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 Scholar Awards

    The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) offers PHRGE Scholar Awards each semester to outstanding JD and LLM students to help defray the costs of unpaid human rights co-ops. Recipients receive a minimum of $3,500. Work-study eligible students may received larger awards.

    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

    Mock trial is an extracurricular activity in which students simulate an actual trial, including opening and closing arguments and direct and cross-examination. Teams are evaluated for their performances as both “attorneys” and “witnesses,” which provide students an excellent opportunity to hone their verbal and analytical skills. Strong academic standing and completion of Trial Practice and Evidence courses required.

    Moot Court Competitions

    Moot court competitions offer an exciting way for students to develop and advance research, writing and oral advocacy skills. There is a wide variety of moot court competitions available to students covering numerous legal topics. Students work in teams of two to research complex issues, draft an appellate brief and engage in oral argument before a panel of competition judges comprised of practicing attorneys and jurists. Law school faculty serve as advisors to the teams and select competitions are financially sponsored by Northeastern Law.

    Writing Competitions

    Writing competitions cover a vast array of legally significant topics and are a great opportunity for students to showcase their analytical, research and writing abilities. There are hundreds of legal writing competitions, covering a vast array of legal subject areas, available each year. Through submission to a writing competition, students can showcase their deep interest in and knowledge of a particular area of law, which can enhance their marketability. Final papers may be submitted to a faculty member, who may grant ABA upper-level writing requirement approval.