The following classes, clinics and areas of focus are not an official Suffolk Law recommendation of curriculum, just a starting point for you to consider what types of law are available. For specific recommendations, talk to your faculty advisor, mentor, fellow students or Professional & Career Development counselors.
Areas of Focus
Areas of Focus are like majors, in that they identify courses, internships and extra-curricular activities that are likely to prove advantageous as you prepare for a legal career in that subject area. Each of the Areas of Focus has been prepared by faculty members who teach and often have practiced in those subject areas. The purpose is to provide guidance and direction to students as they select courses, internships and pursue other related activities.
Civil rights and human rights lawyers may become involved in problems of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or disability, police misconduct, freedom of expression, issues of genocide or "ethnic cleansing," children's rights, slavery, international trafficking that exploits vulnerable populations, war crimes, and a myriad of other issues addressed by the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They may work in private practice, for non-profit institutions, for advocacy organizations, for government agencies, international bodies, or in other specialized environments. They
From the theories of punishment which inform the creation of laws that define crime, through the procedures and rules which regulate the courts through the prosecution and defense of those statues, into the theory and politics of punishments, the study of criminal law touches every aspect of legal education. Unlike most other area of legal study, criminal law is public law, meaning that the state is both the accuser and the victim; the state manages the courts and often supplies the attorneys of the accused. Therefore, the good of the generalized population is the touchstone of criminal law, rather than the vindication of the harm against an individual.
Environmental law, although having many aspects, can be described in 3 primary basic prongs of practice. First, conventional environmental practice includes the permitting, and enforcement, of permit emission restrictions to the air and water. Second, a significant aspect of environmental and energy law practice involves the setting of environmental policy. Third, site contamination issues invoke much environmental law focus.
Immigration law can generally be divided into two large spheres – administrative or affirmative practice and deportation defense. Administrative practice involves petitioning the U.S. government to allow a person to migrate to the U.S. on an immigrant or non-immigrant visa or as a refugee. This practice can be further broken down into business immigration, family-based immigration and humanitarian-based immigration. Deportation defense involves more classic litigation including interviewing and counseling clients, motions practice, legal brief writing, preparing lay and expert witnesses, oral arguments, and appellate practice. Given the high rates of immigration detention and the defensive posture, deportation defense is most like criminal defense in its practice.
Attorneys who practice in the area of family and juvenile law frequently see their clients at their most distressed: they represent parents who have lost custody of their children (to the state or to the other parent), children who have been arrested and are being prosecuted as delinquents, or families who are worried about an elderly relative's ability to continue caring for herself -- to name just a few common issues. But these lawyers also help clients achieve great joy, when handling an adoption, or helping a same-sex (or infertile) couple make legal arrangements for artificial reproduction, or upon resolving one of the aforementioned distress-provoking matters.
Students may prepare for a wide variety of careers in public service. These include careers in the executive branch of government, as staff or agency counsel, assistant attorneys or assistant district attorneys; in the legislative branch, as counsel or staff to legislators, legislative committees or legislative offices; in the judicial branch, as law clerks, staff counsel or judges; or in the non-governmental sector, perhaps as representatives for disadvantaged clients, advocates for policy reform, or specialists in business-government relations.
Clinics and InternshipsSuffolk Defenders Program
Suffolk Prosecutors Program
Family Advocacy Clinic
Health Law Clinic
Housing Discrimination and Testing Program
Indigenous Peoples Rights Clinic