From clinics to externships, and more, Suffolk Law graduates hit the ground running equipped with a wealth of experience to bring to the table. Our students are externing in law firms from China to Boston, presenting appeals in court, drafting briefs for district court judges, representing single mothers facing eviction, and externing at banks, nonprofits, government agencies, and more. They are out in the real world getting the best legal education there is—hands-on and practical. All of this occurs before they’ve even graduated.
Externships, 11 in-house clinics, a legal innovation and tech lab, and numerous simulation courses. That’s just in one year. If you’re ready to start applying the law outside the classroom, get started with a clinic or externship today.
Suffolk Law Clinics
The Accelerator Practice is an in-house law practice located within Suffolk Law School and newly created in 2014 as part of the larger Accelerator Program.
The in-house Accelerator practice represents average-income individuals who otherwise lack access to the justice system. Students will develop the legal skills and business practices needed to lead or participate in a solo or small private law firm.
The goal of the FAC is for student attorneys to learn and develop insight into the practice of law, using family and poverty law as the paradigm for this learning. Family law cases include divorce, paternity, custody, visitation, child support, and other family dissolution matters such as abuse prevention cases. Student attorneys are expected to perform all the lawyering tasks necessary to the representation of their client from initial interviews to trial (with ongoing supervision by faculty).
All clinic students handle both guardianship and social security/disability appeal cases – from initial interviews through court hearings. “I want them to have the chance to work from different sides of a question,” says Sarah Boonin, clinic director. “What does it mean to be a family member struggling with the disability of someone you love, and what does it mean to be the person with the disability in need of help.”
The Immigration Clinic seeks to meet the greatest needs for immigrant representation currently present in the local community such as removal defense and asylum intake. Students will represent low income non-citizens facing deportation from the United States with a primary focus on individuals detained by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (“ICE”). Students will also represent youths and other vulnerable populations seeking lawful status.
The clinic provides students with an opportunity to represent a tribal government or indigenous organization and develop transferable lawyering skills such as client interviewing and counseling and document drafting.
Students will work closely with staff and attorneys at the New England Innocence Project (housed at Suffolk University Law School) and with other attorneys handling wrongful conviction matters in the Commonwealth. Students will work under the direct supervision of an Adjunct faculty member. Students will investigate potential cases of wrongful convictions and will report on their investigation findings. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of wrongful convictions and the broader criminal justice system.
This innovative law clinic provides students with the hands-on, practical experience needed to navigate the rapidly evolving fields of intellectual property and entrepreneurship. With direct supervision, IPEC students hone the fundamental skills of counseling, advocacy, transactional practice, applying best practices, and establishing high ethical standards.
Defending children in Boston Juvenile Court -- in bail, pre-trial suppression, and probation hearings, as well as jury and bench trials -- is only one lawyering skill students learn in this clinic. Students may also represent youth in CHINS cases or in proceedings with state agencies. They study and use the rules of procedure and discovery; master the details of evidence, the criminal code, and Constitutional law; and investigate their cases in the depth. And throughout it all, they learn how to develop an ongoing professional relationship with their client and client’s family.
The Suffolk Defenders represent clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies in the Boston Municipal Court. The Defenders provide their clients representation in all phases of the court process, including arraignment, bail hearings, suppression and discovery hearings, pretrial conferences, trials, sentencing and occasionally post conviction hearings.
As student prosecutors, participants learn the multi-faceted role of the District Attorney in the prosecution of criminal cases including handling arraignments and bail/detention hearings, interviewing witnesses, providing discovery, handling pre-trial motions, engaging in plea negotiations, preparing for trial, arguing dispositions and writing legal memoranda. Students are likely to handle evidentiary hearings on Motions to Suppress and may also handle bench or jury trials during the year.
Student-Attorneys will represent low-income individuals and non-profits in matters before appellate courts including the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, depending on case and client needs.