- A candidate must have completed at least three years of full-time study in law school or have completed at least four years of part-time study in law school. A student in good academic standing may, in extraordinary circumstances and with the permission of the Dean of Students Office, complete an upper-class year of study at another ABA-accredited law school (See policy on Visiting Out, Study Abroad, and Electives at Non-Suffolk Programs.)
- A student admitted with advanced standing based on coursework completed at another ABA-accredited law school must complete at least two years (four semesters) of study at Suffolk University Law School in order to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University. In exceptional circumstances, this requirement may be reduced at the discretion of an associate dean.
- A candidate’s complete law school record must (i) show a cumulative weighted average of at least 2.00; and (ii) show unsatisfactory grades outstanding in no more than three courses.
A student in good academic standing may convert an unsatisfactory grade into a satisfactory grade for purposes of this Regulation I (A) (3) by means of the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G).
- The ABA, as a national accrediting authority for law schools, has established in ABA Standard 304(b) that a law school shall require, as a condition for graduation, successful completion of a course of study in residence of not fewer than 58,000 minutes of instruction time, and that at least 45,000 of these minutes shall be by attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school. Suffolk University Law School adheres to this standard for all of its Day and Evening Division students.
- Any student who with a GPA of 2.67 to below 3.00 in the first year must take Advanced Survey of Core Legal Principles in the student’s final semester. This provision will go into effect during the 2014-2015 academic year. [Approved by law faculty on 11/14/13]
- Prior to graduation, every student must satisfactorily complete:
- six credits of upper-level skills courses,
- two continuing legal education seminars, and
- a minimum of 50 hours of practice-based learning in any of the following ways: (i) a clinic; (ii) internship for credit; (iii) First Year Summer Internship Program placement; (iv) 50 hours of legal work completed through the Pro Bono Program; or (v) 50 hours of legal work completed under the supervision of an attorney.
Students completing Sections b and c(v) of this requirement must submit certification of completion to the Academic Services Office.
Part-time students in the Evening Division are exempt from section c of the requirement, but are encouraged to complete it.
[Rule I.A.6. approved by law faculty on 2/13/14 and will apply to students entering the law school in the fall 2015 semester and later.]
- All students are required to take a Diagnostic Exam and Review Lecture covering bar-related subjects that were taught during their first year of studies (or first two years for evening students). Students may take the exam after their first or second -year in the Day Division and after the second or third year in the Evening Division. The grade on the exam does not appear on the student’s transcript nor is it calculated into the student’s GPA. However, the completion of the Diagnostic Exam, including the 100 multiple choice question exam and Review Lecture, is a graduation requirement and is included as part of a student’s degree audit. The Diagnostic Exam and Review Lecture are offered two times each year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Each scheduled date will offer both a day and evening sitting.
[Approved by law faculty on 4/17/14]
- Degrees are awarded by the Trustees of Suffolk University on the recommendation of the faculty. Recommendation may be withheld by the faculty for good cause other than failure to meet the foregoing requirements.
Evening Division—Specific Requirements
- 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 Evening Division requires eight semesters of class work. A total of 84 semester hours is required in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree. For purposes of this Regulation I (C), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect.
- In addition to the degree requirements of credit hours established by Suffolk University Law School, the Law School also adheres to the ABA requirement that a semester must consist of at least 70 days of classes and examinations.
Day Division—Specific Requirements
The Day Division course of study consists of three academic years (6 semesters) of full-time study. Day Division students must devote a substantial amount of time to the study of law. Accordingly, first-year students in the Day Division are expected to treat the study of law as their sole occupation during the academic year. Upper-class students in the Day Division are strongly encouraged to limit employment and volunteer work to no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Additional limitations on outside commitments, including employment, may be set for students subject to action under Rule II.C. (Academic Standing Requirements).
- 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 in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree. For purposes of this Regulation I (B), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect.
- In addition to the degree requirements of credit hours established by Suffolk University Law School, the ABA requires that a semester must consist of at least 70 days of classes and examinations.
Policy for the Awarding of a Suffolk University Posthumous Degree
Approval Process for Posthumous Degree
Requests for posthumous degrees should be initiated by the leadership of the student’s academic program, and take the form of a petition including all relevant information identified below. If the petition is supported by the Dean, the Dean will forward it to the Provost for review. Petitions approved by the Provost and President will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The positive decision of the Board of Trustees to award a posthumous degree will be forwarded to the Dean of Students of the relevant school, who will communicate with the former student’s family. The Student Affairs Office (or the Office of Academic Services in the case of the Law School) will be responsible for requesting and framing the diploma. Requests must be made within two calendar years of the student’s death.
Each case will be considered on its own merits. However, some general guidelines apply:
- The student must have been enrolled in a degree program and in Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing as defined by the school or college for which the student was enrolled at the time of death.
- The student must have completed at least 75% of the credits required for graduation.
- For graduate degrees requiring a research product, the student must have completed all course and other requirements pursuant to the degree and must have been near completion of the dissertation/thesis; the student’s committee must have determined the scholarship to be substantial work and worthy of the degree.
- For graduate degrees requiring a creative product, the student must have completed all course and other requirements pursuant to the degree and must have been near completion of the creative product; the student’s committee must have determined the product to be substantial work and worthy of the degree.