Centers of Excellence Centers of Excellence
Building on its strengths in health law, public interest law and intellectual property, the School of Law has launched three centers that will take the lead in developing new programs and research. “As the world embraces the knowledge economy, our law school must reimagine its offerings to prepare students for fields that will dominate the profession in the 21st century,” said Dean Jeremy Paul. “We have chosen to build these centers for their undeniable impact on people’s lives and because they align with strengths across our thriving research university. We also have gifted faculty leaders ready to build world-class programs.”
In its 2018 graduate school rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked the law school #14 nationally for health law. In large measure, this may be attributed to the productivity of a stellar group of faculty who specialize in various aspects of health law and policy. The law school has also launched two dual JD/MPH programs as well as health law concentrations in the JD, LLM and MLS programs. This new center — which builds on the previous Program on Health Policy and Law — is creating synergies among the school’s curricular offerings as well as its Public Health Advocacy Institute, Domestic Violence Clinic and Public Health Legal Clinic. The center is busy hosting a wide range of lectures and discussions, including an upcoming national conference, “Diseases of Despair: The Role of Policy and Law.” In the coming years, under the guidance of Professor Wendy Parmet, the center’s founding director, Northeastern will host the largest annual conference of health law professors, attract new faculty and deliver white papers aimed at using law to promote public health. The center recently welcomed a managing director, a research director who is a renowned physician and long-time editor at The New England Journal of Medicine, and a fellow is working on issues arising from potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity (CLIC) begins with the idea that a mission-driven law school must design and embrace laws that promote sustainable economic growth. Raising the standard of living for those at the bottom of the economic ladder in ways that are environmentally sound is a crucial task for law in the 21st century. That mission depends on sparking innovation. So, in recent years the law school has been gathering teachers and scholars with expertise in intellectual property, law and technology, and other fields necessary for an innovation economy. Two faculty members who arrived in 2015, Andrea Matwyshyn and Jessica Silbey, are co-directing CLIC, which includes an IP concentration for JD and LLM students, the IP CO-LAB, the Community Business Clinic and a robust array of related courses. CLIC is already attracting top practitioners and scholars to campus through conferences, such as a recent conference, “Connected Futures: Next Generation Questions for a Just World.” As Matwyshyn often quips, “The future is only a CLIC away.”
With Professor Lucy Williams at the helm, the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration takes the lead in infusing the law school’s public interest mission into all facets of the student experience. While supporting every aspect of the law school’s commitment to social justice, the center is also launching a variety of programs and initiatives that address broader justice issues in the community, nation and world. The center’s most recent initiative is NUSL Student Volunteers for Justice, which provides law students with volunteer opportunities to help defeat many of the recent federal executive orders and proposed changes in federal law intent on cutting back individual rights and freedoms. Students are providing pro bono legal research and assistance to organizations such as the ACLU’s Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project, Greater Boston Legal Services, GLAD, the National Lawyers Guild and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. The center is also taking the lead in planning is the law school’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will include conversations and events aimed at reimagining the nature of public interest law in the 21st century.