Kelly Cooke02.12.19 — Lawyers notoriously love to make their case, but at tonight’s Women’s Beanpot, Kelly Cooke ’19 will brook no arguments. As one of the two referees at the highly anticipated championship game between Boston University and Harvard, Cooke will bring a lifetime of expertise, both as player and referee, to her officiating duties. She’ll be joined on the ice by Katie Guay, who last week made history as the first female referee in a men’s Beanpot game.

“We’re going to have an all-female [referee] crew at the Beanpot tonight,” said Cooke, who was a member of the women’s hockey team as an undergraduate at Princeton University and then played professionally for three seasons with the Boston Blades and the Boston Pride. “Women’s hockey has had such great exposure recently and it’s gaining a ton of momentum.”

Cooke began her officiating career at the age of 12. “It was a part-time job,” explains Cooke, who was raised in Andover, Mass. “My older brother was a ref, so I started doing it. I didn’t take it seriously until I got to college, and then saw a future in which I could travel to international tournaments and ultimately have the chance to ref in the Olympics.”

As a law student, Cooke has kept busy with co-ops and her officiating career in women’s hockey. During the season, she typically officiates three games or more each weekend, working for the National Women’s Hockey League — which includes the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters and Minnesota Whitecaps — as well as ECAC Hockey, which includes a dozen women’s college teams in the Northeast, and Hockey East, which includes 10 teams throughout New England. She also officiates international tournaments: in 2017, she was in Kazakhstan; in 2018, she was in Mexico; and this year she will travel to Romania for one of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s women’s world championships.

“Working the Olympics is the ultimate goal, so in order to achieve that goal, you hope to work an international tournament each year,” she explains. “I’m hoping to continue to move up as we gear up for the selection process for officials in the next three years.”

Cooke, who graduates from the law school in May, has already been offered a post-graduate position with Morgan Lewis, where she’ll join the corporate department. “I have been lucky enough to remain involved in a sport that has given me so many opportunities over the years,” she says. “But I can’t wait to begin my career as an attorney where I will be able to apply the lessons that I have learned as a player and a referee, such as teamwork and the ability to manage conflicts, to an area of law that truly interests me.”

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students an unparalleled full year of practical legal work. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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