Undergraduate Law / Legal Studies

Gain the knowledge and practical skills needed to begin your service in the legal profession through Suffolk’s undergraduate law program. Located in the heart of downtown Boston, our undergraduate law program teaches students the fundamental principles of our legal system and the various professional opportunities that await them in the legal field. Please note: Only licensed attorneys can practice law or give legal advice.

Through demanding classroom instruction and practical training, you’ll learn to think creatively, reason critically, act ethically, and express yourself persuasively in speech and writing. As a law major, you’ll embrace the professional ethics of service and develop sound judgment and approaches to help you navigate the rapidly-changing legal world.

Given Suffolk’s strong ties to the Massachusetts State House, it’s highly likely you’ll meet with a policymaker there in the course of your studies.

Given Suffolk’s strong ties to the Massachusetts State House, it’s highly likely you’ll meet with a policymaker there in the course of your studies.

As an undergraduate law major, you will:

  • Learn how to research, develop, and write legal briefs
  • Master the latest legal research tools and technologies, utilizing Suffolk Law’s world-class legal library
  • Construct a legal research plan
  • Understand the legal analytic method and engage in legal analysis for court
  • Gain hands-on experience through an elective internship with a local law firm, governmental agency, judge, legislator, or court system

Experience is Everything

Program Options

The Major

Our undergraduate law major is designed for students interested in the legal field, as well as those preparing to apply to law school. The core curriculum mimics the first year of law school, introducing key legal concepts while strengthening your knowledge of legal research and writing.

The major also incorporates all courses needed to start your career in the legal field immediately as a paralegal, now more commonly referred to as a nonlawyer legal professional. Students who graduate with a BA or BS in Law do not need to earn a separate Paralegal Studies Certificate. Employers value an undergraduate law degree as a work credential, and those with demonstrated skill in legal research and writing on their resume are in high demand on the job market. Please note that only licensed attorneys can practice law and give legal advice.

Learning Goals Learning Objectives
Understand legal concepts
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Use critical thinking skills
  • Be effective legal researchers
Understand ethical behavior in the workplace
  • Make ethical decisions in the workplace
  • Appreciate importance of professional ethics and demonstrate understanding of code of ethics which apply to attorneys as well as paralegals
Understand legal analysis and research
  • Effectively use legal research tools, including technology
  • Master new resources, including secondary authority, legislative histories, and administrative materials
  • Understand legal analytic method
Understand legal procedure and the role of the paralegal in the American legal system
  • Analyze rules of precedent in substantive legal areas
  • Apply legal principles to real life cases

  1. Suffolk University accepts Legal Specialty course credits in transfer
  2. Suffolk University will generally only accept course credits in transfer as legal specialty courses from another ABA approved program
  3. Requests to accept transfer credits as legal specialty courses are reviewed on an individual basis by the Program Directors, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and the Registrar:
    1. Transfer credit for Legal Specialty courses is evaluated by the Admissions Office in consultation with the Undergraduate Law Program Directors, who review the course descriptions
    2. A student wishing to transfer credits as a legal specialty course bears the burden of proving the course is a legal specialty course
    3. Where necessary, the Program Directors will review the course description and syllabus from a transfer student’s originating University
  4. The Program does not accept Legal Research and Writing courses as the equivalent of those courses at Suffolk University unless the other institution is ABA approved. Those students may either choose to take the Legal Research & Writing II course at Suffolk and achieve a B or better in that class, or they may choose to take both classes at Suffolk and count their previous course as a LAWU elective
  5. Students seeking to transfer credits taken online from an ABA approved program must notify the Legal Studies Program Directors that the course was taken online. The decision whether to accept credits earned online rests with the Legal Studies Program Directors in consultation with the Registrar and Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Legal specialty credit will not be granted for online courses that were earned in a program that is not ABA approved
  6. Final determination of the acceptance of transfer credit for legal specialty courses taken at other institutions, including ABA approved programs, is made by the Program Directors. Credits for University-level courses taken at other accredited institutions that are not accepted as legal specialty credits may be accepted as general education credits
  7. The following limits are placed on the number of Legal Specialty courses accepted in transfer:
    1. Transfer students from ABA-approved paralegal programs working towards an Associate’s degree must take four Paralegal courses at Suffolk and two of the four courses must be required courses
    2. Transfer students from ABA-approved paralegal programs working toward a bachelor’s degree must take at least four Legal Specialty courses while in residence at Suffolk University
    3. For the Certificate option, students may transfer up to eight hours of Legal Specialty credit from an ABA approved school, which generally translates to two courses of the six courses required to complete the Certificate
  8. The Program does not award transfer credit by examination or portfolio

View the Law Major Curriculum

The Minor

As a law minor, you’ll take five courses. Three are required—Ethics & Legal Practice Skills, Introduction to Law, and U.S. Constitutional Law & Civil Liberties—and the remaining two courses will be electives of your choosing, with the option to draw from a variety of disciplines. Please note that the law minor does not prepare students for a paralegal credential.
View the Law Minor Curriculum

3+3 Bachelor’s/JD Program

A select number of outstanding Suffolk undergraduates may gain early admission to Suffolk University Law School at the end of their junior year. Those selected can earn their bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor degree in six years instead of the customary seven. Please note that this opportunity is open to other College of Arts & Sciences’ majors and no special preference is given to undergraduate law majors.

