File #4511: "DICTA_vol17_no3_2017.pdf"


Volume XVII. No. 3


Suffolk University Law School’s Very Own
Awarded as National Jurist’s Law Student of the Year

It’s one thing to generate a list of highly sought
after internships and clerkships to help build
up a resume and skill set. Cherina Clark’s CV
is full of those, including her stints as an intern
for Justice Hines of the Supreme Judicial Court
of Massachusetts, for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
(MA), and for the U.S. House Committee on the
Judiciary in Washington, D.C.
It’s another thing to take on those clerkships and
internships, a dual degree (JD/MBA), and still
make time to: meet with first-generation law
students on-on-one, week after week; train urban
high school students; and help craft legislation
to help people in a city 700 miles away.
Throughout law school, Clark has been doing
trainings on “Street Law” with Boston Public
School students, ages 13 to 17 — Miranda
rights, Fourth Amendment/search and seizure,
and how to interact with police. The idea is that
a knowledgeable teenager is much more likely
to react calmly and have a clearer idea when
a police officer has wrongly crossed a legal
Clark, president of Suffolk Law’s Black Law
Students Association (BLSA) since 2015, says
that the trainings, in addition to clarifying the
high schoolers’ legal rights, provide students
with role models. The teens have a chance to
interact with successful BLSA members, often
from similar backgrounds as themselves, and that
relationship leads some to think to themselves,
‘Hey if they can do it, maybe I can too.’ ”

Clark also spearheads the BLSA Peer Mentor
Tree Program. The idea is that if a firstgeneration student has several mentors — a
2L, a 3L and a few alums, multiple branches
of support — someone in that group is going
to click with the student. Together, one or
more of those mentors stick with the student
throughout their academic and legal career.
“A lot of first generation students — and I
am one myself — don’t understand what law
school is all about. I meet with my mentees
every two weeks, and also am texting to see
how they’re doing, making sure they have
outlines, supplement books and contacts for
resources, because I know someone did it for
As a student teacher in the Marshall
Brennan program, Clark taught inner-city
teens Constitutional Law including legal
arguments surrounding search and seizure,
acts of protest (silent, artistic, and otherwise).
At the Supreme Judicial Court, her role was
to look at 50 cases to offer her opinion as
to which of the cases seemed to warrant
appellate review.
Clark worked with the national office of
the Black Law Students Association on
draft legislation submitted to the State of

Michigan to address the Flint water crisis. This
effort was important to Clark and other members
of BLSA because it affected the greater minority
 “There is nothing like being able to use the tools
I have learned while in law school to effectuate
change and advocate for those who cannot or do
not know how to do so. BLSA’s contribution to
the Flint water Crisis was certainly one of those
moments where I was able to be a voice for my
community,” Clark said.
In 2014, Clark received the Governor’s Citation
Award from then-Massachusetts’ Governor,
Deval Patrick, for her work with the NAACP
on amicus briefs for civil rights cases before the
U.S. Supreme Court.
Dean of Students Laura Ferrari credits Clark
with rebuilding the law school’s diverse student
orientation program. “The school is indebted to
her for her systematic, humane, and practical
approach for encouraging success in law school.
Being a true supporter is hard — it takes time
and energy, often when time is scarce and other
obligations call. That’s Cherina. Tireless.”
Clark is one of 25 future lawyers honored in the National Jurist’s
2017 “Law Student of the Year” feature.

Article can be found at

A Lot of Smoke for There
to Not Be a Fire: Director
Comey’s Congressional Hearing
Elizabeth Green, Opinion Columnist

“Can this country afford to have a president under
investigation by the FBI?” Senator Marco Rubio
asked, days before the presidential election back in
November.1 At the time, this comment was directed at
Hillary Clinton, who was indeed under investigation


concerning her infamous private email server.
I’m sure, to Senator Rubio’s surprise and
dismay, his words gained new meaning on
Monday, March 20th, 2017. That was the day
FBI Director James Comey confirmed in a
Congressional hearing, in the opening statement
no less, that’s “HUUUUGE” (as the POTUS
would say) that the bureau does indeed have an
ongoing investigation into Russian involvement
in the 2016 presidential election—including
any links or coordination between members
of Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
According to Director Comey, the investigation
has been ongoing since July 2016. Therefore,
while crowds of Trump supporters were chanting
“lock her up!,” their very own nominee was also
under investigation. Perhaps the very definition
of irony.

Schiff noted in his opening statement that
it is not a crime to have ties to Russia,
but he did say “if the Trump campaign or
anyone associated with it aided or abetted
the Russians, it would not only be a serious
crime, it would also represent one of the
most shocking betrayals of democracy in
history.”3 Even bigger than Watergate,
you ask? Yes, even bigger than Watergate.
Representative Schiff went on to list known
conversations that have taken place between
various Trump associates and Russian
officials and individuals. Representative
Schiff concluded by stating that it’s true
that none of this information proves outright
conspiracy, but there just seems to be an
awful lot of smoke for there to not be a fire.4
When it comes to Representative Schiff, it’s
safe to say that this isn’t his first rodeo—
as assistant U.S. Attorney he prosecuted a
case against a former FBI agent convicted
of “passing secret documents to the Soviet
Union in exchange for a promised $65,000
in gold and cash.”5
While the Democrats on the panel were
focused on drawing connections between
the President, his campaign, and Russian
interference in the election, their Republican
counterparts were more so focused on leaks of
classified information to the press, specifically
concerning those related to Michael Flynn’s
dealings with Russia. During Representative
Trey Gowdy’s questioning, he asked if there
was “an exception in the law for reporters
who want to break a story,” suggesting

2 | A p r i l 201 7

So what does this mean? Well first of all, it’s
rather curious that Director Comey thought it
was necessary for the American voters to know
about an investigation into Clinton’s emails,
but they didn’t need to know about possible
collusion between Trump’s associates and
Russia. Especially considering his testimony
revealed that the FBI was investigating this three
months before the election. Granted, it’s only fair
to point out that it was not Director Comey who
leaked that the FBI was investigating Clinton’s
email to the press. That move would lay on the
shoulders of Representative Jason Chaffetz.
Chaffetz chose to tweet classified information
provided in a letter to Congress from Comey.2
During the hearing, Representative Adam

that those who write stories based on leaked,
classified information are criminally liable.6
Director Comey responded that he is unaware
of such an exception in the statute concerning
dissemination of classified information and that
he doesn’t think “a reporter’s been prosecuted
certainly in my lifetime...”7

