Suffolk University Law School's commitment to access and excellence--such a distinctive part of our traditions and history—define the priorities behind all of the law school’s planning and goals. Suffolk Law, of course, was founded on a principle of access. Harry Hom Dow JD ’29, the first chinese American to pass the Massachusetts Bar and the subject of our cover story, was the living embodiment of that mission. The oldest child from a large financially disadvantaged family, Dow worked full time as a translator while studying at Suffolk Law in the evenings. Given the chance to succeed, Dow took advantage of this opportunity, going on to build an extraordinary career in public service despite facing obstacles. we are honored that his family recently gave Suffolk university his personal papers, which will help us document his remarkable career.
Access is a multidimensional concept. it involves access not only to our law school but also to a meaningful legal education that prepares our students for the professional challenges ahead. At Suffolk Law, we offer our students an innovative, hands-on learning approach that puts them at a distinct advantage over other law students. our concentrations provide focused instruction in some of the most important areas of the law today: civil litigation, business law and financial services, health and biomedical law, intellectual property law, and international law. our legal writing and clinical programs—recently ranked 33rd and 20th in the nation, respectively, by U.S. News and World Report—lend our students practical skill sets that allow them to hit the ground running right out of law school. And each year, strong additions to our faculty help cement our already stellar teaching ranks.
Access also means access to the legal profession graduates, as well as nine Suffolk Law alumni, received judicial clerkships for 2008–2009, one of the highest numbers in our school’s history. clerkships are a wonderful way for law school students to strengthen their research and writing skills, gain insight into the judicial process, and improve their marketability in the legal world. Many clerks also develop relationships with the judges they work for that last long after the clerkship ends.
Finally, in multiple ways our graduates help provide our students with access. we are grateful for the help that our alumni extend, be it through scholarship funds, mentoring programs, gifts to the annual fund, or employment opportunities. This fall, the Rappaport center unveiled its Pro Bono Partners Program, which matches upper-level law students with alumni to work together on pro bono cases. I cannot think of a program that more perfectly embodies the values and ethos of our institution, and i look forward to watching this program develop and grow in the months and years ahead.
Today, Suffolk Law operates in an increasingly competitive arena, one in which even maintaining the status quo is a high-stakes endeavor. But we are working to do far more than stay the course. Through innovative and ambitious educational programs, we are always striving to do more for our students, more for our alumni, and more for the communities that Suffolk Law serves.
Best wishes,ALFRED C. AMAN, JR.
FROM THE DEANSetting the Pace
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