Sarah Boonin

Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, Director of Clinical Programs, Clinical Professor of Law

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Sarah Boonin serves as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and the Director of Clinical Programs, overseeing Suffolk’s nationally ranked Clinical Programs and Externships, top-ranked Legal Practice Skills (LPS) Program, trial advocacy programs, and other specialized experiential programs. Associate Dean Boonin teaches in the areas of mental health and disability law, legal ethics, and reproductive justice. She designed and teaches Suffolk's Health Law Clinic. The Clinic provides students with an opportunity to hone their legal skills under close supervision through live client practice. Students represent caregivers in exploring alternatives to adult guardianships, such as Supported Decision-Making agreements, and in pursuing limited guardianships, as necessary. Students also represent clients in a range of other health-law matters, including public and private health insurance appeals, medical debt cases, and in Social Security disability cases. Associate Dean Boonin has taught a course on international disability rights as part of Suffolk Law’s study abroad and exchange program with the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland.

Prior to joining Suffolk's faculty, Associate Dean Boonin spent five years teaching and practicing in a family and domestic violence clinic at Harvard Law School. There, she launched and ran a medical-legal collaboration with Boston area hospitals aimed at providing comprehensive legal services to low-income survivors of domestic violence. Associate Dean Boonin received a prestigious two-year Skadden Fellowship to launch the program. That program remains one of the longest-standing and most successful medical-legal partnerships in Massachusetts. Immediately prior to joining Harvard Harvard’s clinical program, Associate Dean Boonin served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Justice Judith A. Cowin of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Prior to law school, she worked for four years for a national women's rights organization on issues of reproductive health and rights.

Associate Dean Boonin has received recognition for her teaching and lawyering and is an active member of the legal community. She serves as an expert on adult guardianship law and its alternatives, including by serving on the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Guardianship Association (she served as Vice President and Board Member for several years), the Advisory Council of the Sexual Assault Response Unit of the Commonwealth's Disabled Person's Protection Commission, and as a member of the Guardianship Alternatives and Initiatives Network of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. She formerly served on the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute and on the Administrative Justice Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court's Access to Justice Commission. Associate Dean Boonin regularly presents on topics of disability rights, adult guardianship law and its alternatives, and legal ethics at conferences, to non-profit and governmental organizations, and to community groups.


  • BA, Duke University
  • JD, Harvard University

Selected Publications


Book Chapters

  • Marriage is Marriage, republished in 50 YEARS OF MS. MAGAZINE (Knopf Publishing, 2021).
  • Ten Years Too Long - How Social Security’s Marriage Duration Requirement Gambles with Women’s Lives, re-printed as Chapter 14 in Women and the Law (Thomson Reuters 2018). 


Honors and Awards

  • Best Zoom Professor, Suffolk Law School Student Body Award, May 2021
  • Meg Connolly MVP Award from Senior Partners for Justice and the Volunteer Lawyers Project in November 2016
  • Champion for Social Change Award by the Suffolk Law School Student Bar Association in 2016
  • Health Law Attorney of the Month by Health Law Advocates in April 2015
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's Up and Coming Lawyer in 2010

Bar Admittance

  • Massachusetts
Director of Clinical Programs and Clinical Professor of Law

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Courses Taught

  • Health Law Clinic
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Mental Health and Disability Law in a Comparative Context (Galway, Ireland)

Professional Links

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