Rapp_FlagRappaport Center for Law
and Public Service
In This Issue
Gubernatorial Candidates Come to Suffolk Law
Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy
View from the Chair
Suffolk Law Student Receives Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Pro Bono Students Bring Change
2010 Public Service Award
Upcoming Events
Last year, the Rappaport Center sponsored over 80 events.  Below is a brief sampling of the Fall 2010 Event Calendar.

September 16, 2010
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Rappaport Center
Pro Bono
Open House

September 28, 2010
8:30 am - 1:30 pm
Faculty Meeting Room
Access to
Government Records in Massachusetts:
Issues and Trends

September 29, 2010
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Corcoran Room
The Unfinished Architecture of Europe's Economic Union
Event Details


October 24-30, 2010
National Celebrate
Pro Bono Week
Event Details


To Be Announced
Statewide Political Races Forum 


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Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service

120 Tremont Street, Suite 110
Boston, MA 02108

tel 617.573.8644

fax 617.305.1681



Issue: #1 Spring/Summer 2010
Welcome from the Executive Director

Welcome to the first edition of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service Newsletter.  It seems like just yesterday, but it was almost three years ago, in the Fall of 2007, that the Rappaport Center officially opened for business.  Focused on stimulating public policy dialogue and encouraging public service, the Center seeks to leverage Suffolk Law's downtown location steps away from the State House, Boston City Hall, and countless nonprofit organizations.  It also aims to draw upon Suffolk Law's extraordinary alumni base, comprised of many long time public servants.

Looking back, I am excited by our achievements to date and the tremendous growth we have experienced in a relatively short time period.  Our progress reflects the wonderful guidance and support the Center has received from its Advisory Board, as well as faculty members, supervising attorneys, nonprofit leaders, legislators, public officials, and - of course - our students.

Our public policy events have brought together numerous leaders in the legal community to tackle important issues facing our justice system.  We have also featured an increasing number of career development programs including a five-part "Charting Your Public Service Career" series, a new "Legislative Speaker Series" co-sponsored by the Student Bar Association, and a monthly "Faculty Lives in Public Service" series featuring faculty members with prior distinguished careers in public service.

Although our Pro Bono Program is only two years old, the number of students participating in the program and hours of pro bono service performed have rapidly increased. We are immensely proud of the pro bono work of our students and their level of commitment to organizations in need of pro bono assistance. They are truly making a difference.
As always, we encourage you to share your ideas and to provide feedback as we continue to build the Center.  We look forward to interacting with you in the coming months.

Susan Signature
Susan M. Prosnitz, Esq.
Executive Director
This Spring, students and faculty enjoyed front-row seats to the Massachusetts governor's race, as all four major Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates - Charlie Baker, Tim Cahill, Christy Mihos (before he withdrew from the race), and Governor Deval Patrick - spoke at a Rappaport Center roundtable as part of our 2010 Gubernatorial Speaker Series.  Funded by the generous support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, these roundtables offered a valuable and unique opportunity for high level policy conversation with the candidates.  In addition to students and faculty, attendees included senior policymakers, government lawyers, lobbyists, nonprofit leaders, community advocates, former Rappaport fellows, and members of law firms.  Statements and positions of the candidates offered at the roundtables received substantial press coverage and all events were well attended.  Look for a similar series regarding other contested political races in the Fall. 

To see photos galleries from these events,
click on the candidate's name below.

  Baker  | Cahill  | Mihos  | Patrick
2010 FellowsThe Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy brings together gifted students from Boston College Law  School, Boston University School of Law, Harvard Law School, New England Law|Boston, Northeastern University School of Law, and Suffolk University Law School, to work with top public policymakers on issues that affect residents of the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. The Program exposes outstanding law students to the challenging complexities and powerful societal rewards of creating successful public policy.  The Program is designed to attract, train, inspire, and connect emerging leaders who will guide public institutions for generations to come.
This year, a record number of fellowship applications were received from the six Boston area law schools.  The Fellows are selected based on a strong academic record, a commitment to public service, and a demonstrated capacity for leadership. 
Click below for names, placements, bios and
more information about the
2010 Rappaport Fellows
arobertsSuffolk Law is fortunate to have graduates doing important work throughout the public sector.  With the establishment of the Rappaport Center and an endowed chair in law and public policy, Suffolk Law has institutionalized its historical commitment to public policy and public service.

The Rappaport Center's policy programs are designed to build on the fact that Suffolk Law really is at the heart of public policy in Massachusetts.  Since the Fall of 2008, we've held several forums in which key stakeholders - legislators, public servants, NGO leaders, and media representatives - come together to talk about the big issues confronting the state.  Our distinctive contribution, we hope, is the ability to draw in a wide range of participants to participate in open discussion.

This is the philosophy that has underpinned many of the policy events that the Center has organized over the last two years.  We've looked at a host of topics: homelessness, the state's budget woes, the financial sector crisis, the changing role of the media, ethics and lobbying, charter schools, healthcare reform, transportation restructuring, human trafficking, government operations, and more.  It's been a full slate.  But we've been encouraged by the extraordinarily positive response that we've received from the participants in these events.  Many people have told us that they appreciate a format that emphasizes dialogue, not confrontation.

