State House Day 2013
On March 21, Suffolk Law alum and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Robert DeLeo hosted dozens of Suffolk Law students, recent graduates working at the State House, and members of the House and Senate for Suffolk's State House Day reception. The annual event, co-sponsored by the Student Bar Association and the Rappaport Center, celebrated alumni working in the service of the public at the legislature as elected officials and staff members and allowed current students to explore opportunities to gain experience at the State House.
Rappaport Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright
On the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Gideon v. Wainwright, the Rappaport Center, the American Constitution Society, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) convened a panel of advocates for the right to counsel. Kate Cook, Chief Legal Counsel, kicked off the evening by presenting of Governor Patrick’s proclamation of Gideon Day. CPCS Chief Counsel Anthony Benedetti (’93) traced the history of indigent defense from John Adams to Gideon. Paul White described the efforts that he, as House Chair of the Joint Criminal Justice Committee in 1983, and other legislators took to organize and strengthen a “checkerboard of representation” across Massachusetts with legislation to create CPCS. Attorney John Swomley described how CPCS now makes it possible to marshall the resources to fight for the exoneration of innocent defendants, such as his client Bernard Baran. Willie Davis, Dean of the Massachusetts criminal bar, emphasized that the right established in Gideon remains vulnerable because indigent criminal defendants have no natural champions to lobby for public funds, except for “people who have a heart.” Debra Krupp, CPCS Training Coordinator, moderated the event. Pictured above, l. to r., are Krupp, Baran, Swomley, Davis, White, and Benedetti (photo courtesy of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly). See more.
Preparing Massachusetts for Climate Change: Do State and Local Government Have a Role, and What Are They Doing?
On March 5, 2013, a distinguished panel of leaders and experts in government, public policy, and environmental science convened at Suffolk University Law School to discuss how to respond to higher coastline water levels and flooding resulting from climate change and severe weather events like Hurricane Sandy. Topics ranged from changing building codes, developing disaster plans, and slowing greenhouse gases, and prioritizing projects based on most likely scenarios and time frames. The panelists, picutred above, included (l. to r.) Philip Griffiths, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Environment; Kathleen Baskin, Massachusetts Director of Water Policy and Planning; Senator Will Brownsberger, Second Suffolk and Middlesex District; moderator David Barron, Honorable S. William Green Professor of Public Law, Harvard University Law School; Brian Swett, City of Boston Chief of Environment and Energy; Paul Kirshen, Research Professor, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire; and Sue Reid, Vice President and Director, Massachusetts Conservation Law Foundation. Listen to the audio recording of the conversation. See more photos.
Tax Exemption for Nonprofits: Boston's PILOT Program and How It Works
On November 13, 2012, leading experts gathered in the Suffolk University Law School's Faculty Meeting Room for the Rappaport Center’s roundtable discussion about the property tax exemption for nonprofits, which cities receive payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) and which nonprofits make them, and how the City of Boston's highly successful PILOT Program addresses the issue. Our distinguished speakers included Daphne Kenyon, Visiting Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge; Ron Rakow, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Assessing for the City of Boston, and Samuel Tyler, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. If you missed the program, you can view the City of Boston Cable Office’s video recording of the event.
To learn more about the issue: Read the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy's report, Payments in Lieu of Taxes: Balancing Municipal and Nonprofit Interests, and its new working paper, Payments in Lieu of Taxes by Nonprofits: Which Nonprofits Make PILOTs and Which Localities Receive Them, or visit the City of Boston's PILOT website, or read the Boston Municipal Research Bureau's January 4, 2013, Special Report on the Boston PILOT Program's first full year.
Election 2012: Is the Right To Vote Under Attack?
On October 17, 2012, the Rappaport Center and ADL New England co-sponsored a discussion of the history of voting rights and the debate over current efforts to combat voting fraud with voter identification laws. WBUR news host and reporter
Deborah Becker led the discussion among (from left to right) Olivier Kozlowski, Chairman of the Mansfield Board of Selectmen; Lisa Danetz, Senior Counsel at Demos, and Suffolk University Professor Rachael Cobb, Chair of the Government Department. See more.
Confronting Gang Violence: Lessons from Massachusetts and Beyond.
Suffolk University Professor Brenda Bond, Massachusetts Senator Michael Rodrigues, Worcester Police Sergeant Miguel Lopez, Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety and Security Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Boston Boys and Girls Club Youth Connect Program Director Andrea Perry, and Suffolk University Professor Erika Gebo participated in a panel discussion on October 2, 2012, co-sponsored by the Rappaport Center, to discuss the issue of gang violence and best practices for addressing and preventing it. Read more here.
Following the conference, Suffolk Law Professor Kim McLaurin interviewed Profs. Bond and Gebo about their reseach, successful strategies, and the challenges of addressing gang violence. Listen to the podcast.
Rappaport Fellowship Outing to Fenway!
On a perfect summer evening, 85 Red Sox fans – current 2012 Rappaport Public Policy and Law Fellows, alumni of both programs, staff, and their families – experienced the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry at Fenway Park. Prior to the game, the group met with David Friedman, Special Counsel to the Red Sox and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board member, to learn about the ins-and-outs of public policy and baseball. After the discussion the fellows and their guests enjoyed the perfect summer night at the park with an exciting game.
