the belief that all attorneys have a duty to serve society in some capacity, not all Northeastern students intend to practice traditional public interest law upon graduation. Northeastern’s mission is to provide students with a clear understanding of the immense power they have as lawyers in our society and the ethical and social implications of the decisions they will make in this role. While many NUSL students go on to  pursue careers in public interest law, the majority of our students work in other practice settings after graduation, such as judicial clerkships, government agencies, and law firms of all sizes.

How does Northeastern prepare students to get jobs?

Our graduates obtain significant practical legal experience and make many professional connections through our Cooperative Legal Education Program. Through co-op every student completes nearly a year of full-time work experience in the legal field and/or practice setting of their choosing before graduation. This allows our students to discover their true professional passions and gain the practical skills necessary to excel in today's legal job market. Northeastern's Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement also provides substantial career planning assistance to students and alumni/ae.

Can I participate in Northeastern's fall recruitment programs as a transfer student?

Large firms begin accepting resumes for their summer associate programs in August. The first deadline for applying to firms who participate in Northeastern's on-campus recruitment program (which includes mostly Boston area large firms) and several other programs in which our school participates will be in early August. If you are interested in participating in these programs, you should contact the Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement at (617) 373-3002 or lawcoop@neu.edu before August.

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Financial Aid

How does my transfer student status affect my eligibility for Northeastern grants?

You may be eligible for need-based grants, which are based on the FAFSA form; however, because you did not enter Northeastern as a first-year student, you are not eligible for institutional merit-based tuition scholarships. Additionally, there are some endowed scholarships for which you may qualify. You may apply for these endowed scholarships in September. If you have any questions regarding financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

If I have prior federal student loans, how do I make sure that they remain in an “in-school deferment”?

Once you arrive on campus, you can have the university's Registrars Office complete a deferment form for you. They will forward the form directly to your loan servicer. It is important, however, that you confirm with your loan servicer that the document was received.

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Housing

I do not currently live in the Boston area. How can I find an apartment?

There are many apartments available near the school, and even more apartments in surrounding areas close to public transportation. Northeastern is accessible via two lines of the MBTA subway system and multiple bus lines. Northeastern's Office of Off Campus Student Services provides resources for students looking for housing in Boston. You can also find apartment listings at boston.craigslist.org or www.boston.com.

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Westlaw & LEXIS Accounts

If I transfer to Northeastern, how do I transfer my Westlaw and LEXIS accounts?

You will need to go to the law library in person to get new Westlaw and LEXIS passwords. Please bring your Northeastern University ID, aka "The Husky Card". Otherwise, if you try to print anything, the print jobs will be sent to your first law school!