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Ruffin Society

The Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society was founded in 1984 to support minority professionals in the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Closely affiliated with Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice, its goals are to create greater understanding between the minority community and the criminal justice profession, as well as to promote and encourage the advancement of minorities in the field of criminal justice. The Society is named for George Lewis Ruffin, the first black graduate of Harvard Law School and, in 1883, the state's first black judge.

The Society has sponsored examination preparation courses to assist police officers of color in achieving promotion in the Boston Police Department. In addition, the Society sponsors community education programs and the Ruffin Fellows Program, which annually provides an academically superior student of color with a full scholarship to the Master's degree program in criminal justice at Northeastern.


George Lewis Ruffin
Courtesy Harvard Law School Art Collection