Here, There and Everywhere: Northeastern Law Graduates Defy Stereotype
10.30.12 — Students who choose Northeastern University School of Law seek the school’s unique opportunities for professional development and to make a difference in broader society. Where does that drive and ambition take NUSL graduates? Inquiring minds – particularly current students – would love to know.
As reported in Research Bulletin No. 1, there are approximately 6,400 living Northeastern law graduates; our alumni/ae database contains current employment information on 4,939 (77.2%). This group defies stereotype.
"Although some might categorize Northeastern law as a regional law school, a majority of graduates work outside Massachusetts. At present, there is at least one Northeastern University School of Law graduate working in all 50 US states," said William Henderson, law professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and head of the OAP research team.
When compared to other ABA-accredited law schools, a large proportion of Northeastern law graduates work in public interest and government service jobs (see Research Bulletin No. 1). Yet, similar to other law schools, private practice remains the single largest area of practice, employing 48.8% (2,483) of Northeastern law graduates. Among these lawyers, approximately two-thirds work in law firms while one-third are solo practitioners.
Federal, state and local government comprise the next largest practice setting for Northeastern alumni/ae (892, 22.7%), including more than three dozen graduates who serve as judges at the state or federal level.
Corporate, business or in-house legal departments comprise the third largest employment sector: 12.9% of alumni/ae (roughly 650 lawyers). These employers are not as concentrated as compared to law firms and government. Nonetheless, the largest private sector non-law firm employers include many well-known companies and nonprofit organizations, such as Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, State Street Bank and Trust Company, Boston Children’s Hospital, Fresenius Medical Care and General Electric.
Public interest is the fourth largest employment sector for Northeastern graduates. Among the 9.6% (475 lawyers) working in legal aid and as public interest lawyers, the top employers include Greater Boston Legal Services, Legal Aid Society, Service Employees International Union, Disability Law Center, Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The fifth largest sector for Northeastern alumni/ae – and also disproportionately large compared to other law schools – is higher education and academia, which employs 250 graduates, or roughly 5% of the alumni/ae population. Approximately 43% of these graduates are employed in Massachusetts.
View the complete report.
About Northeastern University School of Law
The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. With cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students an unparalleled full year of practical legal work. All students participate in four, full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 900 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education for the past 45 years, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.