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 Menu/Electives 4,5,6,7,8||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 9||0||4|
|Legal Practice Skills||3||2|
|Second-Year||Professional Responsibility 3|
|Base Menu 4|
|Third-Year||Base Menu 4|
These learning outcomes identify the desired knowledge, skills, and values Suffolk University Law School believes its students should master upon their successful graduation.
A. In accordance with ABA Standard 302(A), the successful Suffolk graduate should know and understand substantive and procedural law. Specifically, graduates should:
B. In accordance with ABA Standard 302(B), the successful Suffolk graduate should be able to perform legal analysis and legal research, solve problems, and communicate effectively in the legal context. Specifically, graduates should demonstrate the ability to:
C. In accordance with ABA Standard 302(C), the successful Suffolk graduate should understand and exercise proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system. Specifically, graduates should demonstrate the ability to:
D. In accordance with ABA Standard 302(D), the successful Suffolk graduate should demonstrate other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession. Specifically, graduates should demonstrate the ability to:
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
STUDENTS ENTERING FALL 2015 OR LATER are subject to the Experiential Learning and Professional Development Requirements.
Prior to graduation, every student must satisfactorily complete:
Upon completion of Sections 2 and 3 of this requirement, all students 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 that provides students with substantial lawyering experiences that involve advising or representing actual clients; (2) an externship that includes a field placement that provides students with a substantial lawyering experience that is reasonably similar to that of a lawyer advising or representing clients or engaging in other lawyering tasks, as well as a classroom component; and (3) a simulation course in which students are provided substantial experiences similar to those of lawyers advising or representing clients or engaging in other lawyering tasks in a set of facts and circumstances devised or adopted by faculty.
All experiential education courses (clinics, externships, and simulations) will conform with ABA Standards 303 and 304.
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 Professional Development Requirement Form - Employment Certifications to the Office of Academic Services after they complete 50 hours of paid or volunteer work for a licensed attorney or judge.
ABA Standards 303 and 304 require all students entering law school beginning in fall 2015 to complete six credits of experiential courses in order to graduate.
Experiential courses fall into three categories.
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 Externships||Law Practice Planning|
|Accelerator-to-Practice Program||Lawyering in an Age of Smart Machines|
|Advanced Legal Research - Tax||Mediation|
|Advanced Legal Writing||Mediation Skills Training (Intersession)|
|Alternate Dispute Resolution||Negotiation|
|Appellate Practice||Negotiating Business Transactions Seminar|
|Arbitration of Domestic and International Disputes||Negotiating Business Transactions: A Simulation Course|
|Negotiation and Mediation Issues Seminar|
|Business of Practice: Hit the Ground Running||Patent Litigation Practice|
|Business Planning: Formation and Financing of Start-up Businesses||Patent Prosecution I:Drafting|
|Practice Ready Legal Research|
|Coding Law: Technology Practice||Practice Ready: Personal Injury Litigation|
|Commercial Lending and Finance Practicum||Practice Series: Representing Clients in Fee Shifting Cases|
|Community Lawyering Seminar||Pretrial Civil Litigation|
|Compliance Practice Seminar||Federal Criminal Practice|
|Decision Making and Choice Management||Private Placements|
|Design Thinking (Intersession)||Problem Solving|
|Drafting Intellectual Property Licenses||Process Improvement and Legal Project Management
|Drafting Wills and Trusts||State Criminal Practice|
|E-Discovery Law||Statutory Interpretation|
|Employment Law Practice||Transactional Law and Practice|
|Energy and Natural Resources||Transactional Skills and Contract Drafting|
|Environmental Law Seminar|
|Federal Criminal Practice|
|Federal Indian Law||Trial Advocacy - Intensive|
|Forensics (Intersession)||Twenty First Century Lawyer|
|Housing Discrimination: Law, Theory and Practice||Urban Mechanics: Boston Practicum|
|Human Rights Project|
|Human Rights Survey|
|Intellectual Property Transaction Skills|
|International and Comparative Legal Research|
|International Legal Practice (Internship)|
|International Public Interest Advocacy (Semester in practice)|
|Interviewing and Counseling|
|Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation|
|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
|Comparative Income Tax||Jurisprudence: Law and Adjudication|
|Comparative Law and Culture||Justice, Morality and Film|
|Disability Law||Law and Economics|
|Education Law||Law and Literature|
|Federal Indian Law and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the U.S||Law and Public Policy|
|Human Rights||Laws of War|
|Immigration Law||Military Law|
|International and Comparative Perspectives on Poverty and Human Rights||Public Interest Seminar|
|International Children's Rights||Race, Gender and the Law|
|International Law||Religion and the Law|
|International Intellectual Property||Taxation of Intellectual Property|