Suffolk University Law School
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
With four top 35 legal skills programs (U.S. News & World Report) and the #1 ranking in legal tech (preLaw Magazine), Suffolk Law prepares graduates for the real world. From our #4-ranked legal writing program to our nationally renowned trial teams, Suffolk is a leader in training lawyers for the 21st century.
Suffolk Law is the only law school in the nation to be ranked in the top 35 by U.S. News & World Report in all four experiential skills areas for six years running (2017-2022). The school's 2022 rankings are: legal writing (#4), clinics (#15), trial advocacy (#24), and dispute resolution (#32). In addition, U.S. News ranked Suffolk Law’s Part-Time JD Program #29.
The JD Program
For more than 100 years, Suffolk Law has produced some of the nation’s most distinguished legal professionals. With an emphasis on real world practice and experiential learning, Suffolk Law is an incredible place to start, build, and launch a successful career and life in the law.
Suffolk University Law School values an inclusive community and supports diversity among our students, faculty, and staff. We believe that our community is enriched by people of different backgrounds and cultures, and we are committed to building a culture of cooperation among diverse groups.
12 In-House Legal Clinics
Suffolk Law’s clinics are ranked 14th in the nation by US News & World Report's 2021 Best Law Schools. The clinical programs have been ranked in the Top 25 for 12 of the past 13 years.
As part of Suffolk's robust experiential learning offerings, the in-house clinics provide students the opportunity to learn best practices in all aspects of client representation under the close supervision of our nationally ranked clinical law faculty. From representing young people facing juvenile delinquency hearings from school to helping microenterprises fight “corporate bullying,” students in the clinics help solve real world problems for clients who would otherwise go unrepresented.
Each of the in-house clinics trains students to be practice-ready by teaching key legal skills in the context of a real world client/problem; asking students to consistently reflect on their performance; and documenting improvements in skills over time. This reflective process allows students to move from learning the law to doing the law and doing it well. By the end of the year, students in every clinic have interviewed and counseled clients, engaged in strategic decision making and advocated for their clients’ interests. It’s what makes clinic alumni consistently say that their clinic was the best experience they had in law school.
Semester in Practice
Students in their final year may extern full-time in either the fall or spring semester. Government, judicial and non-profit placements in Boston or Washington, D.C. The Semester in Practice program is a highly-selective, full-time externship program. Students selected for the program will participate in a full-time externship during one semester of their final year at the law school.
International Legal Externships
Experience the field of international legal practice through one of Suffolk's five dynamic and complementary programs--engaging in public interest and/or private sector practice with prominent organizations. Each of the programs provides students with compelling opportunities to extern internationally in conjunction with specialized academic coursework designed to bridge the divide between theory and practice.
Galway, Ireland Study Abroad and Externship
This externship program is specifically for Suffolk University Law students participating in Suffolk’s summer study abroad program at the National University of Ireland at Galway seeking to pursue an externship in Ireland for a period of 6-8 weeks following the study abroad program. Accordingly, students must apply (i) to the Galway study abroad program, in addition (ii) to this “plus” externship program.
The externship placements will be predominantly in the public interest arena, including non-profits and government-related organizations. To the extent possible, our Galway affiliates will place students in organizations in Ireland corresponding with the students’ respective practice areas of interests noted on the application. Students work full-time under the supervision of an attorney in the placement organization.
Civil and Judicial Externships (For Credit)
The for-credit Civil and Judicial Externship Program is Suffolk Law's largest extern program, enrolling about 75 students each year.
Day students are eligible beginning in the summer after First Year. Evening students are eligible after three semesters.
Students must take the two-credit Legal Process and Practice course concurrent with the externship or, in some cases, be supervised individually by a full-time faculty member. All legal work is performed under the supervision of a lawyer. Students find and apply independently for a one-semester externship.
Opportunities exist in courts, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private law firms or corporations.
- One semester (available beginning summer after first year for day students, after three semesters for evening students)
- 2-5 credits (depending on total hours worked)
Accelerator to Practice Small Firm Prep Program
The Accelerator-to-Practice Program is the first of its kind comprehensive three-year course of study and practice designed to prepare graduates to join or start sustainable law practices serving average-income individuals and families. To create practice-ready graduates, the program includes the creation of a law practice within the Law School (the Accelerator Practice) to train students to be competent lawyers within three years.
Legal Innovation & Tech Lab
The Legal Innovation and Technology (LIT) Lab is an experiential program combining the vision of our Legal Innovation and Technology Institute with the pedagogy and legal services mission of our Clinical Programs. The Lab allows students to work as part of a consultancy and research & development (R&D) shop focused on legal tech and data science work. Active areas of research involve, but are not limited to, the construction of expert systems/guided interviews (e.g., chatbots) and algorithmic codification of tacit knowledge (i.e., training computers to replicate human decisions). See examples.
Lab students develop legal technology and data science solutions for organizational clients (e.g., legal aid organizations, courts, firms, and non-profits), helping them improve efficiency and effectiveness. These services are provided to organizational clients, who frequently do not have in-house expertise in automating tools, engaging in process improvement, and data analytics.
Tuition and Aid
All applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships.
In addition, Suffolk Law offers specific scholarships to students who are (1) graduates of historically Black colleges and universities, or (2) the first student in their family to graduate from college. You can learn about these scholarships online at https://www.suffolk.edu/law/about/diversity-inclusion
Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers
Suffolk University Law School strives to provide a legal education which ensures that its graduates are capable of functioning as competent and ethical practitioners who work professionally with clients, judges, attorneys, and others in the legal community. Candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor must possess certain minimum cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to participate fully in and satisfy the requirements of the Juris Doctor program of study, with or without reasonable accommodation.
The technical standards, set forth below, outline the essential abilities and characteristics required for the completion of the J.D. degree. For purposes of this document, the term “candidate” means candidates for admission to the law school as well as enrolled law students who are candidates for graduation. While these standards delineate the necessary abilities of all candidates, they are not intended to deter or exclude candidates for whom reasonable accommodations for a disability will allow successful participation in and completion of the program.
Time Performance Skills
A candidate must be able to meet deadlines, keep scheduled appointments, and manage his/her time to satisfactorily complete all assignments and administrative tasks within the allotted timeframe. A candidate must be able to adhere to the law school’s attendance policy and punctually attend classes prepared and ready to participate.
A candidate must be able to communicate civilly and professionally with others in a candid and respectful manner by all forms of communication, including through electronic means and social media. A candidate must be able to receive constructive feedback in a mature manner. A candidate must be able to understand and respond to oral and written directions and feedback, and must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms.
A candidate must be able to participate, be called upon, and answer questions in a classroom or other instructional setting. A candidate must be able to communicate with members of the law school faculty and administration without the assistance and intervention of third parties. Communication skills include public speaking, oral communication, reading, and writing, including by means of computer.
A candidate must be able to follow directions, make reasonable inferences, and organize and synthesize information. A candidate must be able to organize ideas to communicate either in writing or orally, and must be able to organize large amounts of information.
A candidate must possess the good judgment, honesty, integrity, and interpersonal skills required to work under stressful conditions and to work well with others. A candidate must be able to tolerate and manage competing demands and workloads as mentally and emotionally taxing as are routinely found in the legal profession. A candidate must be able to adapt to changing circumstances, monitor one’s own behavior, conduct oneself in a civil manner, and adhere to all other norms of professional conduct.
Intellectual-Conceptual and Integrative Skills
A candidate must have the ability to set goals, formulate a plan to accomplish those goals, and implement the plan over time. A candidate must be able to understand, synthesize and apply complex information, and must have the ability to integrate and process information promptly and accurately.