Law Student of the Year: Cherie Ching, Suffolk University

Cherie Ching has encouraged the Suffolk University Law Schoolminority community toward public service and to become involved in conversations surrounding diversity, discrimination and inequalities in the justice system.

As the leader of Suffolk Law’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Ching, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, spearheaded the Harry H. Dow Annual Lecture Series on Immigration Law. In 2015, she and her team raised $7,000 for the Dow scholarship, which helps fund the education of a law student with a demonstrated interest in public service for underrepresented communities.

Dow, a role model for Ching, was a 1929 Suffolk Law School graduate and the first Chinese-American admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was in place in 1904 when Dow was born, and anti-Chinese sentiment and discrimination were common.

As a student attorney for low and moderate-income clients in consumer protection and housing discrimination cases, Ching interviews clients, prepares pleadings, discovery and memoranda, conducts negotiations, administrative hearings and trials under supervision. She handles matters before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Boston Fair Housing Commission, Boston Housing Court, and Chelsea District Court. 

During the summer after her first year, Ching completed a judicial internship for the Honorable Randal K.O. Lee in the Hawaii State Judiciary, First Circuit Court in the twelfth division. There she gained practical experience in the courtroom, under the supervision of Judge Lee, and a greater perspective on the injustices within the judicial system.

Her second-year summer consisted of an Advocacy Fellowship at the U.S. Green Building Council in Boston, where she researched ongoing local and national legislation affecting energy efficiency and renewable energy standards within buildings, including LEED-Certification.

Ching plans on practicing in real estate and property law to open up investment opportunities for minority communities.

Ching is one of 25 future lawyers honored in the National Jurist’s inaugural “Law Student of the Year” feature.