Learn more about the 3+3 Bachelor’s/JD Program

“I wanted to be around hustle and bustle. I wanted to be near different job opportunities and internship opportunities to prepare for law school. Suffolk gave me the ability to be across the street from a courthouse, different firms, and Suffolk's amazing law program. It [was] a no brainer to choose Suffolk.”

Angela Augustin Class of 2022, Law & Paralegal Studies Major

Beyond the Classroom

Download the video transcript [PDF]

Since 1978, Suffolk University has partnered with The Washington Center to offer students unique and powerful career-building experiences in our nation’s capital.

Go straight to the epicenter of American politics, advocacy, law, media, and more: Washington, D.C. Engage face-to-face with leaders in government, news outlets, embassies, and think tanks, and network with D.C.-area Suffolk alumni. Our students participate in a range of programs, including:

  • Inside Washington Seminar: Participants have met and spoken with leaders like US Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Joe Kennedy; former RNC Chairman Michael Steele; and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • Campaign & Inauguration Seminars during presidential election years
  • National Security Seminar with national security experts
  • Semester- and summer-long internships at advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, law and public relations firms, and government departments such as the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, the House Parliamentarian Office, and the offices of several members of Congress.

Student working at a computer

Go behind the scenes with leading pollster David Paleologos as you learn how to ask the right questions and analyze data that drives the political conversation. Not only will you craft and field a real poll on a topic the class chooses, but you’ll also have the opportunity to contribute questions to national polls conducted by the Center. It’s a unique resume-building experience that’s helped launch alumni directly into careers in the industry.

Established in 2002, the Suffolk University Political Research Center (SUPRC) conducts statewide and national surveys as well as bellwether polls. It examines political races and analyzes voters' opinions on key issues. Suffolk’s presidential polls have predicted outcomes in key battleground states, and its innovative Cityview polls provide valuable insight into major urban areas across the country. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com ranked the SUPRC at the top of its list of “The Most and Least Accurate Pollsters of 2021-22" for its polling of the 2021-22 Senate, House and gubernatorial races.

Students sitting across each other at a table and smiling

Suffolk is consistently ranked among the best colleges for student voting—and your involvement doesn’t have to end there. Suffolk Votes is a non-partisan, university-wide effort to get students registered, educated, and out to vote in local, state, and national elections. Our students organize voter walks to help others find their polling places and staff the polls themselves to keep democracy functioning.

In the fall leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, Suffolk Votes Ambassadors visited more than 50 classrooms, helping to reach over 1,000 students. It’s youth involvement like this, says former Center for Community Engagement director Adam Westbrook, that has helped increase the number of 18-24 year-old registered voters in Massachusetts by 33% from the last midterm election in 2018.

Audience member asking a question at a public forum

When leaders speak, don’t just listen—join the conversation. In partnership with the GBH Forum Network, Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, and The Washington Center, our “open classroom” event series brings leading voices in policy, law, media, academia, and other fields to campus to discuss the most pressing issues we face today.

Panelists have explored Politics in the Time of Global Pandemic, and the challenges facing the Biden administration in its first one hundred days and heading into the 2022 midterm election. The latest series, Our Issues. Our Voices. Our Votes., examined complex topics such as gun violence and the proliferation of misinformation.

Suffolk students ask questions of every panelist—including current and former members of Congress, leaders from organizations such as The Brookings Institution, The ACLU, The NAACP, Atlantic Council, and the Rand Corporation, and journalists from Vox, Politico, ProPublica, The Boston Globe, C-SPAN, The New York Times and The Washington Post—and appeared alongside distinguished experts during a series on youth voter engagement.

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Nursing
Practice Representative
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Police Sergeant
University of Massachusetts Boston
Litigation Paralegal
Brain Injury Rights Group
Finance Coordinator
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Baker Polito Committees
Criminal Legal Assistant
Alex Hanna Law
Business Immigration Analyst
Patent Paralegal
Iandiorio, Teska & Coleman LLP
Head of Marketing
Jami Apparel
Business Development Representative
Writer / Multimedia Producer
Empire Media Group

Questions? Get in touch!

Rachael Cobb

Rachael Cobb

Associate Professor & Department Chair of Political Science & Legal Studies

Email [email protected]

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