University at Buffalo School of Law: Old Frontiers, Preparing the Lawyers of the 21st Century

The institute aims to transform students into highly skilled legal professionals

Founded in 1887, the University at Buffalo School of Law (UB School of Law is a professional school. It is the only law school within the State University of New York (SUNY). The University is located on an international border and situated on the flagship campus of a premier public university. It provides many programs and services to support its diverse student body, and is amongst the most internationalized schools in the United States. The School of Law shares this commitment, and welcomes students from wide-ranging backgrounds to its vibrant and collegial community. This makes the law school stronger and showcases it through a multicultural lens.

The Dean

Aviva Abramovsky is the school’s 19th permanent Dean. She is the first woman to hold the position and was appointed in July 2017. An expert in insurance law, commercial law, regulation of financial entities, and legal ethics, she has written many articles and legal treatises, including authoring McKinney’s Uniform Commercial Code forms for New York.

In the last year, she has focused on building relationships, establishing partnership with SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, a public policy think tank, to create a new Center for Law & Policy Solutions. She has also overseen the expansion of the law school’s clinical legal education program. This program includes the recent addition of a veteran’s legal practicum, and the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic, established in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A Quick Glance at the Academic Programs

The school draws over one hundred and thirty years of experience and innovation in legal education, making it one of the oldest law schools in the State of New York. The school has a long history of pro bono service. This provides the students with a compassionate view of the world, regardless of their future areas of practice. The various programs offered by the School of Law are:

JD program: This flexible program offers students a broad range of interdisciplinary options in areas that include criminal law, cross-border legal studies, intellectual property and privacy, international law, environmental law, family law, and finance and development.

Dual-Degree programs:  These programs permit students to earn credit toward a Master’s or PhD degree with one of the University’s many other graduate and professional schools while pursuing their JD.

LLM programs: UB offers four LLM programs for students who already hold a first degree in law, including the General LLM, the Criminal Law LLM, the Cross-Border Legal Studies LLM, and the Environmental Law LLM. These programs offer special courses designed to introduce international students to American law and to prepare them for the New York State Bar exam.

Advanced Standing JD program:  A two-Year JD program for Internationally Trained Lawyers which allows professionals, who already have a first degree in law from outside the United States to earn a JD in two years.

Career Opportunities and World Exposure for the Students

The law school offers various career opportunities and world exposure that aid students in harnessing the skills for relevant field work.

Advocacy Institute: The law students have the opportunity to develop and practice their skills in the courtroom, with the utmost guidance of distinguished members of the local bar and bench.

Clinical Programs: Students serve clients and conduct research and fieldwork in areas such as animal law, civil liberties and transparency, community justice, environmental law, family violence and women’s rights, health justice, law and social work, and mediation.

New York City Program in Finance and Law: The semester-long program in Manhattan provides students with an introduction to New York City’s financial markets and a gateway to its highly competitive financial-sector job market.

Externships and judicial clerkships: Students work in a variety of government and non-profit organizations and receive academic credit for doing the same.

Financial and Scholarship Aids

UB School of Law does not award scholarships that depend on academic performance in law school. All of its merit scholarships last throughout the academic program provided the student remains in good academic standing. Nearly eighty per cent of the fall 2017 entering class received merit scholarship assistance, ranging from $2,000 to full tuition.

“Words of Trust”

Nothing can describe a school better than its student’s testimonials.

We had guest lecturers every day, talking about everything from bitcoins to the trading floor to stocks. I learned so much from experts in the field, most of them UB alums. It was a great experience.” – Melissa K. ’19, JD student and participant in the law school’s New York City Program in Finance and Law.

I’ve become much more confident in my own abilities through the clinic. We are the lawyers on the case. The professor helps when we get stuck, but we’re doing the work.”  Jessica G. ’19, JD student and participant in the Civil Liberties and Transparency Clinic.

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