The man was 21 and schizophrenic. In the eyes of the law, he was responsible for himself. In the eyes of his mother, he wasn’t safe. She came to Suffolk for help.

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.”

Students need to be free Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings (court dates). Besides at least 12 hours a week in clinic work, students attend a full-day training the week before classes begin. Also required: a weekly seminar and supervision meeting, and weekly journal entries on the clinic experience. “We want students to plan, execute, and then reflect on what they would – and wouldn’t -- do again,” says Boonin. “We call it reflective lawyering.”

  • Full-year clinic
  • 10 credits (5 credits/semester; letter grade at the end of academic year)
  • Contact:  Prof. Sarah Boonin,