It’s hard to determine what’s going to
come of this, but personally I doubt the FBI
would announce an investigation into the sitting
President’s administration unless they are fairly
confident that they have a strong case. However,
only time will tell. I believe Garry Kasarpove,
Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, said
it best in a tweet: “the house is on fire, Trump
is running around with a box of matches, and
the GOP demands to know who called the fire
h t t p : / / w w w. n p r. o r g / s e c t i o n s / t h e t w o way/2017/03/20/520765159/watch-live-house-hearingon-russian-attempts-to-interfere-in-u-s-election

Beware the Rumor Mill: Taking Your Academic Success Under Advisement
Registration Assistance / Degree

The Office of Academic Services is committed to
providing accurate and timely services to Suffolk
University Law School students, faculty, alumni
and staff. The key responsibilities include:
Registration, Exam Administration; Course
Evaluations; Grades; Bar Certification; and
Degree Requirements. Registering for classes,
meeting requisites in a timely manner, preparing
for bar exam, and means of seeking academic
guidance is often complex. Even so, as a future
member of the legal community, proactively
owning your path to success doesn’t need to
become a rat-race. The “The Rumor-Mill for
academic success is alive, well, and thriving,”
says Assistant Dean Lorraine
D. Cove, who spearheads ongoing initiatives
at the Office of Academic Services. Following
April registration for Fall 2017 courses, Dicta
staff sat down with Dean Cove for a Q & A

Q: Dean Cove, how important is it for law
students to be prepared for registration?
A: I can’t stress enough how important
preparation during the registration process
is to insure that students meet degree
requirements, take courses to prepare for the
bar examination, other programs, and to meet
professional goals. The Office of Academic
Services prepares multiple materials to assist
students in navigating this process. The
online Registration Guide is crafted to provide
students with the tools and info needed for a
successful registration including registration
rules, web courses, registration process,
waitlists, bar prep courses, limitations on
clinical and externship credits, semester
credit requirements, overload petitions, etc.
We also provide lists of courses that students
were enrolled in by class year. Students
having reviewed the Registration Guide are
armed with basic information and are then
only a few clicks away from registration.
Q: If I were “the ideal” law student, what
three basic steps would I take to prepare?

A: I know registration can be a daunting process
especially for students entering the first semester
of the second year and it takes students time to
get used to. First year students have a prescribed
mandatory program and have not had the
opportunity to choose electives until now.
Number one, all law students need to review
the elective list, not only for the upcoming
semester, but for the entire year. By taking this
initial step, course planning becomes more
efficient, because students know what classes
are currently available, and what classes will
be available the following semester. Secondly,
students should think about future semesters
to insure that courses necessary to meet pre
requisites are taken. The fall semester of the
second year should be considered an exploratory
semester and students should take at least one or
two course that are not required for the degree
or the bar. Many of the subject requirements for
the bar are not required and students should be
aware of those areas. Thirdly, I cannot stress
enough how important it is to review the semester
exam schedule which is available at the time of
registration. The examination schedule should
not drive registration, however, it needs to be
considered when registering. Mental fatigue
can be a real problem and students should be
aware that it is possible to have 2 examinations


scheduled on the same day. Students may
reschedule an examination only when the student
has 3 examinations within a 53 hour period.
Finally, students should complete the on line
planning process, and always have alternative
selections available. Courses with limited
enrollment can fill up quickly and students
should have a plan B.

within the base menu and experiential
learning requirements.

Q: Some students don’t enter law school with
a specific legal field in mind. Along with the
guide, what other options do student seeking
direction have?

A: I really can’t respond to this question
about the PCD office, however, I do know
that the PCD office is as committed to
student success as my office and all other
law school offices. I meet with students all
the time to discuss educational planning,
course selection strategies, and making
sure students know remaining degree
requirements. I work with students regarding
their academics, but I strongly recommend
that students take the initiative to continue to
see their PCD advisors beyond the 1L year
for their professional development.

3 | A p r i l 201 7

A: The online interactive Registration guide can
eliminate issues that may arise later. One of our
goals is to provide as many resources available
online to students at any time of the day or night.
The Registration Guide is in a Flipping Book
format which means that the guide is searchable
and available in multiple formats. The Guide
provides all of the program opportunities within
one location and since the guide is searchable,
students can check the requirements, not only
for the JD, but to consider the possibility of a
JD/LLM Tax program, dual degree program
with the university, enrolling in a concentration,
clinics, externships, or summer programs. The
office recommends that students reach out to as
many resources as possible prior to registration
from their assigned academic faculty advisors,
the PCD office, upper-class students, alumni or
anyone else to receive as much information as
possible to achieve academic goals. I am always
available to meet with students. Every student
has access to a degree audit which can also be a
helpful tool in planning schedules each semester.
Q: For rising 2L students, who now can pick
and choose their classes, would your office
recommend both a PCD appointment, and
advisement with an Academic Advisor?
A: Students are assigned faculty advisors based
on the interests students included on their
application. We are not always able to assign
faculty who teach in the interested areas to all
students. Students are encouraged to seek advice
as noted above. First year faculty advisors
will reach out to their advisees for preliminary
advising sessions. In addition, each year the
Office of Academic Services and the SBA
Student Affairs partner to offer a Round Table
event which was held a few weeks ago. The
format of the program provided an opportunity
for first year law students to ask professors about
recommended courses for their interested field(s)
of study and to become more familiar with
professors outside of their first year courses. It
also provided a forum for professors to interact
with interested first year law students and to
provide guidance to students in the elective
selection process.  Twenty four faculty attended
offering advice from Bankruptcy to Trademarks.
Approximately 100 students attended this event.
We also provide a Guide Book for these students
to pre plan schedules. Students should start
earning their pre-requisites immediately, while
taking full advantage of the diverse courses

