A SUNY Buffalo Law School education incorporates both the theory
of law and the real-world skills that new graduates need to succeed
Traditional Courses. In the first year, law students begin to develop an understanding of the interrelationships among rules, activities, and the social setting within which they exist. First-year courses begin include the following required courses: Contracts, Torts, Property, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Civil Procedure.
Legal Analysis, Writing & Research Program (LAWR).
SUNY Buffalo Law School requires students to take three semesters
of Research and Writing, including two in the first year, and to
devote significant attention to the skills they will need to
practice law. The LAWR program, based on proven methodologies, was
developed in consultation with judges, judicial clerks and
attorneys to produce a curriculum designed to prepare students to
hit the ground running in their initial legal position.
SUNY Buffalo Law’s legal skills program also comprises
moot court and trial technique experiences, published journals,
professional development initiatives and legal externships.
Choices Abound. A flexible program enables second- and
third-year students to achieve individual goals and to design a
custom-made curriculum. Students select annually from approximately
fifty courses and forty seminars. In addition, there are myriad
opportunities for independent study, clinical courses, and
and judicial clerkships. Students can also receive credit for
up to 9 hours of graduate work in other departments in the
Upper-division students typically enroll in four or five courses each semester, with the option of additional offerings in a January term and in the summer term. After the first year, the only required course is a seminar of your choice that involves in-depth writing.
A law school career affords our students the opportunity for exposure to a wide range of legal practice and thought - from litigation to transactions, sociolegal studies to history, public policy to jurisprudence. The second and third years of law school provide a window into these various disciplines. We encourage students to select a sequence of courses that couples this broad exploration with concentrated study in a particular area of research or practice.
Build your own course sequences. Students can craft their own curriculum by enrolling in sequences of courses in selected areas of specialization. One way is to enroll in any of the established Concentrations and Curricular Programs. Or, students can build their own course sequence in other areas of curricular strength such as real estate, taxation, state and local government law, history, social policy, jurisprudence, and more.
Seminars and Independent Study. Seminars and independent studies offer important educational opportunities. They critically explore current problems and evolving areas of the law, as well as how new legal concepts in one era have become legal staples in the next. At least one seminar with a major writing component is required in the upper division.
Seminar topics cover countless areas of theory and practice, from legal history to developments in health-care regulation, from theories of justice to labor arbitration, from the globalization of trade to financing a small business, from the definition of "families" to toxic torts. Students collaborate with one another and with faculty in research and discussion, and typically produce significant papers.
You may also design and pursue your own small seminar-like independent study projects under faculty supervision.
Bridge Courses. Through the month of January, bridge courses link theory with practice by offering upper-division students optional bridge courses. Taught primarily by accomplished attorneys and judges, many second- and third-year students enroll in two or three such courses during the bridge term. Ordinarily offered for one credit hour each, these courses bring a fresh dimension to legal education by providing a focused, inside view of a lawyer's world.