In December, Suffolk University Law School officially launched the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service with a gala opening ceremony featuring Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley as keynote speaker.
"To be able to create a center that now institutionalizes the notion that public service is important, that we want our best and our brightest to serve the public, I think that's a very welcome idea, and an extraordinary idea whose time has come," Coakley said. "I hope the Rappaport Center will lead us to a time when we say not the dismissive 'Oh, good enough for government work' but 'Are you good enough for government work? Are you good enough to bring the legal skills and the experience and the know-how and the judgment that means we care about the communities we live in?'"
More than 200 people packed Sargent Hall for the festivities, which included speeches from Jerry and Phyllis Rappaport and second-year student and former Rappaport Fellow Chad Laurent, who received a summer job offer from Coakley onstage.
"The Rappaport Center allows us to cultivate tomorrow's public policy leaders and encourage our most promising students to become innovators in public policy as government attorneys, public interest lawyers, or members of the bar undertaking pro bono cases and public service," said Dean Alfred Aman during his opening remarks. "It leverages Suffolk's ideal urban location and long tradition of public service to create strategic, innovative, and practical partnerships between academia and government around issues of law and public policy."
The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service, created in 2007 through a $5 million gift from the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation and Jerry and Phyllis Rappaport, was established to advance opportunities for law students and lawyers to engage in public service and to explore the intersection between the law and public policy. The Rappaport Center is home to the Rappaport Fellows Program in Law and Public Policy; since its founding in 2000, the program has provided access to summer internships, educational programming, stipends, and individual mentoring for 12 law students selected annually from applicants representing Boston's six law schools. "Committed legal professionals are in a unique position to help improve the everyday lives of citizens," said Rappaport Center Executive Director Susan Prosnitz. "The Rappaport Center can and will be a national model for advancing public service opportunities for law students and lawyers for decades to come."
ALUMNI PROFILESPaul Cherecwich Jr.