Vice Provost and Professor of Law



  • BA, State University of New York
  • JD, Northeastern University

Bar Admittance

  • FL
  • TX
  • MA


  • Clinical Program
  • Evidence/Trial Practice
  • Criminal Law
  • Capital Punishment Law


After graduating from Northeastern University School of Law, Jeff Pokorak worked as an assistant public defender in Miami, Florida, clerked for Federal District Court Judge Joe Eaton, and later acted as an assistant public counsel in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Leaving trial work, Prof. Pokorak went to Texas in 1989 to act as Senior Staff Attorney at the Texas Resource Center, a federally funded organization dedicated to the representation of indigents on death row in their post-conviction appeals. In 1993, Prof. Pokorak joined the faculty at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. In 2000, Jeff had the pleasure of visiting at the University of New Mexico, School of Law where he taught evidence and trial practice. In 2001 he left Texas to join the faculty at Suffolk University Law School.


Jeff is currently a Professor of Law and the Director of Clinical Programs. In that role, he helped re-create Suffolk’s Clinical Program, resulting in today’s excellent and nationally ranked program. He is a recognized leader in experiential learning and he teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, capital punishment, evidence, and international criminal activity.


Professor Pokorak is also actively involved in rule of law endeavors. He has trained trial and appellate attorneys; presented at numerous criminal law and legal education conferences; moderated victim forums in the death penalty context; worked on several access to justice cases; testified before legislatures and practiced extensively in the United States Supreme Court. Jeff publishes in the area of race and prosecutorial discretion, the death penalty and its procedures, and continues research in the area of victims' access to equal justice in the criminal law system.

Professional Activities

Member in Good Standing: State Bars of Florida (1985), Texas (1989), and Massachusetts (2007). Member, Board of Directors for the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA). Co-Chair, Scholarship Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, Clinical Legal Education Section (with Michele Goodman, University Of Baltimore Law). Member and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Texas Defenders Services, a privately funded and incorporated 301(c) non-profit organization that provides legal services to death sentenced inmates and training and assistance to attorneys representing those charged with capital crimes. Board of Directors and Treasurer, Texas Defender Service. Invited Presenter, United States Department of Justice, National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Concurrent Workshop, "Representation, Education, and Modeling: Multidisciplinary Law School Clinics," Invited Presenter, American Bar Association’s Bricks and Bytes Conference, "Clinical Education Space," March 11 and 12, 2010. Presentation: "Rights and Institutions, Maintaining an Assault on the Rule of Law?" Obama Phenomena: Facets of a Historic Campaign at University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in Denver, CO on August 29, 2008. Video available, Panel 2. Invited Participant, Road Map to Justice roundtable and planning meeting, Boston, MA, October 17, 2008. Plenary co-presenter, session for new law faculty at "LatCrit Conference" in Miami Florida, October, 2007. Co-presented concurrent session titled, "Suddenly Seniors."


Other Teaching: Lund University, Lund, Sweden: Suffolk Law School Summer Program in International Law, 2009; "International Criminal Law." Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary: Suffolk Law School LL.M. in U.S. and Global Business Law, 2007; "International Economic Crimes." University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria: St. Mary’s School of Law Institute on World Legal Problems, 1993, 1994, 1997; "International Criminal Activity."



Rape Victims and Prosecutors: The Inevitable Ethical Conflict of De Facto Client/Attorney Relationships, 48 S. TEX. L. REV. 695 (2007)

Rape As a Badge of Slavery: The Legal History of, and Remedies for, Prosecutorial Race-of-Victim Charging Disparities, 7 NEV. L.J. 1 (2006)

Unintended Consequences of the Scientific Evidence Requirement, 80 INDIANA L.J. 75 (2005)

Death Qualification and True Bifurcation: Building on the Massachusetts Governor's Council's Work, 80 INDIANA L.J. 131 (2005) (with Sam Kamin)

Dead Man Talking: Competing Narratives and Effective Representation in Capital Cases, 30 ST. MARY'S L.J. 2 (1999)

Edwards v. United States: The Dark Side of Behaviorism, 10 FED. SENT'G. REP. 4 (1998)

Probing the Prosecutor's Perspective: Race of the Discretionary Actors, 83 CORNELL L. REV. 6 (1998)

"Death Stands Condemned:" Justice Brennan and the Death Penalty, 27 CAL. W.L. REV. 239 (1991)