Known for its working-class roots in a city with some of the most elite law schools in the country, Northeastern University School of Law (Northeastern Law) has been educating lawyers in Boston, Massachusetts for over 120 years. Founded by the YMCA as the first evening law program in the city, Northeastern Law has stayed true to its working-class roots as one of the top public interest law schools in the country. All students are required to participate in a public interest program. First-year students also participate in a year-long social justice program. Northeastern Law is also celebrated for the diversity of its student body.
The first-year curriculum at Northeastern Law consists of the six core courses of legal education: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Students also take an additional course on legal skills in the social context which emphasizes how the practice of law is fundamentally an instrument for social change.
Upper-level students must only complete a few additional requirements to the first-year curriculum: a major writing project, a class in professional responsibility, six credits of experiential education, and satisfy the public interest requirement. Otherwise, students can choose any courses or concentrations that fit their educational and career goals. Northeastern Law offers over 10 different concentrations as well as professional certification on healthcare law. All students must complete 84 hours of coursework.
Northeastern also offers students the opportunity to participate cooperative legal education program where students work full-time in a legal office while finishing their coursework. Students alternate between coursework and their co-op work until they have satisfied both requirements.
Northeastern Law offers two Master of Law (LL.M) programs. The first is a traditional residential program while the second is taught completely online. The residential LL.M can be completed in nine months or, in the alternative, students can opt to participate in Northeastern Law’s co-op program to gain valuable legal experience working full time in a legal office while working on their coursework. With the co-op, the LL.M program takes 12 months to complete. Coursework choices are up the graduate student although the law school offers five separate concentrations.
The online LL.M is offered in three areas: bar preparation (aimed at international students), intellectual property, and international business law. All students enrolled in the online LL.M are automatically considered for financial aid.
Northeastern Law also offers Juris Doctor students eight different dual degrees that pair their J.D. with another professional degree. Two of these programs involve partnerships with other institutions including a joint degree in Public Health with Tufts University.
Northeastern Law also offers a range of programs for non-attorneys including two Master programs and several certifications.
Career and Career Placement
Based on the most recent statistics, 85% of graduates of Northeastern Law were employed within 10 months of graduation with the majority of these positions (97%) requiring a law degree or preferring a Juris Doctor degree. The two most common job choices were careers in public service or in the business industry. Students chose small law firms as often as they chose large law firm work. Northeastern Law also placed almost 10% of its graduating class in state or local judicial clerkships. While 60% of graduates remained in the Boston area, the diverse student body also accepted jobs all over the country.
With a staff of over 10 professionals, the Northeastern Law Center for Co-op and Career Development provides students with an incredible array of services and support. The Center administers Northeastern Law’s groundbreaking co-op program and manages all aspects of students career search. The Center organizes several job fairs and on-campus interviews throughout the year. The Center also has dedicated professionals in the area of the public interest sector.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Northeastern Law has one of the most dynamic and acclaimed practical education components of any law school. Its unique co-op program allows students to work full-time while also finishing their coursework to gain practical job experience in a multitude of legal fields. The co-op program is also complimented by the school’s legal clinics where students dedicate 20 hours per week in one of the school six legal clinics. In clinics, students work with real clients to solve a myriad of legal problems while building skills for their future practice.
Northeastern Law also has one of the most complete skill-based curriculum in the country allowing students to learn practical lessons in a traditional classroom setting. Students can choose from over 30 skill-based courses. Students may also opt to work in Northeastern’s NuLaw Lab which is a groundbreaking project in the interdisciplinary practice of design and law.
Although Northeastern’s Juris Doctor program requires residential learning, the law school does offer a complete Master of Law program online.
Set in one of the most dynamic towns in the United States, Northeastern Law offers its students a one-of-a-kind experience. The law school campus is located just outside of downtown near famed Fenway Park. On campus, students enjoy an active and socially committed student body. While the law school student body is notably small, the University is one of the largest in Boston allowing students to take advantage of the numerous campus amenities including an 81,000 fitness center.
Living in Boston is one of the most unique experience for any law students. The city is alive every time of year from the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to the Marathon to baseball games at Fenway Park. Limited on-campus housing is available while most students take advantage of the many off-campus apartments and Boston’s robust public transportation system.