Nima is the Assistant Dean of the Center Co-op and Career Development. She advises students in a range of practice areas, with a focus on judicial co-ops and clerkships, civil legal services, and impact litigation. Nima also regularly assists students with networking and works closely with recent alums.
Nima joined Northeastern from Harvard Law School in 2017, where she had been an Attorney Advisor at the Office of Public Interest Advising from 2010-2017. Prior to pursuing her interest in law student career development, Nima spent 12 years practicing law spanning both public interest and private firms, including: as a staff attorney at GLAD, where she was a member of the legal team that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the First Circuit; as a staff attorney and clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Wilmer Hale Legal Services Center, where she represented clients living with HIV/ AIDS and supervised law students; as a litigation associate at Foley Hoag; and as Director of Professional Development at Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge.
She began her legal career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Herbert P. Wilkins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In addition to her J.D. from Northeastern, Nima has a Master’s in Political Science from the University of Washington and her B.A. in Government and African-American Studies from Smith College.
Nima has extensive non-profit board and community leadership experience. In 2019, Nima ended her 3-year term as the Board Chair at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, where she had served as a Director for 10 years. She has previously served in leadership roles on the boards of GLAD, the Smith College Club of Cambridge, and the Boston Women’s Fund.
The Team (listed alphabetically by surname)
Sophie supports the daily operations of the co-op program and assists the advising team with a full schedule of student programming. She received her B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she majored in French. Prior to joining NUSL in 2017, Sophie taught English as a Second Language in France and in Boston, and worked as an International Student Officer at an ESL school in Boston.
Assistant Director, Judicial Clerkship Advising
Lupita is a graduate of NUSL (Class of 2012) and is very excited to join the NUSL staff in guiding and supporting its students as an Assistant Director in the Co-op and Career Development Center, focusing on Judicial Clerkship and Public Interest advising. Prior to this role, Lupita was a solo practitioner mainly practicing juvenile criminal defense and some immigration law for approximately seven years. Her juvenile defense practice consisted of zealously advocating on behalf of indigent youth in Dorchester, Chelsea and Boston Juvenile Courts as a bar advocate for Suffolk Lawyers for Justice. Her immigration law practice mainly consisted of family-based petitions, applications for citizenship and waivers of inadmissibility. Lupita began her legal career as a Law Clerk for the Massachusetts Juvenile Courts, during which time she clerked for 13 judges across Massachusetts. In addition to practicing law, she was a moot court advisor to LALSA students for several years.
Lupita had the following co-ops as a student at NUSL: Citizens for Juvenile Justice; Greater Boston Legal Services, Immigration Unit; Committee for Public Counsel Services, Roxbury Defenders Unit; and the Lowell Juvenile Court. She also represented clients as a student attorney in the Poverty Law and Prisoner’s Rights Clinics.
Caitlin Fitz Gerald
Assistant Director, Research & Operations
Caitlin Fitz Gerald oversees the operations and data management, analysis, and reporting for the co-op program and post graduate employment outcomes for outlets such as the ABA and NALP. Prior to working in the Center for Co-op and Career Development, she worked in Admissions. She has also worked for many years in Boston’s theater industry, and has worked in a number of non profits.
She received her B.A. with a dual major in Studio Art and History from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, her M.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and a M.S. in Urban Informatics from Northeastern University.
Outside of Northeastern, Caitlin is a writer and artist, and volunteers in animal care with the New England Aquarium.
Director, Public Interest & Government
Renay Frankel is the Director for Public Interest and Government. She joined the Co-op office in 2017 after providing career advising to law students as the Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Office of Public Interest Advising. Prior to working in career services, Renay practiced for 8 years in the public sector. She started her legal career as a public defender in Roxbury, MA with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”). She also worked as a housing attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. In 2009, she was the recipient of a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship, which led to the creation of a unique position at the Committee for Public Counsel Services to expand the public defender agency’s holistic defense practice and address clients’ civil legal issues. In this role, she provided training and advice to court-appointed criminal defense attorneys in Massachusetts regarding the civil consequences of criminal cases. She also facilitated collaboration between the public defender agency, civil legal services providers and community partners in order to support public defender clients.
Renay is a 2006 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and received her B.A from Skidmore College. At NUSL, Renay’s co-ops included: New York Civil Liberties Union, San Francisco Public Defender, LevyRatner, P.C. (a union-side labor law firm), and the Youth Advocacy Division of CPCS. She was also a student attorney and teaching assistant in the Northeastern Law School Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. Prior to attending law school, Renay worked at a labor and employment law firm and a labor union in New York City.
Renay focuses on public interest, government, fellowships and judicial co-op/ clerkships.
Assistant Director, LLM & International Student Advising
Claire is the Assistant Director of LLM and International Student Advising. In this role, she advises LLM and international JD students as well as JD students interested in business immigration, international co-ops and judicial clerkships.
Claire has dedicated her legal career to business immigration and employment law issues, representing individual, educational, and business clients. Prior to joining NUSL in 2019, she worked as a managing attorney at a business immigration firm in the greater Boston area, advising individual and corporate clients on the full spectrum of temporary work visas and employment-based permanent residency process. Specifically, she advised and represented international students, foreign athletes, artists and highly skilled professionals through the employment-based visa and immigration process as well as U.S. employers seeking to hire and sponsor foreign national employees.
In addition to her business immigration work, Claire’s experience also includes prior practice in the areas of civil litigation, where she worked as an associate attorney at a firm in Seattle. There, she represented plaintiffs in the areas of civil rights and employment law before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Claire received her B.A. in political science from the University of Washington and her J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law. She is a member of the New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts. She is fluent in spoken and written Korean.
Employer Outreach Specialist
Dorothy has worked at NUSL for many years, starting in the Office of Career Services as an Administrative Assistant. After a year, she moved into the role of Recruitment Coordinator. After the 2013 merger of NUSL’s Co-op and Career Services Offices into CCOPA (Center for Co-op and Professional Advancement), Dorothy became the Program Manager, and for the last few years Dorothy has served as the Employer Outreach Specialist. Dorothy’s time is spent managing the office’s on- and off-campus recruitment programs and events, developing and distributing communications and resources to employers and students, and assisting with special events and program support to our Advisors. Prior to joining NUSL, Dorothy worked as an office manager in small law firm in Boston. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern University and an Associates of Arts degree from North Shore Community College.
Cynthia Tow McPherson
Director, Private Sector
Cynthia is the Director of the Private Sector in the Center for Co-op and Career Development at Northeastern University School of Law. In this role, she leads the Private Sector team in advising students and engaging with a range of private sector employers. A native of Brookline, MA, she graduated cum laude from Boston College with a B.S. in Marketing, and is a 2005 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. During law school, Cynthia benefited from participating in NUSL’s Co-operative Legal Education Program, completing co-ops in Middlesex Juvenile Court and three law firms. Cynthia also was a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. After graduating from NUSL, Cynthia worked at a small general practice law firm, before deciding that higher education was her true calling. Cynthia returned briefly to NUSL before joining the BU Law Career Development Office as the Recruitment and Marketing Manager. At BU Law, Cynthia advised students on recruitment, engaged in extensive employer outreach, and managed the on campus interviewing process.
In her role at NUSL, Cynthia advises students interested in working at law firms and companies for co-op and post-graduate opportunities, including in depth advising around Summer Associate recruitment. Cynthia also advises the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and serves on various committees.
Cynthia’s background includes a history in competitive tennis. As a scholarship athlete at Boston College, she competed at the #1 singles and #1 doubles positions for the Eagles for four years, and served for nearly five years post-graduation as the Assistant Coach for the Boston College Women’s Tennis Team.