The curriculum is designed to provide each law student with the basic knowledge essential for a successful practitioner while also providing opportunities for individual concentration in specialized areas of the law.
The Day Division of Suffolk University Law School comprises approximately 1,000 students. Day Program students are able to substantially devote all their time to the study of law. This program requires the traditional three years (six semesters) to complete.
The Evening Division is designed for students who want to pursue a legal education on a part-time basis. It can be completed in four years (eight semesters) of part-time study. Evening Division students are awarded the same degree as that earned by Day Division students. First year Evening Division students usually attend classes three evenings a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, beginning at 6:00 pm.
Day and Evening Division applicants are only accepted into the regular degree-seeking program. Applicants may not audit courses or apply for a conditional acceptance. A total of 84 semester hours is required to earn the JD degree.
As a candidate for admission you must choose to apply to either the Day or the Evening Division. Students who have completed the first academic year in the Law School, and who are in good academic standing, are eligible to transfer internally to either the Day or the Evening division.
The study of law requires an ability to analyze and organize complicated fact situations. The law faculty assist students in learning how to approach a complicated fact pattern either through the study of adjudicated cases or the use of carefully constructed problems. Students are challenged by the questions and comments of the professor and their fellow students as they work with cases or problems. From time to time the professor may clarify or lecture on some points of fact or law, but the ultimate responsibility for developing the skills of legal analysis rests on the student.
It is the student’s role to prepare the course assignments carefully, to utilize the resources available in the law libraries, to attend class and be prepared to actively discuss the assigned materials. In class, students must analyze the presentation of their classmates, compare the work of others to their own, and be prepared to respond intelligently to the questions asked by the professor. Thus, students’ roles are active ones, and the value of their legal education will depend in large measure on the enthusiasm, dedication and responsibility with which they approach their work.
EVENING DIVISION REQUIREMENTS
Students who cannot devote a substantial portion of time to the study of law may apply for enrollment in the Evening Division and complete the work for the Juris Doctor degree in four years (eight semesters).
Semester Hour Requirements
The academic year consists of two semesters: the first, or fall, semester commencing in August, and the second, or spring, semester commencing in January. The Evening Division requires eight semesters of class work. A total of 84 semester hours is required to receive the Juris Doctor degree.
Classes in the Evening Division are usually conducted on weeknights between 6 and 10 pm.
Evening Division Requirements
|Civil Procedure 1||2||2|
|Legal Practice Skills||3||2|
|Professional Responsiblity 3|
|Base Menu4/Electives 5,6,7||4-7||5-8|
|Third-Year||Base Menu 4|
|Fourth-Year||Base Menu 4|
DAY DIVISION REQUIREMENTS
The Day Division course of study consists of three academic years of full-time study. Under the regulations of the Law School, Standards of the American Bar Association, and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, only those students who can devote substantially all of their working time to the study of law are eligible to enroll in the full-time Day Division and to complete their law study in three years.
Semester Hour Requirements
The academic year consists of two semesters: the first, or fall, semester commencing in September, and the second, or spring, semester commencing in January. The Day Division requires six semesters of class work. A total of 84 semester hours is required to receive the Juris Doctor degree.
Day Division Requirements
|Constitutional Law 8||0||4|
|Legal Practice Skills||3||2|
|Second-Year||Professional Responsibility 3|
|Base Menu 4|
|Third-Year||Base Menu 4|
For more information on general requirements, please see Rules & Regulations.
After the first year of study, the curriculum consists of a Base Menu and Advanced Electives. The Base Menu reflects the faculty’s belief that although students may begin their professional lives in very varied settings, there are fundamentals to the law as a whole that cannot be ignored.
Students are required to take one course within three out of the five following subject categories:
Business Associations & Agency
Basic Income Tax
All students must enroll in 3 out of 5 of the Base Menu Subject Areas
Any one or any number of these courses will satisfy the Base Menu Requirement for that subject only.
Guidelines for Completion
Prior to graduation, every student must satisfactorily complete:
Students completing Sections 2 and 3 of this requirement must submit certification of completion to the Office of Academic Services.
Part-time students in the Evening Division are exempt from section 3 of the requirement, but are encouraged to complete it.
Guidelines for completing Section 1:
Experiential opportunities are essential in preparing to be ready to work with real clients solving real legal problems. Toward that end, students are required to complete six (6) credits of experiential courses in order to graduate. Experiential courses fall into three categories: (1) a law clinic; (2) an internship that includes a field placement and a classroom component; and (3) a simulation course in which the student has the experience of a lawyer in advising or representing a client by performing lawyering tasks in which they are reviewed and receive feedback from a faculty member, and have the opportunity for self-evaluation. A list of simulation courses that meet this requirement are listed in the Experiential Learning tab.
