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University at Buffalo: School of Law
University at Buffalo
School of Law
University at Buffalo School of Law is many things. As one of the oldest law schools in New York State, it draws over 130 years of experience and innovation in legal education. As part of the University at Buffalo, an internationally renowned research university, it provides students and faculty with world-class educational resources. As a law school on an international border, it gives students access to a vibrant legal community whose practice involves transactions with clients in a foreign country they can see from their office windows. And as New York State’s public law school, it has a mission to promote justice, to serve the public interest, and to cultivate socially responsible students, professionals, and lawyers who will be leaders in their areas of practice and fields of scholarship.
Advanced law students come to Buffalo to work closely with leading scholars in many areas of scholarly inquiry and practice: cross-border business transactions and trade, criminal law and procedure, environmental law, labor law, constitutional law, civil litigation, tax, human rights, and intellectual property, and more. They come to work in clinical programs that make a difference in local communities at the same time that they are taught to be practice-ready lawyers. They come to immerse themselves in the language and foundations of United States and New York law. And they come to join a community that shares their enthusiasm for confronting the challenges of ensuring justice and fairness in the global practice of public and private law.
We offer six programs for students who already have a first degree in law.
The Two-Year JD for Internationally Trained Lawyers allows professionals who already have a first degree in law to earn a JD in two years rather than three. It provides a more thorough immersion experience in US law and legal education than a one-year LLM program can provide. Admitted students take the first-year curriculum and are part of the incoming JD class. In the second year, students take mostly electives in research, classroom instruction, and experiential learning.
The Doctor of Juridical Science is the law school’s most advanced degree. It makes full use of our creative and interdisciplinary faculty to prepare students for careers as law professors, judicial and other public offices, as well as high-level policy positions in international organizations. In their doctoral dissertation, the successful J.S.D. student will produce an original, innovative piece of scholarship that makes a contribution to our understanding of law. The J.S.D. degree can typically be completed within three years – one year in residence of full-time study with coursework, followed by a period of research and writing (generally an additional one to two years).
The General LLM provides professionals with the flexibility to create a highly specialized course of study that draws on our excellence in research, classroom instruction, and experiential learning. LLM students have access to nearly all of the courses offered at the law school and can spend their time focusing primarily on the wide range of subjects offered each semester (including those students who need an LLM to become eligible to sit for the New York bar exam). Students can engage in research, working closely with a member of our faculty on a master’s thesis or an independent study. And they can take advantage of the many opportunities to learn law and the legal profession through our pioneering clinical programs, externships, and judicial clerkships. Admitted students receive one-on-one academic advisement in the selection of their courses to help them navigate through our range of course offerings and practical learning opportunities.
The Criminal Law LLM builds on our strength in the interdisciplinary study of criminal law and the work of the Buffalo Criminal Law Center. Our Criminal Law LLM was the first of its kind in the United States and continues to be one of the only such programs. This program has attracted lawyers and professors from all over the world who intend to teach, do policy work, or serve as prosecutors or judges in their home jurisdictions. Over half of our Criminal Law LLM students in the past two years have had prestigious Fulbright scholarships. Criminal Law LLM students are advised by Professor Luis Chiesa, an internationally known criminal law scholar with extensive experience in Spain and Latin America.
The Environmental Law LL.M. offers students the opportunity to develop their skills and understanding of environmental law and policy through a structured program of study and experience. Environmental lawyers practice environmental law in large and small private law firms, in the offices of in-house corporate counsel in trade associations, in federal, state and local government agencies, in the offices of state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice, and in many non-governmental organizations. Whether future employment entails advocating the position of a public interest group, a corporate client, a government agency, or a private citizen, the Environmental Law LL.M. is designed to meet the need for knowledgeable and skilful application of legal principles and techniques to environmental and natural resource problems, including climate change.
Our innovative Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. Program, one of the first of its kind in the United States, recognizes the increasingly global nature of legal practice and the need for skilled attorneys to guide clients through their cross-border interactions. Located just 20 minutes from Canada, the US’s largest trading partner, the School of Law is uniquely situated to provide students with exposure to cross-border legal issues both inside and outside the classroom. A strong network of alumni based in Buffalo, New York and Ontario, Canada engage in a wide range of cross-border legal practice including trade, tax, immigration, real estate, and corporate and transactional work. These practitioners serve as community partners in the program and informal mentors to LL.M. students throughout the course of their studies. In addition, each student is assigned an academic advisor to provide one-on-one guidance throughout the program.
Laurel Root, Ph.D.
Director of Recruitment and Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
310 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260 USA
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