Q: After 1L, notwithstanding a plethora
of emails, the PCD office seems to reboot
for the next incoming class. Why does the
PCD office seem to “disconnect” from

Summaries of course evaluations are posted on
line and available to all students and also act as
a resource to students when selecting courses.
We encourage all students to participate in this
Students have been receiving an emails from
the Law School Student Survey of Engagement
(LSSSE). This is also an opportunity for students
to respond to questions about their academic
and other learning experiences, interactions with
other students, faculty and administrators, quality
of life at the law school, and engagement at the
law school. It is very important that students
respond. As an incentive, the Office of Academic
Services will randomly select students to award
bookstore gift cards to five students. We only
know those who have participated, but not the
specific responses of any student. This survey
provides Suffolk the opportunity to compare
ourselves to other institutions to continually
improve the services and learning environment
we offer our students.
Q: How much real emphasis is put on the
evaluations towards the Professor?
A: The Law school takes evaluations very
seriously. Course evaluations are important, and
that’s why we want students’ honest assessments
of their courses and professors. If a student has
concerns about a course and does not want to
meet with a dean about this issue, the course
evaluation may be the vehicle for that student
and to remain anonymous. Faculty are not
provided with the course evaluations until all
grades have been submitted and posted.

Grades/ Bar Exam Certification:
Course Evaluations:
Q: Will course evaluations be going
A: As of right now, no, however, we may
be piloting an online version of the course
evaluation for one course.
All course
evaluations are still completed on paper.
A number of schools still use paper, while
other have gone the digital route. However,
those that have gone the digital route don’t
have the same student participation as
the paper evaluation forms, and need to
use other means to encourage students to
complete evaluations – like preventing
registration for the next semester or delaying
the receipt of the grades. Paper forms are
totally anonymous. Paper forms cannot be
traced to any individual student. Students
completing forms on line may have the
perception that the responses/comments
may not be anonymous. Secondly, we do
want students to be honest in their evaluation
of courses. The goal of the evaluation isn’t
soley about evaluating the Professor, we
want students to have the opportunity to
truthfully and honestly assess the course.

Q: What is the method behind 1L vs. 2L
A: All grading for first year students and upperclass students enrolled in required core courses
are based on a mandatory curve, with a median
grade of B.
Faculty members are required
to grade based on this grade distribution
requirement and makes the assessment of grades
based on students perform.. For elective courses
with classes of 40 more students, the grade is
anchored at a B+. At Suffolk, the 1st year GPA is
the better indicator of bar passage success.
Q: Is it a law school death-sentence for 1L’s
find themselves on academic warning or
academic probation?
A: No. First year students who are not required
to appear before the Academic Standing
Committee, but who receive a GPA of 2.50
but below 2.67 will be placed on Academic
Warning and subject to the Academic Warning
Curriculum; first year students who receive
a first year GPA of 2.67 – 2.99, are subject to
the “guided curriculum” as noted in I. Degree
Requirements, 5,. These additional curriculum
requirements provides students with a structured
pathway to successfully passing the Bar.


Students who appear before the Academic
Standing Committee and are placed on academic
probation must complete the terms of probation
as provided. Depending on the terms of the
probation, the student may need to enroll in
a subsequent semester to meet degree/credit


4 | A p r i l 201 7

Q: What implications does the adoption of
the Uniform Bar Exam have on rising 3L
A: Suffolk Law School’s 2018 graduating class
will be first class to take the Uniform Bar Exam.
The function of the Bar Exam is to determine
whether a J.D. candidate is competent to practice
law in in a State and the Uniform Bar Exam does
essentially the same thing. The Bar Exam in
Massachusetts is administered twice each year
in February and July and on two (2) consecutive
days.   Day one of the exam is the Multi-State
Bar Examination (MBE) and day two (2) is the
Massachusetts essay portion of the exam.  The
MBE and the essay sections are taken concurrently.
The Uniform Bar Examination is composed of
the  Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), two
Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tasks, and
the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). One
benefit J.D. candidates will have, is that twentyseven states accept the UBE, which gives an
opportunity for professional mobility.

by Anne Stevenson
Serving as a Judicial Clerk Intern in the
Suffolk Juvenile Court was of the most
valuable experiences I had while a studying
at Suffolk Law. This experience provided me
with valuable insight as to how judges make
decisions, as well as hands on legal writing
and research experience in a court setting.
Suffolk Juvenile Court is located on New
Chardon Street in downtown Boston. The
interns are overseen by Judge Stephen
Limon, and come from law schools all
over the Boston area, such as Northeastern,
Harvard, and New England Law. 
As a Judicial Clerk Intern, most of my
time was spent either in court observing
cases, conducting legal research, or drafting
documents. The types of cases we observed
included delinquency, harassment, criminal,
care and protection, children in need of
assistance, and dependency cases. 
One of the most valuable aspects of this
internship was that every day, Judge Limon
would eat lunch with the interns. During this

time, we were able to discuss with Judge Limon
our observations in court, as well as emerging
legal and policy issues in the field. Occassionally,
other judges would join us as well. This time
was important to me because it showed me how
judges decide cases, as well as several effective
methods that good lawyers use to successfully
present their cases to the court.
Lastly, I enjoyed this internship because it gave
me real hands on experience in an underserved
area of law. The most vulnerable families in
Massachusetts come through these courtrooms. I
observed cases which involved severe child abuse
and neglect, child exploitation and trafficking.
Most of these kids were poor, not white, and
have disabilities or addiction issues that are not
fully addressed in their school setting. We also
saw happy cases where families were reunited,
as well as attended Adoption Day, which is a
time to celebrate placing formerly abused and
neglected children in healthy permanent homes.
What I heard in those courtrooms were amazing
stories of resiliance, survival and hope, and
I recognized that as a lawyer, I could make a
positive impact on these children’s lives. It was
rewarding to work with good people who cared
about the same social justice issues I do, but my
supervisors in the Boston Juvenile Court served
as valuable references for the bar and employers
after graduation. During my last summer of law
school, I was also able to take my experience
in the Suffolk Juvenile Court to work with the
child welfare system in Ireland through Suffolk
Law’s partnership with the National University
of Ireland-Galway.
As you plan your legal training, consider clerking
in the Juvenile Court. Internships are available in
the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters for 2-5
credits (depending on hours worked). Interested
applicants should contact:

