How Suffolk University is responding
to the coronavirus outbreak
Photograph by Michael J. Clarke
Dear Suffolk Law Alumni:
The past year is one we will not soon forget. We have faced a deadly global pandemic, political polarization, a severe economic downturn, and a reckoning on issues of racial and social justice.
Suffolk Law alumni are at the forefront of tackling these kinds of challenges, and this issue of the Alumni Magazine covers just some of their accomplishments. For example, our graduates are addressing flaws in the criminal justice system; they are working within the government, at the federal, state, and local level, to solve a wide range of pressing problems; and they are raising essential concerns about the obstacles that lawyers of color face in our profession.
Suffolk Law faculty and students are also playing their part. For instance, just this year, they have uncovered pervasive discrimination in the Boston housing market, led an international effort to automate court forms for the public while courthouses are closed, and established a new transactional clinic that offers legal assistance to small businesses during difficult economic times.
In these and so many other ways, the Suffolk Law community is making a difference in a changing, challenging world. At the same time, we are carrying out our core mission of providing an outstanding legal education to talented students who want to achieve professional success. Here are some recent notable developments:
Continuing classes in a pandemic.
In March, we temporarily moved our entire program online to respond to the public health crisis. Our faculty and staff then worked hard over the summer to prepare for a fall semester that has included a mix of in-person and online classes that are interactive, engaging, and delivering on our educational promise.
An exceptional group of first-year students.
The fall 2020 entering class was 9% larger than we were expecting, and our 409 first-year students have median LSAT scores (154) and undergraduate GPAs (3.44) that were the strongest of any Suffolk Law class in the past 10 years.
The Law School received three $1 million commitments in one year. These were the three largest commitments ever made by living Suffolk Law alumni, and two were made after the start of the pandemic. We also now have 45 Dean’s Cabinet members, each of whom has committed at least $50,000 to advance the Law School’s work. These contributions are enhancing our programs and ensuring that Suffolk Law remains affordable to everyone regardless of financial circumstances.
Top rankings in experiential education.
Suffolk Law is the only school in the country that has had four top-25 ranked legal skills specialties in U.S. News & World Report for five years in a row (2017–21 editions).
Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The national focus on issues of racial and social justice is reflected in our own community. For several years, the Law School has been making strides to ensure that our community is diverse and inclusive. This year, we began taking additional steps in a wide range of areas, such as admissions, the curriculum, and hiring, to advance that important work.
Transforming legal education.
Suffolk Law has launched a pioneering new Hybrid JD Program (HJD). The program, which had been in the works long before the pandemic, is the first in the country to offer full- and part-time students a traditional in-person first-year classroom experience, followed by the option of taking all remaining classes online.
In this issue of the magazine, you will find more details about these developments as well as stories about the many ways that all of you—Suffolk Law alumni—are making a difference.
Thank you for everything that you do, both through your professional impact and your contributions to Suffolk Law. Together, we are advancing the Law School’s longstanding mission of providing an exceptional, practice-oriented legal education that enables our graduates to make a difference in the world. That mission has never been more important.
The incoming class has the best academic credentials of any in the last ten years.
Governor Baker nominated, and the Governor's Council unanimously approved, Judge Serge Georges, Jr. JD’96 to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Georges is the third Suffolk Law graduate to join the Commonwealth’s seven-member high court in the last four years, joining Elspeth Cypher JD’86 and Frank Gaziano JD’89.
New $1 million dollar commitments in the last year.
The number of Dean’s Cabinet members. Each has committed $50,000 or more to Suffolk Law.
The only law school with 4 top-25 legal skills programs for 5 years in a row, U.S. News & World Report (2017-21 editions).
10 months after graduation, the Class of 2019 had the best employment outcomes of any graduating Suffolk Law class in at least 30 years.