Suffolk University Law School currently fields eight national competition teams, each representing a different specialty area of law. The teams have their roots in a university decision more than 40 years ago to require each first-year student to argue an appellate case before a panel of faculty members.
"It was very fundamental, very rudimentary, very rough in those days," says Professor Richard Pizzano, who was a Suffolk Law student when the appellate program first came into being. "We had only two classrooms. Sometimes we had to turn wastebaskets upside down and have students put their papers on the wastebasket because we didn't have podiums."
The first-year requirement eventually grew into an intrascholastic competition program that today is open to any Suffolk Law student; last year a total of 161 students competed. The school hosts two appellate and two trial competitions each year, each judged by outside attorneys and judges. The program is overseen by the Moot Court Board, an honors board, which also annually publishes the Suffolk Journal of Trial & Appellate Advocacy. The interscholastic trial competition teams took longer to develop, in part because they required additional financial resources. But then-Dean David Sargent was "very big on these outside teams," says Pizzano, "and encouraged us to develop as many of them as we could."
Suffolk Law's other competing teams are: the Constitutional Law Team, the International Law Team, the National Moot Court Team, the Patent Law Team, the Securities Law Team, the Tax Law Team, and the Trademark Law Team. - SLK
ALUMNI PROFILESLance D. Clarke