Archer's Evening Law School
From its earliest incarnation, Suffolk University was seen as offering a beacon of hope to people aspiring to better their lives through education. Founder Gleason Archer had worked his way through college when a local businessman, George Frost, loaned him money to pursue the study of law. Rather than repay the loan, Frost asked Archer to pass along the favor. The young lawyer decided to open a law school open to students who would be typically excluded from the law schools of the day.
Early Law School Graduates
In 1906 Archer began teaching law evenings in his home in Roxbury, MA. One of his early students, a machinist named Roland E. Brown, passed the bar in 1908. News of Brown's achievement brought an influx of students, so Archer gave up his law practice to devote himself full-time to the Suffolk School of Law. The young law professor soon moved the school into his office in Downtown Boston, a centralized location that made the school more convenient to students and, in time, opened doors to innumerable collaborations with government, business, and cultural entities. Archer’s vision of educational opportunity for all, including the growing number of immigrants in the city, was not the norm at the time. Suffolk Law School received its charter in 1914 and was the largest evening law school in the United States by 1930. Learn more about the students in Suffolk's early law school classes in the Archive's Early Student Research Guide.