Winter 2016 / Spring 2017
Stephanie Fattman standing outside Sargent Hall

From Classroom to Election Winner

Recent graduate brings tech-savvy approach to old-school court

Staff Writer

Stephanie Fattman JD ’16 was elected register of probate for the Worcester (Massachusetts) Probate and Family Court in 2014. Now she’s using Suffolk Law know-how to rethink the court’s systems.

Fattman, 28, threw her hat into the political ring as a can­didate for the register’s seat as a second-year student. She was elected by the time she entered her third year. According to Go­Local, her win was a “huge upset” over longtime incumbent Ste­phen Abraham.

Fattman’s platform focused on making the family court ex­perience easier for patrons and staff. “It can be overwhelming here,” she says. “Generally when families and individuals use our services, they are dealing with huge personal issues like divorce and child custody matters. When they enter our office, they are then faced with a myriad of forms, legal jargon, and a lack of familiar­ity with how things work.”

She credits Suffolk Law School’s tech institute with teaching her how to combine technology and the practice of law. This knowledge, she says, will go a long way toward mak­ing the Probate Court more user-friendly and efficient.

In one of her Suffolk au­tomation courses, Fattman created an avatar that walks users through the steps neces­sary to complete a complicated children’s court form. “If you hover over a legal term, you see a definition. It isn’t a substitute for legal advice. It just takes the mystery out of navigating the system,” she says, and makes a stressful experience easier for in­dividuals and families.

Photo by Michael J. Clarke

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