To Concentrate -- or Not
To specialize or not? It’s always a question, no matter the profession. And then, of course, specialize in what? Students may choose a concentration in their second year. The choices: civil litigation, intellectual property, business and financial services, health and biomedical, international, or labor and employment.
Suffolk was ahead of the pack in developing concentrations, initiating its first in the late 1990s (intellectual property), and adding its sixth (labor and employment law) in 2011. It also launched the first health and biomedical law concentration in Massachusetts.
Not a Requirement, But…
It’s not required to have a concentration. In fact, a student may have enough credits and a high enough grade average for a concentration and still not declare. But if they do meet the requirements they will receive an extra certificate when they graduate.
What are the advantages? Possibly none except the discipline (and pleasure) of pursuing something in-depth. In a job interview that can bear witness to drive and dedication.
Then again, if a student is clear what he or she wants to do with a law degree (besides find interesting work, earn a living, and get out of debt), there are other advantages in pursuing a concentration, including:
- securing an organized academic background in one area of law,
- gaining insight into the scope of that specialty,
- coordinating internships or clinic work with courses, and
- sharpening legal skills through a focus on one field of law.
Concentration or Area of Focus?
If Concentrations do not quite fit a student's needs, we highly recommend they review Suffolk Law's Areas of Focus, which students can declare to lay out long-term career goals.