Opportunities for Student Distinction

Distinguish Yourself

Opportunities for Student Distinction (OSD) is a program for Northeastern Law students that provides internal and external ways for students to gain valuable experience and distinguishing credentials at the same time.

OSD maintains a database with information on a vast number of external opportunities, including moot court, mock trial, client counseling, mediation, and writing competitions as well as awards and scholarships for work students have already completed.

  • LSSC Lawyering Fellows

    Upper-level students may apply to be Lawyering Fellows for the Legal Skills in Social Context Program (LSSC). Lawyering Fellows work closely with a group of first-year students (known as "law offices") to assist them with a social justice project undertaken on behalf of a community-based or public service organization.  Serving as a Lawyering Fellow helps upper-level students hone their skills in effective communication, advanced strategic lawyering, critique, legal research and writing, team management, and facilitation.

    Northeastern University Law Review

    Now entering its tenth year, the Northeastern University Law Review is a student-run, student-edited publication for scholars, practitioners and students to publish forward-looking, practice-oriented articles with a social justice consciousness. Student editors make all editorial and organizational decisions and staffers assist in carrying out day-to-day operations throughout the year. The Review publishes twice a year and begins each publication cycle with a symposium on a specific topic chosen by the staff and editors. The annual symposium, featuring speeches, presentations and panel discussions, is open to the Northeastern community, legal community and general public. The Review has also expanded its web presence by launching the Northeastern University Law Review Online Forum and Extra Legal, an online publication featuring short, student-written topical pieces drawn from a wide variety of legal fields.

    PHRGE Fellows

    The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) offers four fellowship co-ops each quarter at leading human rights organizations in the USA and overseas. Fellows receive a stipend while working full time at these organizations over the three-month period. Fellowships for the next quarter are at OXFAM-America, Physicians for Human Rights, the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty, all in the USA, and Human Rights Law Network in India.

    Research and Teaching Assistants

    For those upper-level students interested in supporting first-year students in writing and research, there are ample opportunities to apply for Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions. TAs work both in individual classes and with the Legal Skills in Social Context Program. Research Assistants typically work individually with faculty on specific projects.

    Teaching Assistants; Academic Success Program

    Third-year students with excellent academic and co-op evaluations are invited to apply to be Teaching Assistants for the Academic Success Program. Responsibilities include working with first-year students to help them acquire study skills related to case reading, briefing, outlining and examination preparation.

  • Mock Trial Competitions

    A mock trial is an extracurricular activity in which participants take part in simulated court proceedings, usually to include drafting briefs and participating in oral argument. Cases are argued by teams of "attorneys" and "witnesses." Participants hone skills in examining witnesses, entering evidence, arguing persuasively before a jury and polishing oral advocacy skills in general. Strong academic standing and completion of Trial Practice and Evidence courses required.

    Moot Court Competitions

    Teams develop a persuasive analysis of a legal problem and prepare a written brief and argue before an appellate panel. Faculty advisors offer assistance in developing arguments while students focus on appellate advocacy and understanding of an area of law. Select competitions are financially sponsored by NUSL.

    Writing Competitions

    Writing competitions are free and cover a vast array of legally significant topics. This is a great opportunity to showcase an area of deep legal interest, enhancing resume-based marketability. Competitions in more than 100 areas of strength or interest are available and graduate coaches help students develop publishable-quality papers. Final papers may be submitted to a faculty member, who may grant ABA upper-level writing requirement approval.