Law students help underserved populations while gaining the benefits of practical legal experience through the Law School’s legal clinics and voluntary pro bono program.
Students admitted to the Law School’s civil and criminal clinical programs represent clients under the direct supervision of experienced attorneys and Law School faculty. These programs provide legal representation each year to hundreds of people who couldn’t otherwise afford it and represent the Law School’s long-standing commitment to serving diverse populations within the Boston area.
In addition, members of the Law School community performed more than 8,000 hours of pro bono service during the 2013-14 academic year. By encouraging pro bono service, the Law School aims to ensure that graduating students will enter the legal profession with a sense of responsibility and commitment to others. Incoming law students are challenged to complete at least 50 hours of voluntary legal work before they graduate. Faculty, administrators, and staff who are attorneys also participate in pro bono activities, and Suffolk is one of only a handful of law schools to adopt a formal policy encouraging faculty pro bono service.
The Law School also engages with and serves the community through classroom research activities, webcasts of Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments, and partnerships with community organizations.
Following are a few examples of the Law School’s community engagement activities:
- Housing Discrimination Testing Program–The Law School, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Boston, works to promote fair housing.
- Accelerator-to-Practice Program–This course of study and practice prepares students who want to establish a sustainable law practice serving clients who cannot afford traditional law firm high fees.
- Immigration Clinic–Students represent low income non-citizens facing deportation as well as youths and other vulnerable populations seeking lawful status.
- Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project–Law students learn constitutional law applicable to urban high schools and teach it to Boston-area public high school students.
- SPILG Fellowships–The Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) provides financial support to students in domestic and international summer public service fellowships in the nonprofit and government sectors.