06.01.11 — Northeastern University School of Law, the nation’s leader in experience-based legal education, announces the launch of its new Initiative on Experiential Education in Law, supported by a major gift from Georgia Wall ’77 and her husband, Donald Gogel.

This Initiative strengthens Northeastern’s innovative curriculum, which combines classroom and clinical education with practice-based experience. It will transform Northeastern’s model into a new paradigm for legal education in the United States, integrating theory and practice to address the complex legal challenges of the 21st century. The Initiative will engage stakeholders in the legal profession to promote a shared vision of legal education that ensures that law graduates are ready to practice with the full complement of skills and ethical and social values necessary to serve clients and the public interest, now and in the future.

“This is a transformational moment for Northeastern and for legal education,” said Emily Spieler, dean of the School of Law. “This Initiative solidifies Northeastern’s historic commitment to blend theory and practice. It allows us to design new approaches to legal education that meet current and coming challenges.  And it guarantees that we will educate students to become smart, capable and ethical lawyers who can be leaders in solving the problems of the world.”

The Initiative on Experiential Education will be led by Professor Luke Bierman, newly appointed Associate Dean for Experiential Education. Professor Bierman brings to Northeastern a broad background that reflects the kinds of theory and practice that are the hallmarks of the law school’s integrated curriculum. Previously, Professor Bierman served as General Counsel to the New York State Comptroller, as a Fellow in Government Law and Policy at Albany Law School and as Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University. In addition, he was Founding Director of the Justice Center and Special Assistant to the President of the American Bar Association.

Professor Bierman is a frequent lecturer and commentator about corporate governance reform, fiduciary responsibility and ethics, and justice reform. He holds a JD from the College of William and Mary and a PhD in political science from State University in New York at Albany.

Northeastern’s unique curriculum already requires that all of its students complete four full-time “co-ops,” working under the direct supervision of lawyers in law offices, judges’ chambers, nonprofit and government agencies throughout the United States and abroad. This full year of field placements is combined with a full academic curriculum in an innovative three-year JD program. Using both practice settings and classroom work, the Northeastern legal education fuses thinking and doing with ethical and social justice ideals. It reflects Northeastern’s commitment to engaging with the world outside the university, to harnessing individual and institutional energy to address societal challenges, and to expanding knowledge that advances our ideals through research and scholarship.