In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.S.C.J. (Juris Doctor/Master of Criminal Justice), J.D./M.S.F. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in finance), and J.D./M.S.I.E. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in international economics).
Students must take 18 to 22 credits in their area of concentration. The Law School offers concentrations in health and biomedical law, business law, and financial services. In addition, clinic programs include the Suffolk Defenders, Suffolk Prosecutors, and Battered Women’s Clinic. Seminars are available in such areas as advanced evidence, family law practice, and jurisprudence. The Civil and Judicial Internship Program allows students to gain 2 to 5 credits per semester for supervised legal work performed for government or nonprofit agencies, private law firms and companies, and state and federal courts. More than 500 internships are offered. Students may intern abroad as well. Many students act as research assistants for individual faculty members. Work-study programs are available. The Donahue Lecture Series presents 3 to 4 national scholars who lecture on various topics in legal education. Students may participate in study-abroad programs. A summer study-abroad program is available at the University of Lund in Lund, Sweden. Tutorial programs are available through the Academic Support Program and the Peer Mentoring Program. There are multicultural groups such as the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Hispanic Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, and South Asian Law Students Association. There are 35 student groups. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Family Law, and International Law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 84 total credits, of which 43 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Practice Skills, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Base Menu courses, Professional Responsibility, and Skills Menu courses. Clinical courses are not required, but are strongly recommended.The required orientation program for first-year students includes an introduction to classmates, professors, and law school administrators in various receptions and programs. New students also meet with upper-class students and are trained on the school’s computer systems. They participate in a program aimed at preparing them on what to expect during their first year of law school and are introduced to case briefing, outlining, and time management.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3055 applied, 1535 were accepted, and 536 enrolled. Sixteen transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.3.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, GPA, and LSAT results. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, TOEFL, a nonrefundable application fee of $60, 1 letter of recommendation, a letter of good academic and disciplinary standing from the dean of the student’s undergraduate school, and supplementary personal information for those wishing to emphasize unusual circumstances. Accepted students must pay a $200 tuition deposit by April 15; a second deposit of $300 is due June 1. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 89% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $36,893; maximum, $55,235. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA, a Need Access form, and a federal income tax return. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students are available through a number of financial assistance programs. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application on a rolling basis, beginning March 1st, for accepted students.
About 49% of the student body are women; 14%, minorities; 3%, African American; 7%, Asian American; 4%, Hispanic; 1%, Native American; and 1%, mixed race or unknown. The majority of students come from the Northeast (80%). The average age of entering day students is 24, evening students is 27; age range is 19 to 61. About 26% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 10% have a graduate degree. About 9% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 91% remain to receive a law degree.
The primary law review is the Suffolk University Law Review. Other law reviews include the Suffolk Transnational Law Review; the Journal of High Technology, an on-line publication; the >IT>Journal of Health and Biomedical Law; and the Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy. The Student newspaper is the Dicta>RO>. Moot court competitions include the Justice Tom C. Clark Appellate Advocacy Competition, the Walter H. McLaughlin Appellate Advocacy Competition, 2nd Year Day/3rd Year Mock Trial Competition, 3rd Year Day/4th Year Evening Mock Trial Competition, Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition, and National Civil Trial Competition. Law students organizations include the International Law Society, Student Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Delta Phi, the National Lawyers Guild, National Women’s Law Student Association, Shelter Legal Services, ISAIL, and SPILG.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only and must be completed within 4 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 10-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.