Selling Your Soul
in Today’s Digital
Kierra MacDougall, Staff Writer

Crude oil, gold, and wheat. These are just a few
examples of commodities that “make the world
go round.” While the business of trade has
transformed over the years, there will always
be a demand of valuable raw materials. History
has shown us how far more powerful people are
willing to go to acquire these precious tangible
resources, but what about a resource that is
intangible? Welcome to the age of information.
We are living in a time where information has
become a commodity that can be easily dispersed
in seconds with the help of technology. Whether
it’s business, science, or politics, technology has


in some way transformed our lives by making
our world an interconnected global economy.
Now more than ever it is easier to collect, store,
analyze, and communicate information. Big data
has allowed companies to tailor products and
services to better fit our needs. Consumers love
personalization in their purchasing experience
and companies love making money off of them.
Who wouldn’t want a product/service that
satisfies everything you have ever hoped for?
However, consumer data does not magically
appear. A company cannot just read your mind
and know when you are ready to buy that new
pair of boots you have had your eye on, or can

felt the direct impact of such rules, these
privacy regulations would have prevented
Internet providers from selling consumers’
data without their explicit consent. This was
a huge win for privacy advocates because
they have been tirelessly pushing for privacy
laws and regulations that would better
protect the consumer. As FCC Chairmen
Tom Wheeler stated, “It’s the consumers’
information, how it is used should be the
consumers’ choice. Not the choice of some
corporate algorithm.”

5 | A p r i l 201 7

While consumers claim they are advocates
of privacy, that doesn’t stop them from being
easily influenced in giving up their personal
information in exchange for a “good” product
or service. Data marketing has become a $300
billion industry and they are using your personal
information, some of which you have willingly
gave up, to make a profit. Sure you may not
care because you are applying the “no harm, no
foul” ideology, but the long-term effects of this
privacy intrusion go beyond that perfect pair of

In 2007, The Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) described Personally Identifiable
Information (PII) as “information which can
be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s
identity, such as their name, social security
number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when
combined with other personal or identifying
information which is linked or linkable to a
specific individual, such as date and place of
birth, mother’s maiden name, etc.” Through the
Privacy Act, along with others, the government
attempts to protect the privacy of the American
consumer. However, Federal agencies differ in
how strict they are in their privacy regulations.
For example, data collecting companies, like
Google and Facebook, fall under the supervision
of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) while
Internet providers, like Verizon and Comcast,
are supervised by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC).
Due to a gap in consumer protection law, the FCC
adopted broadband privacy rules last October
to improve the cyber security and privacy of
consumers. While consumers’ would not have

Recently, in a 50-48 vote, the U.S. Senate
repealed the FCC’s adoption of these rules.
This means Internet providers will be
able to collect data from places like your
Internet history, mobile location, email/
messages, finances, health, and app usage.
Internet providers want to be on the same
level playing field as Google and Facebook,
arguing that customer’s behavioral data is
a key source of revenue that can be used to
analyze and sell targeted advertising. This
means that even without your consent, these
companies will be able to know everything
about you – where you go, what you like, who
you talk to, etc. – all to make a profit. While
you may not care about nonconsensual use
of personal information as a profit-making
machine, it may concern you that the data
collected from monitoring your personal
activity could get into the hands others, not
just corporate America.
As recent news has shown, companies are
not immune to cyber security attacks. In a
letter to Congress in 2015, General Counsel
from companies across various industries
such as Microsoft Corp., Aetna Inc., Bank
of America, and more, advocated for
stronger cybersecurity laws. They wanted
Congress to facilitate the sharing of realtime identification, detection, and mitigation
of emerging cyber threats. They believe
that the government and businesses need
to work together to improve the nation’s
cybersecurity protections.

The OMB’s 2016 annual report to Congress
stated that in 2016 alone, Federal agencies
were exploited to over 30,899 cyber incidents
– with sixteen meeting the threshold to
trigger a series of mandatory

steps for Federal agencies. In Trump’s budget
request, he proposes allocating $1.5 billion for
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to
safeguard cyberspace. As stated in the OMB’s
blueprint report, this money will go towards
improving responses to cybersecurity attacks
that are directed at Federal networks and critical
infrastructure. The government aims to do so by
having DHS share more cybersecurity incident
information with other Federal agencies and the
private sector.
Data security experts are concerned over the
proposal of having a centralized management
of cybersecurity under one executive branch:
the Office of Management and Budget. Former
officials have spoken out bringing up the issue
of how qualified the Office of Management
and Budget is to set forth these cybersecurity
standards. A pressing issue is whether a
centralized cybersecurity management branch
will cut down costs and increase efficiency. Also,
it is important for us to know the gatekeepers,
the individuals, in charge of this sensitive
information. A centralized management of
information may only prove to be effective if
other agencies are willing to take responsibility
for the identification and reporting of their own
cyber attack incidents.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue
consent or how our government is handling
cybersecurity, it is crucial for every individual
to be cognizant of the control one has over one’s
personal information. In a survey conducted by
the Pew Research Center last year in 2016, 64% of
U.S. adults personally experienced a major data
breach. Of this percentage, data theft included
fraudulent charges on their credit card, theft
of sensitive information (ex. account number,
social security number), outside control of email
and social media accounts, impersonation of
fraudulent tax returns, and more.1 The American
public became more aware of data surveillance
when the FBI, without Apple’s help, cracked
into the phone of a terrorist shooter involved
in the San Bernardino attack. Recently, Uber’s
grey balling technique has raised concerns over
the access and use of app user’s information.
Additionally, there are devices that can intercept
your phone’s meta data without the knowledge
of the phone operator. What is scary is that
the average person can purchase these phone
monitoring devices. Aside from whatever you
put on your social media accounts, technology
allows us all to spy on each other.
As advanced technology continues to play
an integral role in our lives, we lose sight of
the imbalance between personal privacy and
security in a digital world. It has become almost


