Northeastern University School of Law
|Northeastern University School of Law|
|School type||Private non-profit|
|Location||Boston, MA, US|
|Outlines||7 (See List)|
Northeastern University School of Law is an American Bar Association-accredited law school within Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, with a unique cooperative education approach incorporated into its curriculum. The school describes itself as "the premier public-interest law school in the United States".
Northeastern University School of Law was founded in 1898 as Boston's first law school that offered classes in the evening. It flourished throughout the earlier part of the last century, but limited resources forced the school to close in 1956. It reopened in 1968 organized around its revolutionary cooperative education program, which stressed practical experience in legal settings as the best way to learn the art and craft of lawyering.
Since its reincarnation, the school has garnered a significant reputation for its graduates' ability to perform, and handle, significant legal work early in their career. Due in no small part to its unique cooperative approach to legal education, the school is able to select from a significant pool of highly qualified applicants. In 2006, the school received 3,354 applicants. Northeastern Law Student Body Facts In that same year, those students selected, totaling 213, had a median LSAT of 161 and a median GPA of 3.41.
Cooperative Education Program
The law school is the only law school in the United States to provide legal cooperative education.
Providing this kind of education requires the school to alter the typical legal education template. First year law students follow the traditional course of study typical of American law schools, that is, they take foundation courses in contracts, constitutional law, civil procedure, property law, criminal law, and torts.
In the second and third years of study, however, Northeastern University School of Law diverges from the standard course of study found in most other American law schools. It eschews the semester system in favor of a quarter system. Each student decides whether he or she wishes to take classes on the fall/spring rotation or the summer/winter rotation. After the first year of traditional study, each student will have four opportunities to work in a legal setting, and four quarters of study in the classroom. If, for example, a student chooses the summer/winter rotation, that student will take classes during those seasons, and will work in co-op jobs for the other two seasons.
A co-op student may hold positions in any number of legal settings, including law firms, judge's chambers, and government legal offices. The law school has relationships with offices around the country and around the world, though students may also propose alternate co-op experiences. 
Other Notable Features
Northeastern University School of Law is unlike other law schools in other ways as well. It does not grade students, but rather provides written narrative evaluations describing the student's work. However, those who are familiar with the school are aware that the "narrative evaluations" generally contain buzzwords, a standard, single descriptive adjective that describes the student's work. The professors are prohibited from using a scale, so one professor's "very good" might correlate with another's "outstanding." This grading system confuses many who are not familiar with it; but once familiar with it, it becomes quite easy to determine which students excel and which do not. One of the results of having this grading system is that students are not ranked.