National Honors for Civic-Minded Student

Sam Faisal named 2020 Law Student of the Year finalist

Sam Faisa
Photograph by Michael J. Clarke

Sam Faisal JD’20 was named a finalist for the National Jurist 2020 Law Student of the Year. The honor is given to just 10 students across the country.

“Sam has this great quality of being gentle, at ease, and warm yet tenacious,” Professor Ragini Shah, director of the Immigration Clinic, told National Jurist. “Whether he’s helping clients in the immigrant community, teaching high school kids through our Marshall Brennan Program, or advocating for fellow students, he brings that warmth and determination to bear—and good things happen.”

During his 1L summer, Faisal volunteered in Boston Municipal Court, working with indigent clients and attempting to get their cases dismissed. He went nine for 12 on the dismissals, National Jurist reported.

Faisal served as a mentor in the Law School’s Marshall Brennan Program, commuting a few times a week to instruct a public high school class in constitutional law. One of his students went on to win the preeminent high school moot court—with federal judges deciding the final round.

In the last five years, Suffolk Law has made the Student of the Year shortlist four times. Last year, National Jurist honored Justin Rhuda JD’19, noting that he helped stop the eviction of a former U.S. Army prisoner of war and his family, who were facing homelessness. Rhuda was a U.S. Marine Corps captain from 2010 to 2015, stationed for two years in the Persian Gulf.

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