Lawyers looking to take their career to the next level will find challenge, choice and flexibility at the University at Buffalo School of Law.
The General LL.M. Program allows lawyers who have demonstrated success in their legal education, their practice, or both, to create individualized programs designed to take their careers to the next level. LL.M. students have access to nearly the entire J.D. curriculum, and admitted students receive one-on-one academic advisement in the selection of their courses to help them navigate through our substantial range of course offerings and out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities. The program takes one year to complete. Our dynamic classrooms give LL.M. students the opportunity to learn alongside students in our three- and two-year J.D. programs and share their global perspectives, enriching our community both in and out of class.
Many General LL.M. students use the degree to satisfy jurisdictional requirements for the admission of foreign-trained lawyers to practice law, including those of the New York Board of Law Examiners and the National Committee on Accreditation in Canada.
The Criminal Law LL.M. builds on the School of Law’s strength in the interdisciplinary study of criminal law. One of the only post-professional programs in the United States devoted exclusively to the study of criminal law, this program has attracted lawyers from all over the world who intend to teach, do policy work, or work as prosecutors or judges in their home jurisdictions. They are advised by Professor Luis Chiesa, an internationally known criminal law scholar with extensive experience in Spain and Latin America.
In either program, you can choose to write a more extended piece of scholarly work under the guidance of a professor.
Your goals as a student in our LL.M. program are as individual
as you are. Once you're accepted into the program, you'll talk with
the director of post-professional and international education, and
then draft an Individual Program Statement, or IPS. The IPS sets
out your goals for the academic program and for your career,
identifies strengths and weaknesses in your legal training, and
lists the courses you'll take. The IPS is a road map for reaching
your goals, and it can be revised during the academic year.
Our LL.M. students find themselves in a select program that's
part of a large and intellectually diverse law school. Everyone at
the School of Law is committed to helping you connect with
professors, private practitioners, public officials at the local,
county, state and federal levels, and advocates working in
non-governmental organizations. And you'll be encouraged to explore
the many ways in which the law school connects to other departments
and disciplines in the university as well as professional
organizations, public offices and private firms.
Through our Career Services Office, students have direct access
to prestigious employers across the United States. Employers take
part in recruiting and mentoring programs that include on-campus
interviews and off-campus interviews in places like New York City
and Washington, D.C. More than half of our new lawyers accept
positions outside Western New York.
Externships and judicial clerkships provide our students with unique legal and public-service experience. You can work in a variety of government and non-profit organizations, and get academic credit for that work. At the externship host offices, you'll learn how to work with a client and address the client's specific needs and goals – something that's hard to teach in a classroom.
Our students also help judges, attorneys and legislators with pressing legal questions that arise in cases; help develop public policy and legislation; and respond to citizens' inquiries or problems. You may, for example, attend court, draft an opinion for a judge or write legislation for a member of Congress.
Just minutes from Canada, UB is proud of its international character. UB ranks among the top five public research universities and 17th among all American colleges and universities in international enrollment. Our LL.M. programs have attracted candidates from Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.
The Ph.D. is not a requirement for teaching at law schools in
the United States. However, at the University at Buffalo School of
Law over one-fourth of our tenured or tenure-track faculty have
Ph.D. degrees from top-ranking American universities in a wide
variety of social science disciplines, including anthropology,
economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. On
our faculty you will find founding members of contemporary
approaches to legal education and analysis, including but not
limited to the Law and Society movement and the Critical Legal
Studies movement. These innovative pedagogical approaches to the
substance and the interpretation of law provide our students with
an extraordinarily rich intellectual experience.