impossible for any of us to go “black” (off the
grid) unless we are willing to set up camp in
some remote part of Alaska (which even then
who really knows). As individuals, we must
take responsibility for controlling our personal
information. Our challenge is determining how
much information we are willing to give up in
exchange for some reward (product, service,
loyalty program, Facebook post like etc.).
Technology provides an ease of convenience that
poses challenges to our private world. Taking
steps to protect our privacy such as using secured
websites, creating phrase-like passwords, and
not sharing every bit of yourself online are just
some of the ways to control your privacy. We
can push innovators and policy makers to create
a secured, trusted privacy-rights infrastructure
but we can only go so far. Depending on your
level of paranoia and commitment, you might
even consider getting rid of your microwave…

for either of them. For many, it wasn’t so
much “I’m with her” as it was “I’m against
him,” and vice versa. But for countless
other voters, the candidates themselves were
largely irrelevant. Once it became clear that
President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee,
Judge Merrick Garland, would not get a
hearing, people saw the Court as the number
one issue on election day.

6 | A p r i l 201 7

For further information on the survey results of America’s
digital environment and a list of recommended resources
regarding security breaches, please visit… <http://> For further ways to protect yourself,

What’s so
Bad about
by Chris Gavrielidis

There’s a lot going on in America, from the
election of President Donald Trump to the
nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace
the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme
Court. Pure applesauce ensues in Washington
as we speak.
The election saw two completely flawed
candidates with a list of reasons not to vote

And understandably so. For better or worse,
the Supreme Court justices—those notorious
nine unelected lawyers—have become the
most powerful people in the United States.
For all the Court’s influence on an endless
list of high-stakes issues from abortion to
gay marriage and “electioneering,” voters
saw Scalia’s seat as an opportunity to tip the
balance of power on the Court. They knew
that the next jurist (or jurists?) would shape
the legal narrative in America on an array of
issues for decades to come.
Most people assume they have Judge
Gorsuch pinned down on these issues. They
assume he will affirm Citizens United, vote
to overturn Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v.
Hodges, kneel at the altar of RFRA, and do
everything else that they feared someone
like Judge Pryor would have done—just
with smoother overtones in his writing.
But not so fast. Let’s not forget Gorsuch’s
perfect response to a question posed by
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during the
confirmation hearings. When asked what he
would do if, when interviewed by Trump, he
had been asked to overturn Roe, he said “I
would have walked out the door,” because
“that’s not what judges do.”
So instead of making assumptions on the
contentious issues, let’s talk about what we
know. Gorsuch will uphold the Constitution
and laws of the United States. In doing so,
he will not die on the hill of stare decisis.
(Brown v. Board, anyone? Lawrence v.

Texas? Can I get an amen from Justice Thomas
fans?) He will vote to end or at least significantly
limit Chevron and Auer deference. He would,
if given the opportunity, draw back the dormant
commerce clause and restore power to the states.
He would strike a balance between free exercise
and establishment—as the Court unanimously
did in Reed v. Gilbert in 2015. And when
given the choice, he would rest on the Tenth
Amendment’s mandate to defer to the states or
to the people about that which the Constitution
remains silent.
Too often, however, litigants jump ahead to the
due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,
which has become a “catch-all” for constitutional
claims. The result is a powerful substantive due
process doctrine that swallows the vox populi
enshrined in the Tenth Amendment. But the
Supreme Court, while a rightful bastion of the
“counter-majoritarian difficulty,” should not
be used as a vehicle to frustrate the will of the
people where it does not conflict with the four
corners of the Constitution. Judge Gorsuch
understands this. He believes that it is the sole
role of the judiciary to say what the law is, not
what it ought to be.
Yes, he is an originalist. But an originalist
understands that the Fourteenth Amendment,
the First Amendment, the commerce clause,
and other constitutional provisions were not
intended to enlarge the federal government or
the Court’s influence on contentious matters of
public debate. If the judiciary is truly “the least
dangerous” branch of government as Alexander
Hamilton argued in Federalist No. 78, then the
Court’s job is simply to uphold the Constitution
and laws of the United States as the Framers
intended and lay down the supremacy clause
Marbury v. Madison style.
And what’s so bad about that? For any of its
flaws, the people have a mandate to “alter or
abolish” the law. The writers of the Declaration
understood that, and they launched the most
successful experiment of democracy in human
history. For larger grievances, the people can
and should resort to Article V—as they have
twenty-seven times in the past. But as long as
we have a thriving culture of debate in America,
it is for the people, and not the judiciary, to
identify and fix endemic flaws in our society.

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Law

7 | A p r i l 201 7

Hosted by the Journal of High Technology Law
From Left to Right: Dan Jackson, Christopher Bavitz,
(SULS Representative), Karen Copenhaver, and Chris


Chris Gavrielidis is graduating in 2017 and serves as
President of the Federalist Society of Suffolk Law.
He believes in limited government and an originalist
interpretation of the Constitution, and he has a passion
for First Amendment law.

A Philosopher’s
Reflection of LegalTechnology
by Alex Sneirson, Dicta Contributor

During the course of this year, I’ve made the
time to attend multiple panel discussions. I’ve
gone because they are a break from law school,
a glimpse of our profession in the the real world,
and a way to get free food.
I’ve recently attended a lot of legal-technology
discussions. They tend to all start with the
premise that technology has influenced every
major profession, and has now begun to
substantially impact our own. Every speaker
always has a different take on the value of its
impact. It varies from anything as small as,
“email has changed in-house and attorney-client
relationships”, to anything as big as, “lines of
code are making services too cheap for people
to need me!” But one factor they all seem to
agree upon is that legal-technology is “the shiny
new toy that no one quite yet understands”.

another world, we may have never seen again.
In business, we have access to a market of
people that, in another world, we would have
never been able to reach. Whether its friends,
or professional relationships, we don’t
necessarily communicate in person anymore.
The way we treat people that we have no
natural connection to has changed as well.
These legal-technology discussions all talk
about specific ways in which our profession
has changed and continues to change. I
urge you to keep up with these discussions
because what you assume will become a
long-term position may, instead, become a
short-term one. Most businesses, both small
and big, don’t have the time to understand
the impact of technology. Quite frankly, they
care about the bottom line. However, don’t
be alarmed: these discussions almost always
end with an uplifting message.
On the surface things may change, but the
core of our profession will forever remain
the same. As long as people have problems,
people will need solutions. The important
part of a human-oriented economy is that
technology can’t replace the human needs.
We may convince ourselves that it can, but
our primal instincts of survival will always
overrule. Whether it’s in a courtroom or in an
office, having a strong sense of advocacy is
crucial to our individual success. This means
developing skills that technology cannot
replace. Social media may distract us from
our surroundings. Legal technology may
change the way people access our services.
But people are people. Our profession, like
many others, will never be replaced by the
priceless, subtle, and fundamental value of
making a difference in someone’s life.