Promotions, Raises and Career Advancement in the Public Sector
The Women’s Bar Association’s Government Lawyers Committee and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School presented this program to explore the unique challenges faced by women attorneys working in the public sector. The esteemed panel – Kate Cook, Director of Cabinet Affairs, Governor’s Office; Jennifer Miller, Chief, Government Bureau, Office of the Attorney General; and Rachael Rollins, General Counsel, MassDOT – discusses how women government attorneys address the challenges of advancement in public sector careers.
The panel was moderated by Suffolk Law Professor Bernie Jones. Professor Jones is the editor of the new book, "Women Who Opt Out: The Debate Over Working Mothers and Work-Family Balance."
Drinan Fellowship Reception
The 25th annual Drinan Fellowship was awarded to second-year law student Michael D'Angelo of Andover at a recent reception held at the Law School. The prestigious fellowship was created by friends and colleagues of Thomas J. Drinan, a 1976 graduate of Suffolk Law School and former Assistant United States Attorney within the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. Read more.
Fenton Fellowship Reception
In a recent ceremony, Judge John E. Fenton, Jr. presented this year’s Fenton Public Service Awards to four outstanding 2012 graduates of the law school: Andrew Cahill, Joanne Jacquet, Laura McWilliams, and Kellie Sanders. Both during and throughout their law school careers and in their career choices after graduation, this year’s recipients have embodied Judge Fenton’s passion for public service and his commitment to the standard of excellence. Read more.
Rappaport Fellowship Opening Reception
The Rappaport Center and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston hosted the annual Opening Reception for the 2012 Rappaport Law and Public Policy Fellows. As always, it was a wonderful kick-off to the summer fellowship season.
The Cost of Health Care: Finding the Right Balance
A distinguished panel of political leaders and experts in health care and economics gathered for “The Cost of Health Care: Finding the Right Balance,” co-sponsored by the Rappaport Center and Harvard’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. The speakers – Harvard University Prof. Amitabh Chandra; Massachusetts Secretary for Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez; Boston Medical Center President and CEO Kate Walsh; Chairman Steven Walsh of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee for Health Care Financing; Massachusetts Department of Public Health Medical Director Lauren Smith; Suffolk Law Prof. Renée Landers; and Michael Caljouw, Vice President of Public Government and Regulatory Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; and moderator Harvard University Prof. Edward Glaeser – provided a thorough examination of the ramifications of the ballooning costs of health care and of the various strategies for reining in health care spending. Read the Policy Brief that Prof. Chandra presented at the symposium, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Improving the Productivity of Massachusetts’ Health Care Spending." Read more.
Barney Frank: Dysfunctional Democracy
If you thought Congressman Barney Frank was outspoken during his 32-year, 16-term tenure, you haven’t heard anything yet. Frank provided a no-holds-barred commentary on American politics at a public discussion co-sponsored by the Rappaport Center and the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University. More than 300 people gathered at the early-morning event to hear Frank chat with WGBH’s Callie Crossley. Read more.
Annual Pro Bono Award Ceremony and Reception
This year the Pro Bono Program presented our Public Service Award to Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Alice Keh, JD '12, was also honored with the Pro Bono Program Student Award. As always, it was a fun event celebrating pro bono achievements in the community and the public service work of Suffolk Law students.
Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) Auction
Each year, students organize a huge Silent and Live Auction at the law school to raise money for summer fellowship in public service placements. This year's auction was a huge success and raised over $30,000!
Massachusetts Need a (New) Three Strikes Law?, Rappaport Center Blue Cross Blue
House Minority Whip Bradford Hill, United States District Judge Nancy Gertner (ret.), and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian led a capacity crowd in a lively debate of the pros and cons of the sentencing reform bills currently being negotiated by a Massachusetts legislative conference committee. Rep. Hill explained the evolution of “Melissa’s Bill,” which he introduced shortly after the murder of 27-year-old Melissa Gosule in 1999, from a California-type “three strikes” bill to a more narrowly tailored habitual offender provision targeted at the most violent offenders. Others questioned whether even a more narrow provision will reduce crime or just exacerbate prison overcrowding.
Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project 2012 National Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC
This past March, the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at Suffolk Law took the six local high school students who won our citywide competition in February to Washington, D.C. for the national competition. The issue was a sophisticated one – the constitutionality of life without parole for juveniles convicted of felony murder. After three rounds on Saturday, five of the six were selected for the semi-final round on Sunday. They competed in courtrooms at the U.S. District Court in Washington. The high school students did a great job, as did the Suffolk Marshall-Brennan Fellows who were their coaches. Congratulations to all the high school students who competed, Suffolk Law students who coached them, and to Professors Michael Avery and Kim McLaurin for organizing and running the program.
The Influencing Machine: How The
Media Shape Our View of Politics, with Brooke Gladstone
During times of national importance, such as political elections, answering this question becomes increasingly taboo. Ms. Gladstone, current managing editor and co-host of NPR show On the Media, shared her inside view of media’s machinations. In her latest book, The Influencing Machine, her cartoon figure conducts readers on a fascinating tour of media history, debunking with wit and savvy the notion that "the media" is an external force beyond our control. This event was co-hosted by the Suffolk Media Law Group.