May 22, 2012 — In “Beginning the Conversation,” a Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) report released on May 17, 2012, Northeastern University School of Law’s Cooperative Legal Education Program is singled out for “maximizing … potential post-graduate employers unlike students at other law schools.” The intent of the report is to “explore the growing problem of underemployment among many of today’s law graduates in Massachusetts.”

“The profession is finally paying attention to the need for law students to have practical training,” said Dean Emily Spieler. “We’ve spent more than four decades educating students to enter the world of practice with the hands-on skills and real-world experience necessary to practice law effectively on the day they graduate. We’re delighted that the bar is recognizing that practical experience is key to ensuring success for new lawyers who must be prepared to provide clients with real value.”

The MBA report, which puts forth a variety of curricular and mentoring recommendations, with an “underlying assumption … that students with marketable real-world experience are more likely to be of greater value in a more competitive job market,” looks to the “enviable” Northeastern model, where, on average, 40 percent of students accept post-graduate positions with their former co-op employers.

“The advantages of a cooperative program such as Northeastern’s are obvious in that it provides law students with practical experience in areas they choose for themselves as well as lasting connections that enhance future employability,” states the report.

About Northeastern University School of Law
Northeastern University School of Law is the nation’s leader in experiential legal education. All students graduate with almost a full year of hands-on legal experience gained in four, full-time legal placements in law firms, with judges, and in public interest law settings, including government and service organizations, around the world. More than 900 co-op employers participate in the program, and, on average, 40 percent of students accept post-graduate positions with their former co-op employers.

News Coverage

WBUR/National Public Radio: All Things Considered