One of the markers of success has been the number of organizations that have partnered with us in organizing roundtable events.  These include student groups, such as Suffolk Law's Business Law Association, which partnered in a roundtable on financial sector reform, as well as bar associations, such as the Boston Bar, and non-governmental organizations, such as the New England Legal Foundation, both of which collaborated in an April discussion about the effect of budget cuts on the court system.

We're already planning more interesting roundtables for the coming academic year.  We look forward to working more closely with our expanding network of friends and alumni on the big issues that face state and local government in Massachusetts.
Alasdair S. Roberts, Jerome Lyle Rappaport Chair in Law and Public Policy
NGUYENSuffolk Law Alumni Anna Nguyen, JD '10, was recently awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. Anna will use her prestigious Fellowship to work on addressing exploitation in the workforce of Vietnamese immigrants in the Greater Boston area.  Read about Anna's inspiration and the details of her immigration work here.

Suffolk Law students are making a vitally important difference in the community by providing pro bono services.  Below, three Suffolk Law students enrolled in the Pro Bono Program share their pro bono success stories.
Constitutional Law as Applied to Police
By Aliya Khalidi, JD '11
KhalidiLike many of my peers, when I started law school in the Fall of 2008, I was unsure about what type of law I wanted to practice.  I was sure that, regardless of my career path, I wanted to use my legal education to increase awareness of and access to the judicial system for those who may feel alienated from it.  When the Rappaport Center at Suffolk Law publicized the Pro Bono Program during my first semester, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to stay true to my goals.
As I am passionate about constitutional law, and wanted to see it in practice, I began working with the American Civil Liberties Union's Police Complaint Assistance Project.  Through this Project, I have learned how to interview a client and have experienced the challenges of advocating on behalf of a client. Further, I have come to appreciate the sensitivities involved in advocating for the interests of my clients and working with the police at the same time.  By helping clients articulate their concerns and navigate through the City of Boston's internal complaint process, I believe we are helping to create a stronger, safer, and more informed city.
Through the Pro Bono Program, I have found a strong community of passionate students, professors, and attorneys.
As I enter my third year of law school, their advice, support,
and intellectual engagement are invaluable to me.
Informing Mental Health and Disability Law Clients about Important Issues
By Shain Neumeier, JD '12

shainMy experience interning last year at Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) was invaluable.  While I started out editing and cite checking pamphlets on topics related to mental health and disability law, I was soon allowed more independence to write several pamphlets on my own.  I am particularly proud of the writing I completed about the use of restraint and seclusion in public special education classrooms in Massachusetts, as this is a topic about which I am particularly passionate.  In fact, during the Rappaport Center's roundtable with Governor Deval Patrick, I was able to put my new knowledge and passion into action.  At that event, I asked the Governor what he was doing in regard to the Judge Rotenberg Center, a facility for children with special needs that uses practices such as electric shock, food deprivation, and extensive periods of restraint and seclusion.  The opportunity to inform the Governor (and the 150 other people in the room) about this issue, and to advocate my viewpoint, was truly exciting.
The people at MHLAC were very nice, helpful, and supportive.  It made for a great experience in my first legal internship.  I plan to do more pro bono work because, especially in fields like mental health and disability law, many clients have trouble providing themselves with basic necessities like shelter and education.  The availability of free legal services to MHLAC's clients is essential.  I am glad that there is a strong sense in the legal community and at Suffolk Law that lawyers should do pro bono work.  This summer, I am continuing my work in mental health and disability law with an internship at the Disabilities Rights Center in Concord, New Hampshire.

Transforming Constituent Needs Into Law

By Patrick Malloy, JD '11
pmalloyThe Pro Bono Program hooked me during orientation.  Though I waited until my first summer to get started, I have been involved in pro bono work ever since.  Last year I worked for the Counsel for the Massachusetts House of Representatives.  The experience gave me the opportunity to transform constituents' needs into potential laws and to participate in significant state reforms.  I used my skills from first year and the instruction from my supervisors to turn a citizen's letter to a State Representative into a bill that would be presented to committees and reported to the floor of the House.  I spent a few late nights working with Senate and House attorneys as they attempted to review a recently released conference report so that ethics reform or transportation overhaul could be voted on the next morning. Then, I had the chance to draft a bill that implemented the findings of the Oxycontin and Heroin Commission and fundamentally changed the way substance abuse issues are handled in the Commonwealth. 
I continue to work on legislative policy by interning at the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.  Additionally, this summer I am interning with Congressman Kurt Schrader in Washington, D.C.  My pro bono experiences have allowed me to develop skills and connections but, more importantly, I have begun to understand the impact we can have on our community with just a little well-invested time.
ProBonoNumbersElissa Flynn-Poppey
flynn-poppeyDuring the Rappaport Center's Annual Pro Bono Award Ceremony and Reception in April 2010, new Rappaport Center Advisory Board Member Elissa Flynn-Poppey, Esq., JD '00, was honored with the 2010 Public Service Award for her leadership in re-drafting Massachusetts restraining order legislation for victims of sexual assault, criminal stalking, and criminal harassment. 
Meg Connolly, the retiring Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, received last year's Public Service Award.  Meg was honored for her lifetime commitment to public service and to ensuring access to justice.