Advocates for Starving Advocates

Northeastern’s NuLawLab Creates Scores of Legal Jobs

INNOVATIVE DESIGN THINKERS IMAGINE EMPLOYMENT FOR THOUSANDS

The Northeastern University School of Law’s innovative research facility, NuLawLab, announced Tuesday that revolutionary design-thought technology has yielded significant advances and created thousands of jobs — or what it calls NuJobs — for new attorneys.

“The NuLawLab applies a variety of structured creative processes to bring together solutions that are desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable,” said Luke Bierman, NUSL’s outgoing Associate Dean of Experiential Education. “So, using our innovative design thinking, we intuited that the students at NUSL, from their point of view as humans, desired post-graduate employment.”

NuLawLab Creating Jobs

An NuLawLab technician demonstrates how the program uses design thinking to create NuJobs.

 

What long proved an insurmountable challenge for the NuLawLab was developing a means of employing NUSL students in a manner both technologically feasible and economically viable.

“We designed some thoughts on that, and we thought some designs,” Bierman said. “And that’s when we pushed the boundaries of design thinking to ‘Design Building.’ We built the designs we thought right inside my mind.”

Indeed, in a report issued Tuesday to the American Bar Association and the US Department of Labor, NuLawLab outlined how it intends to host thousands of NuJobs in Associate Dean Bierman’s mind.

“With the future of the legal industry moving into the cloud, we concluded through a series of Design Thinking experiments that human labor should follow commerce in that direction,” the report says. “Carrying out this conclusion to its natural end, we constructed a cloud inside the mind of Associate Dean Luke Bierman. In Bierman’s Head Cloud, Northeastern Law graduates immediately enter fulfilling, rewarding and well-paying jobs as soon as they receive their JDs. It’s truly extraordinary what is happening in this man’s head.”

NUSL Associate Dean Luke Bierman showing off the places where he does his best work — his mind and his white board.

NUSL Associate Dean Luke Bierman showing off the places where he does his best work — his mind and his white board.

The report goes on to outline a pseudo-digital currency that NuLawLab has innovated to compensate attorneys employed in NuJobs.

“This is where design thinking really showed us something,” Bierman said. “What we’ve design-thought here is a virtual currency, akin to Bitcoin, but far more advanced, because it will only ever exist in the minds of the people who trade in it.”

NuLawLab’s NuJobs revelation follows more good news for NUSL. The law school recently announced its latest ABA-mandated employment statistics, and, according to Bierman, the school had within nine months of graduation placed 324 out of 203 graduates from the Class of 2013 in full-time, long-term legal jobs. The data further shows that 714 of those students found employment with a former co-op employer.

Of course, current NUSL students were overjoyed Tuesday with the revelation that jobs existing only in Associate Dean Bierman’s head would alleviate their fears about grueling job searches and overbearing student loans.

“Wow, I have to say, I totally underestimated that LawLab thing,” said second-year NUSL student Christina Andersen. “It always seemed to me that it was just like a jargon machine, where some guy sat in a room curating stories about other schools’ innovations and a web site that parroted back buzzwords from TED Talks and 99% Invisible. Clearly, I was way off.”

NUSL Dean Jeremy Paul commended the NuLawLab on its breakthrough, saying he was envious of Elon University, the law school powerhouse that managed to snag Associate Dean Bierman away from Boston. Dean Paul said he intended to ask Associate Dean Bierman to think-design him “a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent,” before he left for North Carolina.

Dave Brown is a Boston Business Lawyer and founding partner of Boston MicroLaw, LLP. As a 2012 graduate of NUSL, he too is in awe of the cloud in Luke Bierman’s head.

 

  • Kristen S.

    What’s the correct stat. for “…according to Bierman, the school had within nine months of graduation placed 324 out of 203 graduates from the Class of 2013 in full-time, long-term legal jobs.”? Curious to know. Interesting article. Legal Incubators are on their way…

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      Class of 2013 stats were released today. 100 of 218 grads landed full-time, long-term, bar license-required jobs at any salary within nine months of graduation. That’s a mighty 45.8% (side note: the Alumni Magazine is back to claiming that 40% of grads are getting legal jobs from co-op).