Work / Life Balance
as a Young Attorney
by Brittany Peck, Associate Editor

Our understanding of technology’s impact is
limited by time. From what we understand so
far, technology has changed the way we think
and act. Video games allow us to stay inside at
home. The internet allows us create communities
we’re never physically a part of. In other words,
technology has overlooked the simplicities of
life, and created a way that ironically makes us
less social. It has changed our relationships to
each other and the greater world alike.

By the time a student starts law school,
they have likely been already exposed to
the traditional notions of lawyering as a
whole- sleepless nights, endless deadlines,
elongated client calls, and more. They see
perhaps a family member, someone on their
Facebook timeline, or someone impatiently
waiting for a triple-shot cappuccino at
Starbucks express their dissatisfaction with
their life as an attorney.
The expectation of dissatisfaction with one’s
career choice is not a positive outlook for law
students. However, as the times are changing
in society, the changes in the legal world
are not keeping up with regard to work-life

Our connection to different communities has
changed. We keep in touch with friends that, in

According to an ABA article titled “The
Young Attorney Balancing Act: How to have

a Career- and a Life,” by Victoria Santoro, she
sets out the argument that “before [one] begin
advocating for yourself in attempts to achieve
the ideal, but elusive, work/life balance, you
need to know why this is something you want.
Using some available statistics on employee
engagement and productivity, it becomes very
clear why balance is something you should be
seeking out. No young lawyer wants to sound
like they are searching out the ability to “slack,”
so I suggest advocating for the three H’s:
happy; healthy; and hopeful. These can serve
as your guideposts as you search out flex time,
telecommuting, and the other things necessary
to achieving work/life balance.”
The three H’s of happy, healthy, and hopeful
could be achieved in many different ways, just
as each young attorney’s life is unique.
The topic of advocating for one’s own self as
an attorney is not one discussed in law school
curriculum. Law students are taught that one
must be a zealous advocate on behalf of your
clients, but not for one’s self. However, as this
article states, achieving “the shouldn’t be elusive
work-life balance,” starts at the very beginning
of one’s law career.
The Atlantic’s article by Leigh McMullan
Abramson, titled “How Can Lawyers Balance
Work and Leisure?” discusses the topic of the
“arms race” of big law firm burnout, personal
sacrifice, and the market failure of billable hours.
The fact that attorneys want better worklife balance is not paramount to one class of
attorneys, but an overarching theme. If The
Atlantic’s hypothesis is correct, that all attorneys
want to achieve better work-life balance, and
that law firms must adapt to accommodate that
balance; leads to the very question of why law
firms haven’t adapted.According to Law Practice
Today’s article “How to Pull off the Great
Balancing Act,” interests such as community
service, spending time with family,
that lay outside an office building are essential to
maintaining a successful career.
So what do YOU think? Is a particular emphasis
on work-life balance important to you? What
benefits do you think the law field as a whole
will achieve with this goal of new attorneys?
Let the editor know at

8 | A p r i l 201 7


9 | A p r i l 201 7

Words of Advice
from an Alum
William Noel, SULS 2015

Exams are fast approaching, Summer is just
around the corner. When I was in law school
this was always a stressful time; your primary
focus is studying and locking down plans for
internships (or the bar exam).
As you look forward to next semester, it is
important to remember that there are a multitude
of equally important things you can do to help
land your first job after graduation.
During my three years at Suffolk University
Law School, I had a hard time narrowing down
my goals for a career. Having a Juris Doctorate
unlocks a plethora of career paths. According to
the ABA over half of all law students will use
their J.D. outside of the court room.
Alternative Legal Careers are plentiful if you
know what kind of job you want. In 2015, I
found my first, lucrative career only two months
after graduating. I was able to focus my search
because I participated in a wide variety of
competitions and networking opportunities.
How do you determine what kind of job is best
for you? Participate in everything you can.
Polish Practical Skills & Explore your
There is a misperception that law school is
primarily mock trials and writing contests. These
two kinds of competitions are valuable, but there
are many other ways to explore fields that you
might have overlooked.
For example, Fordham Law School hosts an
annual NBA negotiation competition. Tulane
holds an MLB arbitration competition, and
the ABA hosts events ranging from Client
Counseling to Appellate Advocacy competitions.
There are enough competitions that anyone can
find something to build their practical skills.
Polishing these practical skills is the perfect way
to see what aspects of legal work you want to
pursue. The Fordham competition played a role
in helping me narrow my job opportunities by
allowing me to discover my love of negotiation
in a business setting. The ABA Client Counseling
competition helped me realize my ability to
adapt and organize to unexpected issues as they
Network and Learn with your bar
Law school is more than just lectures, reading, and
exams. You have been given amazing resources
for your education. The most important of which
is your ABA Membership. Sign up for as many
legal divisions as possible. These will give you
ample opportunity to network with established
attorneys. The Boston Bar association has
similar events around the city.
You can volunteer for community service with
groups like the Young Lawyers Division, or
attend the local meetings focusing on issues from
Employment and Labor Law to Science and

Technology. Additionally, there are plenty
of seminars and networking opportunities at
this year’s Annual Conference in New York
City, August 8-15.
All of these events, meetings, and networking
opportunities can expose you to new paths
to follow, or reinforce your dedication to
a certain field of law. Make sure you take
advantage of every opportunity while you
Once you know what you enjoy doing and
how it aligns with your strengths, finding a
position that fits is easier. Instead of looking
at every job, you will have a targeted search
that will pinpoint the positions that you want
after graduation.
Good Luck.

