Career Highlights

  • Elected to represent 19th Suffolk District (Winthrop, Revere) in Mass. House of Representatives, 1990-present
  • House Speaker, 2009-present
  • Chair, House Ways and Means, 2005-2009

Robert A. DeLeo, JD '76, HLLD '09

Speaker, Massachusetts House of Representatives

As the eldest of seven children and grandchild to immigrants, Daniel Conley was attracted to Suffolk Law School by the vision of its founder, Gleason Archer.

Robert DeLeo has a simple tip for lawyers hoping to get ahead in the caustic world of government and politics: show good manners."It may sound trite but it cannot be said enough: Be prepared, be polite and be professional in all of your actions," he says. "It's all about how you treat people." It would be hard to dispute that formula. Speaker DeLeo began his career in 1977 as a fresh-out-of-law-school town meeting member in seaside Winthrop, Mass., and rose steadily to the lofty post of state House Speaker in 2009.     

As Speaker, DeLeo has championed job creation, health care and transportation, among other issues, saying those goals must be "woven together into a tapestry of success." His time at Suffolk, he adds, gave him the foundation he needed to see the big picture. "Suffolk prepared me incredibly well as an attorney, as a state representative and now as Speaker by honing in on critical thinking skills and combining that teaching with practical solutions." DeLeo worked by day as an assistant register of probate in a Boston courthouse and attended Suffolk by night, gaining invaluable hands-on experience. "My professors were enthusiastic and skilled at helping me apply my work to the material we were learning in class," he says. "It's amazing how directly my education and my teachers have affected my work as a legislator."

Speaker DeLeo is impressed by the Law School's growth and takes pleasure in seeing Suffolk Law students and graduates visit the State House, which is just a few blocks from the school. "As Speaker I feel that I'm uniquely positioned to comment on the immense contributions that Suffolk Law makes to our state," he says. "It absolutely instills a sense of pride."