      So, 45.8% “real” legal job placement. That’s much, much closer to Western New England (44%), New England Boston (40%) and Suffolk (36.9%) than BU (67%) or BC (64%), even though the incoming LSAT/GPAs at Northeastern are much, much closer to the latter group’s.

      Oh, and Suffolk placed more grads in Biglaw than Northeastern. Again. This never used to happen.

      Also, this 4/1 article was awesome and hysterical. Well done!

      • davebrown

        When did the Alumni Magazine publish that stat? I’d like to see that. I also just realized that the already-corrected employment stats page for the Class of 2012 says that 46 percent of grads founds jobs in law firms and businesses.

        And thanks for posting those numbers, I’ve been eagerly anticipating them.

        I’m going to bring this up in a forthcoming blog post, but here’s the text of an insane e-mail Luke Bierman sent to the NUSL faculty on November 22. This is a real e-mail, and I bring it up, because he pretty much told the faculty that NUSL had placed 37 percent in full-time, long-term jobs as of that date. But in his e-mail to the faculty, he combines “JD advantage” jobs with “Bar Passage required jobs.” That, of course, is misleading because the ABA doesn’t compile the stats that way. So, that 37 percent is a bit dubious, and Bierman apparently had no compunction about juking the stats with the faculty, because everything is hunky-dory on Huntington Ave. Also, while the final placement rate is an improvement from the previous year (a 2.6 percent rise), the national average was also up (0.8 percent). Given that NUSL dropped 6.2 percent from 2011 to 2012 (while the national average rose 1.5 percent), it seems to me that Northeastern is still playing catch-up.

        Anyway, here’s Bierman’s chipper prospectus on the employment outlook. I believe when he refers to the “Class of 2012” in the first sentence of the second paragraph, he’s actually talking about the Class of 2013 (which reported 218 grads to the ABA, not 219):

        Thanks to those who already have responded to Steve’s request and to those who are preparing their responses – thanks also to those of you have offered other ideas to help organize this effort. We’ll get back with more information as we sort through the responses and organize the information for ease of use. In the meantime, we thought it helpful to provide a snapshot about where we are in placing students:

        the class of 2012 has 219 members and we have confirmed 119 as employed for an overall placement rate of 54%; at this time last year for the class of 2012, the overall placement rate was 68% but that included graduates who were working as NUSL fellows, a program we did not continue this year so that we believe we are about even with last year’s overall placement rate. In the most important category of full time, long term, JD required or advantage jobs [again, this is NOT a category, emphasis Dave], the rate for the class of 2013 is 37%, which is much higher than last year’s 23% at this time, so we are quite pleased with all these developments. We also have not included in these figures 7 more placements from today, so we’re even more gratified that we are moving in the right direction. Your assistance will certainly add to these accomplishments, and we thank you in advance for that.

        We are leaving no stone unturned as we also are working with our alumni/ae to provide a variety of mentoring, programming and other assistance, including volunteers to assist those grads who want to set up solo practices; efforts to place more of our graduates in the Legal OnRamp program that Jeremy has initiated with Paul Lippe; establishment of a fellowship program in the University general counsel office and similar initiatives. Your help will undoubtedly lead us to more alums and others who can help the class of 13.

        One other thing to help now – I am attaching a list of 19 graduates from the class of 2013 whose status is unknown as our outreach to them has gone unanswered. If you can provide any information or leads about how to get them to reply to our inquiries, please let Steve, Jung or me know; if we can narrow this list of “unknowns,” we think it will work to our benefit.

        Thanks again, and don’t hesitate to contact any of us for information or assistance.

  • Juris Debtor

    Law schools lie about salaries and employment statistics. It’s part of the business model. They lie through their teeth about how much money their grads make in order to attract new law school applications. The grads end up with destroyed lived, $100-250,000 in non-dischargeable debt, while the professors and deans end up with new G Classes and extended international vacations.