“People always told me I should be a lawyer,” says Angela Cavanaugh, JD ‘16. But an unexpected pregnancy in 2010 temporarily derailed that dream. “The idea of law school kept creeping back in,” she says. “I would shut it down—you don’t hear about single moms going to law school! But on the other hand, I thought, I still have so much life left to live. Do I want to be complacent, or do I want to show my daughter you can be anything you want?”

Over the course of her final year at Suffolk Law, Cavanaugh spent Mondays and Wednesdays in court as part of the Suffolk Prosecutors Program.

“I thought, going into school, that it was all about the argument,” Cavanaugh says. But, she realized, “Being a prosecutor is also about compassion, communication, and doing the right thing.”

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Suffolk Law student Cherina Clark, JD 17, was recently honored as a “Law Student of the Year” by National Jurist magazine. As one of just 25 students in the country selected for the honor, the magazine highlighted examples of Clark's service, including her work mentoring first-generation law students, training urban high school students, and crafting legislation to help people 700 miles away in Flint, Mich.

Clark began her service as president of Suffolk Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) in 2015. Throughout law school, the publication notes, Clark trained Boston Public Schools teens on Miranda rights, Fourth Amendment/search and seizure, and how to interact with police as a student teacher in the Marshall Brennan program. Clark also worked with the national office of the BLSA on draft legislation submitted to the state of Michigan to address the Flint water crisis.

“There is nothing like being able to use the tools I have learned while in law school to effectuate change and advocate for those who cannot or do not know how to do so,” Clark said. “BLSA’s contribution to the Flint water crisis was certainly one of those moments where I was able to be a voice for my community.”

In 2014, Clark received the Governor’s Citation Award from then-Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick for her work with the NAACP on amicus briefs for civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.