08.01.12 — Northeastern University School of Law's Outcomes Assessment Project has released data demonstrating Northeastern law graduates are distinctive for their high rates of working in the public interest and public service sectors. According to the OAP research team, 32.7 percent of Northeastern law graduates go into these fields, compared to 19.7 percent nationally.

“The relative difference between public interest and government employment is consistent with the school’s history and mission,” said William Henderson, law professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and head of the OAP research team. “Our findings suggest that the Northeastern graduate profile is not typical of all other law schools. At least in terms of practice settings, it’s distinctive.”

Drawing upon rigorous social science methodology, the OAP seeks to improve legal education by better understanding the relationship between the law school experience and lawyers’ career paths, civic engagement, and overall personal and professional satisfaction. Areas of particular interest include the Cooperative Legal Education Program, which has been running continuously for almost 45 years, and the School of Law’s longstanding emphasis on serving the public interest. Equally important, the OAP will give the legal academy and profession a more realistic, evidence-based analysis of what works and what doesn’t, resulting in models for how to best allocate resources in the years ahead. 

“This research is the first comprehensive assessment of how a law school with an innovative curriculum grounded in a unique experiential approach prepares its students for a life in the law. This will help the legal profession and legal educators stay relevant,” said Associate Dean for Experiential Education Luke Bierman.

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