Northeastern University School of Law
400 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Academics & Programs: Northeastern University School of Law in Boston offers an absolute wealth of “practical hands-on learning,” a “public interest focus,” and “a very strong social-justice vibe.” “Hands down,” the best thing about this place is the cooperative legal education program. Students take traditional courses and have traditional semesters as 1Ls. Second and third-year students are on a quarter system and “alternate classes with internships every three months.” By the time they graduate, students at Northeastern have had “four full-time, law-related jobs.” They are able to “test out different areas of the law” and gain “practical, real-world experience that most law students don’t get.” “Imagine leaving law school with forty-four weeks of legal experience on your resume,” says a 1L. “There are numerous participating employers and students can get a chance to go across the country” and “all over the world.” “I have had opportunities and experiences that I never would have had otherwise,” gloats a 2L, “including clerking for a judge and working for an international investment bank in New York City.” “Switching between co-op and classes every three months makes law school more bearable” as well. “You aren’t stuck in school all year long,” explains a 2L. “You go to school for eleven weeks, then you go do an awesome job.”
Another unique feature at Northeastern is its evaluation system. There is no class rank here and there are no alphabet grades. Instead, students get narrative evaluations from both their professors and their co-op supervisors. Additionally, strong academic 2Ls and 3Ls receive honors and high honors designations. On one hand, “The grading system fosters a cooperative environment that really helps you learn from both the professors and the students you’re with.” On the other hand, “Excellent grades are indistinguishable from good grades.” Regarding employment prospects after graduation, students say, “Northeastern has a great reputation in Boston.” It’s particularly awesome if you are looking to for a public interest career. If you want a job in the private sector, “The school prepares you well for that path,” but you “must plan carefully” when selecting courses.
The faculty here is “overwhelmingly on the far left of the political spectrum.” There are many “shining stars in their specialties” who “know the material like champs.” Most professors are “extremely approachable” as well. There are also “a few egotistical nightmares,” though, and “way too many adjuncts.” Some students happily attest that “administrators respond immediately to problems which are brought to their attention.” Most, however, call management “very bureaucratic” and “borderline incompetent.” “They just can’t get it right,” complains a 3L.
Campus Life/Facilities: Facilities-wise, “The law campus is a little island in the undergrad campus, with two interconnected buildings of its very own and an underground labyrinth of offices, lockers, and study spaces.” “The old building is drafty.” The new building is “absolutely beautiful.” The library is “sunny and pleasant,” and “The library staff is phenomenal.” There are “plenty of places to study.” Classrooms are “bright and inviting,” “with large windows and state-of-the-art equipment, including outlets for laptops at all seats.
Students describe themselves as “welcoming, interesting, and smart.” There are many students right out of college and a good percentage that are a little bit older. There’s a big gay and lesbian population. Politically, “the student body at Northeastern is incredibly liberal and left-leaning.” Some students tell us, “People are very receptive to differing views.” Others disagree. A certain segment of the population is “offended by the most inane comments,” they say. “If you are not super liberal,” counsels a 3L, “do not bother applying.” Politics notwithstanding, everyone seems to agree that the academic environment is “incredibly collegial.” “Collaboration is encouraged.” “Students study together, share notes, and help each other out when needed.”
Northeastern is “located in an urban area of Boston,” and there is plenty to do outside the confines of the law school. “There are great common areas for social gatherings and biweekly bar events around Boston.” You definitely don’t have to party to have a good time, though. Students here tend to be “less obnoxiously obsessed with drinking than seems to be the law school norm.” Social life tends to be “clique-y,” primarily because the co-op program is constantly shifting them back and forth from course work to internship work. People leave town for a few months on internships. “There are people who live two blocks away who are hardly ever on campus, and there are people who commute ninety minutes who are always around.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.