First, unlike the ACA, the AHCA did not require
Americans to be insured. However, insurance
companies would be allowed to charge those
over 30 years old more on their premiums
for one year if their coverage lapses, creating
essentially, a penalty.
Second, under the ACA low-income customers only
pay a certain percentage of their income (anywhere
between 3-9.5 percent) and when premiums increase so
do subsidies. However, under AHCA customers would
receive a fixed tax credit based on your age and would
max out at $4,000. If premiums were to go above what
you receive, then likely you would no longer be able to
afford coverage.
Third, the current Medicaid expansion would be phased
out and instead, the federal government would only pay
states a set amount per person or receive Medical dollars
as a block grant, regardless of the number of Medicaid
recipients at a given time.
h t t p : / / w w w. n a s d a q . c o m / a r t i c l e / c o n s e r v a t i v e s rebel-against-trumpbacked-republican-healthcareplan-20170307-01456
What would have resulted?


Understanding the
[Ongoing] Health
Care Debate
Rachel Seed, Staff Writer

Long before assuming position in the oval
office, President Donald Trump promised
to “repeal and replace” Obamacare
or the Affordable Care Act, (“ACA”).
Approximately 64 days into his term, Trump
and his constituents brought an alternative
to the table, the American Health Care Act
(“AHCA”). After a tense period of waiting
and predicting the outcome, the bill was
ultimately pulled on Friday March 24th to the
relief of some and frustrated resentment of
others. Understanding what was on the table,
and what failed, will help to shed light on
what the future of health care reform under
the Trump Administration might mean.
Distinguishing the American Health Care
Act from ACA
The AHCA was not too different from
the ACA in some respects. For instance,
it prohibited insurance companies from
denying customers with pre-existing
conditions and it offered tax credit subsidies
to low-income customers. However, the
differences are truly what created the divide
in support. There are three major differences
between the AHCA and the ACA.

The biggest change, and ultimately one of the main reasons
the bill failed, was in respect to Medicaid. The bill would
have substantially eroded the expansion of Medicaid
under the ACA, by cutting a projected spending of $839
billion and reducing the number of Medicaid recipients by
approximately $14 million in the coming decade. Right
now, the federal government pays a significant share of
states’ Medicaid costs, no matter how much enrollment or
spending rises. The AHCA however, would have given the
states a choice between a fixed annual sum per recipient or
a block grant, both of which would have likely led to major
cuts in coverage over time and more burden placed on the
state. Medicaid is an important facet of health care reform
in this country as the program provides medical care to “4
out of 10 American children; covers the costs of nearly
half of all births in the United States; pays for the care
for two-thirds of people in nursing homes; and it provides
for 10 million children and adults with physical or mental
disabilities.” Unfortunately, health care is not as readily
accessible for low-income Americans on the whole, as it is
in Massachusetts. Despite [some] Republican opposition
to Medicaid as “socialized medicine,” Massachusetts,
under Republican governor Mitt Romney, paved the way
for “near universal health insurance” in 2008 and has been
used as a template for health care reform and policy ever
In addition to significant changes to a foundational
aspect of American health policy, the health care market
itself would shift. Under the AHCA insurers could
charge older customers higher premiums, 5 times higher
than young adults to be exact. Thus, the premiums of
younger Americans would decrease, and as a result, the
mix of people on the individual insurance market would
change. “Older, sicker people would be pushed out of
the insurance market, which would then be comprised of
a higher percentage of younger people, leading to lower
average premiums for individually purchased policies.”
Second, under the ACA low-income customers only pay
a certain percentage of their income (anywhere between
3-9.5 percent) and when premiums increase so do

10 | A p r i l 20 1 7


subsidies. However,
Why did it ultimately fail?
Long story short, some of the most conservative members
of the House didn’t think that the AHCA would be
comprehensive enough to replace Obamacare, and
moderates were concerned that the bill would hurt too
many of their state’s poorer citizens. For many moderates,
cuts to Medicaid really put the bill on the chopping block.
Furthermore, concessions between the House Freedom
Caucus, a group of 30 hardline members and moderate
republican members caused too much of a lack of
agreement. The Republican party in general has been
fairly split on how to approach health care reform. Some
more conservative representatives in the party believe the
government should with Obamacare for the foreseeable
future,” Mr. Ryan told reporters on Friday.

Thoughts that

refrain from promising health care benefits to its citizens,
while more moderate representative fear that not offering
heath insurance and subsidies to at the least their lowincome citizens will put their state and political position in
Apparently lack of consensus on the bill went beyond just
the representatives of the House, as Republican Jim Jordan
from Ohio, stated that he had no regrets about killing the
bill--“The lesson here is don’t try to pass a bill that only
17 percent of the country approves of — that’s a problem.”
What now?
While plans for a next step do not seem particularly
certain, House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, said
Democrat celebration of keeping the ACA is premature—he
went on to say that “we are closer to repealing Obamacare
than we ever have been before.” As of March 28th, House
Republican leaders and the White House, have restarted
negotiations on legislation to repeal the ACA, however,
Paul Ryan declined to specify what might be in the next
version of the bill or provide any time frame for action.
But he said “Congress needed to act because insurers were
developing the premiums and benefit packages for health
plans they would offer in 2018, with review by federal and
state officials beginning soon.”
Trump however, seems to be taking a step back and
waiting to make the next move on the Health Care debate,
moving onto other issues before his first 100 days are up.
He recently tweeted, “I’ve been saying for years that the
best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a

