School of Law launches Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M.

Published April 17, 2017

The School of Law announces an innovative LL.M. program in cross-border legal studies. The program recognizes the global nature of legal practice and the need for skilled attorneys to guide clients through cross-border interactions.

“The Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. will allow us to use our unique border location to expose students to a wide variety of cross-border legal issues, while imparting skills that graduates can then apply to cross-border work they undertake anywhere in the world.”

Located just 20 minutes from Canada, the US’s largest trading partner, UB 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.

A unique experiential capstone course provides additional opportunities for students to interact with practicing private-firm attorneys in Buffalo and Ontario while completing project-based work. The course teaches students to identify relevant legal issues in real-world cross-border contexts while learning lawyering skills such as professionalism, accurately recording billable time, business development techniques, and legal research and writing.

The program is directed by Professor Meredith Kolsky Lewis, who serves as the School of Law’s Vice Dean for International and Graduate Programs and as Director of the Cross-Border Legal Studies Center.  “The Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. will allow us to use our unique border location to expose students to a wide variety of cross-border legal issues, while imparting skills that graduates can then apply to cross-border work they undertake anywhere in the world,” says Lewis.

Admission to the program requires a first degree in law.  In addition to the capstone course, admitted students select four courses from over 30 offerings relevant to cross-border legal studies including international business, tax, corporate, immigration, trade and environment-related topics. International students will additionally take a legal research and writing class and a course that introduces the United States legal system. The remainder of the students’ coursework will comprise electives from the entirety of the law school’s course offerings.

UB School of Law has a history of providing exceptional cross-border learning opportunities. JD students may already pursue a concentration in Cross-Border Legal Studies. The School’s Cross-Border Legal Studies Center additionally supports cross-border research, public presentations and curricular initiatives.