Each summer, more than 100 first-year Suffolk Law students work alongside judges in courthouses all over New England through Suffolk Law's First-Year Summer Internship Program (FYSIP).
Applications for first-year day and second-year evening students are available in January; the application deadline is in late January. Students can look for details on Symplicity or contact Margaret Talmers, associate director for judicial clerkships and internships.
One of the driving forces behind the success of the program is the eagerness of area judges to be involved. It helps that Suffolk Law has so many graduates who are active judges—140 in Massachusetts and more than 220 total across the country, as of 2013.
Jessica Gonzalez JD'16 interned for Brookline District Court Judge Mary Dacey White JD'78 during the summer of 2014.
“It's pretty amazing to witness different trials, see the lawyers in action and their different styles. You really learn what you should do in court and what not to do,” Gonzalez says. “Sometimes the cases can be very intense. We see how the judge deals with it, and afterward she talks with us about how she’s going to rule.”
In one case, Gonzalez and her fellow clerks watched closing arguments, then helped write the decision.
“The most exciting part is being part of the court,” she says.
Suffolk Law graduate Sarah Fischer JD '13 interned for Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler JD '76 in U.S. District Court.
“This is something everyone should do their first year,” Fischer says. “You see law, and lawyers, in practice.” She spent time both in the courtroom and conducting research. “The research and writing experience was invaluable,” explains Fischer. (Read more about Suffolk Law students’ experiences as judicial interns.)
Fischer says Judge Bowler was actively involved with mentoring Suffolk interns, taking time to teach and explain things, and really getting to know the interns in her court.
“I heard Judge Bowler address a group of students once, and she told us how Suffolk supported her throughout her career, and that it would support us as well,” Fischer remembers.
Help Support First-Year Judicial Internships
Suffolk's first-year judicial internships are unpaid, which makes it difficult for some students to afford to pay for their studies and participate in the program.
In response, Suffolk created the FYSIP Fund to provide a modest stipend to first-year Suffolk Law judicial interns. To help support a first-year Suffolk Law student in an unpaid judicial internship, donate online, select "Other," and type in "FYSIP Fund."
"This is something everyone should do their first year. You see law, and lawyers, in practice."