Legal activism to fight poverty and achieve economic justice has been a major focus of attention at Northeastern for decades. We train students to work alongside marginalized populations to secure basic needs for all, to fashion a more equal society and to empower underrepresented and excluded groups. We strive to teach our students to think outside the box and to work in multiple arenas (e.g., courts, legislatures, administrative processes) and in many modes (e.g., individual representation, group representation, public education, grass-roots mobilization, media campaigns) because we believe that multi-level advocacy is the only way to fight for economic justice. Core faculty members for this concentration bring a wealth of experience and contacts from their collective decades of practice in legal services, NGOs, community development organizations, civil rights law firms and labor unions. In addition, they are leading scholars in the area and regularly invite students to assist in their research and writing. Finally, Northeastern law graduates in this field span the globe and provide a wealth of support for and networking opportunities to our students both on co-ops and as they move into full-time jobs.

Concentration Advisor: Professor Lucy Williams

Core Courses:

  • Community Economic Development
  • Housing Matters: Fair Housing Laws and Homelessness
  • Law and Economic Development
  • Law and Inequality
  • Poverty Law and Practice Clinic
  • Social Welfare Law

Relevant Courses:

  • American Legal Thought
  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Clinic
  • Civil Trial Practice
  • Consumer Law
  • Critical Legal Approaches to Race
  • Disability Law
  • Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Drug Law and Policy
  • Economic Perspectives on Health Policy
  • Education Law
  • Elder Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law: Compensation, Benefits and Retirement
  • Family Law
  • Givelber Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Global AIDS Policy Seminar
  • Health Law
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Immigration Law
  • Legal Interviewing and Counseling
  • Negotiation
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Problems in Public Health Law
  • Public Health Advocacy Clinic
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Refugees and Asylum Law
  • Reproductive and Sexual Rights and Health
  • Rights of Noncitizens
  • Sexuality, Gender and the Law
  • State and Local Government


  • Twelve academic credits with two courses selected from a list of “core” courses; two courses from either the list of “core” courses or the list of “relevant” courses; and either a clinic, a paper or a coop in the field.
  • Students must submit a “Concentration Declaration Form” to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs no later than October 1st of their last year.
  • To finalize the concentration, students must submit a “Concentration Certification of Completion Form” to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs not later than the end of the second week of their final quarter.

    Please note that concentrations are available only to those students who entered in the fall 2020 term or prior.  

    Current and future students, check out our new JD x certificates!