Co-op Student FAQs
What is a co-op?
A co-op is a 10 or 11-week, full-time legal work placement. During this period, students work a minimum of 35 hours a week doing various legal work under the supervision of an attorney or judge. Depending on the placement, you may interview witnesses, research and write legal briefs, or represent clients in court.
Do all law students go on co-op?
Yes. All students are required to complete four, upper-level co-op work quarters prior to graduation.
Will I still graduate in three years?
Yes. After the first year, you will go to school or work year-round on a quarterly calendar comprising the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters. During your second and third years, you will go to school for two quarters each year, and you will work for two quarters each year. Thus, at the end of your third year in May, you will have completed four upper-level academic quarters and four co-op work quarters.
How do I get my co-ops?
You obtain co-ops by applying for jobs posted by more than 900 legal employers in the Northeastern program, or by developing approved opportunities on your own. Either way, experienced co-op advisors are available to assist you in each step, from identifying the best opportunities for you based on your interests and goals to helping you draft your resume and prepare for interviews.
Where can I go on co-op?
You can work anywhere attorneys and judges work. You may work at a law firm, international or government agency, legal services or advocacy organization, public defender office, union, corporation, or federal or state court. You may work in Boston, throughout the United States or abroad.
Does every student get a co-op?
Absolutely. Each student is guaranteed four co-ops; in other words, a full year of legal experience prior to graduation.
Can I get paid on co-op?
Yes. Compensation is set by the employer, ranging from volunteer, unfunded positions with judges and some public interest organizations, to more than $2,500 per week at the largest private law firms. Federal Work-Study and private and university-funded financial assistance is available to students accepting unfunded positions with public interest employers. In addition, every qualified law student is guaranteed one $2,500 stipend to support an unfunded government or public interest co-op.
How will I find housing if I leave Boston on co-op?
Many students leave Boston to pursue co-op opportunities throughout the United States and abroad. While travel and housing accommodations will be your responsibility, employers, previous co-op students and graduates are an invaluable resource for leads and assistance that result in every student finding accommodations for each co-op quarter.
Do students get post-graduate jobs from co-op?
Most definitely, yes! A significant number of students obtain their first post- graduate job as a result of a co-op, while all students leave with a full year of legal experience and a network of professional contacts. This is what makes Northeastern grads so successful in a competitive legal market.
What differentiates the Co-op Program from externship programs at other law schools?
Northeastern’s co-op program is unique. No other program includes as many legal employers or as many guaranteed opportunities to gain real-world legal experience. Moreover, while many law schools offer limited, unfunded part-time externship opportunities with a classroom component, only Northeastern sends you to work for three months, four times, with no other obligation than to learn by immersing yourself full time in the real-world practice of law.