Becoming a lawyer might not have been Paige Walker’s life­long dream, but one thing was for­ever cer­tain when it came to her pro­fes­sional ambitions.

I always knew I wanted to rep­re­sent the underdog,” she explained.

Walker, a third-​​year stu­dent in Northeastern’s School of Law, has already had the oppor­tu­nity to do just that through the university’s sig­na­ture co-​​op program.

She has com­pleted experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties with both the Mass­a­chu­setts Attorney General’s Office and Segal Roitman LLP, a Boston-​​based law firm that spe­cial­izes in union and employ­ment law.

Prior to grad­u­ating in May, Walker will also com­plete a co-​​op with Greater Boston Legal Ser­vices, a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides free legal advice to some of the most needy res­i­dents of Boston and 31 sur­rounding communities.

Walker is on track to con­tinue that work after grad­u­a­tion. In an age in which it has become increas­ingly dif­fi­cult for many law school grad­u­ates to find work, Walker is the excep­tion, having already secured a full-​​time job. In the spring she will join the staff at Segal Roitman, where she will work with unions on issues such as col­lec­tive bar­gaining and arbitration.

The offer caught Walker by sur­prise. She had stayed on part time at Segal Roitman after her co-​​op ended; after a few weeks, the part­ners asked her to lunch and offered her a job. She eagerly accepted the posi­tion, which will give her the oppor­tu­nity to delve into the kind of employ­ment and labor work she rel­ishes the most.

I like the idea of working with unions because you’re part of a team,” Walker said. “You’re more of an advisor or strate­gist, not someone who goes into the court­room to win a single case then isn’t a part of that team ever again.”

Walker took a serendip­i­tous path to becoming a lawyer. After grad­u­ating from the Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont in 2006, where she studied Spanish and com­mu­nity devel­op­ment, she took a job at a law firm that spe­cial­ized in immi­gra­tion cases.

I really just wanted an oppor­tu­nity to improve my Spanish and I wound up as a para­legal,” Walker said. “I didn’t expect it, but I found myself really drawn to the tasks given to me by the other lawyers.”

Walker quickly real­ized that she wanted to pursue a law edu­ca­tion and set her sights on North­eastern, which she called her “dream school.”

She praised the law school for its focus on using the legal system to serve the public interest and for its experiential-​​learning pro­gram. “I was always on the public-​​interest track,” Walker said, “and North­eastern helped give me the tools to make a real difference.”