Caroline Kelley ’17

Coming straight from college, it was important to me to have practical experience integrated into law school.

Caroline Kelley ’17

Caroline Kelley is curious about other cultures. That’s what led her to create her own college major — in ethnomusicology, combining her interests in anthropology and music. That’s what led her to study abroad in Ghana— to understand how development theory plays out in West Africa. And that’s why she chose Northeastern for the co-op program: “Coming straight from college, it was important to me to have practical experience integrated into law school,” she explains.

As a law student, curiosity led Caroline to apply for a summer associate position with a large law firm — a culture with a reputation for long hours and high expectations. What she found surprised her. “I didn’t have an overarching plan for my time in law school, but wanted to explore all the options available to me. On co-op as a summer associate, I deeply enjoyed my time at Ropes & Gray,” says Caroline, who accepted a post-grad associate’s position with the firm. “The attorneys were smart, friendly and honest about big firm life. They were really engaging, and that’s what made the opportunity so enticing.”

Today, Caroline is using her legal talents with Community Action Legal Services, where she advises community action agencies across the United States on legal issues involving federal grant law, administrative guidance, employment law, tax law, board governance and other topics.


Legal Vice Presidency, World Bank Group, Washington, DC

For her first co-op, Caroline worked with lawyers at the World Bank on a research project dedicated to re-engaging countries in protracted arrears through sovereign debt restructuring.

  • Employment Law
  • Law and Economic Development
  • Social Welfare Law

Accion International, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Working with a global nonprofit organization that supports financial services that assist low-income clients, Caroline completed a profile on consumer finance laws applicable to microfinance institutions in Bolivia and drafted contracts.

  • International Law Society
  • Human Rights Caucus
  • Northeastern University Law Review

Ropes & Gray, Boston, Massachusetts

For her third co-op, Caroline participated in a summer associate program with a leading global law firm. This co-op resulted in a post-graduate job offer.



Poverty Law and Practice

In the Poverty Law and Practice Clinic, Caroline used her Spanish language and client communication skills to handle the cases of various applicants for welfare and unemployment insurance benefits.


Proyecto de Derechos Económicos Sociales y Culturales, México City, Mexico

Caroline drafted a complaint to the Ontario Securities Commission based on Canadian corporate disclosure laws against a mining company exploiting a community in central Mexico.

Independent Study


Working with the law school’s NuLawLab, Caroline combined her creative talents and legal problem-solving skills to design graphically engaging materials that explained landlord and tenant rights in accessible terms.

After Graduation

Associate, Ropes & Gray, Boston, Massachusetts


Staff Attorney, Community Action Program Legal Services, Boston, Massachusetts


A legal services attorney committed to empowering her clients.