How Suffolk University is responding
to the coronavirus outbreak
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Suffolk’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP) a three-year grant totaling more than $1 million to continue its nationally recognized work. In addition to training the next generation of civil rights attorneys, the HDTP has uncovered widespread discrimination against tenants in the Boston area on the basis of race, the use of housing vouchers, and other protected categories. Since 2012, the program has received $4.2 million in grant funding to support its work.
In response to the pandemic, Suffolk’s Legal Innovation & Technology Lab created mobile-friendly guided interviews that walk litigants through court forms without the need for physical contact; think Turbo Tax, but for legal issues like a restraining order. With support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lab is building tools that last beyond the pandemic, to bring data from those court forms directly into a court’s case management system. That means court employees will not need to fill in case data by hand, speeding up court response times and simplifying processes for pro se litigants. Most importantly, it offers the potential to revolutionize data collection and analysis in trial courts throughout the country.