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Arguing for the public good

Of all the lessons Asia Watson has learned at a co-op working with federal prosecutors in Nashville, Tenn., one will guide her for the rest of her career.

“Never be afraid to ask for help,” said Watson, a student in Northeastern’s School of Law. “All of the assistant U.S. Attorneys I work with this summer are extremely smart, and they still go to each other for help. As a law student, I’ve learned that I will not only need to ask for help as a law student, but throughout my entire career.”

Watson, who is in her last week of co-op before returning to Boston for her final year of study, spent the summer working with a tight-knit team of prosecutors, helping prepare briefs and motions used in cases ranging from traffic stops and drug offenses to major child-prostitution cases. Upon graduation, Watson hopes to return to Georgia, her home state, to work as a prosecutor.

Though she is not arguing cases before a judge, Watson is closely involved in the development of strategies prosecutors use in trial.

“I love the fact that I have an opportunity to mold an argument for the betterment of society,” Watson said. “For example, I may write a brief arguing that a violent defendant should be detained, thus having a positive impact on the community.”

Before her summer in Nashville, Watson completed another co-op in India, where she worked with a firm that focuses on human-rights law. She also interned with a judge in a Lowell, Mass., juvenile court system and, prior to law school, taught eighth grade math with Teach for America in Memphis, Tenn.

The opportunity for real-world experience was what drew Watson to Northeastern in the first place, she said.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a lawyer, but I didn’t know the exact area in which I wanted to practice in,” Watson said. “Through my internships and co-ops, I have a much better picture of what I want to do. That’s the great part about Northeastern—you get to figure out exactly what you want to do before you graduate.”

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