School of Law ranked No. 1 for practical training

The National Jurist has ranked Northeastern’s School of Law No. 1 for practical training, touting the value of the university’s signature co-op program.

“Every law school, including Northeastern, teaches students how to learn from books. But today’s law graduates will hold multiple jobs, legal and non-legal, over the course of long careers,” said Jeremy Paul, dean of the School of Law. “When a professional shows up for the first day of work, seldom will there be a manual on the desk that explains how to succeed. So a key skill for the 21st century is knowing how to learn on the job.

“Our social justice course built around team projects and our signature co-op program create a powerful structure in which students learn by doing. I have never been more convinced that this is the best way to deliver a first-rate legal education and am proud that Northeastern has been singled out by National Jurist for our excellence in this regard.”

Indeed, Northeastern law students complete 1,500 hours of full-time, supervised work through their four co-ops. The law school’s co-op program includes 900 employers worldwide; to date, students have completed co-ops in 64 countries.

The rankings of the top 50 law schools that deliver the best practical training were featured in the magazine’s March 2015 issue. The National Jurist used data from the American Bar Association to determine the rankings, looking at the percentage of full-time students in clinics, externships, and simulation courses, as well as students participating in moot court tournaments and other interscholastic skills competitions. The magazine then asked universities to provide additional information about their unique offerings that weren’t reflected in these data.

The article touts Northeastern’s co-op program for having provided students with extensive internship opportunities for more than 45 years. “In it, students get four quarters of full-time legal employment,” the article reads. “This amounts to a full year of experiential training.”

The article also quotes William Henderson, a noted legal education scholar and professor of law at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, who praised Northeastern’s co-op program at a symposium last year: “One of the advantages of Northeastern is the epiphanies you have when the professor says, ‘X’ and you’re in front of a client in a co-op and ‘X’ becomes relevant,” he said at the symposium. “And they have to figure out a way to apply ‘X’ that they have heard in the classroom. And they come back to the classroom with a different take because they know that actually what the professor said is useful.”