deal with the Democrats and have one unified deal,” Trump said.
“And they will come to us, we won’t have to come to them.”
However, one unified deal is not an idea that is fully supported.
Some conservative members of the party, including Senator Rand
Paul of Kentucky and Representative Sean P. Duffy of Wisconsin
said they would “redouble their efforts to undo the Affordable
Care Act;” and Representative Steve King of Iowa said [referring
to the ACA] “Rip it all out by the roots!” Friday in a Twitter post.
Yet, other members of the party contend that Democrats should
be involved in efforts to rewrite the bill and might be the only
way to reach a consensus. Regardless, if the party cannot procure
some result to maintain their promise to address the ACA and
health care concerns, the Republican party could be in trouble
come mid-term elections. Former Representative Thomas M
Davis III, expressed that “If the [republican party] fall on their
sword on this, they’re going to get slaughtered. “Where parties
get hurt in midterms is when their base collapses.” Particularly
as Trump and the republican party has promised voters health
care reform for the past 7 years.In the meantime, “we’re going
to be living
Evolution of U.S. Health Care Reform; Pain Physician Journal. 2017.
Pg. 2
The Mirage of Reform—Republican’s Struggle to Dismantle Obamacare;
The New England Journal of Medicine. Marche 22, 2017
How the Health Care Vote Fell Apart Step By Step; NY Times. March
24, 2017
Paul Ryan: House Republicans Will Continue their Push For Health
Care Reform This Year; Washington Post. March 27, 2017
Affordable Care Act Repeal is Back On the Agenda Republicans Say;
NY Times. March 28, 2017.
Paul Ryan: House Republicans Will Continue their Push for Health Care
Reform This Year; Washington Post. March 27, 2017
Some Lawmakers Now Look to Bipartisanship on Health Care; NY
Times. March 26, 2017.

By Nicholas Williams, Editor in Chief

I have some things I’d like to share,
but I’m not entirely certain you’d care.
You might read a line or two, 
And decide you’ve read enough. 
I bet you will—won’t you?
I’ll forgive you, though. 
My panic grows manic, 
With deadlines coming hard and fast,
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, 
But there is clearly much work to be had. 
Registering for classes,
Ensuring all the right ones are taken-Gotta cover all my bases
Or else I’ll be forsaken!

Friends and family, ever so proud.
Compliments and joys abound.
Graduation quickly approaching, 
Though I’m sure everybody knows.
Nightmares come encroaching
Of all worst-case scenarios.

The faster graduation approaches, 

the sicker that I feel.
Maybe we should all get study coaches, 

Don’t fret from the bleachers—
For we’ve reached the end of this academic
but life is about to get very real. 
Enjoy your summer and this last edition.
Saying good bye to graduating friends
Dicta will be back in the fall.
I sure hope they come back. 
We await your submissions
Not that I expect to never see them again,
To tap into that unknown potential within
To say hi and interact.
you all! 
To say the least, this has been quite a year— To my graduating friends,
We are so thankful summer is almost here!  We congratulate you on your achievement, 

For we know to that end
So be well, dear readers. 
This was no easy commitment. 
Be of good cheer, 
 Blessings and love from the Dicta Board! 

photo credit Kierra MacDougall

11 | A p r i l 20 1 7


12 | A p r i l 20 1 7


A Word From the President
The most surprising thing about the end of law school is how none of
it really feels like an end at all. The bar, naturally, plays a part in that.
Pending student loans, just as naturally, also play a part in that. But I
don’t mean that it doesn’t feel like there is no break between academics
and career goals; what I mean is that there is no concrete conclusion.
There is no sense of having arrived at point B after traveling all that
distance from point A. There will just be a morning where you wake up
and it’s over.
I don’t think that that’s a bad thing.
Law school—for better or worse—demands just about as much from
a student as a student is capable of giving. From the first day of 1L to
graduation, law school expects a student to commit and rejects those
who don’t.
Of course there are classes. We remember the events that play out: our
memos. Making it to the end of a ten o’clock lecture twice a week.
Navigating the T’s nebulous schedule to get to our responsibilities on
time. There are, inside this larger arc of law school, particular struggles
that have a beginning, a middle, and an end but these pieces are not the
whole. Deadlines. Assignments. Events. There are things that did come
and go but law school, despite being made up of these things, does not
feel like that.
Even when the distance to the end is something you can count in days
rather than months or in years, law school gives the impression of
stretching forward endlessly and again, I don’t mean to say that that is a
bad thing. Between all those events. Inside all the conflicts that keep us up
at night and aspirations that get us up in the morning, there is something
that is fixed. The student. After days become weeks and weeks become
months and months become years the wash of commitments, academic
and otherwise, begin to shape the person beneath it. That is not to say we
do not struggle, I’ll be honest there were days this semester that I myself
felt like maybe law school was a mistake, it is that we do struggle and
despite that we keep waking up, we keep getting out of bed, and we keep
adding days to those we have already made it through. We keep pushing
past the beginning, and the middle, and the end of those little struggles
until three years have, themselves, begun to look like just another thing
that we have completed.
The time here ends but the effect of that time doesn’t. You don’t commit
yourself entirely to something and then just walk away. Law school
demands as much from a student as a student is willing to give and
when a student has proven he or she is capable of giving that, it entirely
redefines what we think we are capable of. Law school proves that there
is no cap on us and so it seems entirely natural that finding the cap on
law school becomes likewise difficult.
So yes, I am graduating. It is likely that there are good friends who I will
never see again. It is likely that years from now, even after all that I have
poured of myself into the things that mattered to me here—the clinic,
Thank you,
Daniel Hahn
SBA President (2016-2017)

the SBA—that it’ll be largely forgotten.
But that was not the point. It wasn’t
what we did for school. It wasn’t how
we struggled to satisfy all these little
demands we face from day to day. It
was what never quitting on that struggle
proved about us.
Law school does not end because it
does not, like a statement, conclude
anything but rather, like a question asks
us who have endured it—who have
experienced it—what is it that we are
capable of becoming? And there is no
cap on that. Indeed, that is a question
that we will spend the rest of our lives
working to answer.
It has been a tremendous honor and
privilege to work this year as your
student body president. It has been a
tremendous honor and privilege to be
a part of a community that has fostered
inspirational organizations like this
one and I hope that no matter how the
leadership might change over the years
ahead that we, the students of Suffolk
University Law School, never stop
believing that we are capable of being
everything we resolve ourselves to be.

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Guest Speaker, Judge Isaac Borenstein.
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Criminal Procedure and a Cuba Seminar Course at Suffolk
Law School. Although a retired Judge, he does civil law and
criminal defense.