Guidelines for completing Section 2:
It is important for law students to develop an appreciation for the importance of continuing legal education (CLE) and become active members of the legal community. To promote law student professional development, the Law School requires every student to attend two continuing legal education seminars prior to graduation. Students are encouraged to attend member free programming delivered through the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations identified as “Suffolk PDR,” but may attend any program offered through other CLE providers that meet these guidelines. In order for a CLE seminar to qualify as satisfying Section 2, the program must: (1) have a minimum duration of 75 minutes; (2) provide professional education for licensed lawyers related to substantive law, practice and procedure, lawyer ethics and the rules of professional conduct, practical experiences in legal practice, and/or current cutting-edge issues related to legal practice and the delivery of legal service; and 3) be delivered live and attended in person. Students must register for each CLE program prior to attending and are responsible for obtaining a certificate of completion and submitting it to the Office of Academic Services. CLE qualification questions should be addressed to your PCD counselor or the Associate Dean for Professional & Career Development.
Guidelines for completing Section 3:
Practical work experience is an essential part of legal training. Students may satisfy the practice-based learning requirement by completing a minimum of 50 hours of legal work under the supervision of an attorney through part-time or summer employment, the Law School’s Pro Bono Program, and/or a First Year Summer Internship Program- Judicial placement. All Day Division students must submit one or more completed Experiential Learning & Professional Development Requirement Employment Certifications to the Office of Academic Services after they complete 50 hours of paid or volunteer work for a licensed attorney or judge.
New ABA Rules (Standards 303 and 304) require that all students entering law school in or after fall 2015 must take six credits of experiential courses in order to graduate.
What are experiential courses?
Experiential courses fall into three categories.
How can I meet these requirements?
Law Clinics: All year long SULS Law Clinics fulfill the experiential course requirements and provide at least six credits. One semester clinics qualify as experiential but do not fulfill the entire six credits required.
Internships: Most internships under the Legal Process and Practice internship program meet the experiential course requirements but may not fulfill the total of six credits. However, a qualifying internship that is fewer than six credits will qualify as partial fulfillment of the six credit requirement.
Simulation Courses: The following courses meet the definition of simulation courses as required by the ABA. This list is not all inclusive, additional courses will be added as appropriate.
Can credits earned for trial team, moot court and other simulation based competitions qualify as a simulation course or count towards the required experiential credits?
No, unless these activities are part of or accompanied by a required classroom component.
Does Pro Bono or other work experience count?
No, only activities that are credit bearing count.
Can one course satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement and experiential credits?
No, one course cannot satisfy both the upper level writing requirement and the experiential learning requirement.
Prior to graduation, each student is required to take one course from the Skills Menu. The purpose of the Skills requirement is to assist students in developing skills required to successfully perform lawyering tasks, such as problem solving, legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, factual investigation, communication, counseling, negotiation, litigation and alternative dispute resolution procedures, organization and management of legal work, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas in practice.
The requirement is for students who entered prior to Fall 2015. Fall 2015 entrants only should follow the Experiential Learning requirements.
|All Clinics and Legal Internships||Law Practice Planning|
|Accelerator-to-Practice Program||Lawyering in an Age of Smart Machines|
|Advanced Legal Research||Mediation|
|Advanced Legal Research - Tax||Negotiation|
|Advanced Legal Writing||Negotiating Business Transactions: A Simulation Course|
|Alternate Dispute Resolution||Negotiation and Mediation Issues Seminar|
|Appellate Practice||Patent Litigation Seminar|
|Arbitration of Domestic and International Disputes||Patent Prosecution I:Drafting|
|Business of Practice: Hit the Ground Running||Patent Prosecution II: PTO Practice|
|Business Planning: Formation and Financing of Start-up Businesses||Practice Ready Legal Research|
|Climate Change Law Policy and Legislation||Practice Ready: Personal Injury Litigation|
|Commercial Lending and Finance Practicum||Practice Series: Representing Clients in Fee Shifting Cases|
|Compliance Practice Seminar||Pretrial Civil Litigation|
|Decision Making and Choice Management||Pretrial Federal Criminal Practice|
|Drafting Intellectual Property Licenses||Private Placements|
|Drafting Wills and Trusts||Problem Solving|
|E-Discovery Law||Process Improvement and Legal Project Management|
|Employment Law Practice||Technology, Energy and the Environment|
|Environmental Law||Transactional Law and Practice|
|Intensive Research and Writing||Transactional Skills and Contract Drafting|
|International and Comparative Legal Research||Trial Advocacy|
|Interviewing and Counseling||Trial Advocacy - Criminal|
|Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation||Trial Advocacy - Intensive|
|Labor and Employment Arbitration|
All students should take at least one of the Perspectives courses listed below before graduation. The purpose of the recommendation is to help students develop an analytical perspective on our legal system, by viewing it through the lens of another discipline, probing the foundations, values or assumptions underlying our legal institutions, or studying alternatives to our own doctrinal approach to legal problem
|American Legal History||Jurisprudence: Law and Adjudication
||Justice, Morality and Film|
|Comparative Legal Culture||Law and Economics|
|Federal Indian Law and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the U.S||Law and Public Policy|
|Human Rights||Law and Religion|
|International and Comparative Perspectives on Poverty and Human Rights||Military Law|
|International Children's Rights||Public Interest Workshop|
|International Law and Sustainable Development||Race, Gender and the Law|
|International Human Rights||Sexual Orientation in the Law: Regulation and Recognition|