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Law students of colour in the courtroom

law students

In any country, minorities face several problems regarding their education, employment, or even medical treatment. Likewise, the United States has witnessed prolonged disparity against black people or other under-represented citizens of the state. The students of colour have faced frequent discriminations in the educational sphere. Above all, their employment rates in job sectors such as law, medicine, etc. are comparatively lower than the white students. However, Northeastern has taken a step forward.


Lisa Brathwaite is a program manager and student relations specialist. Lisa works in the Center for Co-op and Career Development in Northeastern’s School of Law. She noticed the disconnect between the increasing number of black students in Law school and the limited post-graduate judicial clerkships. These clerkships are an essential position for any graduate to gain courtroom experience. This also helps in making valuable connections and starting a law career. In this clerkship, the postgraduate students work as full-time assistants to judges and help them in wide-range administrative assignments. It often includes legal and judicial tasks.


To materialise her thought, Brathwaite decided to bring non-white judges on the campus. Their experiences in this career would help the students to learn about the importance of these clerkships. They might also maintain a connection with the judges to find a clerkship under them. Hence, Brathwaite had organised two all-day conferences until now. First in the year 2018 and then in 2020. She received supportive responses both from the students and the speakers. Such an example is Kaila Clark, who graduated from law school this year and attended the conference in 2018. Raheem L. Mullins, an associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court, hired Clark as a judicial clerk later on. He was the keynote speaker in that event.


NU DREAM, Northeastern’s faculty, and staff of colour affinity group awarded Brathwaite the 2020 Dr Delia Cheung Hom Award for her leadership contributions. Moreover, the Masters of Education at Northeastern enrolled her in their programme. They emphasise their focus on higher-education improvement.


Rubena Bose